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3rd Officer role onboard cruise ships

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  • 3rd Officer role onboard cruise ships

    I'm sure I've read somewhere that a cruise ship carries more than one 3rd officer. I am guessing that they possibly don't take regular watches? (or are a 2nd officer on the bridge possibly?)

    I was just wondering if anyone knew about their job roles & duties?

  • #2
    http://www.officercadet.com/showthre...se+ship+bridge gives a little insight and im sure that i read here that theres generally 2 officers on the bridge at all times, however someone from the crusie ship will offer more info
    you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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    • #3
      It depends on the company and line and even ship within a company as they are all different - if you are with one of the Carnival group / HAL / RCCL (although I believe RCCL do not have 3rd officers), then you will be an assistant watch keeper and have additional duties (sure one of the carnival lot will advise you).

      If you are with V. Ships / CSM / The non Carnival lot you will normally be the only 3rd onboard, you would be assigned traditionally to 8-12 watch as it is the least busy and easiest for the captain / staff captain to keep an eye on you.

      3rd officer on the vessels I have worked on (single watch keeping cruise ships) is normally designated LSA / GMDSS, meaning that in addition to your 8 hours of watch keeping you are responsible for the testing of the GMDSS equipment and carrying out the inspections of the lifeboat equipment etc. You are also usually used to assist the navigator / bridge manager with random tasks as needed.

      With small variations, the ships I have worked on (with two different companies - and several different cruise lines) have been the following;

      Captain
      Staff Captain ( aka. Deputy Captain )
      Safety Officer
      First Officer
      2nd Officer (Navigator)
      2nd Officer
      2nd Officer / 3rd Officer

      Staff, Safety, First all day workers. 2nd officers carrying out watches. Navigator 4-8 (due to as below, arrivals and departures), the other 2nd officer 12-4, and the newest 2nd officer (or 3rd officer) on the 8-12.

      4-8 = Responsible for the bridge + passage planning, etc.
      12-4 = Responsible for either; Environmental issues (or chart corrections / publication corrections and assisting navigator as required).

      Fortunately bridge tours are either conducted by the cadets - or one of the dancers if we don't have cadets onboard
      Last edited by alistairuk; 13 August 2011, 03:02 PM. Reason: additional info
      ?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
        Setup on P&O Cruises is below, Cunard is almost identical but not quite!

        3x Third Officer
        2x Second Officer
        1x First Officer (Navigator)
        1x Safety Officer
        1x Deputy Captain
        1x Captain

        Captain, Deputy Captain and Safety Officer work days, unless required for something else. For example, the Safety Officer is typically in charge of the aft mooring deck for arrival and dparture, while the Captain and Deputy Captain will be on the bridge.

        All the others are watchkeepers. It goes lke this:

        4-8: First Officer (Navigator) + Third Officer
        8-12: Second Officer + Third Officer
        12-4: Second Officer + Third Officer

        The First Oficer is always on the 4-8 because it includes the majority of arrivals and departures. Depending on ship, the Seconds and Thirds will rotate watches periodically, on my last ship it was at the end of every month for the Thirds and the middle of the month for the Seconds.

        On the bridge, there's different responsibilities. One is taking charge of the watch, and that is always taken by the senior officer. The other is taking the conn of the ship (conn = conduct of the ship/navgation = driving) which may be taken by either officer. So, the Third might have the conn while the Second works out the back in the chartroom, or vice versa. Since the Seconds usually have a higher workload, the ship will be conned by the Thirds more often than not in open sea. For arrivals and departures the manning level goes up, and everyone has their own role: navigator, co-navigator, administrator, operations director, helmsman and lookout. The Third Officer on watch will take charge of the forward mooring deck.

        Outside of watchkeeping duties, the First Officer is the ship's Navigator and does the bulk of the planning, often planning well over a year ahead, laying down the tracks, compiling port information, conducting nav briefs etc. Depending on the ship, either the First Officer or the Safety Officer will be the bridge manager.

        The Second Officers do chart corrections, electronic chart updates, look after the official logbook, conduct crew training, look after the ship's certificates, the muster list and so on. Each one has defined duties, so one will be responsible for the logbook, the other for for charts etc... One of the Second Officers usually does the Virtual Bridge Tour for the passengers each cruise.

        The Third Officers have similar duties split between them. Each will have lifeboats to do monthly checks on. One will be responsible for checking and testing of GMDSS equipment, EPIRBs, SARTs etc. There's also drawing up the track charts that are displayed to the passengers, drawing overview charts to keep on the chart table (where electronic charts are being used for navigation), looking after meteorological equipment, updating the crack register, pest control, writing the cruise log that's given to the passengers at the end of the cruise, updating publications, compiling future cruise information for the navigator... Can't think of any more at the minute but there's quite a few jobs to go between the three.

