My short bio: I have worked at sea for a few years now, and was unlucky enough to be at sea when all of the 'rona started. I have not set foot on land since March 14th.

I worked for the cruise company Holland America Line as part of the entertainment team. My ship has been fighting for weeks with the CDC and the US government to let me back into the country, even though I am a US citizen. I'm happy to answer any questions here about what it's like to be at sea for extended periods of time, or what it's like to work at sea in general.

My Proof:

My badge

An article about me

EDIT: ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

  • Am I being paid? No.

  • Have you filed for unemployment? My internet is not strong enough yet. I'm going to try as soon as I get back on land.

  • Is anyone onboard sick? No. Or at least, they have not made any announcements about that. Everyone is getting fever tested twice a day.

  • How's the food? A bit lower than guest quality, but generally good. Here's a picture of dinner!

  • How do you get food? They deliver it to me three meals a day.

  • How's the room? It is a 200sq ft cabin to myself. I spend around 20+ hours a day in here alone. I have a balcony and a double bed. Here's a picture

  • How much is the internet? it's $10 per gigabyte, and the connection is extremely spotty. It drops out usually every 20 and 30 minutes for me, and takes a few minutes to pick back up again. Even phone calls over WhatsApp are hard to make.

  • Why don't you jump? It is incredibly dangerous to jump overboard a moving ship. If you jump over the side, there is a good chance that the current drags you underneath the ship and into the propellers. If you jump over the back, the water is heavily aerated and you will get sucked under again. If you manage to swim to the top / hold your breath long enough, you will die of dehydration and exposure if you don't make it to land.

  • What happened when you tried to leave the ship? longer comment here

Edit: the current plan is for me to disembark tomorrow in Los Angeles. However, that was the plan more than a week ago too. I don't have flight details or anything yet. We'll see!

Edit2: I should theoretically be disembarking tomorrow! That being said, I have answered literally hundreds of questions. I am sorry if I missed yours, though I skipped some that were frequent repeats. I will continue answering tonight and tomorrow!

Edit 3: it is tomorrow and we are docked in Los Angeles! I still won't believe I am on land until my feet hit the ground. Other crew got as far as getting to the airport, before they were forced to turn back to the ship. If that happens to me, I will riotjustkiddingiftheshipisreading

Edit 4: I AM OFF THAT DAM SHIP. WE DOCKED IN LOS ANGELES AND THEY FINALLY LET ME OFF. THANK YOU ALL FOE YOUR WELL WISHES!

Comments: 1747 • Responses: 116  • Date: 

Elevenhundredandone1418 karma

Thanks for spending the $10 to talk to us. My question is: what the heck are you doing all day for 45 days? The limited internet access and no pay makes this sound not fun.

Lime_Time1100 karma

I have read so many books. I've been posting a lot in /r/suggestmeabook to help others find books too. I also borrowed pokémon from a friend on board and just beat it!

punxskunx267 karma

Huge pokemon nerd here, which game did you borrow? Was it your first pokemon game? What team did you use? Did you enjoy it and see youself playing more pokemon in the future?

Lime_Time470 karma

I borrowed Shield.

My team was Toxtricity, Weavile, Rillaboom, Arcanine, Togekiss, and Quagsire.

I played up through fire red and leaf green, but this is the first time I've played in a long time.

TimeMachineToaster893 karma

How are the food supplies being handled? Is there enough for an even longer extended stay, is it rationing or are deliveries to the ship being made/ planning to be made?

Lime_Time1653 karma

Ships are taking turns docking and getting supplies. It is hard to convince the government to let us dock, so when a ship can, it takes more supplies than it needs and shares it with the other ships at sea, via small tender boats.

BorderColliesRule416 karma

How’s the food quality? Are crew feed the same quality of food as guests?

Lime_Time788 karma

On my last ship, the food was decidedly lower quality. Lots of curries, lots of rice. Here the food is much closer to guest quality.

toddymac1349 karma

As someone who really does like a good curry over rice, I do have to admit that like anything else, I'm sure it does get old after a while.

Lime_Time665 karma

I didn't say good curry... :(

Some of these curries are too spicy to eat for my Western taste buds, or had weird ingredients like fish heads in them.

When I was on the last ship during this whole thing, I ate mostly Indian food when I could.

SilverStar9192212 karma

Is the Indian food because a large proportion of the crew are Indian?

I was reading about Carnival's plan to repatriate crew by literally sailing their ships all over the world, since there are no flights available. I was surprised by the large number going to Mumbai.

