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Thread: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

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    Default Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    This is Dave Francis and can any Seafarer tell me where does one sign up on a ship today. I remember you began your travel at the British Merchant Navy Establishment at Aldgate East, then you were required to report to The board of Trade for a Discharge Book.
    After that to the Shipping Company as P&O fleet headquarters or whomever?
    Is this the same today. I spent many years, in many different types of ships as a steward/Stateroom Steward foreign and domestic.

    How do you find a ship today; the shipping pool?

    Appreciate a chance to find a ship, via the United Kingdom.

    Can somebody help me. Have my Discharge Book and ID. Plus passports

    Thank you ahead of time.

    Dave Francis

    My Email is: davej.francis@gmail.com

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    Dave,
    I think the pool has been consigned to history. I went to sea in the early 70s and at that time most people got a contract with a shipping company. From looking at the news tonight on the TV some of the cruise companies may be looking for staff as they are going to start operations in May. Fred Olson was mentioned maybe you could try with them.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    #2 It was still going in June 1971. Even in those days it was sacrilege to go on ships outside the pool. To go on Foreign Flag ships on your own instigation was a no no. I went and got my own job , but then had to go and get pool clearance as was a federated company. I went to the pool in Sandgate Newcastle on Tyne being the closest. sat and waited for the bloke in front of me getting cleared by little Sandy for anyone who remembers him. He was giving this engineer a hard time about where he had been during his absence from the pool, so I already knew what to expect. On my turn before he opened his mouth I said I am not here for a lecture I already have a job all I want is clearance. Where I have been and what I have done is none of your business so dont ask stupid questions. Attack is the best form of defence. He just signed the paper and never said a word . After that I was always on company agreement or once again on non federated ships by which time they were a broken twig in any case. If I was still in the industry as a worker I would do as I always did apply direct for a job to the ship owners representative. Australia during my time was different as had to apply first to the Union, but think today that is not the case. Cheers JS..
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 29th April 2021 at 03:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    Stewards for cruise ships on 36 to 40 hours per week?
    What kind of ship is that.

    I do not recall such hours in our time, anything up to 14 in any day.
    Now on cruise ships it would be at least 11 per day for a 7 day week, which is 77.
    Maybe the person who wrote the add cannot add up.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    #4 I went to sea with Denholms Jan 1974 was given their phone number by a friend. They gave me a letter to take to the pool to get my discharge book and after that I only went there for medicals. I do vaguely remember a big board with ships names on it. In the West of Scotland Clyde Marine ( started by ex Denholms guys) do the medicals now. They also do UKOA medicals for offshore was last there about 5 years ago.

    In the 70s at the pool I can still remember the doctor carrying out the medicals always had an ash tray on his desk and was a chain smoker who smoked as he was giving the medical.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    Dave,
    A few years ago, 2012, I went to the MPA training school in Fort Lauderdale for a few STCW courses. There were loads of guys and girls there doing courses so they could work on the cruise ships running out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale might be worth contacting https://www.mptusa.com/ I believe they also act as an employment agency for cruise ships.

    As you live in the States I presume you have a green card so should be able to work on these vessels.
    Last edited by J Gowers; 29th April 2021 at 07:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    typo in my last posting should be MPT (Maritime Professional Training) not MPA

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    This David Francis again
    Can somebody tell me, what has happened to the British Merchant Navy. Not that I am against people from foreign countries, as on the “Island Princess” I always went to the Italian mess for deep fried Calamari. However, it seems that all the Cruise Liners have been taken over by Asian Peninsula stewards. I recall one old chap, who had been torpedoed (during WW2 who still worked on the ship I was on?
    I could get a job as a Steward on the Inland ships on the Mississippi River, or Alaska, but at my age that I am not dormitory sleeping quarters. I really want to set sail on the oceans, before I die.
    I can still my job as a Stateroom Steward, as I am extremely fit from my regimen exercise and herbal and supplements that has kept me away from being sick or coming down with chronic afflictions. So what has happened to the P&O fleet, Cunard and other cruise lines.
    It’s not so easy to get a job, on a passenger liner in the United States, because it’s all on line and a aging senior seems to have a problem, whether you have years of experience. However, not going to give up.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    #5... Many on this site will be way out of step as to hours worked at sea as to what they were used to , I will be also as can only speak for what they were in the offshore industry both here and in Australia up until 2002. On going to sea in 1953 I was in the position of then having none, so to all intents and purposes your stipend per year was it. The seamen what I can remember was 8 hours a day , 7 days a week . Anything outside these hours was paid at an hourly rate and was overtime. The only addittion to wages on this was Sundays at sea where an extra days pay and an extra days leave with subsistance was paid, this was paid on at least having 8 hours at sea on that sunday. Later all sorts of things were brought in to the equation such as Loss of Sleep of having to have 8 hours of rest in one continuous stretch, sanitary duties such as cleaning own cabins etc. was not paid so this brought it up to a 9 hour day. Then safety was brought in as an excuse to bring it up to 10 hours a day. This was a continuous war of words between unions and shipowner. Half ones time at sea was at times battling the war of words of how an agreement had to be interpreted. Let me say one thing to all those budding Safety Officers who were so keen to implement the 8 hours a day off in one stretch, how is it today completely not even mentioned. The way ships are manned and run it would be impossible to implement. All this over the years arguing about money is not there any more as shipowners now have the ball in their court the same as most foreign ships have always had, there is no paid overtime , salarys are supposed to cover all that. It is to the layman a 12 hour day at sea 7 days a week. Myself and am sure other mates and masters would have worked the same , was never enforced as saw the stupidity of the system , I carried on working the old hours and only when absolutely necessary fell back on the new ones , which was quite often work till you drop. What you get paid today as a salary thats it or was in 2002. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 5th May 2021 at 03:37 AM.
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