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  • Off to sea soon? What do you do if you have a problem? things to arrange etc.

    As there have been a few posts about not so good experiences at sea lately and in the past too. I'm sure you will all have questions and maybe rather nervous, excited, worried too.
    Which is why I was thinking it might be a good idea if the officers and training companies that lurk around could offer their advice? It would be really useful I think if the sponsors could post some general info from their point of view. They are very quiet!

    Now what to take with you, Hatchorder made a great list, and a search will most likely provide answers to other things he has not included that you think are important.
    Get organised sort out whats going to happen to your post, how to access your money, some banks need to be told where you are going in advance. If away from the UK as they may stop access to your account if it seems unusual behaviour. Sometimes you can do this online. With some trips you will not know where your ship is going. So think about arranging with your bank, or arrange for someone you trust to be an authorised signatory for a limited time, if you do not know if you have internet access even more important.

    Cruise ships - much more likely you know which countries its going to. Uk based not a problem.

    Do you need a special device to access your account, pin number special words, memorable info, anything like that, make sure you try it before you go. Or else you face the prospect of phoning a help line, at very expensive rates, not to mention the musak !

    Sim cards where will yours work what are the costs likely to be?

    Now I think all training companies visit their cadets and give them their TRB's and explain it. If its different please say. Make sure you know what you should be doing, what signatures you need etc. What they want you to do, what reports or any work that is expected and when. What work if any that college need done. Write it down so you can refer back to it later. They may give this all down in writing.

    Why not make a list of questions that you want answered before this meeting, tick them off.
    Yes, I am sure what you really want to know is, what ship is it, wheres it going, how do I meet it, when do I get told, how do I get my tickets etc.

    What you need to make sure you do is listen very carefully to the 'other stuff' they tell you the not so exciting bits. Make sure you know the answers before you go away to the following as they seem to be the ones that crop up, or any other things you feel are important.

    What should you do if you can't get anyone to sign things.
    Who should you report a problem to, what happens if that fails to resolve it.
    When would they like to know if there is a problem, and what sort of problems should you always report immediately to them. How should you do that? What evidence would they want?

    If you know the answers to those questions should a problem arise, you do not then feel that you are snitching, being difficult, or are put in a position where you do not know what to do, if there is no one else that speaks your language that you can ask in a difficult situation at the time. Which will only make you feel worse.

    You should feel confident about what is required.
    If its a dangerous practice you can act immediately, and know the procedure, not leave it for weeks months worrying what you should or shouldn't do.

    Then should you need to contact your company you can say, you told me if XYZ happened I must contact you. Far better than leaving it till your home feeling angry upset and disillusioned with it all and them saying well if you told us we could have done something.

    Be prepared to eat different food, take advantage of foreign crews and learn about their culture and how they think and live,find out about how they train, learn a few words of their language, hello, thank you, how are you etc.

    Avoid the we do it this way its better thing, use the its interesting how you do that, I was shown how to do it like this. You are after all the cadet that knows little in their eyes. Use the I have seen you do...... I haven't seen that before, can you show me.....

    If they are busy acknowledge that they are, and use the I can see you a really busy when would it be a good time for you to show me......Its something that I have to put in my TRB that I can do before x week. If unsuccessful after a few attempts, with who ever should be doing this refer back to what your company said you should if...

    No doubt the minute you find out what ship you are on, it will be straight to the net to find out about it and where it is, hopefully you will also remember the answers to the questions you asked just in case.

    Even though there have been posts on the forum with cadets having had terrible trips, there are many, many more that don't post all the good ones they have had.
    If its not going well remember what Laura posted its a MN cadetship it does not last forever.

    I wish you all good safe trips with crews that are helpful, so that you can all comeback and post some good stories!

    Now I have given myself all the excuses I can to avoid doing jobs I hate, I shall have to be off and do them!

  • #2
    Some excellent advice here, especially the 'other stuff' points about what to do if you have a problem. I wish my cadet had that advice before they went, would have saved a lot of hassle.

    Thank you Midge for putting it all down, and for all the cadets yet to go on ship please read and take action on the advice, its not just parents nagging you, it's all good stuff you will need.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great stuff, stickied (stuck?)
      Go out, do stuff

      Comment


      • #4
        Speaking from experience I would recommend you give someone official access to your bank account. I had access to my son's bank accounts via internet and noticed a purchase added to his account from a Staples outlet when my son was in the Indian Ocean. It was on his student credit card but the bank wouldn't talk to me because I was not registered to his account. I spoke with the manager at the Staples branch, he told me what was purchased and that every time a card is used they photograph the user. In this case a 40 to 50 year old mail, short, stumpy, bold and wearing glasses - not quit my teenage son. Even with this information the bank still would not talk to me and continued to charge interest.

