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The Whole Cruise Ship Thing

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  • The Whole Cruise Ship Thing

    Has any other cruise ship cadets come across the way others seems to look down on you because you're not on a "working" ship? Cruise ships "work" just as much as any others! I don't get it and it's really annoying... I'm doing the same course, aiming for the same thing (my ticket) and everyone's like "oh you have such an easy life" and "you're not proper Merchant Navy" and so on.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I think some cruise cadets bring a certain amount of it on themselves talking about hosting tables, going on tours, and the great range of facilites that the ship has that can be used, this then gives people the impression that they are just on holiday rather than having the same level of hardship that someone on a tanker might have. from some of my conteporarys who are on cruise ships, i would say i get better treatment from the company (private cabin, free wifi) would be somethings that they arent getting.

    So it may not be that they are looking down at you with the idea that your not working as hard but that you have an easier life while your doing it. The other hand if you are working from them once qualified for 4 on 2 off paid pro rata are you still getting it so well as someone doing 6 weeks on 6 weeks off and paid pa
    you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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    • #3
      I think many do bring it on themselves. How they jopke about doing double watches, spending every night in port (just about), having all the comms onboard, the masses of company, the hosting tables, the lack on maintenance work they do, how they never pick paint brushes or grease tins.

      I don't think its bullying, just be open about things. Its pointless trying to deny it - just agree (if its true) and get on with what you know best. At the end of the day - it's your job and your career. Let them get on with theirs. If your happy - that's all that matters.

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      • #4
        I've worked on both cruise ships and cargo vessels. I'd say that working on a cruise ship is a lot more demanding then your average deep sea container vessel or tanker, and is a lot of work, but you do have a good support base and backup for it. As a cadet on the cruise ships, its very difficult as they get given less responsibility due to the severity of incorrect actions on the bridge etc. Overall though, you learn to drive a ship, manage people, deal with paperwork, do the legal side and understand maintenance; it just comes down to the individual how much knowledge they amass.

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        • #5
          I'll throw in my two cents from the point of view of a cruise cadet while I'm here.

          My first trip was nearly five months long. I spent a month with the seamen doing all the usual things - chipping, painting, varnishing, painting, splicing, painting, cleaning, painting etc. After that I spent a month with the coxswains (deck petty officers) on boat/davit maintenance, fire equipment inspection and maintenance and other odd jobs. Then I spent some time with the safety officer, doing odd jobs here and there, and then I went on watch. I started out on the 8-12 then changed over to the 4-8.

          For anyone unfamiliar with the Carnival set-up, most arrivals and departures happen on the 4-8 watch. For these, you have an enhanced manning level where you'll typically have the captain, staff captain, first officer (navs) and a third officer. When stations are called, the third officer will go down to the forward mooring deck, and another officer (usually safety) will go down aft.

          Out of everyone who's left, you'll have a navigator, co-navigator, administrator, operations director, lookout and helmsman. I won't go into the roles too much other than to say I spent a lot of time as administrator - answering alarms, dealing with phone calls, keeping the logbook, plotting position when we were using paper charts (not often), fiddling with the echo sounder, using the heeling tanks as appropriate etc etc...

          Towards the end of the trip, I was doing pretty much all the arrival/departure checks myself and was quite confident with a lot of general watchkeeping things. I didn't get to conn the ship at all, but that's fine by me - I wouldn't want to until I have a good working knowledge of the rules. The way I see it, I can go back on my next sea phase with all the "ancilliary" things done and concentrate on driving ships. I know I'll have to do some daywork again and take all the opportunities that are presented to me for experience, but I'll be in a much better position to concentrate on what I'm there for.

          Outside of watch hours, I'd do jobs for the safety officer, help with crew training, crew rounds, LSA inspections, drills, jobs for the staff captain etc... Yes, there are passenger events to attend - pre-dinner cocktail parties, lunches for returning passengers and I hosted dinner tables a few times. These are "work" just as much as anything else - it's taken out of your rest time.

          Yes, cruise ships are quite sociable but it's very much a work hard/play hard thing. When you're qualified and working as third mate, you'll keep a watch and have other jobs outside. So you end up working just as much, if not more.

          Pay-wise, in my company at least things are changing, with all signs pointing to there being a salaried contract by the time I qualify, though even with the daily rate system it all balances out. Leave ratios are 3:1.5 or 4:2, but hey, I can live with that and I'll get the seatime I need for future tickets quickly. On top of that, there's a reasonable level of job secuirty and the company it very supportive.

          Some cadets with cruise companies do spend a lot of time talking about the good sides, and it does give the impression that it's a bit of a holiday. It's just people getting a bit excited and doing the usual "trying-to-make-people-jealous-on-Facebook" thing, which ultimately backfires.
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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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jmz View Post
            the lack on maintenance work they do, how they never pick paint brushes or grease tins.
            I spent the whole 4 months of my 1st trip and 2 months of my second trip on cruise ships painting, sanding, polishing, greasing, oiling, chipping, de-rusting, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, squeezing and that horrible thing you have to do with the brush and a rubber glove. OH! and slip-stop testing the toilets.

            I had to grease all of the davit wires on all of the lifeboats, you have any idea how many lifeboats those ships have??!! And then, for good measure I was told to do them again!

            Granted, some cadets do more day work than others, some cadets do more watch than others, it depends on sea time required and remaining. It is easy to get the impression because it is a different lifestyle to cargo ships. I don't get involved in the whole one is harder than the other argument, they're just different.

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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Randomist View Post
              that horrible thing you have to do with the brush and a rubber glove.
              You what now?

              Originally posted by Randomist View Post
              OH! and slip-stop testing the toilets.
              Hehe, love the looks you get when you walk around with the little machine and lay it down in random places while you stand there with a clipboard. Passengers don;t know what to make of you.
              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by Randomist View Post
                that horrible thing you have to do with the brush and a rubber glove.
                If you dont use the brush you'll find it a whole lot more enjoyable
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                • #9
                  Some titbits?..

                  To get it off my chest, as i see leave ratios are on the 'generous side' nowadays, I did a leave ratio of 6 months on 6 weeks off with P&O/Princess???it wasn't a bed of roses on that score, not a 20 year old ship with everything falling apart after constant use. Not many would do even that now. Sounds like things have improved and rightly so. OK?got that out of the way!

                  Work hard/Play hard is quite right as mentioned earlier!!!!

                  Have a look at 'seadogsreunited' website???.gives you an idea of the fun times, with many dirty boiler-suits also thrown in amongst the photos. Many of the officers end up either marrying passengers (you still 'pump cargo' on a cruise ship as some hairy arsed engineer once said!' ) or other 'ships fittings'.

                  You develop friends for life on the cruise ship circuit, but try to avoid the Chief Engineers who were the bullies wherever possible or keep your head down. There were a few I could mention, still around the fleet.

                  On a cruise ship, there are lots of cylinders and an engine room 3/4 the length of the ship so technically there is a lot to be dealing with, and a lot to go wrong, and it does. Ship schedules are paramount. You cannot just go off hire for a day or even slow down. You have to fix it, including the countless washing machines, fridges, toilets, sewage tanks. The equipment runs 365 days a year, and the main engines are only stopped for refit, once a year, but only for a short while. Everything therefore is pushed to the limit.

                  You either love it, or hate it. If you have never tried it??..you simply do not know?.try it if possible.
                  It was great whilst I did it, and I do not regret it for one moment.

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