What is The Truth about Cruise Ship Life?

05/01/2015 17:45


cruise ship dock at the port of barceloneta on starboardside

What is The Truth about Cruise Ship Life? "Cruise Experience"
Everybody has best cruise ship life
Privileges, Good Money, Romance, Adventures and Rules
1) First Best Cruise Ship Life - Officers with 3 to 4 stripes
In reality working onboard the cruise ships is not only jobs, it is also an adventures. You can visit and explore the seven continents in the world for free of charge.
Well, let’s go to identify who are the best life onboard the ships. In my experience and observations, the cruise ships life is defending on your position or rank, if you are officer’s with 3 to 4 stripes then you have good life onboard the ships, because you can use all special privileges, like you are allowed to socialize in passenger's areas, bars, lounges, broadway show, restaurants and you have a monthly officers budget more or less $150 to $500 to spend when you are socializing with the passengers. “Good life Ahh”.
The other privileges single officers cabin with cabin steward to maintain your cabin cleanliness daily, free uniform pick-up from your cabin to laundry and from laundry to your cabin daily, allowed to request spirits from provision stores for personal consumption, own working time schedule and more. So, are you convinced that all cruise ships officer's with 3 to 4 stripes onboard the ships are best life? plus good monthly salary. “WOW” is a complete recipe, but wait.
The officer's with 3 to 4 stripes onboard the ships are not easy to reach the rank or position, because, you have to start to step no.1, I' means, if you are food and beverage or hotel managers in the five start hotels in the land you are lucky if you get your position as hotel manager. What I observed onboard the ships is if you are Food and Beverage Manager in the five hotels, then don’t expect to get your position onboard the ship as Food and Beverage Manager, may be you can start as a headwaiter or assistant restaurant manager, it's defend on your experience or expertise and how long years.
Most of Food and Beverage Manager onboard the ships started working from the beginning like Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Restaurant Manager or Head Waiter and promoted until they reached Food and Beverage Manager position or they are from five star hotel but from higher position like hotel manager or executive chef with enough years of expertise, but this is only 40% are lucky to get their original position.
If you are lucky and you are accepted as Food and Beverage Manager even you don’t have experience onboard the ships and that is your first time onboard, then maybe you can experience the word's of a soldier of the wrong war, because you are responsible to take care more or less 2,500 passenger's or more. If you don’t have enough expertise, full knowledge it’s very hard to control and manage the operations. And then if the hotel manager discovered that you are not capable on the job just waits for the next port of call for your emergency signing off.
So, totally the officer's with 3 to 4 stripes is a dream of every mariner or seaman. If you wish to become one of them make sure you have enough expertise to run the show, but if you don’t have experience onboard the ship is not possible or may be if you are willing starts lower positions then, it’s possible to reach your original jobs position, because, the cruise ships and the five hotels are more different when it’s come to operations.
The cruise ship is very busy all the time, but five star hotels is like a vacation job very relax, sorry to say that but that’s true. That’s why for those F&B Manager or Hotel Manager who are dreaming to work in cruise ships, you must ready to daily pressure or on time to time pressures. When you are making a weekly report you have to explain the whole history of the operations >previous>present>future plans”Woooo” its very tough. That is why, if you don’t have not enough expertise, then just cry before you sleep. But if you are lucky and you get your position onboard the ship and maintain every contract for at least 3 contract then, you can easily hire by the cruise ship company. Well, remember officer's with 3 to 4 stripes onboard the cruise are the best life onboard the ships. Such as, Captain, Staff Captain, Chief officer, Chief Engineer, Staff Chief Engineer, Hotel Manager, F&B Manager, Executive Chef, Chief Purser, Cruise Director, Chief Steward/ss, Doctor and more.
2) Second Best Cruise Ship Life – Entertainment Staff, Casino Staff, Shops Staffs
The entertainment staff is the best job onboard the ships after the officer's, because, they have also a privileges to socialize in passenger's areas, bars, lounges, broadway show and restaurants and also in officers mess. The entertainers are always off duty while the ship in port, except if there is a rehearsal or side duties that needs for tonight show.
