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  • What is it like on board...

    Good afternoon Ladies and Gentleman!

    I will do my best to keep this short. Recently, I finished my final sea phase as a deck cadet working with container vessels. Unfortunately, my sponsoring company are no longer employing British officers.

    So now, I wish to change job sectors to an ship type which is secure, provides good quality training and preferably employs only European officers.

    Most sources (most recently Nautilus) indicate that the sudden growth and demand for British officers is in the Offshore, Cruise and LNG sectors.

    What I would like YOU to do is describe what an average day is like with your specified sector and why you would choose one over the other. Preferably, I would like to hear from officers currently working with the mentioned ship types. Subjects I am particularly interested in are duties, work hours, job security, chances for promotion, compliance with regulations and company policy, diet and job satisfaction.

    Sorry for the inaccuracy.

  • #2
    Hmm... Nautilus have been saying that for about a decade... still waiting for it come true!

    Honestly, I have only recently sailed with all Brits, so not much to offer, but I would suggest caution in taking Nautilus' word as gospel. For a first trip qualified, I would say, within reason, take what you can get, get some stamps in your book, and the world will open up much more than it currently is opened up by your nationality.

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    • #3
      If I told you, you wouldn't believe me....

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like a journalist sniffing round to me
        'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

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        • #5
          Yes, some information in Nautilus may not be correct.

          I ask because once you start as an officer more door will open up with experience, however some will close as you get better in a specific sector. The recent discussion of double watch keeping for example. In my eyes, that is limiting the full experience of becoming a competent OOW -limiting other ship types - and limiting chances of promotion.

          YoungMariner - Surprise me.

          Blondie - As much as I would love to say I am journalist, I am not. Then again, that would be what a journalist would say...


          The Maritime media is completely ambivalent as to whether or not certain sectors are improving or struggling - its all a big mess.

          Which sector is the best? Which is the most secure?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Blondie View Post
            Sounds like a journalist sniffing round to me
            Aye.....

            So what paper you working for or do you work for Nautilus?
            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
              Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
              Aye.....

              So what paper you working for or do you work for Nautilus?
              If I alter my vocabulary a little can I avoid the journalist gibberish?

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              • #8
                Register and it might be more believable?
                They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

                https://twitter.com/ASFrance

                Instagram: ASFrance

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                • #9
                  Come on chaps - Everyone knows journalists just make sh*t up, they would never bother actually asking a question - much less wait to hear the answer.

                  What I would say to the OP is that there is a huge amount of info on here already about the different sectors, it is hard to get an truly objective view because everyone is talking from within their own sphere of experience.

                  One thing is for sure, as has been said, Nautilus have been raving on about the 'shortage of British officers' since the beginning of time, regardless of the extremely difficult job market, especially for Junior Officers - I think what they mean to say is 'shortage of people to pay their monthly membership in order keep Nautilus staff in the manner to which they have become accustomed'

                  If you want a long and relativity pleasent career with good job security and reasonable chances of promotion, coupled with half decent onboard conditions it is hard to say much against the cruise industry - on the downside, you will need thick skin, the ability to keep your mouth shut in the face of incredible volumes of BS and poor management - My comments here refer to the big cruise companies, the smaller ones are generally much better, but you trade off some of the job security side....
                  Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HolyNougat View Post
                    Come on chaps - Everyone knows journalists just make sh*t up, they would never bother actually asking a question - much less wait to hear the answer.

                    What I would say to the OP is that there is a huge amount of info on here already about the different sectors, it is hard to get an truly objective view because everyone is talking from within their own sphere of experience.

                    One thing is for sure, as has been said, Nautilus have been raving on about the 'shortage of British officers' since the beginning of time, regardless of the extremely difficult job market, especially for Junior Officers - I think what they mean to say is 'shortage of people to pay their monthly membership in order keep Nautilus staff in the manner to which they have become accustomed'

                    If you want a long and relativity pleasent career with good job security and reasonable chances of promotion, coupled with half decent onboard conditions it is hard to say much against the cruise industry - on the downside, you will need thick skin, the ability to keep your mouth shut in the face of incredible volumes of BS and poor management - My comments here refer to the big cruise companies, the smaller ones are generally much better, but you trade off some of the job security side....
                    Good! I am glad someone managed to identify that I was not a journalist!

                    Yes, as mentioned, there are are just too many variables to consider in producing an exact description.

