View Full Version : Help-Newbiee

13th March 2012, 11:06 PM
Hey , I was wondering if any of your guys could part with some wisdom for me. I will be under a week be going on my first sea trip as ETO Cadet on MS Maardam. Really excited cant wait. I was wondering what you thinking is best kinda luggage to take with me i.e. i was thinking 100litre holdall and what kinda gear i should take and what i should avoid. The ship is going around the caribbean then up to New England. What it like for emailing on board ship and how about getting money from my pay slip?? other than that any other tips you might have.:) Thank You


Doc Vernon
14th March 2012, 01:58 AM
Hi Deegan
Welcome to the site,and after your trip hope ypou will rejoin us here to tell of your experience!
Sorry that i cannot actually assist in your queries,as things have changed a lot over the Yeras,but possibly some of the newer recruits here may have more positive answers for your first trip!
Hope you enjoy it and i can understand your excitement!
Have Fun!

Ivan Cloherty
14th March 2012, 04:13 PM

Why not simply have a word with the company's sea going personnel manager (or send him an email), I'm sure they will appreciate the initiative, if you tell them that you appreciate cabin space may be restricted and you only want to take stuff that will be useful to your job. As for email and the money situation I'm sure they'll explain all that also. I'm surprised that if you are joining as a cadet that they have not already explained that in your terms of employment.

Whatever means of communication you use, couch it in terms of respect, "you guys" or "your guys" should be avoided. Left it a bit late haven't you, how much notice were you given about your impending voyage, so better make haste.

Other tips ! be respectfull to those who know more about your profession than you, watch, listen and learn but do not be afraid to ask questions, we have all been there and shipboard nomenclamture is different to shore based, so if not sure then do ask, it could save a life. Shipboard life is teamwork and each member no matter how high a rank or low rank is an important integral part of that team there is no room for "individuals" but of course there is room for "characters" within the team but you don't have to be one

Good luck and I hope it lives up to your expectations, it did for most of us, but that was a long long time ago, the profession has changed, but so has the youth who have to cope with it Bon Voyage

John Arton
14th March 2012, 05:30 PM
Hi Deegan
The advice given in the previous posts is spot on.
As for luggage, remember your voyage is going to be mainly to hot places so pack accordingly but remember that the ship could be sent anywhere in the world so you have to have at least the minimum of cold weather gear.
Your employers have to provide you with suitable working gear by law so there should be no need to take that with you.
As you will be responsible for doing your own laundry may I suggest a minimum of 7 days underwear, socks etc.
I do not know your employers are but from the ships name it would appear to be a Dutch outfit and they are usually pretty relaxed but most likely do require you to have at the least the company uniform with you, again their personnel dept. should be able to tell you the onboard dress code in such areas as the messroom etc.
You will be asked to fill in a ALLOTMENT form once on board, most likely, this will send a set amount of your wages to a nominated bank account of your choice. On board you will be able to draw cash from the Master or Purser/Chief Steward in local currency (or US Dollars, they are accepted world wide) that you can spend ashore, should you get the chance.
On board there may be a bar/lounge where you can purchase alcohol and soft drinks (beware of the alcohol though, most experienced sailors have a far greater tolerance to alcohol than the average shore based person).there should also be what is called a "slop chest" where you can purchase such items as toothpaste, after shave, shaving kit,cigarettes, confectionary etc. This varies greatly from ship to ship and company to company.
Purchases in the lounge and slop chest are on "paper" usually, that is no money changes hands. Instead who-ever is in charge of the slop chest and lounge will total up at the end of every month how much you have spent and transmit this total to the head office where it will be deducted from your salary (I assume you will be paid on a monthly salary system).
All of this will be explained to you when you join. There will be one person on board who will take you around the ship to introduce to all the workings, who is who, where your emergency station is and to generally show you the ropes, as we call it.
This is a legal requirement and varies from company to company but the basics induction is the same all over due to the International Safety Management Code.
At first it will all be very confusing especially if there are a number of different nationalities on board, but the international language of the sea is officially English.
From the sound of it you are in for a great voyage, who would not want a trip around the Carribean and get paid for it, you lucky soul.
In conclusion all I can say is, however difficult you may find your first trip (remember this could be your first time away from home for any extended length of time so you may miss family and friends), stick with it. The advantages of a sea-going career far outweigh any disadvantages and it will teach you far more than any shore based equivilant job will. Remember there are no supermarkets and suppliers just around the corner should you need anything what so ever. The ship is totally self contained and the day to day care of it and its upkeep is in your hands.
I do not think that anyone who subscribes to this site regrets any of their time spent at sea and given the chance most of us would leap at the chance to do it all over again, even though life at sea when we started out is vastly different to what it is now with the advent of new types of ships, greater regulation etc.
rgds and good luck
Capt. John Arton (ret'd)

14th March 2012, 09:09 PM
Thank You for all your response. I will apologies if I seem dis-respectful it wasn't intend in anyway. I only found out recently that i was traveling away this seem to happen allot. I did contact my Training Officer how she has never been to sea and as such seems to give answer that based on logic and regulations which is perfectible acceptable however as I have encounter in previous job experience usually far better. Which is what i found on here.

Tony Morcom
14th March 2012, 10:21 PM
This seems to back up what has been said in other threads about modern training techniques and facilities.

14th March 2012, 11:31 PM
yeah i can see your point of view. I find it some what puzzling that you can book cruises etc. years in advance but somehow lack the ability to tells us a month in advance. There also seem to lack of communication between us the cadets and people on board ship who I can only imagine would rather us know somethings than coming up completely unprepared.