In my previous ship the casino and shops staff is allowed to socialize in passenger’s areas, bars, lounges, broadway show and restaurants and also in officer’s mess. Casino and Shops must be closed 2 hours before arrival in port of call and they can resume the operation 2 hours after departure. All duty free is not allowed to sell and casino is not allowed to play any games while at port. So, all staffs are off duty and they can see the world. Happy! Aaah!
3) Hard Jobs but Good Money
In luxury cruise ships, only 9 best jobs with good money such as Restaurant Manager, Bar Manager, Head Waiter, Wine Steward, Bartender, Bar Server, Cabin Steward, Dining Waiter and Busboy. 
All above position can earn more money from tips and commission, but it's defend on the cruise ships policy, some cruise ships are they have a fixed salary and some of them are tippings and gratuity...so, check it out first before you sign the contract, don't be shy.
In restaurants tipping systems the waiters and busboys have compulsory tips from every passenger, such as $3.50 per passenger per day for waiter and $2.00 for busboy per day the system was the original tippings system in luxury cruise ships, but I am not sure if the system still exists. For every waiter the normal passenger’s assignment is from 18 to 22 passengers per seating, the dining room has two seating. For dinner: first settings is 6:00 pm – 8:00pm and second seating is 8:00pm – 10:30pm. The passenger’s assignment for waiters and busboy is not always the same number of passengers; this is defending on your performance when providing service to passenger's. Means, highest quests rating are highest numbers of guests assignment.
The ratings of passenger's must be excellent service, because, if the passenger’s ratings are not excellent then, the waiter and busboy will not get much numbers of passenger’s assignment for the next cruise or maybe they will assign to staff mess (staff dining room). Rating is very important for every waiter and busboy this is the keys to earn more money in the restaurants. So, Make sure provides excellent service in dining room, because at the end of the cruise, the passengers will give the ratings, if you are good or not servers. For waiters, you can earn more or less from $3,500 to $4,000 per month or more, (I am talking about good ships management). But it’s very tough, breakfast, lunch, and dinner and sometimes you have a duty for tea time and midnight buffet, Aaah... But it’s good and very good money, you can save money for your future.
The normal working hours onboard the ship is 10.5 per day but, this 10.5 hours is only the time of operations not included the job preparation and cleaning, so, is very tough, may be every day 10.5 the approximate hours, but in the actual jobs from opening to closing is from 10.5  to 14 hours more or less every day, but if you have tea time or midnight buffet that is your big problem. Because tea time and midnight buffet is a side duties, your duties in the dining room is still normal 10.5  to 14 hours a day plus tea time or midnight buffet then more or less 14 hours or more a day, this is only approximates working hours, but its happens normally, that’s true. This is always problem of the dining room waiter, but they have a solution, what is the solution is? If the waiter has midnight buffet schedule or tea time, mostly they pay another person to do the jobs (Extra jobs for other person) so they can rest a bit. In dining room there is a lot of opportunity to earn money. (Preparations of mise en place and table settings) so, many smart dining waiters, they just provides excellent service to the passenger's and once the dining is closed they are free to rest, they just pay the other person to complete the table settings.
If you have a plan to work on the cruise ships and you want to work as a waiter, ready yourself. I can say that this is a good opportunity and you can learn more and earn good money, try it. And for Head Waiter and busboy almost the same procedures on how to earn money and for Restaurant Manager is almost the same but the best is free paid or with gratuity. Means, free paid are, if you have 2500 passengers, the restaurant manager have commission for every passengers a small percentage, I am not sure if the system is still exist in the cruise ships today, but the original tippings system is, the restaurant manager can earn more or less $5,000 to $9,000 or more commission and tips.
