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This article explores the notion that the relationship between production and consumption on board cruise ships is, to some extent, obscured. The consumption that takes places on board cruise ships often appears divorced from many of the production-oriented activities that make consumption possible. Efforts by cruise ship companies to dissociate production from consumption are planned and calculated. Many elements of the cruise holiday that are hidden from tourists have some connection with the work and human effort that underpins the vacation production process. This obfuscation of the relationship between production and consumption is by no means comprehensive. Tourists on board cruise ships are not necessarily unaware of the exploitation that takes place on board cruise ships. There are some cruise ship tourists who speak with shipboard employees about conditions within the cruise ship workplace. A number of articles that have appeared in prominent newspapers criticize cruise ship companies because workplace conditions on board are so poor. While information about these conditions has been disseminated in a variety of ways, it has not transformed the way in which cruise vacations are produced. The poor treatment of shipboard employees remains the status quo within the industry.

Keywords: Brochure; Commodity fetishism; Consumption; Cruise ship; Production

Document Type: Miscellaneous

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830405774545062

Affiliations: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: January 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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