Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Find Out What Lies Behind the “Crew Only” Doors on Liberty of the Seas

My name is Roberto Ramos and I am the Human Resources Specialist onboard Liberty of the Seas, which means that I have the amazing task of making life onboard as fun-filled and entertaining as possible for all of our crew.

When I started working for Royal Caribbean International, I never thought that I would end up being the one person with the most fascinating job on the seven seas: looking after the lives of the terrific crew members that we have! So let me take you on my journey and share with you some of the best-kept secrets of our ships: what actually goes on behind all those “CREW ONLY” doors you see… Come with me and discover life on the other side!

In my home country, Honduras, I worked as a production manager for a television station.  Prior to that, I worked for one of the most important hotels in my country which gave me experience servicing guests.   Wanting to make a change in my life and to travel more I decided to look for any type of job on a large cruise ship. Only 12 short months ago I was hired by Royal Caribbean as a facility cleaner.

A cleaner on a cruise ship carries out a range of duties from cleaning and vacuuming the public areas of the ship to folding and issuing pool towels and helping out on the pool deck. It was very exciting to be part of the team that is responsible for keeping the ship sparkling clean.  It was not easy work but the kind of work that made you feel you had accomplished something at the end of the day.  I always liked doing the special projects like cleaning the tops of all the elevators, and all of the ledges on the inside of the glass doors.  My second favorite task was to help on the pool deck in particular at the towel station.

Being able to interact with our guests was something that resonated very strongly with me and I took great pride in everything I did.  I remember being able to assist one guest who happened to notice the computer I was using to issue the pool towels and started talking about computers.  Unknown to him, my technical background is in digital production and editing, so I was able to not only answer all of his questions but also give him a list of options and advice for all his future needs. The look on his face was amazing and it was very satisfying knowing that I made such a difference to him.

A short while later my supervisor and manager decided to move me into the office in a position called a Dispatcher.  This is the person that answers the phone for all maintenance related items, enters it into our automated job management system so it can be “dispatched” to our technical teams for repair. I also liked this job because I got to talk to and help lots of guests and crew everyday.  It also helped me increase my knowledge about all areas of our ship. Then a great opportunity came my way: the position of Human Resources Specialist opened up and this was where I knew I would have the opportunity to make things happen for the people without whom the ship would never function – the 1,422 crew members.

Thinking back on my experience so far, I can honestly say that this has been an incredible journey: from joining as a cleaner, being a Dispatcher, to now a 2-stripe Officer, I really don’t know any other company which offers so many great opportunities for their crew to grow and succeed. I know that a happy and dedicated crew is the key to making our guests’ experience even better and this is why I am proud to have such a pivotal role in ensuring that our crew get the recognition and thanks that they deserve.

In my new role I organize things to make life onboard for our crew members better.  I produced a crew activities calendar which includes activities such as wine and cheese events, Wii game tournaments, DJ music, “Officers serve Crepes” Night, to all crew BBQs and parties. I am also primarily responsible for looking after all the crew facilities which include a “back deck” relaxation area (shown above), a crew coffee café and bar, a convenience store, the video games, foosball games, table tennis games and a pool table.  There are also two fitness facilities just for crew and two crew-only restaurants which we call the mess rooms. There is a special sun bathing area too.

I have to say I think I have the best job onboard because I get to do good things for people everyday and many of them have become my friends.

One small thing I get to do for crew members that really makes them happy is every time a new crew member signs on the ship for the first time we give them a $10 phone card so they can phone home and let everyone know they have arrived safely.  The look on a new crew member’s face always makes me very happy when I get to tell them it’s free and welcome to the team. It’s just a little thing but it goes a long way.

51 responses to:
“Find Out What Lies Behind the “Crew Only” Doors on Liberty of the Seas”

  1. owen byrne

    Hi myself and my wife Margaret will be on LIBERTY ON THE 13TH OF MAY its our first cruise and yes we are looking forward to it so hope to see all there

    • Adam

      We are excited for both of you, Owen and can’t wait to have the two of you onboard. See you in a few weeks.

  2. Debra

    I am so happy to see this article, because I have cruised numerous and all I see is the crew working. I wondered if they had the opportunity to enjoy themselves on the ship also. I would like to see more articles like this with pictures.