        When my son was back home we both went to the bank but they still insisted it was his purchase although he presented proof of where he was from the captain. One thing retail outlets have to keep by law are all receipts for five years and the card machine receipt shows the last four figures of your card. Staples had a different four figures from my son's card. The bank did refund everything plus two pence profit but would not accept responsibility for the error.

        Whilst in the bank my son registered me to his account. We got his student account free overdraft doubled and immediately moved it to an ISA.

        Remember to check the expiry dates on your cards before you leave.

        Happy sailing.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am a current cadet and this is all really good advice. I took with me 2 credit cards along with my debit cards. We go to some not nice places and sometimes you don't want to be using your debit card. One of them I left on the ship at all times for emergencies (stolen wallet, emergency get home money, etc). I recommend all cadets should take one as some of my friends were relying on debit accounts with little or no money in. I shopped around and found the Halifax Clarity credit card the best as it offers zero charges on using your card abroad. Just note when applying you need to state 'employed'. Set up direct debit pay off full balance and use it as you would a debit card.
          Another thing I did before going is write in a book all my account details and passwords for my partner and parents for all bills that I usually pay.
          Talking about the TRBs, these absolutely must be taken in hand luggage. If they get lost its pretty much the cadetship over.

          Comment


          • #6
            For SIM cards, I suggest http://ivittamobile.com/ very reasonable roaming prices, available thru seaman's mission.

            Comment


            • #7
              TRB's are an interesting one, yes the college or company will tend to explain what needs to happen but with little regard to how well that is received on-board. Monthly comments is a good example there is a space for DSTO and chief engineer, yet on all the ships I joined the company letter told me that the chief was the DSTO so what do you leave the box blank? get him to duplicate it or find another engineer to write in perhaps the one you have been working closely with.

              For task signatures, the progressing box is there to record progress if you or the engineer are signing off, this then shows the next person you have at least started it, there isn't a level for it, so even if you are only 1% of the way towards proficient then it should be signed off.

              specimen signatures are another evil as it tends to require numbers and details that are on CoC's which tend to be with the captain so getting them becomes much harder.

              Finally when it comes to leaving a ship it is only the TRB paperwork that is important so if your company like CMT have given you an appraisal form as well it is secondary to the main purpose, make sure the chief etc has filled in all the boxes of the TRB before you give him more paperwork to sign if it is a busy port call he will have only so much time for dealing with you and writing the same thing on a TRB, testimonial and appraisal might not seem worthwhile to him.
              you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Midge View Post
                As there have been a few posts about not so good experiences at sea lately and in the past too. I'm sure you will all have questions and maybe rather nervous, excited, worried too.
                Which is why I was thinking it might be a good idea if the officers and training companies that lurk around could offer their advice? It would be really useful I think if the sponsors could post some general info from their point of view. They are very quiet!

                Now what to take with you, Hatchorder made a great list, and a search will most likely provide answers to other things he has not included that you think are important.
                Get organised sort out whats going to happen to your post, how to access your money, some banks need to be told where you are going in advance. If away from the UK as they may stop access to your account if it seems unusual behaviour. Sometimes you can do this online. With some trips you will not know where your ship is going. So think about arranging with your bank, or arrange for someone you trust to be an authorised signatory for a limited time, if you do not know if you have internet access even more important.

                Cruise ships - much more likely you know which countries its going to. Uk based not a problem.

                Do you need a special device to access your account, pin number special words, memorable info, anything like that, make sure you try it before you go. Or else you face the prospect of phoning a help line, at very expensive rates, not to mention the musak !

                Sim cards where will yours work what are the costs likely to be?

                Now I think all training companies visit their cadets and give them their TRB's and explain it. If its different please say. Make sure you know what you should be doing, what signatures you need etc. What they want you to do, what reports or any work that is expected and when. What work if any that college need done. Write it down so you can refer back to it later. They may give this all down in writing.

                Why not make a list of questions that you want answered before this meeting, tick them off.
                Yes, I am sure what you really want to know is, what ship is it, wheres it going, how do I meet it, when do I get told, how do I get my tickets etc.

                What you need to make sure you do is listen very carefully to the 'other stuff' they tell you the not so exciting bits. Make sure you know the answers before you go away to the following as they seem to be the ones that crop up, or any other things you feel are important.