Lime_Time325 karma

A big enough chunk of the crew is Indian so that they were providing Indian food everyday. :) Some of it burned the hell out of my mouth, but I normally enjoy Indian food so it wasn't too bad. It's still not fun for your eyes to be watering and nose to be running while eating dinner though.

sicklixix681 karma

Why did you decide to work on a cruise ship? What's the best and worst thing about it?

Lime_Time1085 karma

I wanted to travel and see the world! I have been to dozens of countries as part of working on the ship. It's really wonderful getting to see so many different cultures while not having to pay to travel.

The downside is the pay. I could make a lot more working on land.

HeadlesStBernard160 karma

Have you ever done the math to calculate the total travel costs saved vs amount lost due to wage disparity?

Lime_Time805 karma

I haven't done the math, because it's pretty obvious to me. I literally get paid to go on tours and write reviews for them for the ship. I've been scuba diving, zodiac rides down the fjords, cooking classes, helicopter rides, dog sledding, all inclusive beach resorts, etc, all for free or for very cheap.

I estimate that I have received at minimum tens of thousands of dollars in tours since I started working for this company.

HeadlesStBernard130 karma

Damn thats awesome!

Shinji246400 karma

Until you get kidnapped by the company you work for.

Lime_Time307 karma

😭😭😭

donutcapriccio75 karma

as someone who wants to major in journalism and especially in entertainment review, how did you go about getting that job?

Lime_Time322 karma

You misunderstand. I work as an youth activities manager onboard the ship. I review tours in my spare time for the company in exchange for free tours.

donutcapriccio88 karma

ohhh. well, in general, how do people go about getting jobs on cruise ships?

Lime_Time148 karma

I applied online. Just sent in my resume, got a call back the next week.

Dragosal5 karma

Do you get fed on board as a ship employee? Wondering because that could be an excuse for the wage disparity between ship and lamd

Lime_Time6 karma

They feed us all and provide housing.

Baxterdaxter451 karma

You talkin like pirates yet?

Lime_Time285 karma

Unfortunately not!

attorneyatslaw151 karma

Are you still receiving your daily allowance of grog?

Lime_Time227 karma

Haha I just saw somebody get a six pack delivered with breakfast yesterday or the day before. Room service alcohol for the win.

PrehensileUvula77 karma

Did they have to pay? Or are they supplying you with booze at least?

Lime_Time147 karma

People have to pay for the alcohol. It's something like $18 for a bottle of wine.

yoda13311377 karma

Is it a decent bottle, or is it a $2 bottle for $18?

Lime_Time159 karma

It's super cheap bottles for $18.

stfcfanhazz443 karma

How are you passing the time alone with Internet access costing so much?

If you have a PayPal.me ill donate 1GB!

Lime_Time436 karma

I think it's against the rules of this subreddit to accept donations, sorry!

HaCo111412 karma

How long, in your estimation, until the crew stages a mutiny over being stuck there and not being paid?

Lime_Time564 karma

There are plans to get most crew home now. The USA has been playing hardball, along with several other countries, but most of the Asian crew are on their way now via ship back to their countries.

I would give it another month or two of people still stuck out here, not getting paid, before they get extremely angry.

_jeremybearimy_148 karma

What other countries are playing hardball? Just curious

Lime_Time292 karma

Mexico wasn't letting Mexican nationals in, or so I heard. St Lucia was doing the same. The Philippines and Indonesia were both being difficult at first too, though I don't know if they still are.

joshually407 karma

1) How many hours a day are you awake and what are you doing to occupy that time? I'm "stuck" at home (as in my place has rooms, I have a rooftop, I can go out to shop, walk around, etc.) and I'm already stir crazy and I've lost interest in doing anything!

2) What are your good days like and what are your bad days like? I cannot imagine being stuck in a 200 sq ft room

Lime_Time829 karma

I sleep around 8 hours a day. I normally wake up with the sunrise.

My good days, there are no anxiety attacks, no depressive bouts.

My bad days, I cycle through extreme anger and depression over my situation.

Most days are in between.

kitofthecat406 karma

has anyone done something crazy while on the ship so far? ( like fights, breaking stuff etc)

Lime_Time591 karma

Nothing crazy has happened beyond me attempting to leave the ship and having the police called.

Got_Sig243 karma

I wanna hear that story.

Lime_Time1998 karma

If I can figure out how to link you to the video on Facebook, I will.

Edit: if you go to Facebook.com/denmarkblue, you can see the videos. They were posted April 28th, and there's four of them.

Otherwise:

On April 26th, we had flights plans to go home for the Americans. The ship booked me a flight and had transportation arranged.