    • Margaret Hickey

      I agree, it is nice to know that the crew who work tirelessly to make our holiday a great one, are well catered for, and every effort is taken to ensure they are happy. It cannot be an easy job, being away for such long periods of time from loved ones and families.. And most of them never get a ‘thank you’ from the guests because they do not interact with guests.. Keep it up RCI, and you will maintain a great team, which I have personally seen on the Rhapsody..

      • Ian Glenday

        Margaret,
        Whenever we see them, we tell the Housekeeping folks and maintenance guys (blue coveralls) thanks you for keeping the ship in good shape. They are the unsung heroes on board!
        Roberto,
        Thank you for a fine article and continue to do well with RCL!!!

    • Adam

      We’re glad your enjoyed our post, Debra. And thanks for your suggestion.

  3. Linda MacKenzie

    Why doesn’t the Royal Caribbean travel south out of the Boston, MA port? I prefer your cruise line but, living in Boston, I want to travel to warm weather not up to Canada. Will you every becoming up to Boston, MA for your trips to Bermuda and other warmer countries?

    • Adam

      Hi Linda, we do offer offer a sailing out of Boston, MA that travels to the Caribbean. Please check out the itinerary here.

  4. kim

    great info, i have cruised twice and both times i said if i were single again i would have loved to try and be a crew member to see if i would like it as much as i like cruising as a guest. keep the articles coming!

    • Adam

      Thanks for your comment, Kim.

  5. Jayne Palao

    That does sound like a wonderful job. I agree that if the Crew is happy, your guest will be happy. I have sailed on Voyager and Mariner, and those Crews have left me with lasting lifelong memories. On Voyager, bartenders Pedro and Catalin…and entertainment staffer Jorge were amazing. On Mariner, Osie, Graham, their supervisor….Camilla, Ransone, Larry, Claudia, DJ Jorge, and the rest of the crew were simply outstanding. It’s good to know that the crew has a chance to relax and unwind because they work so hard. It makes me so angry when a guest gives a worker a hard time because I know their job is not easy. I’m retired, but making the crew’s life easier would be the perfect job for me. I’m booked on Mariner in November, and I look forward to seeing that wonderful crew again. I’ve said it several times before, and I’ll say it again…HAT’S OFF TO ROYAL CARIBBEAN FOR A JOB WELL DONE…KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Adam

      We’re glad to hear you’ve had such a wonderful time onboard, Jayne. We love your enthusiasm and can’t wait to see you onboard this November.

  6. Kellee Barr

    Hello,

    Thank you for the wonderful article about behind the “Crew Only” doors, I like many other guests hoped that our stewards/crew are well taken care of. I have been on 6 cruises with your line and I had 4 outstanding room stewards. As a guest I have made sure that I took care of my room stewards with extra bonuses besides their weekly tips.

    The crew on my voyages has always been professional, friendly, and helpful (with a few exceptions), it is amazing with the thousands of people they encounter each voyage that they are able to maintain this attitude! Besides the activities listed in the article I am hopeful that there are more incentives (i.e. raffles/ gift cards, bonuses for those who get outstanding reviews, and special holiday celebrations, etc.)

    It has been my pleasure to sail with Royal Caribbean.

    • Adam

      We appreciate your kind comment, Kellee.

  7. Jackie Ferguson

    Glad the employees have places to go to unwind. I wondered what they did when off duty. I thought they just had there cabins to sit in.

  8. Donna DeBlasio

    Kudos to you Roberto Ramos for making a difference in your fellow crew mates! You are right, the $10.00 phone card doesn’t cost much, but it’s the little things in life that can make such a big difference. Smooth sailings.

  9. Geneva Wester

    Royal Caribbean always has the nicest employees. They are always happy and willing to help. I have been on several of your ships and I have never met a rude or unhappy employee. Can’t wait until I get go again.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Geneva. We look forward to having you back onboard.

  10. Wendy Forgetta

    I was SO impressed at the Liberty of the Seas…We sailed middle of March this year had a WONDERFUL experience your staff was GREAT!! Now I see why it’s all in how you treat them! People work good if they are treated that way! Can’t wait til I can come back…. You will see me again! Thank You!