The best contract onboard the luxury cruise ships is with guaranteed contract. Means, with salary of $50 to $100 per month, means this is a tippings system. Some cruise ships company they will give you a guaranteed salary of $ 1,800 per month. you can recieved this guaranteed if the ships is no passengers, dry dock or if you don't reach this amount in your monthly earning in the tippings system, but if you exceeded the amount of $ 1,800 in your tippings the $ 1,800 guaranteed was over.. and you can recieved only  your salary of $ 50 to $100 per month...
In bars tippings system, the bar manager is 1% commission of total sales in 7 days cruises. Approximately $1,000 to $1,500 or more commission per 7 days cruise. So, if you have a good sales in one month you can earn $5000, to $7,000 per month or more, it’s defend on your bar sales. And Bartenders and bar server are 15% commission and can earn approximately from $2,000  to $4,000 per month or more.
For Wine Steward is 15% commission on wine sales, plus tips envelope for every passengers, you can earn approximately $3,000 to $4,000 per month or more. Not sure if the system still exists today.
Cabin Steward is almost the same with the waiter they have the same tips envelopes, $3.50 or 3.75 per passenger per day, the average room of cabin stewards are from 18 to 22 cabins per cabin steward. Mostly one cabin has 2 passengers or more. They can earn more or less $3,000 to $4,000 per month more.(hoping still exist today) (again the18 to 22 cabins are impossible to finished within 2 to 3 hrs. during dis-embarkations and embarkation day, or check in and check out of the passenger's by the one cabin steward only. Every dis-embarkation and embarkation day most of cabin steward are paying another person to helps in cleaning of 18 to 22 cabins. What I remembered is $3 per cabin/vacuum (cabin carpet) and toilet. But the beds setting is for cabin stewards. (Good Cruise Ship Management, Good Money for crew and more opportunity earn and more Extra income by utilities.
If you have a dream to work onboard the luxury cruise ships set up your plan, I mean, saves money don’t spend much, you must have a goal for every contract, because onboard the luxury cruise ship you can save 95% of your salary, the 5% is for telephone call for your families, friends and coffee for the shore sides. working onboard the luxury cruise ships is an amazing and you can fulfill your dream, because, once you save you money for every contract then in 5 years’ time you have own business or you can start your business. Don’t go to casinos, you never win, I've been play too much money in casino at the end I got nothing. Remember, onboard the ships all is free: bed, food, laundy and crew party, the crew party events, some cruise ships company setup is every 15 days or twice a month, some company every month. All items onboard the ship such: beers, coke, sprite, sodas and cigarettes are duty free, you can pay less. Crew members are not allowed to buy spirits, like whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, liqueurs, only the officers with 3 to 4 stripes are allowed to request from provision store.
For those peoples who want to work onboard the luxury ships but they don’t want to work hard, not aware on how to work hard and expecting holiday or vacation onboard ships, it’s better to forget it. Because, onboard the ship you have already official 10.5 hrs. working hours per day, you have to finish your duty before you leave your duty assignment. The 10.5 hrs. Will cuts on different time its depends on what department you are, here some cruise ship department such us:
Restaurants - breakfast, lunch and dinner (extra duties is tea time and midnight buffet)
Bar - they will cut in broken time, morning, afternoon and night,
Galleys - morning, afternoon and evening
Cruise staff or entertainers - morning, afternoon and evening
Cabin steward – morning, afternoon and evening
Shops and casinos – morning, afternoon and evening - all shops closed at port of call
Provision store, laundry and some technical department - morning, afternoon and evening
Always imagine that when you sign-on onboard the luxury cruise ships you have already 10.5 hrs. working hours. So, before you attempt or decide to work onboard the ship you have must think 10 times, if you can make it or you can do it.  Some crew members that I know 10.5 hrs. Working hrs. Per day are nothing and they are enjoying working onboard the luxury cruise ships up to 20 years in one company. Imagine, 20 years working onboard the luxury cruise ships, means, working onboard the luxury cruise ships is a good jobs, enjoy, excitements and adventures. Some ex-crew members they just worked for one contract, then when they make a book it’s like they worked onboard for 20 years, that is very exaggerated, oooh, please don’t poisons the image of the luxury cruise ships, just tell them the truth not making history of unbelievable, I agree, some of the crew there is bad experience onboard like you encountered unprofessional officers, but that is isolated case only.  For those peoples who are not ready to work onboard the ship then, forget it.  Give some chances to others who want to work onboard the luxury cruise ships. don’t poison them.