                What should you do if you can't get anyone to sign things.
                Who should you report a problem to, what happens if that fails to resolve it.
                When would they like to know if there is a problem, and what sort of problems should you always report immediately to them. How should you do that? What evidence would they want?

                If you know the answers to those questions should a problem arise, you do not then feel that you are snitching, being difficult, or are put in a position where you do not know what to do, if there is no one else that speaks your language that you can ask in a difficult situation at the time. Which will only make you feel worse.

                You should feel confident about what is required.
                If its a dangerous practice you can act immediately, and know the procedure, not leave it for weeks months worrying what you should or shouldn't do.

                Then should you need to contact your company you can say, you told me if XYZ happened I must contact you. Far better than leaving it till your home feeling angry upset and disillusioned with it all and them saying well if you told us we could have done something.

                Be prepared to eat different food, take advantage of foreign crews and learn about their culture and how they think and live,find out about how they train, learn a few words of their language, hello, thank you, how are you etc.

                Avoid the we do it this way its better thing, use the its interesting how you do that, I was shown how to do it like this. You are after all the cadet that knows little in their eyes. Use the I have seen you do...... I haven't seen that before, can you show me.....

                If they are busy acknowledge that they are, and use the I can see you a really busy when would it be a good time for you to show me......Its something that I have to put in my TRB that I can do before x week. If unsuccessful after a few attempts, with who ever should be doing this refer back to what your company said you should if...

                No doubt the minute you find out what ship you are on, it will be straight to the net to find out about it and where it is, hopefully you will also remember the answers to the questions you asked just in case.

                Even though there have been posts on the forum with cadets having had terrible trips, there are many, many more that don't post all the good ones they have had.
                If its not going well remember what Laura posted its a MN cadetship it does not last forever.

                I wish you all good safe trips with crews that are helpful, so that you can all comeback and post some good stories!

                Now I have given myself all the excuses I can to avoid doing jobs I hate, I shall have to be off and do them!
                Hey Midge,
                you mentioned sim cards, do you know of a good international sim card for internet ?
                ~Con Affetto
                ~Abdul R. Rafiq


                ~It's your dream! If you want it to happen, Get your butt up and make it happen. If you want it to happen, Rise and Grind.
                ~


                Comment


                • #9
                  Abdul, others would be better placed to answer that, but it will depend no doubt on where you might be going to. I'm sure there was a thread running somewhere on it.
                  There are some ideas in this one too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Midge View Post
                    Abdul, others would be better placed to answer that, but it will depend no doubt on where you might be going to. I'm sure there was a thread running somewhere on it.
                    There are some ideas in this one too.

                    Should I start a new thread ?
                    ~Con Affetto
                    ~Abdul R. Rafiq


                    ~It's your dream! If you want it to happen, Get your butt up and make it happen. If you want it to happen, Rise and Grind.
                    ~


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Some good stuff here, and I'm sorry to hop on my soap box about this again but.....

                      You are responsible for your TRB, not the officers on board. What that means is that you need to know how it works and what you need to do to complete it. Do not expect the officers on-board to know how your training system works because, in all likelihood, they followed a different training system to you and if you cannot explain how your training system works to a point that they understand what you need to do, then how will you be able to follow it?

                      A few other bits of advice: -

                      1) You will f*ck up. You may get a bollocking of some sort from it, but learn from the mistake and move on from it. We've all had made stupid mistakes.....

                      2) If you break something, own up to it and be honest about it, don't try to hide it as that will only make things worse.

                      3) If in doubt, ASK!

                      4) You are your own safety officer. If you think something is un-safe, then speak up and ask for clarification.

                      5) Get a few notepads that can fit easily into a boilersuit pocket and take notes when being shown how to do something (particularly engineers). I still have my cadet notebooks and can refer back to them if I needed to.
                      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


                      • #12
                        http://www.dataroam.co.uk/pages/what-is-dataroam

                        This is a great SIM I use when cruising Europe. 3G every port I've been to except Gibraltar!.
                        As for world wide I'm not so sure.
                        I used LIME when cruising caribbean also.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One option is to buy a dual sim mobile, keep your UK sim card in it and buy a local sim card wherever you go. I'm in Thailand at the moment and I've bought a Truemove sim and spent 9 quid on a data top-up which gives me a month's worth of data. Every country is different. You might want to make sure that the phone that you buy is multi band.
                          io parlo morse

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            GM 'twas an old thread that jumped into life.

                            Comment

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