                    As for your answer - spot on! This is all I wanted.

                    I can develop a rough idea of what is is like on a passenger vessel - VERY APPROXIMATE.

                    - The two watches (8 hours), additional safety duties (2 hours approx), arrival/ departure (2 hours) - So around 12 hours each day
                    - I was advised that onboard some passenger vessel, the 3rd officer does not do safety - in fact one would only do Navigation related duties.
                    - As for promotion, of course it is down to the individual, but could double watchkeeping restrict this?
                    - Poor management! really?! I thought this sector was up there regarding management?
                    - Diet - large crew, surely you could have lots to choose from at a canteen of some sort?

                    And you seem please with life onboard.

                    Thank you for your answer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As with most other ships, the 3rd Officer on a cruise ship is the LSA officer, although on larger ships you may well have a dedicated Safety Officer who deals with most of the LSA and FFA, you would still be expected to do some duties relating to Safety items. As 3rd Officer you will also be given a lot of admin - muster lists etc all have to be redone every time passengers and crew join/leave and there's plenty of crew training sessions that need to be done, as well as a lot of other random bits and bobs that get handed to the most junior officer.

                      Double watchkeeping will affect how much sea time you have to get before you are eligable to go for your next ticket.

                      Poor management can happen on any ship, some cruise ships are excellent, some are terrible! Being a good shiphandler does not make a captain good at handling people....

                      Foodwise, you tend to have an officers mess serving european food ( a choice of 2-4 dishes) and a crew mess serving filipino/indonisan food. (or whatever nationality the majority of the crew are).

                      Now what I'd really appreciate is if you were to register (you don't have to use your real name!!) so that I don't have to keep approving your posts

                      Size4riggerboots

                      Moderator
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by size4riggerboots View Post

                        Double watchkeeping will affect how much sea time you have to get before you are eligable to go for your next ticket.

                        How does this work, is it a case of your seatime gets halved or..?
                        It was like that when I got here.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hiho123 View Post
                          How does this work, is it a case of your seatime gets halved or..?
                          That seems to be a matter of debate! http://www.officercadet.com/showthre.../5229-Sea-time

                          Size4riggerboots

                          Moderator
                          Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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                          • #14
                            Double watchkeeping on a cruise ship does have some benefits, firstly you have the opportunity as the junior watch keeper to understudy someone experienced who if they are good will mentor and guide your towards becoming a better officer. Secondly, on the cruise ships you are more likely to get a lot of hands on 'conning' in pilotage waters and arrivals then perhaps even the Captain will achieve on a container ship, so will be mentored and developed to handle this process.
                            The idea of being mentored as an officer post OOW is something that very few people outside of cruise ships will have the opportunity to do. I did my cadetship on cargo vessels, but become a much more confident navigator on cruise ships and also as 3rd Officer was docking/undocking a 82,000gt ship under the Masters guidance. So not something to be completely written off so easily.

                            Well my average day involves being served breakfast/drinks by my steward, working 5 days a week 8-12 or 8-14 and heading home to be with my wife and kids afterwards except when required to sail. The evenings may be spent at high profile cocktail parties or balls at various Embassies or state owned properties... Seagoing involves mentoring officers. See, I knew you wouldn't believe it...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by YoungMariner View Post

                              Well my average day involves being served breakfast/drinks by my steward, working 5 days a week 8-12 or 8-14 and heading home to be with my wife and kids afterwards except when required to sail. The evenings may be spent at high profile cocktail parties or balls at various Embassies or state owned properties... Seagoing involves mentoring officers. See, I knew you wouldn't believe it...
                              It sounds much the same as a Maersk ship, except without the Steward serving breakfast, the wife and kids, the parties or balls and the embassy visits I want your job!!!

                              I would say an average day for 3rd mate, and what I would do when on board would be to wake up at 7:40, do the 8-12 watch, eat lunch until 1300 and then go out on deck between 1300-1500, generally sit with people at 1500 for smoko and if i've finished what i'm doing i'll try get a shower and a sleep from 1530-1730, get up, have dinner, watch some DVD's check facebook and e-mails socialise, play poker etc and then back on the bridge for 1945 to take the watch at 2000-0000 and then sleep, and no work apart form watches on a Sunday if it can be done. Hope that helps.

                              All this being said, I haven't actually sailed as 3/O so...

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