A young photographer who thought she was embarking on the working trip of a lifetime on a cruise ship says her dreams were quickly dashed upon boarding the vessel.
Jade Chamberlain left Perth earlier this year on a six-month contract with Carnival Cruise Line’s luxury liner ‘Cruise Paradise’, where she was paid $4.30 an hour to work 10 hours a day, seven days a week.
Despite the low pay, the 21-year-old said she was excited for a new experience and a chance ‘to see new places and meet new people’.
But before long, Ms Chamberlain said she realised her new adventure was not what she had hoped for.
Jade Chamberlain (pictured) left Perth earlier this year on a six-month contract with Carnival Cruise Line’s luxury liner ‘Cruise Paradise’, where she was paid $4.30 an hour to work 10 hours a day, seven days a week
The idea of being a cruise photographer intrigued her and sounded ‘glamorous’, Ms Chamberlain told nine.com.au.
In April, the 21-year-old forked out $1,500 of her own money to pay for a ticket to Mexico, where she boarded the cruise liner and begin her new job.
Despite being promised 10-hour shifts, Ms Chamberlain said she soon found herself working close to 14 hours every day.
While she was given breaks throughout the day, the young traveller said the work schedule was grueling.
Ms Chamberlain said she was not given days off to recuperate and rest, quickly taking a toll on her mental health.
‘For me it was a very big shock. I’m very mentally healthy but I remember I was breaking down crying at different points,’ she told Nine News.
Before long, Ms Chamberlain said she realised her new adventure was not what she had hoped for
As she became close with other members of the crew, Ms Chamberlain said it became evident she wasn’t the only person struggling to cope mentally.
Her coworkers’ isolation from friends and family made it even harder, she said.
The 21-year-old said that despite the liner providing free room and board, staff were required to pay for their own internet.
‘My cabin mate from the Philippines had a two-year-old baby and I would walk in to my cabin and she would be crying and watching videos of her baby and talking to me about how she can’t be at home with her family because this is the best way of earning an income for them.’
Not only was it tough for regular ‘staff’, who worked in entertainment roles, but the ‘crew’ had it even worse, working lower-end jobs such as housekeeping, Ms Chamberlain said.
The photographer said that many of the cleaning staff were constantly working.
Knowing it wasn’t a lot of money, the 21-year-old was excited to embark on a new experience with the chance ‘to see new places and meet new people’
After just six weeks of work, Ms Chamberlain quit the ‘trainee’ role and disembarked the luxury liner in Tampa, Florida.
Since her time on the ship, Ms Chamberlain has kicked off an online petition calling on the cruise line – which works under the biggest cruise ship operator in the world, Carnival Corporation – to provide psychologists on board and give workers one day off every week.
When questioned about the poor working conditions Ms Chamberlain outlined, a Carnival spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We have a deep commitment to practices that ensure that our crew can operate in a supportive, empathetic and positive work environment in which they are treated with respect as valued individuals.’
‘Globally, Carnival Cruise Line has more than 35,000 shipboard employees across its fleet of 26 ships many of whom have decades of service and have built successful careers at sea.
‘Our approach is to treat shipboard employees as we would wish them to treat our guests.
‘Ships have strong on board human resources and medical teams dedicated to the well-being of crew members including their mental health, and this is combined with ongoing investment in crew facilities, programs and services.’
They did not wish to comment on the petition or any individual employees for privacy reasons.
Since her time on the ship, Ms Chamberlain has started an online petition calling on the cruise line – which works under the biggest cruise ship operator in the world, Carnival Corporation – to provide psychologists on board