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    Hi, my son is interested in working within either of these companies....he isn't old enough yet as he is now about to take his options. He is 14 and has been in the sea cadets for 2 yrs. He originally wanted to joint the RN but cant as he has mild asthma and is on inhalers. He then has thought about the RFA, however he recently has looked into the Merchant navy and cruise ships and decided tis is where he wants to work and join as an officer cadet.....can anybody give us advice on where we go from here>.....what colleges?.....what is best to do, or is it best to wait for exam results then literally apply direct to company?....any info is gratefully recieved!

  • #2
    best going through a company such as clyde marine training who give you a sponsor and put you through college, hope this helps any more info you need just ask.

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    • #3
      Hi, as its a few years away I would recommend you attend one of the open days at your nearest Nautical College, they tend to happen twice a year in January and around the summer time. If you contact your nearest nautical college they will be able to advise you of the dates of their open days.

      Most of the sponsor companies attend the open days and it will give you and your son a chance to speak to the companies, existing cadets and to see the facilities at the colleges.

      Some of the cruise lines require applicants to be 18 years old or higher, so if your son is planing on applying directly on completion of Standard Grades / GCSE's you will have to look at which of the cruise lines accept GCSE applicants and then apply to them. You can apply before receiving the examination results and any offer they give would most likely be conditional on receiving the grades the company wants. (Just like applying to University).

      If he is waiting until after A-Levels / Highers the process is the same, but there is a bigger number of companies available.

      The article on our homepage (What is the Merchant Navy) contains a brief description of the industry and job roles, and has a link to the Careers @ Sea web site which lists all the companies that offer cadetships;

      http://www.officercadet.com/content....-Merchant-Navy

      Good luck
      ?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.?

      ? Mark Twain
      myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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      • #4
        Alistair has pretty much nailed it there! I support his recommendation that you should visit an open day, in fact I'd say it's pretty much essential for two reasons (in addition to checking out the college itself);

        Firstly, some of the companies are somewhat complicated. For example, trying to get your head around the operations of the Carnival group, Viking Recruitment and Chiltern Maritime is not easy! Some of the representatives may even confuse themselves whilst talking to you, so definitely seek as many explanations as you can.

        Secondly, attendance at an open day will likely work in your son's favour at interview. Sure, he won't be the only one who has visited an open day but been recognised by the representatives (quite often the representative at an open day will conduct the interview) and been able to say he has attended an open day can only be a good thing as it demonstrates enthusiasm. The more open days you can attend the better, I visited Warsash, South Tyneside and Fleetwood and harassed the same representatives each time!

        Just a quick note about cruise ship age limits, some companies may take cadets who are aged 17 when they start college so long as they turn 18 before their first sea phase. They want their cadets to be 18 because of the passenger interaction required on cruise ships, I think.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Waddo View Post
          Alistair has pretty much nailed it there! I support his recommendation that you should visit an open day, in fact I'd say it's pretty much essential for two reasons (in addition to checking out the college itself);

          Firstly, some of the companies are somewhat complicated. For example, trying to get your head around the operations of the Carnival group, Viking Recruitment and Chiltern Maritime is not easy! Some of the representatives may even confuse themselves whilst talking to you, so definitely seek as many explanations as you can.

          Secondly, attendance at an open day will likely work in your son's favour at interview. Sure, he won't be the only one who has visited an open day but been recognised by the representatives (quite often the representative at an open day will conduct the interview) and been able to say he has attended an open day can only be a good thing as it demonstrates enthusiasm. The more open days you can attend the better, I visited Warsash, South Tyneside and Fleetwood and harassed the same representatives each time!

          Just a quick note about cruise ship age limits, some companies may take cadets who are aged 17 when they start college so long as they turn 18 before their first sea phase. They want their cadets to be 18 because of the passenger interaction required on cruise ships, I think.

          Thankyou everyone for your help!........i suppose my next step is then to go to an open day as you have suggested. I have had a brief look at the colleges around, altough i dont think any are local to where we live!......we are based in Suffolk? Does anybody know when the next open day is?

