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  3. Seafarers working onboard cruise ships rank among the unhappiest in the industry
Seafarers working onboard cruise ships rank among the unhappiest in the industry

Seafarers working onboard cruise ships rank among the unhappiest in the industry

According to latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, significant happiness deficit among seafarers working onboard cruise ships and ferries.

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Across all vessel types, four key issues emerged from the survey responses in this three-month period: delayed payment of wages; decreased shore leave; workload stress caused by smaller crews onboard; and a lack of understanding from shore staff with regard to seafarer welfare issues. More crewmembers are reporting that they feel they are an extension of the office, and that seafarers are there to answer queries or even do work for shore staff whenever they are asked, regardless of time zones and watch patterns. Many spoke of a seeming ignorance ashore as to what work onboard is like, or a lack of empathy. 

On the positive side, seafarers’ happiness levels with their ability to keep in contact with their family when at sea rose this quarter. This is an encouraging indication of the benefits to seafarers from improved connectivity at sea, as well as the importance of further improvements in both the availability and cost of communications to seafarers. In other welcome news, happiness levels among seafarers with their ability to keep fit and healthy onboard also rose. In responding to the survey, a number of seafarers also highlighted the importance of physical exercise as a factor in mental wellbeing.On the positive side, seafarers’ happiness levels with their ability to keep in contact with their family when at sea rose this quarter. This is an encouraging indication of the benefits to seafarers from improved connectivity at sea, as well as the importance of further improvements in both the availability and cost of communications to seafarers. In other welcome news, happiness levels among seafarers with their ability to keep fit and healthy onboard also rose. In responding to the survey, a number of seafarers also highlighted the importance of physical exercise as a factor in mental wellbeing.

The latest survey was completed by thousands of respondents from all regions, with seafarers from the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Western Europe best represented. When measured by age, happiness levels were highest among the youngest seafarers (aged 16-25). This is reinforced when measured by rank, with cadets recording the highest levels of happiness; an encouraging sign among those commencing their careers at sea.

 

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