Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’
One of my favourite holidays I remember taking as child was ga cruise called “Pharaohs and the Promised Land”. With my family, we visited Israel, Syria and Egypt in a 14 day adventure that allowed us to soak in the beauty of these countries. Waking up every few days to see completely different city out on deck is such a strange and exhilarating feeling, it’s no wonder that by 2020 it’s predicted 30 million people will be taking cruises.
From the Disney Cruise and mile-long boats through to a David Hasselhoff tribute, cruises are more innovative and affordable than ever before. With plans for the world’s first rollercoaster on-board and even go-karting tracks up on deck, these floating arenas of paradise appear to be the perfect getaway. Unfortunately, under this glitzy facade is a far more sinister and shocking truth that’s so often hidden from people.
Having worked in the hotel trade before, I’ve seen first-hand some of the horror these industries enforce on their workers, including grueling hours, unpaid time and “flexible” interpretation of human rights. With Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival dominating this lucrative trade, it’s shocking to find out then that one cruise ship pollutes more than a jet liner or every car in one continent.
Unfortunately for the crew on-board, things are even more shocking, as they suffer from serious issues that make the video game industry look like luxury. Thanks to Philippine laws, these cruise companies take full advantage of their work-force, exploiting them under a loop-hole called Flags Of Convenience. Forced to work 70+ hour work weeks and offered severance pay that differs depending on what body part is missing ($21,000 for male genitalia).
With poisoned water, over-crowding and awful working conditions for crew, cruises are far from the luxuries they first appear to be. It’s a shocking episode for sure, and one that exposes the ugly side of this industry for all to see. When it comes to saving this planet, there’s no question that our shipping is causing a lot of the issues we’re currently facing today in our oceans. As Hasan exposes these issues, with his usual wit and celebrity comparisons, Patriot Act delivers another thought provoking and insightful episode worth checking out.