    • Adam

      We look forward to it, Wendy. Thank you.

  11. Ken LeClaire

    Roberto,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is very nice to hear when someone that works hard and deserves moving up the chain of command at a company that they do enjoy working for. I have had the pleasure taking a back stage tour on two different ships, one as a gift for a donation and one as an on ship excursion. They were both well worth it, and the many crew members that I have talked with over the many cruises that I have been lucky enough to enjoy. Most guests have no idea what it is like to be a worker on a cruise ship and they tend to overlook the hard work you all do. I for one will never view a crew member as a person just doing their job ever again. You all put so much hard work and time during your contract that I am surprised at how well you all handle it and are able to cope with the stresses that come along with this type of career choice. Keep up the good work and I will look for you whenever I go on Royal to thank you in person.

    Cruise Strong, Ken ;-)

  12. Beverly J Blanding

    Last May I spent the anniversary of my husband’s passing (after 47 years of marriage) with my daughter on a marvelous cruise with Royal Caribbean. I did not think I’d enjoy the trip because of the sadness I was feeling; however, your crew and ship gave me such happiness. I will never forget it and look forward to cruising again withyou very soon.

    • Adam

      Thank you for sharing your touching story with us, Beverly. We hope to see you soon.

  13. Melissa

    I surprised my husband on our last cruise, aboard the Explorer of the Seas, with the All Access Tour and we got to see first hand the Crews Restaurant, Store, Lounge Area, Coffee Shop along with the kitchen and a few other great places. Between the Crew Only Areas and the Bridge it was the most amazing on board tour that one can do. I would highly recommend it for everyone.

    • Adam

      We’re happy that both you and your husband enjoyed the All Access Tour, Melissa. We appreciate your recommendation.

  14. TTTony

    It’s nice to hear that the crew are treated with the care and respect they truly deserve. I have been on four RC cruises now and have always experienced extraordinary service from every crew member. I honestly don’t know how they can get such a terrific staff.

    And hats off to you Roberto…that is a quick climb to the top. A real success story.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Tony. We value your comment.

  15. Lorraine wood

    My Mum and I have been on the LIberty..loved every minute.I could see that every detail was equally important,for guests and crew to enjoy such a wonderful experience.
    Always being in a public related job, I see how working for Royal Caribbean will be a rewarding job.I am a writer now so see everything differently.I draw on my life experiences always looking for something new.
    Mum and I are on the Navigator on the 20th May 12, so looking forward to life changing events which I know will be served aboard your cruise line…Thank you…

    • Adam

      You’re welcome, Lorraine. We’ll see you onboard soon.

  16. Ron Smoak

    On all of our Royal Caribbean cruises we have always been very impressed with the crew. My tip to other cruisers, take time to talk with some of them. They are very interesting people and give you wonderful insight into their home countries and life aboard the ship. My wife and I had several nice conversations with husband and wife crew couple on the Freedom a few years ago. They were delightful! While the ships are fantastic, the crew always makes the cruise better!

    • Adam

      Thanks for sharing, Ron. We’re glad we can give you the Royal treatment.

  17. cathryn serafin

    Have a friend that works aboard Majesty of Seas…he just became a dispatcher…. how long does he have to wait before he can put in for another promotion….

  18. Koshali Patel

    Hello Roberto,
    Thank you so much for sharing this info. You do have a fun job and I would say a very important job as well. If the crew is happy they can make the guests happy.

    We are going on our first RC cruise this 2nd June to The Norwegian Fjords for my sis in laws 60th Birthday. I am sure this will be way better than the others we have been on (won’t mention the names!)

    Will report later on our experience.

    Happy Sailings!!!!!

    • Adam

      You’re welcome, Koshali. Have a great cruise this June and we look forward to hearing about your experience.

  19. Estela Ramos

    I´m so happy to read my brother´s post, am really sure that all what he says in ther is true, ’cause he looks so happy now that finally found his wish, to be a part of a cruise crew. Love you bro!…….See how God gives you all you want!

    • Adam

      We’re proud to have him as part of our crew, Estela.