On April 27th, the CDC denied entry to our ship for disembarkation, but still granted permission to dock and get supplies in Los Angeles. The ship told me that we would be arrested if we attempted to leave.

On April 28th, CBP came to the ship to do a face-to-face passport check for our American crew. The officials told me that they would not be arresting me, that it's the CDC that has the problem.

I went back to my room and packed my bags. I attempted to leave the ship via the gangway with one backpack on and a lawyer's number written on my arm in case I was arrested. I was immediately stopped by security at the gangway.

The ship security officer was called, along with the captain and hotel director. The ship security officer began berating me, called me a silly little girl, among other things. The hotel director was much nicer. He's my boss's boss.

They both told me that I was ruining things for everyone, that I was being selfish, that I was screwing things up for the entire ship.

I requested repeatedly to be turned over to the United States authorities. I told them that a private company cannot continually hold me against my will, and that it is my right to enter my own country.

At some point they realized that I was Facebook live streaming it. They both stopped talking to me after that. The security officer told the security guards to detain me with physical force if necessary.

The LAPD, the Port authorities, and the CBP all ended up being called. I delayed the ship's departure by an hour+. I didn't do anything but stand peacefully at the gangway and request to be arrested / allowed to enter my home country.

Ultimately, the CBP and LAPD refused to arrest me, and I was not willing to assault someone or attempt to rush the gangway in an attempt to get off the ship.

The ship sailed off with me against my will, and now I've been transferred to another ship floating around in Mexican waters.

sethbr1208 karma

Do you plan to sue them for kidnapping you?

Lime_Time2293 karma

No comment. ☺️

nursecarmen987 karma

I wish you a happy payday in the future.

rubbersidedown20432 karma

You’re assuming the cruise lines and their insurance carriers are all financially solvent by the time this lawsuit goes through.

ballrus_walsack1130 karma

Sue them for possession of the ship. Look at me: I am the captain now.

Lime_Time763 karma

Okay this one made me laugh super hard out loud. Thanks for the giggle, it's been very depressing in this cabin alone.

pmsyyz399 karma

You didn't shout at the LAPD that you were being kidnapped and held against your will? And that it wouldn't look good that they did nothing? Heh, I'd like to see that video.

Lime_Time489 karma

I told the CBP that, and they let the ship take me anyways.

Bluejays1160 karma

What does the rest of the crew think about you trying to leave? Did anyone else try?

Lime_Time520 karma

A lot of people are upset with me. Nobody else tried to leave.

There are very few Americans on board, and it is difficult explaining to non-Americans why I am so furious that my own country won't let me in. They think I should just be quiet and wait for the ship to handle it.

macfarley422 karma

Something tells me they're from countries where the word "dissidents" is frequently used for people trying to assert their legal rights.

Lime_Time525 karma

You've actually hit the nail right on the head! A lot of these people come from countries where it is unthinkable to challenge the government openly, and to demand your civil rights be respected.

Say_no_to_doritos111 karma

How tf can they refuse you entry? That is so fucked up.

MsEscapist195 karma

Legally they cannot. The ship has no authority to hold her and while US authorities could detain her or send her to a quarantine location they can't deny entry.

Lime_Time241 karma

Whether it was legal or not, they denied me entry. :(

ForeignBazaar350 karma

How has corona changed how all of the cruise workers are housed (I heard bunkrooms are the norm) and how you cook/eat? Would you or your colleagues take another cruise job in the future even with new corona safety precautions?

Lime_Time667 karma

We are almost all in single cabins, and have mostly all been moved to guest state rooms. All of my meals are being delivered to me in my cabin.

I would work again at sea. I truly love the travel.

whativebeenhiding218 karma

Do you guys have giant crew orgys?

Lime_Time500 karma

Unfortunately not, sorry to burst your bubble! It would be a sausage party anyways, as 70% of the ship crew is male.

acatlin123 karma

Do you think they'll LET you work again after this incident or just silently blacklist you?

Lime_Time219 karma

The latter.

babybluebonny16 karma

When the staff is all in single cabins, who delivers the food to everyone?

Lime_Time39 karma

Essential workers around the ship are still working. I work in entertainment, and I am not essential.

ViceroyoftheFire275 karma

Are you able to still receive pay?

Lime_Time446 karma

I am not being paid.

ArkGuardian366 karma

That just sounds like prison? Are you at least able to file for unemployment

Lime_Time377 karma

My internet has not been strong enough yet.

doctor_hooha124 karma

Is there a friend or family member you trust enough with your info to apply for you?

