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Gone Sailing

I don't know where the inspiration for this plan came from, but a couple weeks ago I was thinking about what I don't like about my current job, and what I might like to do instead. I thought: I don't like cold weather and snow (which will be coming to Montana soon), and I really want to work with people. In almost any job, you work with people; but I guess I mean that I want to work in a job with a lot of exposure to both co-workers and the public/customers.



My current job is very much a behind-the-scenes type job. I marshall in jets, fuel them, and basically see to the maintenance of the FBO (Fixed Base of Operation--another name for a private air terminal). I do get occasional contact with pilots and their passengers, and occasionally I even get to work WITH one of my co-workers; but, for the most part, I work alone on various tasks and rarely talk to pilots/passengers.



The weather has been beautiful this week: warm, sunny...virtually perfect. But last week was cold, rainy, and it snowed in the mountains. I feel a sense of dread about the coming winter. Some people love winter, I realize this, but I'm not one of them. Strangely enough, I grew up in Montana, amid the snow, ice, and cold, but I've never liked winter. In fact, the older I get, the less I like it.



So, anyway, I'd do almost anything to get the hell out of Montana for the winter.



Another benefit of working on a cruise ship is I'd get to travel; that, and the cruise line would pay for my plane ticket to and from the port.



On the down side, the anxiety inducing side, the schedule is pretty arduous onboard the ships. You work 7 days a week, and 10-14 hour shifts. You're on salary, so when you figure out your hourly wage it works out to pretty close to minimum wage. However, work never killed anyone, and they DO provide three meals a day, a room, uniforms, and you get to see plenty of places you'd have had to pay a lot to get to yourself. Oh, and you also don't really have many places to spend your earnings, so you can save a lot.



All in all, I've decided I'm going to do it. I've already begged for Letters of Recommendation from select individuals, and the two that I've gotten so far are very persuasive. I'd be extremely surprised if I didn't get a job offer based upon the employment packet I'm putting together. In the next couple days I'll have gotten four letters of recommendation, my picture taken professionally, polished my resume, and crafted a cover letter. Then, after updating my passport to reflect my married name, I'll send out the packets to select cruise lines.



Then there's nothing to do but wait, and hope, and work at my current job. I plan to continue working there until I get a job offer from a cruise line/ship.



What do I want to do? Either work as a bar tender or barkeep, or as a waiter/server, or in the casino, or in a gift shop.



If anyone who reads this has worked on a cruise ship and has any advice for me (like which cruise ships/lines are good and which are not, what not to bring, what to bring, how to best apply, recommendations, good positions--as far as earning good money/tips and getting to go ashore, and anything else you think I should know), let me know--please!
liferiot liferiot 26-30, M 2 Responses Sep 28, 2006

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I worked on ship for 12 years, if you want to read some stories and see some photos from my time at sea, check out: http://www.cruiseshipstories.com



Hope you enjoy my experiences,



Sean

Hi, I will be applying to work on a cruise ship at the end of this month. I've been researching this for almost two years and I'm finally at a point where I can do it. I live in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area (a huge port) and have met a few people from it. Some of the things they've told me is 1. Royal Caribbean is supposedly one of the best (of the larger cruise lines) 2. Know exactly what you want to do. Supposedly a lot of people won't bother with you if you don't tell them exactly what it is that you want to do. 3. The best thing to apply for is something that you have experience in. Even if you're not in love with it (I've been in retail for eight years and I want out!) do what you have to do to get a job on the ship. You can test things out and shift around later 4. If you want to see the ports and travel, you'll have to get positions that don't need you around when everyone's in port (ex. the gift shop will be closed, but maids will have to say on board and clean the rooms while the guests are not in their rooms)



I hope this helps a little. A lot of it is word of mouth but in my opinion it makes sense. Good luck to you and let me know if there's anything else I can help with :)