  20. Diane Parker

    Hi, this is an interesting page. We have just returned from a cruise on Brilliance of the seas out of Dubai to southern India. It was fantastic all the staff were so happy and everyone was talking about what a really friendly cruise it was. I love the ship and being Crown and Anchor members meant we had lots of vouchers to use on board. We are looking at doing a med cruise in June now.. weather is not good in England at the moment so need some sunshine……. love Royal Carribean xx

    • Adam

      We’re glad you found our blog, Diane, and we hope to have you back onboard again soon.

  21. Erick Grandbois

    such a nice idea to tell a little more about the life onboard…

    Me and My girlfriend are in our mid 30′s and always ask about the great people that are working onboard your ships and they always seems happy when a guest wants to know more about their life both at work and at home. To me it’s a big part of my vacation on every cruise.

    I remember having a lot of fun and getting to know more about our wonderfull waiter 2 years ago on the “explorer of the seas”
    OSBERT from india was such a good fellow and he was getting off the ship after our cruise to get home and get married. Needless to say we were happy for him and made it for a good and fun cruise before he was getting home..

    We made good friends on that cruise too and the atmosphere was just fun, relaxing and HUMAN…

    Those are the little things that makes me and my girlfriend going back to your ships. Staff does not look over tired and I can see that they are getting the respect they deserve from the company. This is very important for us.

    We noticed the oposite on a cruise with another company and despite an overall good cruise we decided not to go back on that other cruise line just because of the way they treated their employees.. I call it “RESPONSIBLE CRUISING”!!!!
    Erick Grandbois,qc,canada

    Keep up the good work and congratulations on that blog idea M.Goldstein.
    P.S:J’espère que vous pratiquez toujours votre francais M.Goldstein.. J’ai noté que vous aviez étudié en france dans votre jeunesse.

    Erick

    • Adam

      We’re happy to hear you appreciate our staff as much as you do, Erick. Thanks for your comment.

  22. marge coalson

    HI ADAM, WOULD LIKE NO IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO SHOW MY DAUGHTER AZRE ROOM THAT WILL BE IN ON DEC. 23,2012.. WE ARE GOING ON A TOUR OF THE EXPLORER WITH TRIPLE A ON JUNE 21,2012 WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THIS POSSIBLE… THANK YOU

  23. Jacob Morisi

    The employees on the ships are always so happy and is really what makes my family want to go back for more. We always book our future cruises onboard so we do not have to deal with the unfriendly and unhelpful staff at the call center. We love Royal Caribbean and will continue to cruise for many years to come. My only thing about Royal that I think could be improved is the employees responsible for customer service in the call center. I have never had a good experience with them. Other than that keep up the good work!

    • Adam

      Thank you, Jacob and we appreciate your suggestion.

  24. Emily E

    I am in awe on how RCCL give merits to dedicated and hardworking crew members like Mr. Ramos. It is wonderful to note that Human resource are sensitive to career growth of their staff. After reading the article, it gave me hope to AGAIN pursue a career with RCCL. I did not qualify to the position i was eyeing. I really do not mind starting from humble beginnings like Mr Ramos. My goal is to be part of RCCLs dynamic crew and hoping to keep better myself as I unleash my potentials while working with the best Cruise Company. Next is to keep my fingers crossed that i get considered..
    More Power to RCCL and keep up the culture of empowering your people.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Emily, and best of luck.

  25. San-Mari Venter

    Good evening Adam

    I am a chef, and as i see you are the recruiter, so I was wondering if you have any job openings. I stay in South Africa, and i want to broaden my horizon and gain as much experience.

    So if there is any thing, I would like to hear from you

    Regards
    San-Mari

  26. Brenda

    Hello, Roberto!!!… I’m so happy to see you doing such a great job!!… and how God has blessed you, too. I’m from Honduras as well and I work for RCCL I’m on BR right now and you don’t have idea how good I felt when I read all you have written on your website, I wish you success always!

  27. Haniel

    Roberto don’t be so fake you just need to focus what the crew members really needs inside there, if the crew member needs something and you are going vacations, just try to do the right process to follow up the crew member issues.
    I’ve been victim of this bad experience, that’s too bad RCCL has people like that on board!!! :(

  28. miriam rhodes

    I very much so want to work on the ships in house keeping cleaning ect. I don’t know where to go to apply and or get this job. I look foward to hearing from you .
    Thank you.
    Miriam Rhodes

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