        It's quite a complicated system but it works well, and having guaranteed experience on the bridge is advantageous considering that any mishaps might endanger thousands of people.

        Any questions just ask!
        Last edited by CharlieDelta; 13 August 2011, 02:37 PM.
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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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        • #5
          WTF is an Operations Director and or an Administrator for that matter and why are they needed on Standy-bys?
          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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          • #6
            Are two navigators, an operations director and an administrator really needed on a bridge for mooring ops?

            If so, then us lot on cargo ships must be doing it wrong....
            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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            • #7
              Enhanced manning includes:

              Navigator (any qualified deck officer) - has conn of ship
              Co-navigator (any qualified deck officer) - various duties, but mainly looking ahead at traffic, possible problems, checking navigator's actions, external VHF
              Administrator (cadet if there is one, otherwise a deck officer dragged out of bed) - logbook, phone, alarms, heeling, paper chart fixing
              Ops director (any qualified deck officer, usually Deputy Captain or Captain) - internal radio comms, monitoring everyone else

              Captain will usually take the Navigator role at standby or soon after, First Officer/Second Officer co-navs, Third Officer goes down to stations, cadet or a spare third admins, and the Deputy Captain is ops director, though the procedures and the system permit many different combinations of who-does-what.
              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 GuinnessMan View Post
                Are two navigators, an operations director and an administrator really needed on a bridge for mooring ops?

                If so, then us lot on cargo ships must be doing it wrong....
                With so many people on board, the companies (and no doubt the P&I clubs) prefer overmanning and plenty of cross-checking. Accidents could injure thousands and ruin the company's reputation. Cargo tends to be a bit more forgiving of a company's tarnished safety record, passengers will vote with their feet.
                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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                • #9
                  Well a certain company does have the highest number of accidents of any cruise line
                  ?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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CharlieDelta View Post
                    With so many people on board, the companies (and no doubt the P&I clubs) prefer overmanning and plenty of cross-checking. Accidents could injure thousands and ruin the company's reputation. Cargo tends to be a bit more forgiving of a company's tarnished safety record, passengers will vote with their feet.
                    P&I, harbourmaster, local governments, charterers and management tend not to like tarnished safety records when it comes to accidentally destroying their dock, blocking up the port, dropping or spraying your cargo in their port and/or accidentally spreading your own fuel about the place. They tend to get a bit miffed if you do that.

                    Overmanning doesn't really help anyone. Too many cooks and all that jazz....
                    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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                    • #11
                      True, but destroy the dock and take out some passengers while you do it and you can be pretty sure that people will start booking elsewhere.

                      The BTCC system doesn't create a "too many cooks" situation, simply because the roles are very clearly defined. The co-navigator will pass relevant information on the the navigator, but the navigator has the conn and that's that. The navigator is freed of all duties apart from conning the ship - no distractions.

                      As for accident rates, tha's not something I've heard before, though is that on a percentage or a numbers basis? If it's numbers, then the size of the company in question must be considered.
                      Last edited by CharlieDelta; 13 August 2011, 03:48 PM.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CharlieDelta View Post
                        True, but destroy the dock and take out some passengers while you do it and you can be pretty sure that people will start booking elsewhere.
                        As can charterers, and there is a bit more money in it when it comes to Oil Tankers....
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Perhaps it's a conscience thing then. I could probably live with being responsible for an oil spill - my career would be ruined and I'd probably be prosecuted, but I don't know if I could live with being responsible for multiple deaths. When the people are there to do it, it makes sense to have as much support as you can. An officer running around between radar, chart table, phone, radio etc would be much more useful if he were to be constantly watching the radar and looking out the window.
                          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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
                            Fortunately bridge tours are either conducted by the cadets - or one of the dancers if we don't have cadets onboard
                            I'm surprised that your company allow the cargo on the bridge for tours. I know on a recent cruise I was on that didn't happen at all, although I got talking with the 1st Navigator and it did :P.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jackc View Post
                              I'm surprised that your company allow the cargo on the bridge for tours. I know on a recent cruise I was on that didn't happen at all, although I got talking with the 1st Navigator and it did :P.
                              We do a "virtual" tour in the theatre each cruise, though talking to a deck officer and expressing a genuine interest (i.e. more than just "It'd be so cool!") will often result in an invite with the Captain's permission.
                              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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