Lime_Time376 karma

The reason that I am not worrying about this so far, is all of my emotional and mental energy is tied up in staying sane and getting off this ship. That is literally the only thing that my brain has bandwidth for nowadays.

Right now money is not an urgent concern for me.

TheFilthiestCorndog270 karma

Is there a lot of sex going on between the ship workers?

I mean not necessarily just now but during regular voyages too. It just seems like there are a lot of people, many of them young, alone together in close quarters traveling in romantic/ exotic places.... just curious.

Lime_Time484 karma

Right now, no. We are not allowed in each other's rooms unless you're married.

In general, yes. There is a very large hook-up culture.

Eatsyourpizza165 karma

You should go in someone elses room anyway. Maybe if they fire you, they send you shoreside.

Lime_Time380 karma

I don't want to piss the ship off, because then they might lock me in my room, and not allow me any outside walking time.

Tindola267 karma

Have you contacted you US senator and representative? It's amazing how fast stuff happens IF they choose to get involved

Lime_Time409 karma

Actually, the government is not very fast. I have been contacting them since March. Dozens of other people have contacted their senators and my senators on my behalf as well.

mtdewrulz101 karma

What’s your home state?

Lime_Time154 karma

Georgia

FatSarcasticAsshole217 karma

Are you being forced to stay in you rooms all day? Like are there any disciplinary measures for anyone who decides they had enough?

Also you said you're in a room that has a balcony view. I would assume there aren't enough balcony suites to give out to each crew member, so are some being forced to stay in those interior suites that don't even have a window? Because I would probably go insane if I had to stay 20 hours a day inside that kind of a room with no view of the outside world... for several months.

Lime_Time285 karma

They are calling it self-isolation, with emphasis on the self part, but it's not an option. Some people are stuck in inside cabins, but they are allowed outside every 2 hours on the outside deck in a small group of around 20 people.

Amadon29200 karma

If it's been over two weeks with no infections, you should ask for the quarantine to end so that you can at least party on the cruise ship. No point in isolating if the virus isn't even on the ship

Lime_Time263 karma

The CDC is forcing this isolation, not the ship.

Mamabear1217188 karma

What is your job on the ship? I went on a cruise a few years ago and was talking to one of the employees. She was telling me that it was pretty horrible. She explained that on boarding and unboarding days they were working nonstop, for 20 hours on most of those days. She said they had to remove all the mattresses to clean them, and the rooms. Cleaning the whole ship, restocking everything.

She explained that these companies would go to poor countries and offer them a job. They are contracted for around a year at a time and don't ever really leave the ship. She said she does it because she could never make as much money In her country and sends it back to her family to help.

She didn't seem happy, but you do. Do you think that's because you are an American? What is your job on the ship?

Lime_Time406 karma

I work in a position of privilege on board. I do not work nearly as much as everyone else, and I get paid a fair chunk more. I also have access to all guest amenities, such as the pool on port days, the theater shows, and the various bars. This is because I work in entertainment.

0xB0BAFE77163 karma

How bad of a storm have you had to weather out at sea?

Like worse or not worse than something like this.

Also, huge nope from me on that video. 107% nope.

Also, any awesome cruise "Life Pro Tips" you wanna slip us?
Getting the most bang for your buck?
Enjoyable things that some might miss on a cruise?
Etc...

Lime_Time289 karma

Any time you cross the Tasman sea, it's awful. It's between New Zealand and Australia.

The worst storm I've ever encountered was up in Norway. It felt like being strapped to a seesaw. I had to cancel the children's activities for the day, because it was too rocky and the children were getting sick. The captain sent crew members around to help guests secure their loose articles.

woohooguy84 karma

I was on a Bermuda cruise when hurricane Dorian was churning in the Atlantic, this past year. Leaving Bermuda we were cutting through some of the biggest waves I have ever seen and even though the ship was moving fast to try and smooth it out (and get ahead of the hurricane) it was rocking. As guests we were packed into the bars having a grand old time but I ended up getting vertigo for weeks after getting home.

How do the workers deal with that constant bobbing effect you get after rough seas or when you return to land?

Lime_Time58 karma

I don't have a constant bobbing effect. I think I have been at sea long enough that I just don't notice it.

staal3162 karma

I definitely know what it's like to be bored out of my mind at sea. I was on an 8 month MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) in 2018. Worst part for me was definitely spending 45 days off the coast of Djibouti. Maximum humidity and +100°F temperatures while doing manual labor was not a good time. We had zero internet access and cramped living quarters to boot.

