It was supposed to be a proud photo of a young staff member at Royal Caribbean. Ukranian Anna Chubuk is one of the line’s first ‘One Metre Monitors’, on board to remind guests to keep their masks on and stick to other safety protocols.
Royal Caribbean posted the picture you can see with this article to announce her job. Anna was wearing the branded mask that will keep thousands of passengers and crew safe.
But sadly, her debut was marred by curmudgeonly behaviour and just plain rudeness. Like the Washy Washy team before her – another group of crewmen and women much maligned for their heroic work persuading passengers to wash their hands – Anna’s job announcement provoked a social media backlash.
At a time when cruise fans are desperate to resume their favourite form of holiday, it seems inconceivable that anyone would criticise a sensible safety precaution. But they did.
The post was picked up on CruiseCritic’s user forum and users did not seem particularly impressed by the idea of monitors keeping an eye on them to ensure their were social distancing and take appropriate action according to health protocols.
User Mek wrote:“If Royal continues to require masks, social distancing, etc, because they are allowing non vaccinated passengers to cruise, I will simply go off to another line.”
Another user, Junkhouse, was also unimpressed. “These One Metre Monitors will be yelling constantly on a ship. Oh what fun…”
Some users had even more extreme takes, such as Ace2542: “This is going to be chaos. We will not be going on the Anthem of the Seas in late November, not a chance not with all this going on. It is like being in jail.”
One user Blauelini had a longer and more measured take, really outlining what cruise could look like on return.
“In all seriousness, I think even the most patient of cruisers will grow quite annoyed with this. Elevator capacity will be severely limited resulting in most using the stairs which you guessed it, these people on every landing controlling how many are on the stairs. It will take you an hour to get back to your cabin.”
“Standing in front of every shop, bar and restaurant limiting capacity. Telling you to move along if you stop too close to someone else to look at something or talk to someone. They are setting the stage for what many are going to regret doing, getting back on a cruise ship too early. The negative reviews and complaints will be off the charts, mark my words.”
The core concern is simply that tight restrictions will sap away from the relaxing and unwinding atmosphere that makes cruising so appealing in the first place.
However, while users generally seem unimpressed, others aren’t particularly phased as they don’t think the one metre monitors will really be all that hands on in practice.
Boatseller: “Ok, let’s talk about the reality here. I get they have to do a little show for the CDC but in practice….
“The theme parks have been 6′ (2m) for months but the guests are a different story. I’ve seen guests reminded about face coverings but never, ever, not once asked to spread out. American distancing, which is about 2-3ft anyway has been the norm since the holiday crowds.”
And fellow Royal Caribbean crew member Brian Daley added: “Hopefully the guest respect the rules on the ship better than on land. Distance and mask enforcement at land based theme parks has resulted in more than one physical assault on employees…”
It’s a sobering thought that young people helping cruiser passengers stay safe are not lauded for their work.