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          • #6
            Having had a quick look on Google maps, it seems that you are a fair distance from all the major colleges! Around 3 1/2 hours to Warsash and close to 5 hours for both Fleetwood and South Tyneside. Glasgow is, well, even further! Whilst there are a large number of cadets in training at any one time, in comparison to mainstream colleges and Univeristies we are talking very small numbers of students, hence maritime training colleges hold very few open days.

            Friday 29th June 2012 - Warsash Maritime Academy Open Day

            I can't find dates for the other colleges at the moment, although it would be safe to assume that Fleetwood and South Tyne will be holding events in early 2013 (late Jan/early Feb).

            As a cadet I have been allocated Warsash as my training college as it is the furthest college from my home (they want me to adjust to being away from home) so whilst you may want to visit the closest college whilst gathering information, your son may not get a say in where he ends up!

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            • #7
              To be honest, Cruise Ships are incredibly difficult to get onto as a cadet and in my opinion, not the best place to start as one. If I was applying to the industry now, I would do my level best to get into a company that has wet cargo ships (oil tankers, chemical, LNG especially) as this then gives you much more flexibility and ability to move within the industry. It's easy enough to get on dry-cargo ships but very difficult to get onto Wet Cargo without some prior experience. Whilst the ports you would go to would not be the most exciting as a cadet, the trade-off is worth it and he can always join cruise ships once he finishes his course.
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                To be honest, Cruise Ships are incredibly difficult to get onto as a cadet and in my opinion, not the best place to start as one.
                Cadetships vary from ship to ship. It is also true to say that one could have a more ordered and well rounded cadetship on a cruise ship than on some cargo ships.

                It's true you'd get a wider variety of experiences on some cargo vessels. It's also true that it's hard to transfer from cruise to cargo (though not impossible). It can also be said that some don't make the change from cargo to cruise very easily. They are very different and require a different attitude to the way things run.

                Don't however be fooled into thinking that an MCA examiner may ask a specific set of questions for a cruise cadet than that of a cargo cadet. Ultimately the OOW/EOOW ticket is unlimited so qualifies you to work anywhere, regardless of cadetship so fully expect cargo orientated questions in an oral exam even if your 3 years has been on cruise ships.

                To boldly go.....
                Forum Administrator
                OfficerCadet.com

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                • #9
                  I'm new to the site (and more importantly new to the industry!) so I welcome the views of qualified officers such as yourselves (GM and Randomist), I really have no place passing judgement on the 'best' way to complete a cadetship when I don't even start my own training until September!

                  I guess the point is that there is no 'best way'. I think most level-headed cadets (and aspiring cadets) can appreciate the pros and cons of training on each type of vessel. Saying that, there is also a school of thought that says if cruise ships are your dream and you can get your foot in the door from day one (by training with a cruise company) then you may never look back! Equally so, it seems there are people on the site who would prefer not to work on a cruise ship, the same logic applies!

                  Each to their own I suppose, it certainly is an interesting debate!

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                  • #10
                    May I just say.....I am sitting here reading as a total 'ignorant' mother who has no idea about any of it! I am trying, and 'trying' being the operative word to get my head round the whole thing as to then 'try' and lead my son in the 'right' direction! He knows roughly what he wants to do, but where to start is a different matter! He originally wanted the RN, then it was the RFA, then it was cruise ships, but reading some of what is written on here, i'm wondering whether perhaps he needs to widen his ideas. We are now plaaning to go to the Warsash Open day as suggested on here and have a look at what is offered. My son is still quite young at only 14 he still has plenty of time, but I know some companies have waiting list for cadetships as young as 15yrs 9 month? so, all in all not that far off.............

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                    • #11
                      It has to be remembered that this isnt just a job but also a lifestyle choice (until you stop being actively at sea) as such it needs to meet your personallity.
                      I like watersports therefore if i was taking a job doing IT support i would look for jobs near the coast, others may prefer big cities and shopping centers. The same applies to the ships, the work you do is the same (roughly as otherwise you would need different tickets) but the package that you get makes a huge influence on your circumstances,
                      you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Randomist View Post
                        Cadetships vary from ship to ship. It is also true to say that one could have a more ordered and well rounded cadetship on a cruise ship than on some cargo ships.
                        Whilst some may believe that to be true, I tend to disagree when it comes to Engineering cadets. I'll always say Tankers are the best place to start because you will have more flexibility as to where you go once you finish your cadetship. You can either stay on tankers and get a good whack (cause we pay well) or you can go on cruise ships where the pay is less but have a totally different lifestyle. Each to their own.

