Andrea Mather's plans for a long-awaited summer cruise around the Hawaiian islands with her financial analyst husband unraveled after her booking with Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America was canceled due to a staffing shortage.
It was the second time this year that the 55-year-old homemaker's plan to go on a cruise was scuppered.
The cruise industry is sailing in choppy waters yet again as it has to deal with a storm of labor problems, red-hot inflation and recessionary threat, after barely steadying itself from the blows of an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 INFECTED NORWEGIAN CRUISE SHIP ARRIVES IN NEW ORLEANS
Wall Street analysts have already cut their 2022 revenue estimates for cruise operators by 5%, on average, since the beginning of the second quarter.
"(The labor shortage) couldn't come at a worse time because the cruise industry is finally starting to see recovery from being the worst impacted industry by COVID," said Jim Corridore, a travel and leisure analyst at data analytics firm Similarweb.
A typical cruise liner is like a mini city on high seas, where hundreds of people work in shifts to ensure its smooth sailing, while catering to its customers' various demands and needs.
The industry employs about 250,000 workers onboard from over 100 countries and their jobs range from being a ship's captain to a cocktail mixer, according to industry trade body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).