My questions to you are: How are you keeping sane? What are the best and worst ports you've stopped at? What is your favorite thing you've seen in the open ocean? (i.e. bioluminescence at night, a school of flying fish, etc.)

Lime_Time198 karma

I love seeing the flying fish while I'm at the passenger gym. The treadmills look out over the water and it's cool to see the wildlife.

I have many favorite ports. I really enjoy Key West, the Conflict Islands, and pretty much any port that I can scuba dive in.

gingerbeard303160 karma

Will this kill the cruise ship business?

Lime_Time298 karma

I don't think so. These ships cost millions of dollars to manufacture. Some company will snap them up, even if the original owners go under. They are too big of an asset to lose.

Youre-In-Trouble176 karma

Cruise ships will be converted into for profit prisons.

Lime_Time492 karma

Isn't that what this is already? /s

JustAPlayerMan159 karma

How do you have wifi/data?

Lime_Time243 karma

The ship has satellite internet and it's $10 per gigabyte.

IEpicDestroyer180 karma

Is it a bit too far out to get connected to cellular networks? I do appreciate that your doing an AMA, even at the cost of $10/GB, but no cheaper option? :(

They shouldn’t really bill staff like that, especially if they aren’t being paid.

Lime_Time204 karma

$10 per gigabyte is the cheapest option they've given us. It's usually $40 for 667 MB. We are too far out for cell signal.

Impossibrow143 karma

Do you have any interesting/disgusting/disturbing stories about drunken travelers on the ship? Do you guys get time off while at sea?

Lime_Time567 karma

Disgusting passenger:

This lady came up to me to sign her child out. This was the last cruise before we stopped accepting passengers, so Coronavirus was very much a thing at that time. We were on the sports deck, and she approached me licking her fingers... Like full-on, licking the dessert off of her hand. She had a little plate from the buffet.

She signed her kid out with her disgusting hand, and tried to give me the pen back.

I told her to keep it.

She point blank asked me, "why, is it because I just licked my fingers?"

And I point blank told her, "yes ma'am, Have a nice day". Then sent my staff member to go get another pen from downstairs.

LittleBoiFound114 karma

Have all of the guests of the cruise ship gotten off? It’s just the staff? Have staff from other countries gotten to leave? Are you being told you have to stay in your cabin all day?

Lime_Time196 karma

All of the guests have gotten off. Staff have gotten off from other ships, but not mine. I am being told that I have to stay in my cabin for most of the day except for supervised outside time with a small group of people.

AlcatK102 karma

Why/how were guests able to leave, but you were not?

Lime_Time142 karma

The guests were allowed to leave March 14. The company originally planned to try to get me off March 21st, but obviously that never happened. The CDC issued a no sail order at some point, forbidding ships from coming in without explicit permission.

AlcatK68 karma

Why did staff have to stay behind? Cleanup?

Did this change your views on your company?

Lime_Time126 karma

The staff initially stayed behind because the company did not foresee that this was going to last for so long. The initial pause in operations was only supposed to be 30 days long.

ilikewc378 karma

really sounds like prison.

Lime_Time189 karma

It's like prison-lite. I get a comfy bed, okay meals, and a good chunk of walking around outside time, but I am still not free to leave.

Wir2d104 karma

[removed]

Lime_Time278 karma

It doesn't make sense to me either. I'm a United States citizen and I'm being denied entry to my own country. It's really sucky.

I have been better, honestly. The anxiety of spending so much time alone and not being sure when I can go home has been eating at me for weeks.

I no longer have a job after this, because the cruise industry is shut down for at least a few more months. I live at sea pretty much full-time, so that means no more free housing either. It's a bad situation all around for me and the other crew members.

Fake_William_Shatner76 karma

I'm a United States citizen and I'm being denied entry to my own country. It's really sucky.

That's kind of crazy, because we have more infections here than the average country.

It's like not being invited into the condemned club house.

Lime_Time142 karma

Right?! If the CDC is worried about us bringing Corona virus into the United States... They maybe should have done something sooner to stop the 1,000,000+ cases that are already there!

PrehensileUvula36 karma

Have you been able to apply for unemployment?

Lime_Time58 karma

The internet is too weak. I'm going to try it when I get home.

Upeeru78 karma

Have you already contacted an attorney for your unlawful imprisonment lawsuit?

Lime_Time123 karma

I have not contacted any attorneys about pursuing action against Holland America Line.

iroll20s112 karma

Blink once for yes two for no.

Lime_Time155 karma

Haha, I really haven't! theinternetistooshitty

cjeam74 karma

What’s the lowest bandwidth way we can keep you company?

