A brand new seaman

Last updated on August 26, 2020

Hey curious reader !

Just before we start, let me precise that what you are going to read right now is just my thoughts. My opinion. And it doesn’t represent the company I work for. Or any cruise line in general. Just my view as a brand new seaman 🙂

Here I am. On a cruise ship. What an impression I have to admit. You go to the port and you see this ship. This vessel. I mean… It’s huge! A building. A high building. 2000 passengers. 900 crew members.

I know I didn’t give any news for a while, but I think you know that I was quite busy, right?! 😉 With 900 employees and only 1 HR…Well I give you a clue. Yeah you are quite busy.

The first days are very very very very hard for any new crew member. And I am not exaggerating, I promise. Depending on where you come from and where is the ship when you join it, you can travel through many time zones before getting to the ship.

In my case… 9 hours. Not bad heh! Usually, you come to the city where the ship is located on the day before. You stay in a hotel and a port agent comes to pick you up the next morning. And then you start your adventure.

But not me. I left Paris to Los Angeles for 2 days of intensive training and then I joined the ship in Mexico. And started to work immediately of course.

Anyway… As I said, the first days are very hard. You join the ship and need to learn how to do your job…while you do it. But you also need to learn your team’s jobs. The life at sea. The ship itself. Everything at the same time.

So there is a lot of information, a lot of different things to learn…and just 24 hours in one day. So at the beginning, you just leave your cabin in the morning, work, and come back in the evening and sleep. Because you’re so exhausted…

But you can’t just do that. You need to push yourself to meet other people. Because you can’t live and work on a cruise ship by yourself. No. No way. Impossible. But I will tell you why your crew mates are very important.

Actually, this is just an “Introduction” post. I have so much things to tell you. Because you asked me. And I want to share these things with you. So I am going to create a post for each topic. Especially for the life at sea. For the HR ones, it will take me a loooot of time to explain the differences with the HR on land. And I don’t have this time at the moment. Look, I have started at the beginning of the month and I only write the introduction now!

So, I will talk to you about the Total Institution (check online before if you want to be prepared 😉 ). I will talk to you about the Hierarchy and the ranks. About the different departments and basically how they work. About the Officer duties. The privileges as well. Hours of work, of rest. And many more topics. All very specific to the cruise industry. However, it will be a challenge as a post on a blog traditionally needs to be short. This is not a web page, like I did with my other expatriation experiences.

Anyway, this is a challenge. An interesting one. People are already asking “do you think it will be your life now? You career? You will do it on the long-term?” I don’t know. I still need to adapt myself to this new life and new job. At the moment, you can’t really enjoy it. Because too much things to learn. You are still a little bit lost.

But the most important thing is…Do not give up. All my friends onboard told me the same things. The first weeks you will want to quite. To cry. To give up. You will think you can’t make it. It’s too hard. You are not performant enough.

Do. Not. Give. Up.

And friends play a vital role on this. To encourage you. To support you. To give advice!!! Friendship is so important on a cruise ship. But I won’t start this topic now. It deserves a proper post.

Alright mate! I leave you today with this thought: always fight.

Don’t hesitate to have a look on Instagram (Away with your fairies) as I am a little more active (it is quicker to post a picture than an actual blog post).

I promise I will answer to all your questions. Feel free to post them in comments under this page and I will come back to you very quickly.

Right now I am travelling around the world. Flying this time. To join my next ship. A bigger one…!

May the force be with you.

Kevin

From Lahaina, Hawaii, USA

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