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  • ETO Options: Cruise or not?

    Hi,

    Another question, I know I?m high maintenance but such a big decision changing my career and want to make the best choices.

    Sorry if this has been asked before and if it has please point me in the right direction.

    I'm 31 and really keen on the ETO route. I have been advised by my friends in the MN to go for offshore companies.

    My dilemma is that I?m choosing this path to get away from the 9-5, a new experience, also in part to escape the UK (not that i need to escape for legal reasons ), and see some of the world. Work hard and have some extended time to myself for seeing the world in my own time as well.

    The cruise companies obviously seem a better choice and there also seems to be a lot of ETO jobs with them.

    Do you reckon it?s harder to get into cruise ships at an older age? Would it be a better company to apply for the reasons above?

    The other thing that baffles me is working months and pay. My friends work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off and 6 weeks on 6 weeks off. They are paid for all the weeks and so work half the year and get half the year off.

    The jobs I have seen advertised for cruise ships often advise 4 months on 2 months off, so over the year you get 4 months off and work 8 months, seems more work less time off than the other boats. Also they mention the 2 months off is unpaid?? Anyone explain this for me. Are there other factors I?m missing or do the cruise ship staff get a worse deal than the others ships my friends work on.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    The facts about cruise ships:

    - Yes, you will probably get paid less than others, but your lifestyle is much better.
    - Yes, standard contracts are 3 on, 1.5 off or 4 on 2 off.
    - Some companies will only pay you while you're at sea, but you will be paid a higher amount so it generally works out the same as if you were salaried.
    - Certain companies are moving towards salaried contracts, though there's a lot of negotiation to be done.
    - Cruise companies generally welcome older cadets as they tend to be more mature and confident in social situations (e.g. with passengers).
    - You need to make a lifestyle choice really. On cruise ships you go to a mix of touristy and out of the way ports, usually with good infrastructure and opportunities to explore. You get a cinema, theatre with live shows every night, fantastic food, a good social life with lots of people to get to know, passenger gym, more bars than you can shake a stick at, shops, spa, multiple heated large pools etc... But this is where you trade off on pay.
    - I'm not an electro type, but on cruise ships you'll be part of a team of 4-6 ETOs, plus about the same amount of electircal fitters (ratings). Some cargo ships you'll be the only ETO.

    Hope this helps!
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    Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

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    • #3
      How Ironic.

      Your the first person to reply and also the same person who put me in the dilemma. I was happy with my friends advice about offshore , until i read your fantatsic blog and it sent me in a spin, then off to alistairs blog from yours and i was ready to sign up for the cruise ships.

      cheers for the advice, so if your working for up to 4 months, is that 7 day weeks?

      Is it a full time contract or are you a contractor?

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        You'll be working every day. As an ETO it's usually daywork (8-6) with periods as the on-call ETO. In reality, if work is thin on the ground and/or there's somewhere you really want to see, you can usually work something out with your staff ETO.

        Thanks for the nice comments about the blog - going to get on with more updates tonight and the next few days.

        size4's blog also has some bits from her time on Cunard and Windstar ships.

        The contract's a funny beast but basically, you're a "permanent" employee who's only paid while at sea. In times not so long ago, you would sign on for a contract (trip) at a time, this is why you'll usually hear cruise ship people referring to "this contract" "first contract" etc...
        sigpic
        Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

        Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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        • #5
          im currently an Engineer Officer Cadet with Royal Caribbean Cruise's LTD through Clyde Marine Training, and i have been told that when i qualify i will be working 10 weeks on and 10 weeks off and paid on a salary basis.

          I was told this by my cadet representative for the company so i think its pretty reliable, check it out.
          "My Job"

          It's not my place to run the boat
          the fog horn I can't blow.

          It's not my place to say just where
          the boat's allowed to go

          It's not my right to dock the boat
          or even clang the bell

          But let the damn thing
          start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

          Comment


          • #6
            There's very few British cadets sponsored by RCCL, the majority of cruise ship cadets in the UK go to Carnival (including Princess) and HAL (strictly speaking, another Carnival brand) who operate the 3/1.5 leave ratio and payment at sea, though it depends on contract. Some ex-Cunard (i.e. people who worked for Cunard before Carnival bought them) contracts are salaried, for example.
            sigpic
            Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

            Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

            Comment


            • #7
              RCCL have just expanded in the UK and instead of having just previously needed 4 cadets a year they now need 38, this is why i think there are so many recruits at our college (glasgow) compared to the being 0 in previous years, we have 4 in Glasgow during my January intake and there were 5 in the September intake i think.

              Im not sure wether they take cadets on directly or wether you have to go through an agency like clyde marine
              "My Job"

              It's not my place to run the boat
              the fog horn I can't blow.