Lime_Time102 karma

If you have any direct links to your favorite short stories, or poems online, that would be great! As long as what I'm looking at is text-based, it doesn't eat up too much internet.

TeacherTmack72 karma

Why aren’t you getting paid?

Lime_Time106 karma

My contract was supposed to end April 18th.

S7ageNinja59 karma

What's your position? Cruise staff? I was a Lighting tech with cunard until recently and no fucking way in hell am I going back lol

Lime_Time90 karma

I was manager of the youth activities onboard.

stainer8959 karma

Do you consider yourself a sailor first or an entertainment manager (or whatever your title is) first?

(Not trying to be an asshole, just curious. I was in the Navy and we always considered ourselves sailors first and firefighters or welders or whatever second.)

Also, having spent 9 months (including 135 days+ straight without going ashore) at sea, it totally sucks that you’re stuck there. Hang in there, cooler heads will prevail and get you off that boat.

Lime_Time85 karma

I consider myself a seafarer at spirit. I absolutely adore the ocean and living on a ship full time. That being said, I would also be okay if I have to get a land job after this.

gixxerjohndp54 karma

Are you getting paid while being stuck on the ship?

Lime_Time63 karma

No.

ElectricalPlatypus253 karma

Outside the pandemic, when you dock at a country do you get to travel around it for a few days? How much sight seeing do you actually get to do as crew?

Lime_Time84 karma

I get to do a ton of sightseeing. We usually dock at a port from 8:00 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.. I get at least half the port day off, if not the full port day. I work every night without fail though for the most part.

O-hmmm48 karma

How is the food? Hope you are at least eating well.

Lime_Time136 karma

The food is much better since they moved me to an American / European ship. Most of the Asian crew were moved to ships all together to sail back to Asia. All of the American / Europeans have been moved here.

Breakfast was an omelette, a pancake, a hash brown circle, two sausages, and a little yogurt thing, with coffee and water.

Lunch is typically a salad, fruit, main course, and dessert. Yesterday it was a red beet and lettuce sandwich.

Dinner is the same as lunch. Yesterday it was some random unidentifiable meat and zuchinni.

O-hmmm158 karma

A red beet and lettuce sandwich? I'd be organizing a mutiny.

joshually58 karma

i ... how is this a thing/ IS this a thing? a beet and lettuce sandwich??

Kittyands68 karma

They're just throwing whatever they have a lot of together. "We have beets, lettuce, and bread, fuck it".

Lime_Time73 karma

That was my opinion too. :(

On the last ship, I went to eat what I thought was plain mac and cheese, and ended up with breakfast sausage in it. 😂 It was greasy and gross as hell.

Lime_Time31 karma

I don't know, but I didn't eat it! Lol.

CuriousityChrissy46 karma

What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened on board ?

Lime_Time154 karma

Ever? I have gotten to meet a number of minor celebrities on board. My grandmother went nuts when I got a hug from Chubby Checker (the guy that invented the twist).

But the coolest thing about being on the ship? It's getting off the ship in port and doing stuff there.

nrsys45 karma

While you are on lockdown at the moment, how many staff are actually needed/working on board?

I am assuming a certain minimum crew will be needed to keep the engines going, plus catering and other essentials, bit does this leave a significant amount of people locked up or is there still some activity/jobs going on?

I will say when this all kicked off I was somewhat understanding of cities not wanting boats full of known cases docking and risking the local populations, but for a boat to be stuck sitting at sea full of staff, and no known cases after 50 days seems idiotic. Fingers crossed you guys can get this sorted out soon.

Lime_Time55 karma

Around 100 people are necessary to run the ship. This includes HR, hotel director, housekeeping, food staff, engineers, officers, etc.

DealinDon44 karma

What's the conditions like for some of the other, lower on the status rankings, staff? Entertainment staff usually have it quite a bit better then the room stewards, deck hands, etc. Are they getting moved up to suites with balconies as well?

Lime_Time58 karma

I unfortunately don't know what rooms everyone else is in. Pretty much everyone here on my ship currently is some form of entertainment staff, casino, guest services, spa, etc. They would all be considered higher ranking than your average crew member that works in housekeeping. We're all Americans and Europeans on this ship.

PM_ME_YR_TROUBLES44 karma

Have you ever read the essay A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again?

Lime_Time27 karma

Can't say that I have.

PM_ME_YR_TROUBLES24 karma

It's about the writers commissioned holiday on a cruise ship and how he detested the constant pandering. Its a hilarious read, you might enjoy it

Lime_Time21 karma

Do you have a link for me?

bob_smithey42 karma

How are you handling laundry?