4)Romance onboard the ship
In my personal opinion its defend on the person ladies and gentlemen on how to handle the homesickness onboard the ship, and I am addressing the married man and woman, for single person and still available is no problem but for married man and woman is big problem. Its happens onboard the ship that the married woman got a boyfriend same as married man, and married woman got a boyfriends a single man or vice versa. Its look like a normal onboard the ships. If you are officers with 3 to 4 strife’s onboard the ships, it’s very easy have a companion just choose who is your apple of your eyes, but, it’s defending on the person if he or she is agreeing to be your partner until ends of the contract. But mostly, if the officers with 3 to 4 stripes wish to have a partner specially from crew members there is a possibilities to achieved his/her goal.
The situation onboard the luxury cruise ships is different in the land, the temptation is very high, but again it’s defending on the person. In 100% of crews may be 50% can survive for the temptation for the first contract or may be for second contract, but for the third contract the 50% survival maybe it’s become 20% or less. Some Officers are using their position to achieved their goal or they can get what they want, from the captain of the ships to the department heads are easy to get want they want, because, the crew members are always focus on the job security and stability.
If the crew members have a relationship to any of the higher position onboard the ship or 3 to 4 stripes then they are secured to stay onboard and the renewal of contracts. Sometimes, there is politics inside the cruise ship, only the department have authorization or signal if the crew can return on board or not after the contract. So, if you are one of the officers, just ask a small favor for your colleague officers then that’s it, your crew member partner can comeback after vacation. That is why the crew members are always waiting for the opportunity to have officers with 3 to 4 stripes for job security.
If the hotel officers wish to have a girl friend on his own department, then is very easy to get what he want because, the crew members are always afraid to lose their job or contract on the cruise ships, specially, if the cruise ships systems are good to earn money likes tippings,gratuity and commission or good monthly salary.  every crew member, searching for luxury cruise ships with tippings, gratuity and commission system. So, crew members will accept whatever the challenges even against their will. Because, if they ignore the boss of the department, then, you are in hot seat, or you can receive new assignments must heavy duties.
Now, the romance on the ships is a normal same as in the land based, the only different are, in the land based, if you are working in the hotels or in office after your duties you have more option and many outlets to enjoy your time and no restriction. In the cruise ship you have a limited time, limited areas, limited outlets, that is why some crew members are looking for a partner or friend to have really outlets, to enjoy time onboard and homesickness never feel for a while, but some crew members are very straight forward they just work, cabin and shore. The beginning of romance on board the ship is, it’s up to the crew members, if you don’t want to have a partner it’s up to you, but when you see, some of your friends have partner then that is the beginning of the temptation, if you are strong or very strong control in yourself, then, nothing happen. Everything is normal.   
5)Crew members exploration and adventure
In reality not all crew members have a time to explore or visit the beautiful place of every country, unless if the ship is overnight or 3 days at port.
For waiters – While cruise ships at port and the passengers on tour, its defend if the passengers tour site or areas is very far and they cannot make it to come back onboard at lunch time, so, the dining room are lunch-off, all crew members who are working in dining room are lunch-off. But if the passengers tour can make it to come back onboard during lunch time, everything is normal duties. Even the cruise ship is in port not all the time you can see the city, or maybe you have a little time for 1 to 2hrs to take a coffee in a shore sides. But you cannot go far more than 5kms.
Now, during overnight or 3 days in port, that is the good time for every crew members, because, after your duties at midnight or after your duties, you can go anywhere you want and comeback in the morning for breakfast duty. All duties in the cruise ship while at port is normal except for entertainers, casino staff, shops staff the rest of the crew members is normal duties.
