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Why Size is Important When Choosing a Cruise Ship to Work On

Jun 5, 2008
When I mention that I worked on a cruise ship people usually reply with a desire to do the same one day. Knowing full well that when people say that they really are just entertaining their wish to live an adventurous life with no idea of what is in store for them.

Having worked up to 5 years on two different kind of cruise ships , one of being an enormous size carrying 2500 passengers and the other being a smaller luxury ship with a capacity of 114 passengers , my recommendation is to go for the smaller ships.

The advantages of working on a smaller ship are numerous beginning with the accommodations. When I worked on the bigger ship there were about 1000 crew aboard which meant the rooms were smaller and more crew lived per room up to six and eight. Also the shower facilities were down the corridor and shared rather than having a separate one within the room itself. As well cabin inspections were less regulated and cleanliness less enforced than on the smaller ship just due to the enormity of the task at hand. So working on a smaller ship with a capacity of no more than 300 and relatively new is what I would suggest going for when choosing a ship to work on.

The food , ah yes , the food which can appear so abundant and delicious on television when looking from a passenger point of view can be one thing but what the staff eats can be something totally different. The big ship I worked on was such an example. There were a couple of galley cafeterias in which I could eat in and the crew cooks were all from Asia. Not too appear against food from that part of the world and I like rice but there was not a lot of variety to suit North American taste. On the other hand there is more catering to our taste here and in Europe on a smaller ship as they hire more European and North American crew to serve their guests therefore the staff food lends itself to more variety.

The difference between a smaller ship and a large ship is definitely the workload. This can mean a workload that is excessive by North American standards or a workload that is tolerable and balanced by the amount of other things a crew member can do during his or her contract. Let's be honest on any cruise ship there are no days off. You work a pre-determined contract from 4-6 months up to 9 in some cases. What you do not want is to say you worked on a cruise ship and that was it. No chance of seeing the places the ship stopped at , no time for anything else but work.

So look for a cruise ship that is smaller , where there are great ports of call such as the Greek Islands , Mediterranean ports of call , Scandinavia , in other words ports of call are the ship's main selling point. Not only will you get time off due to the fact all the passengers went on shore excursions during the day but you will be able to do the same and see the world. On the small ship I was on the passengers actually all went to Luxor overnight allowing the crew the whole ship to themselves to do what they want. Crew also took turns going to Luxor as well. Stay away from the big Caribbean cruise ships because the ship is the selling feature with all the entertainment on board. You will always be working to serve the masses.

As well if you want to make a good income which should be an important consideration look toward the smaller luxury cruise ship as they tend to cater to the most expensive taste. You will be serving people somewhat older , educated and more affluent with more dollars to spend. Unless all one does is want to party then in that case just head to the big ships of the Caribbean.

A smaller ship is great too for getting to know everyone else who works on it so it creates a close environment where friends are made. I had the opportunity to visit co - workers all over Europe while on leave from the ship. A big ship is like a big city so you may see someone once every few days if you are lucky and before you know it they are gone before you got a chance to know them.

In summation , on any ship you will have fire drills , busy embarkation days , and sometimes annoying demanding guests but know what you want beforehand before hastily choosing a ship to work on because the difference could be between finishing your contract and enjoying your time ,or just wishing you had not thought of ever working on a cruise ship.
About the Author
His motivational speaking engagements are both funny and informative. Find out more about Steve Nicolle at his website which is at http:// www.stevetalks.ca
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