REQUEST_URI: /blogBASE_URL: blog Seafarers' House :: Casa del Marino
Home > Blog

Creating a Comfortable Environment for a Diverse Crew

July 16, 2017


Today’s maritime industry is more diverse than ever before. Mariners come from nearly every country in the world, drawn to a career at sea for the opportunity, adventure and life it creates.  With members of various cultures, ethnic groups, religions and genders on board and limited interaction with outside individuals, it is important to create a comfortable and inclusive environment on board. Many commercial ships have fewer than 25 people on board at any time, and sometimes it is several days or weeks between ports.  Keeping the ship environment peaceful helps keep it safe from accidents at sea.  Here are some tips for creating and inclusive work environment:


Don’t make assumptions

Avoid making assumptions about an individual’s culture, religion or home country.  Instead, learn about the cultural backgrounds of the different crew members.  Ask questions about their lives at home and invite them to share their religious or cultural traditions with the crew.  Create opportunities for all crew members to participate in planning activities or celebrations on board, such as holiday meals.


Create open lines of communication

Officers play an important role in setting the tone for the ship.  Effective and open communication from the top increases the likelihood for open discussion on issues, problems and improvements.  Ensure crew members know that there are standards and expectations for appropriate behavior on board the vessel, but that they are not expected to be perfect. Each of us has room to grow.  Use mistakes for learning opportunities, not for embarrassing or punishing individuals.   Keep the lines of communication open in both directions.


Be aware

Everyone is different and the way they celebrate holidays may be different.  Be aware of culturally and religiously significant events and holidays. Ask employees if and how they wish to observe these days and make accommodations as appropriate.  Acknowledge differing faiths and religious traditions without making individuals feel segregated or uncomfortable.  If you cannot accommodate a specific request, ask how you can better prepare in the future.


Today’s maritime industry is culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse - we enjoy this diversity every day in out Casa. Creating an inclusive work environment takes practice and a dedication to the practice, but it is not difficult.   Making a comfortable place for everyone aboard a ship improves the quality of life for all on board and creates peace in a potentially dangerous work environment.  If you have questions about religious observances or wish to learn more, ask our pastoral care team in the Casa.  We have chaplains representing 18 different faiths, all of whom are open and interested in learning more about an individual’s spiritual and cultural practices!


Celebrating Sea Sunday

July 1, 2017


Sea Sunday is a global celebration of the seafarers and mariners that make our global economy possible.  90% of everything we use in our daily lives comes to us via the hard work of seafarers.


For more than 160 years congregations around the world have celebrated the second Sunday in July as Sea Sunday.   Many congregations will dedicate their service and donate their collection plate to seafarers on July 9th, but there are many ways to celebrate mariners on Sea Sunday!  Whether you are a religious congregation or a community group, here are some ways to support mariners visiting Port Everglades this Sea Sunday!


Include mariners in your sermon or discussions

Including readings, hymns and topics related to the work of mariners and the burdens they bear on our behalf.  The UK based group, Mission to Seafarers’ has specific reading and sermon outline suggestions that can help you develop a Sea Sunday sermon.  If you are a community based group, include mariners in your economic discussions.  Consider inviting the maritime community to speak to your group about job opportunities and economic advantages to trade at sea.


Support their burden

Activities such as ship visiting, transportation and our Casa help us bear the burden of seafarers at Port Everglades. Knitting hats and scarves has a direct impact on the comfort of a mariner, as do donations of phone cards, toiletries and items for Shoebox Christmas.  Consider setting up a Shoebox Christmas donation box in your church, house of worship or school to collect items of comfort for mariners.  Donate unwanted books or materials to increase our lending library or donate funds to purchase bibles and religious items.


Become a Mariner Friendly Congregation

Our mariner friendly congregation program makes a difference in the lives of mariners visiting Port Everglades.  By supporting the pastoral care work of our mission, you give mariners a quiet space to pray and reflect in our chapel, a comforting ear to listen to their troubles, and open arms in which to seek advice and guidance.   

This year, Sea Sunday falls on July 9th.  Please join with us to show mariners you care this weekend.  What they do every day and the sacrifices they make give us daily comforts in our own lives.   Consider making a donation to support the mission of Seafarers’ House and the hardworking mariners that make global trade possible.


July 24, 2017

Macy's Shop for a Cause Charity Challenge

    We're really excited to let you know that we're a part of the Macy's Shop for a Cause Charity...

Learn more >