Fear and Trembling of Cruise Ship Employees: Psychological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Independent Researcher, Gornji kono 8, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
School of Hospitality & Tourism, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Department of Management, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
Faculty of Business Administration, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago 7500912, Chile
College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186741
Received: 11 August 2020 / Revised: 11 September 2020 / Accepted: 14 September 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Perceptions, Sustainable Behavior, Green Attitude, Well-being, and Pro-environmental Decision among Customers and Employees in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry)
The current COVID-19 pandemic has evolved to unprecedented proportions. This research aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cruise ship employees stuck at sea. Using an inductive qualitative approach, a synchronous online focus group was conducted with nine cruise ship employees who were stuck at sea during COVID-19 pandemic. The findings revealed that COVID-19 pandemic has managed to erase the feeling of joy from cruise ship employees who were stuck at sea while exposing weakness of cruise line companies such as poor human resource management leadership. Moreover, COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that it is of paramount importance that cruise line companies create a comprehensive strategy in assisting their employees who are experiencing an anxiety disorder and depression. The managerial implications are outlined.