Carnival and Royal Caribbean struggle to hire crew members

  • Cruise lines are struggling to hire crew members.
  • Carnival has temporarily closed two restaurants on all of its ships.
  • Norwegian and Cunard have capped cruise ship capacities and canceled departures.

The cruise industry could be in choppy waters again: Difficulties hiring crew members have hampered the operations of several cruise lines, leaving some would-be cruise passengers with fewer onboard dining options or canceled trips .

Like hospitality businesses ashore, cruise lines were not immune to labor shortages “in the midst of the Great Resignation. And now a shortage of available cruise workers has begun. affect itineraries and on-board amenities.

This staffing issue is one of the reasons Holland America decided to “pace its restart over the course of the year,” a spokesperson told Insider in a statement. While Royal Caribbean’s spokesperson acknowledged similar difficulties in hiring, the cruise line does not expect to cancel future itineraries.

Not all cruise lines have been as lucky as Holland America or Royal Caribbean.

Passengers sailing with Carnival will also be spared itinerary changes. But that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing for the cruise line. Carnival will temporarily close two restaurants on all of its ships, Fran Golden reported for Bloomberg.

“Our rapid restart required us to bring back thousands of crew members in a very short time, which increased the number of resources needed by government officials to process the large number of visa applications and slowed our ability to staff fully staff some of our functions, including our culinary team,” a Carnival spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, which typically operates with more than 900 crew members, now accommodates fewer than 550 workers, Claudette Covey reported for Travel pulse. As a result, the cruise line has reduced the ship’s seating capacity as it sails to Hawaii. And some unlucky guests traveling on overbooked ships will need to be rebooked on different itineraries, a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told Insider.

Like Norwegian, Cunard has limited guest numbers and canceled sailings aboard its ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, blaming the “wider impact of COVID-19” on its hiring difficulties. There may not be immediate relief in sight, but a Cunard spokesperson told Insider that these “necessary” cancellations and capacity issues will be “short-term.”

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