Lime_Time59 karma

A lot of people are washing their laundry in their sink with liquid detergent. I normally have been doing the same thing.

donebeenforgotten38 karma

Do you spend a lot of time on the balcony staring at the sea? Seems like where I’d be. Are y’all anchored offshore like they do with the container ships for quarantine?

Lime_Time65 karma

We are bobbing around offshore. I think it's too deep where we are to anchor, but I don't know. It's a little chilly to be on the balcony right now, but I spend a bit of time out there everyday.

donebeenforgotten22 karma

Are you allowed to walk around/exercise/get some sun at all? Or are you required to stay in your cabin with only the balcony? Has there been any drama/chaos onboard the last couple months?

Lime_Time44 karma

I'm allowed out a few times a day for walks. There are about 15 to 20 other people in my group. We stay 6 ft apart and have to wear a mask.

The only drama was when I tried to walk off the ship. If you look at the main post, I linked to talking about that.

MegAPRN26 karma

Were u aware of the issues with the Diamond Princess and coronavirus (early February) before boarding your ship Feb 21?

Lime_Time33 karma

I was, but I was bound into the contract before things got bad with Diamond Princess.

Fairbankz2724 karma

Do you and your fellow crew members hold a grudge more so against the company you work for, or the Government for not allowing yall off the ship? As someone who has only cruised a few times, and basically being under house arrest here at home....I can not begin to imagine how bad it must be for yall stuck on the ships.

Do the majority of crew members see returning to the industry should it start back up slowly starting in August? Or is everyone fed up enough with the situation that they dont want to find themselves in this situation again?

Lime_Time80 karma

I am focusing my anger at the United States government at the moment. They are making it so difficult for crew to get home. All of these people just want to get back to their kids and families.

I can't speak for all other crew, but a lot of them are going to try to find land work in between. Many of the crew are from developing countries that cannot afford to miss several months of work.

Say_no_to_doritos23 karma

Can you get access to booze?

Lime_Time52 karma

You can call and order it, but you have to pay for it. Somebody told me a bottle of wine is like $18. I have been abstaining.

lookingrightone21 karma

[question] what kind of instruction and precaution procedure been given by US government for your ship? Is there any one infected by COVID 19? Are you gone through COVID 19 test already?

Lime_Time44 karma

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/management/interim-guidance-no-sail-order.html

Here is a link to the guidelines. Nobody on my ship is sick as far as I'm aware. They haven't made any announcements about it. We don't have any or many test kits, but they have been testing us all for fever twice a day.

Kor3an16 karma

I'm a bit curious regarding the work situation. You said you aren't getting paid so I assume the company isn't expecting you to work. Is this also true for the people on deck? I also work on board and it seems a lot of shipping companies use this situation to do maintenance work on the ships that aren't doing their regular routes.

Lime_Time34 karma

I don't know about other crew. I am not working, because there are no children on board, and no entertainment to arrange. Furthermore, my contract ended April 18th.

pm_me_your_kindwords10 karma

Where are you? Are you sick?

What would happen if you just swam to shore?

Lime_Time26 karma

I'm currently somewhere off the coast of Tijuana in international waters. I am not sick, and the shore is too far to swim too.

suddy344 karma

Are you a good swimmer? How far is land? Are you able to carb load? Do you think you could make it? Do you have access to a plastic bag to make a water tight seal to protect any important documentation during a swim?

Lime_Time10 karma

I will not be swimming for it.

xmen-oranges3 karma

Is Holland America a better cruise line to work for than Carnival?

Lime_Time20 karma

I have not worked for Carnival, so I cannot give an accurate answer. I have truly enjoyed working for Holland America over the years.

Aldabaran3 karma

How long did it take to get your sealegs when you first started working?

Were you prone to motion sickness before working? Can you compare it to being on a smaller boat?

Top few favorite destinations and why?

How's the turnover rate for cruise ship entertainers? Seems like most people are young except for a handful of solo acts.

What do you do to pass the time?

Lime_Time9 karma

How long did it take to get your sealegs when you first started working?

I had cruised several times before this, and grew up going on boats regularly. I never had a problem at sea.

Were you prone to motion sickness before working? Can you compare it to being on a smaller boat?

A big cruise ship is nothing like a small little pontoon boat. The motion is completely and totally different in my opinion. I like little pontoon boats and zodiacs because they bounce up and down in the waves. The ship gently rolls.

