Beyond Contentment

We’ve been on many cruises and are grateful for every one of them. I’m always impressed with the well trained staff and how they deal with the guests. I enjoy watching people work. Most staffers on a ship seem content even though I know they go 8-9 months without seeing their families. I’m sure the Internet has helped.

But there is something I’ve noticed on this ship that is making the staff stand out like no other. I thought it was just just an individual or two and just a coincidence. Yet I keep seeing it too many times in too many places for it to be accidental.

These staffers are happy. I can always tell when my wife is content. Linda hums. It is a soothing, pleasant sound. Her sister does the same thing, so I am pretty sure it has to do with their mother. Contentment is a blessing.

But these staffers are singing. And a few are dancing. One guy is greeting the guests with hand spray before you walk into the buffet eating area. When we get off the elevator and round the corner into the room, it is easy to catch him singing and dancing a little step or two before he spots us. He sings a little “washy, washy” tune as he sprays.

In the huge formal dining room we can sit in different places and hear waitstaff singing to the music softly coming from the sound system. They are singing to each other. When you watch from across the room several can be seen doing a little dance to the music.

I do sense a little romance in the air. Or maybe I’m adding that part through my lens, for I am a romantic at heart.

I can only conclude that the morale must be sky high. And it is obvious to me that management must be doing something correct on the ship. Contentment is one thing. These workers are beyond being satisfied. They are bubbling over with an extra injection of motivation that is refreshing. More than just obligatory niceness. More than a common courtesy to coworkers.

I’ve got to find out before we leave the ship on Saturday. Do they have pep rallies for the employees? Does management push past the servitude relationship, because many of the workers are from third-world countries?

Does management go beyond the normal to make the staff feel appreciated, even loved? Is this amped up spirit coming directly from the captain? Is he so seasoned having mastered the technical aspects of sailing a ship that he wants to go past navigation and truly elevate the passengers’ experience by extending his enthusiasm through the lowest level staff member?

I was a wedding photographer while going to college. Once I had the technique down, my main enjoyment was keeping the bride and her mother calm. Is this similar here on the ship where the real enjoyment and pure joy comes from relationship building? Watching people grow in their skills while at the same time just plain being happy?

I think so.


BTW. I’m still working on a more formal blog format and Website. Also, please forward this blog to anybody you think might be interested. As promised, my topics will be broad and largely what is on my mind that very day. All I need is an email address sent to

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