              It's not my place to say just where
              the boat's allowed to go

              It's not my right to dock the boat
              or even clang the bell

              But let the damn thing
              start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

              Comment


              • #8
                Carnival Uk are 3 months on 3 months off according to a guy in my class who is a cadet directly through them, he says he has signed a contract with them for 32k a year and will be paid every month. We are only 1st phase cadets so he said he will be on more when he qualifies.

                Hope this helps
                "My Job"

                It's not my place to run the boat
                the fog horn I can't blow.

                It's not my place to say just where
                the boat's allowed to go

                It's not my right to dock the boat
                or even clang the bell

                But let the damn thing
                start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think they solely go through Clyde in the UK. Good news all round though if they're upping their cadet intake.
                  sigpic
                  Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                  Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcwilson91 View Post
                    Carnival Uk are 3 months on 3 months off according to a guy in my class who is a cadet directly through them, he says he has signed a contract with them for 32k a year and will be paid every month. We are only 1st phase cadets so he said he will be on more when he qualifies.

                    Hope this helps
                    This guy is either very mistaken on his figures or deliberately trying to big himself up. No cadet earns that much, even RFA cadets. Certainly a bit of bending-the-truth going on.
                    sigpic
                    Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                    Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No when he qualifies he will be on 32k as a 3rd/4th eng.

                      but still 32k GBP still sounds like a huge salary for a 3rd/4th eng on any ship never mind a cruise ship which i always thought paid lower than other areas of shipping.

                      Please tell me if i am wrong!

                      I know he gets about 12,500 a year as a cadet tho.
                      "My Job"

                      It's not my place to run the boat
                      the fog horn I can't blow.

                      It's not my place to say just where
                      the boat's allowed to go

                      It's not my right to dock the boat
                      or even clang the bell

                      But let the damn thing
                      start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think his figures may be out by a bit, and his leave ratio is definitely wrong. He has signed a contract for his cadetship, he may or may not get offered a job at the end at which time he'll go onto the contract in use then.
                        sigpic
                        Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                        Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Iain, to add on to whats been said by others;

                          Depending upon the company you work for you will either be essentially a "full time" employee - that is you work fixed rotations and are paid 12 months of the year regardless of whether you are onboard or not.

                          However quite a few companies, including the ones I work for / have worked for; (as I explain it to family / friends) operate in a "self employed contractor way".. Essentially I am offered a contract, which says I will work for 4 months +/- 30 days on XXX vessel, commencing on some date in some port for XXXX Euros / USD / GBP / whatever per month.

                          At the end of my contact period legally I am "unemployed"; however unless I have seriously upset someone onboard you will normally be offered a new contract within a few days of returning home, if not before leaving the ship; In which case normally I get a cal within a week of leaving asking if I wish to go back and am I available to join on XXX date.

                          I have only been with companies that work in the second way, so I can't say which I prefer; but there are benefits that suit me; such as the ability to pick how long I get on holidays (ok, I don't get paid when not onboard - but from speaking to my friends who work with other cruise lines, I am getting paid considerably more while onboard). It also has other benefits such as the ability to negotiate how much you get paid and other perks (such as paid training courses etc.).

                          Basically what I am trying to say is; every company is different.

                          I can tell you that from speaking to all my fellow cruise ship cadets who qualified, a newly qualified 3rd officer / 4th officer on cruise ships will earn anywhere between ?2000 - ?3000 per month onboard depending upon what company they are working for.


                          jcwilson; be aware that most cruise lines use the word "salary" to mean monthly wage - not as we would use it in the UK where it refers to annual income.
                          Last edited by alistairuk; 23 July 2011, 10:35 PM.
                          ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

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                          • #14
                            From what I've heard regarding CUK - The move to 3/3 and payed leave is being pushed but is by no means definate.

                            32K is way out for a 3/4 eng. Or equivalent deck rank. That's about the pay a 2nd Eng gets in CUK I think.

                            He has heard "You could get paid 32K" I suspect, and translated that as his pay.
                            Cheers and ta

                            S

                            I wear my purple with pride
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                            • #15
                              Just to bear in mind, CUK (well P&O at least) doesn't have 4th Eng/4th Off *unless* they've come from another company, where they go on as 4th for one contract.

                              The move to salaried is quite likely from what I hear. Leave-wise, as far as I'm aware they're looking at a choice between the current 3 months:6 weeks and 4 months:2 months. Don't think 3:3 will ever happen - even the senior ranks don't appear to be on time for time.

                              Also, to clarify, CUK cadets are salaried. You only go onto the "paid at sea" system once you qualify.
                              sigpic
                              Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                              Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

                              Comment

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