Good Morning, your European ship has arrived in Miami
North Americans may not be aware that saying “Hello” or “Good morning” to fellow passengers and crew, strangers whom you meet in the hallways, is not an ordinary exchange of greetings on a European cruise ship.
Passengers from Europe do not expect a friendly greeting of any sort from their waiters or cabin stewards. As a result, for Americans traveling in Europe, sometimes a grunt is the best response you can hope for.
So, when MSC, which is Europe’s largest cruise line, decided to base one of its new ships, the Divina, in Miami and sail year-round into the Caribbean, “we needed to make a cultural accommodation,” says cruise director Andre Schlemmer. “We changed our focus on customer service.”
Re-training a crew, some of whom have only a minimal acquaintance with English, no doubt was a challenge. But the plan is working, I can report, after a one week cruise on MSC Divina in January.