Some crew members they are always saying they see the world, but in reality they just visit more or less 5kms away from the cruise ships, unless is overnight, but if the cruise package is normal like one day at port and in the evening will continued cruise journey to another country, then, it’s impossible to explore the places or the country
Every crew member is allowed to go on shore after duties and most of the cruise ships are arrive at port in the morning approximate from 6:00am more or less onward and departure in the evening approximately 6:00pm more or less onward, its defends on the itinerary of the ships. So, all crew members have a chance to see the world for a couple of times for every port of call
I can say that life onboard is a journeys of a good life, means, only the luckiest peoples can experience and explore the amazing views of 7 continents in the world. Only few peoples in the world can afford the incredible exploration. 
6)Rules Onboard the Ships
Sometimes the rules onboard the ships is not always implemented, like drinking alcoholic beverage, the rules of alcoholic beverage is - crew memebers are allowed to drink with the legal limit of blood alcoholic content of 0.04, which is 2 standard drinks or two beers. But most of the officers they just ignore that, especially when they are socializing with the passengers in the bar outlets. Always officers with stripes from 3 to 4  are the most rules breakers
The cruise ship rules must be applied to all officers, crew members, staffs and concessionaire, but sometimes the rules are only for crew members not for the officers, Sometimes Captain and staff captain on the cruise ships are not very restricted to hotel officers, especially if they have girl friends from their department.  The ship bridge is restricted areas, only the officers on duty are allowed except if there is a passenger’s tour, yes that is in the morning, I agree, but in the night I don’t think so, you can see beautiful girls inside the bridge. Hello, Captain, staff captain, chief officers and the last is safety officers.
Working in restaurants, bar and cabin is very tough you must have very strong body and dream to fulfill you goal. So, before you apply for this position make sure you are ready. Think twice or 10 times before you decide to work onboard the ship. What is my advice is, if you are still young then go head explore the world, Working onboard the luxury cruise ships is a chance of a lifetime, you never find a job that while you are working, you can see the world for free. Working onboard the cruise ships is an incredible experience everyday different port, different country and different experience. “Good Life and Good Experience”
If you want to work onboard the luxury cruise ships you must build you skills, expertise and knowledge. Applying for cruise ships is not easy to achieve, but don’t stop until you did not achieve your goals. If you don’t have shipboard experience and you wish to work onboard the ships that is possible also, just start from the bottom position. If you are Restaurant Manager in the land and they offer you the waiter positions then crab it, if you are bartenders and then they offer you the bar utility position then grabs it, don’t miss the chance.  If you really want to join the cruise ships then accepts any position offered. Because once you enter onboard the ship that is your chance to observe and studies the operation and in your one contract you know already what is cruise ship operations is, then, you can apply for your original job position later.
I made these article to balance the interest and dis-interest of the peoples who want to work or to experience the cruise life onboard the ships. Many peoples in world are interested to know what is the truth or what is the real life onboard the cruise ships, but some ex-crew are poisoning the image of the cruise industries for their own interest. 
It’s very clear that the rules onboard the ship is very restricted and all crew members are professional and disciplined, because, if you don’t follows the ships board rules, then they will signing you off for the next port of call.  But, once you experience the life onboard ships in one contract you can say, you are proud to be crew members of the cruise ships. Working onboard the ship is an unforgettable experience of lifetime, and you always remember the good life and enjoyment of the journeys. All crew members on board the ships are really selected they are really professionals. because, all bad crew members are no place onboard the ships, they will signing off immediately, that is why, I am very sure that, if you are passengers in the luxury cruise ships you can trust the crew members around you 100%. 
Some cruise ship ex-crew members are hate working onboard the cruise ships, because, some of them are encountered ship management and officers that not qualified or not capable to perform the job professionally and without harmony of management professionals.
I hope you find this article helpful



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