                        However, when it comes to Engineering cadets, they should start on older vessels, preferably ones over 15 years old. Reason being is that it was embarrassing to sit there in a lecture where the cadet is asked about something as simple as synchronising a generator manually and not knowing because it was all automatic or having no clue how their systems worked as all they did was push a button in the ECR to open a valve and what not. Older ships tend not to have that so it's all hand-a-matic so you are literally forced to learn your systems to do your job. I remember one lad who didn't have a clue how to do something as simple as a peak pressure test of his main engine because the ECR computer did it at the touch of a button!
                        I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                        All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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                        • #13
                          however, that goes hand in hand with the training, for every button, there a "thing" on the other end that it operates, part of the learning should be what that thing is and what it does, taking ccards by computer is pretty much standard these days, weather it be permanent in built, or with doctor diesel or similar, even now we still carry the manual kit and a planimiter, though as most engines arent fitted with cam followeres anymore it can be more than a little ticky.

                          new or old ships makes no odds these days, however the ability to learn and ask questions does, as for the sector you join i wouls gree, go cargo of some sort and then choewhere to go after wards dependent on you life style wants and needs, some hve family so want short trips and equal leave so ferries suits them, some love the single life and arent botherd aboit leav and so yachts suit them, it rewly is a personal choice and no one can call you for the choice you jake, but certain deciions can make it easier to move about in the firt instance
                          Trust me I'm a Chief.

                          Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                          Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                          No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


                          Twitter:- @DeeChief

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stumpysean View Post
                            He originally wanted the RN, then it was the RFA, then it was cruise ships, but reading some of what is written on here, i'm wondering whether perhaps he needs to widen his ideas.
                            It completely depends on what he wants to do. A lot of cruise ship companies offer very good cadetships with as many advantages as there are disadvantages. I would be wary of the opinion that cargo/cruise is harder or more valuable than the other. I'd say neither is harder or more valuable, they're just different. They require different disciplines and different attitudes to work. Some people who come to cruise from cargo can't adapt to the way cruise ships operate. If it's definitely cruise he wants to be on then a cadetship with someone like Carnival UK, Viking (Holland America), or someone like that is a good way to go.

                            If he's not sure he may find cargo ships more interesting.

                            Just remember (I've said it before) the MCA aren't going to care whether you were a cargo/cruise cadet. You could have spent three years on cruise ships and be asked about the carriage and care requirements of coal or various dangerous goods or timber cargos or anything. It's an unlimited certificate so the questions asked aren't limited only to cruise/cargo.



                            Definitely go along to the Warsash open day, it's a brilliant way to get in touch with the sponsors and get an idea from people in the industry about what the best way to go is.

                            To boldly go.....
                            Forum Administrator
                            OfficerCadet.com

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                            • #15
                              Warshash open day is a fantastic Idea, I think it?s hard at the moment to get cruise ships so if your son has his heart set on that specific part of this industry he could try and be disappointed so try and just let him absorb that slowly. You can always get a cadetship on a different type of vessel get your ticket and go and work in the cruise industry so a non-cruise cadetship isn?t the be all and end all and he might love working on a different type of ship if he tries it. I have just been through the recruitment process for the RFA and start in 21 days (eep) so if you want to know what it?s like or have any questions pm me, and I will do my best. What it seems to me that be it RN, RFA or a cruise ship your son wants to go to sea and it?s great he has such a grasp on his future career. What I would suggest is get him to join some maritime based groups, sea cadets I can recommend as it will get him great experience and skills plus I?m sure with his interests he will love it. He has also got long enough (4 years) where if he is treatment and symptom free of asthma he could still join the RN. He is in a great position with loads of options and the backing of an obviously caring mum I think he has a great chance of doing everything he wants. That is my advice as much as it?s worth and as I said anything RFA based send it over. Good luck to him and you.

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