I have only been motion sick a handful of times on board. One notable time, we were caught in a storm up in Norway. The captain had to make an announcement to secure all loose articles, and sent the passenger assist team to help guests. He also told people to stay in their rooms and order room service rather than attempt to walk around the ship. Even then, I was not really motion sick, so much as motion annoyed. It was like trying to sleep on a seesaw.

Top few favorite destinations and why?

Conflict Islands. Pure beautiful paradise, with literally some of the best snorkeling and diving in the entire world because it's located in the coral triangle.

Roatan, Honduras. I love all of the things to do around that island. Sloths, iguanas, resorts, beaches, and my company has a ski lift that takes you from the port and directly drops you off on the sand of the beach.

Key West, Florida. I know this one sounds a little basic and silly, but I really love the entire vibe of Key West. There is so much to do there, it's a tourist paradise.

How's the turnover rate for cruise ship entertainers? Seems like most people are young except for a handful of solo acts.

Turnover rate is hard to get a gauge on. You only get to see a few people that are on your ship, and you never get to work with all the employees at one time. It is fairly rare for me to get paired up with someone a second time.

I would say most crew are under 40. Many are in their 20s and 30s.

What do you do to pass the time?

I have been reading a lot of books and playing my Nintendo switch.

Forensicunit2 karma

Why doesn't the ship travel to the country who's flag it flies under?

Lime_Time2 karma

My country is flagged in the Netherlands. With the Panama canal closed, we would have to sail around South America and across the Atlantic to reach the Netherlands.

TheSolace12 karma

Do yall have fishing rods and fish?

Lime_Time3 karma

We do have fishing rods, but nobody is fishing.

Spid11 karma

With very expensive internet and having to spend 99% of time in your room how are you occupying yourself? Are you just paying for the expensive internet and doing whatever you like except streaming?

Lime_Time3 karma

I pay for the expensive internet so that I can use Reddit and download more books. I have read so many books since this all started.

Isurvived2014bears1 karma

So serious question with a bit of my background. I was in the Navy. Do you think 2 months at sea without hitting dry land is a long time?

Lime_Time19 karma

For civilians that did not sign up for this, yes, it is a long time. I'm also not getting paid to be here.

asiandotaguy1 karma

How often do you have sex with co-workers?

Lime_Time1 karma

Never. Ship breakups are very messy and I have no interest in the drama that comes with it.

jonno22221 karma

So your being told to self isolate as much as possible.....if nobody on the boat is sick....are they allowing you to use the amenities like the pool or gym equipment?...it doesn’t really make sense that if nobody is sick they’d be forcing you to stay in your rooms.

Lime_Time6 karma

The pool and gym both closed. Somewhere else on this AMA I posted the CDC guidelines. There is no fun allowed as per the guidelines.

fauxofkaos1 karma

What do you do to waste time? Any new relationships forming between your coworkers trapped at sea?

Lime_Time1 karma

Relationships aren't forming because we aren't allowed to see each other for the most part. We are not allowed in each other's cabins.

HippyDave1 karma

Have they been testing everyone on the ship? Do you have any insights into what the varying degrees of positive people’s experiences have been? I’m curious about what percentage of a largely contained population is asymptomatic.

Lime_Time2 karma

There are no tests for us on board. No one has tested positive on the ship as a result, but no one is sick here either. They check us all twice a day for fevers.

nbbae1 karma

When will we (Americans) be able to cruise again? I’m ready to get going!

Lime_Time1 karma

I do not think cruising will start again until there is a vaccine.

2fffreddddff1 karma

This would seem like paradise but probably sucks, what do your family/friends think of this?

Lime_Time3 karma

They are all extremely frustrated on my behalf. I've gotten a few thousand views on my live stream attempt to leave the ship. I have everyone rooting for me and calling the CDC and calling their senators.

JamesWjRose1 karma

So... how's the buffet?

Lime_Time3 karma

There is no buffet for me. My meals are getting delivered three times a day.

RedLMR561 karma

How are things working on there? How are you keeping fed and also, what have you been doing to not go crazy?

Lime_Time6 karma

They deliver three meals a day.

I spend a lot of time reading and playing my Nintendo switch.

malibu-gold1 karma

Do you stop at the same ports often? Are you sick of certain ports?

Lime_Time5 karma

Generally you do the same run over and over again for a few weeks. I hate stopping in the Bahamas and Jamaica because I don't particularly enjoy the ports. I haven't had to do that run for a long while though.

arb19871 karma

Is it like a big floating orgy? People got needs ya know

Lime_Time2 karma

Right now we are all being told to self isolate for the majority of the day.

Norgeroff1 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

Lime_Time1 karma

White.