Bord ABC Willkommen an Bord  
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A Accommodation:
The accommodation will be double berth, or single cabin, depending on your position on board. Double Cabins are normally shared by colleagues of the same department and same sex. The cabins are very small, but fitted with all necessary facilities like bathroom with shower and TV.
A Arrival/Departure:
This varies from cruise line to cruise line and also depends on the position. In most cases cruise lines arrange and pay for transportation after completing the first contract.
B Bathroom:
Depending on the Cruise Line there will be a bathroom in your cabin or a common one on the corridor (there will be separate facilities for females and males of course). Bathrooms are very small so you might not have a lot of room for putting a whole drugstore in it.
B Bed:
Double cabins are usually equipped with bunk beds.
C Cabin Inspection:
Most Cruise Lines inspect the crew's cabins regularly in order to assure that policies and regulations on board are being followed.
C Cloth:
You don't need to bring your whole wardrobe. You will spend most of the time wearing your uniform and won't have many chances wearing private clothes. – You will also need some space for your shore side shopping / souvenirs and the room in your cabin is very limited. Bring some jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirt, comfortable shoes, bathing cloth.
C Credit Card:
Having a credit card will make life a lot easier. When travelling around the world, we highly recommend to apply for a credit card because it is convenient to pay any bills and credit cards usually include an insurance for many things, depending the kind of credit card.
C Crew:
The Crew are the people you are working with. The Crew depends on the cruise line's identity, and the nationality of the passengers. Usually there is a good mix of nationalities and you can work with up to 60 different nationalities.
C Crew Bar:
Nearly all the ships have a crew bar on board where you can rest, watch TV, have a drink, play games & meet other colleagues. Furthermore it is the place for Crew parties.
D Documents:
You need a passport, valid for at least 12 months. For vessels going to U.S. ports you will need to obtain a C1/D Visa at the US Embassy in your country of residence (we will advise you accordingly once you have been selected for a job). Besides that you always need to provide us with a Criminal Background Check as well as STCW95 certificate if required. Once you have been offered a position onboard a cruise ship you must pass a medical examination (some cruise lines have specially assigned physicians who carry out these examinations). There is a great variety of tests which differ from cruise line to cruise line. In most cases you will be responsible for the costs of the examination, but some cruise lines reimburse the costs after joining the vessel. Depending on the cruise line and the itinerary you may have to get vaccinated.
E Electrical Items:
You can bring anything you want to: notebooks, CD- or tape players. It might be difficult to get a radio reception though. You may need to buy an international converter.
F Food:
Food is free of charge for every crew member. It is not permitted to store food in your cabin. It is only allowed to eat in the staff messes or special common rooms.
H Holiday:
At the end of your contract you will start your vacation, which is usually between 6 to 8 weeks. During this time you are not paid, not employed by the company. This is the same f.e. when working a winter season in Austria or Switzerland. Well before going on vacation, the company will discuss with you your new joining date and usually already issue you a new contract of employment.
H Hospital:
Normally ships will have a little hospital or nursery station on board where you can go when you are feeling sick, this is free of charge. The facility might have special opening hours. If you take medicine on regular bases, you should bring enough with you to take you through the length of your contract. If some illness can not be cured while being on the ship, the Cruise line company will provide a visit of a doctor on the next stop.
I Internet:
Internet access is provided on almost every vessel. Some cruise lines may offer it free of charge, others will ask for a small fee. Nearly every port provides internet facilities close to the pier. Of course you can use your cell phone, but getting a connection depends on the country you are in.
I Insurance:
There is a P&I (protection and indemnity) health coverage onboard the ship. However, it is recommended to arrange a travel medical insurance before joining because not everything is included, e.g. dentist, eye specialist or other specialised doctors as well as treatment for pre-existing conditions. Also when you are on shoreleave and you would have an accident, this is not always 100 % covered. Check with your existing health insurance if they can offer such an international addition to the one you already have. If not, check if they can "freeze" your insurance for the time you are on board and activate your insurance again once you are back.
L Laundry:
The laundry on board will clean your uniform free of charge. Cleaning of private clothes will be charged (crew discount) or you can wash them yourself. Most ships have special facilities with washing machines, dryer and iron. It is absolutely forbidden to use your own iron in your cabin.
L Linen:
Linen will be provided for free on board.
L Luggage:
Please make sure that you don't arrive with the biggest suitcases you have, because you will have just limited space in your cabin and sometimes the luggage doesn't fit under the bed or on the closet. A sport bag is the best you can take as it is foldable.
M Medicine:
If you need any kind of special medicine such as eye drops or pain reliever please do not forget to take it with you. Also take enough of the medicine you take on regular bases, so it lasts throughout your contract. It might be difficult to purchase those in different countries.
O On board visits:
Sometimes cruise lines offer special rates and conditions for your family and friends. You should check this individually once you are on board.
P Passenger Areas:
Walking in passenger's areas is only allowed in proper uniform. Going ashore please mind to always take the shortest way passing the passengers area to the gangway.
P Ports:
When you are "off duty", which means in your free time, you can go ashore to explore the different countries. Leisure time depends on your position and your working schedule. You need to watch the times when you have to be back on board, which is usually one hour before ships departure, and usually half an hour before the passengers need to be back.
R Recreation time:
Despite the fact that you are working long hours onboard, you will also have the possibility to spend your free time ashore, visiting foreign ports, cities and countries. Usually the ships have a crew gym or even a jogging track, a crew bar and some may also have a crew deck where you can enjoy your free time. The bigger the ships the more varied the crew facilities.
S Salary:
Your salary will be paid out in cash on board or directly transferred on your home account; you can choose and decide this while you are onboard in the crew purser's office. It is also possible to split it and get it partly cash and the rest on your home account. If you are earning USD, it might be good to check with your bank before joining if you should open an USD account! Or ask if they would give you any other suggestions.
S Shop:
On bigger ships, crew members may buy items like beverages, cigarettes, snacks, cosmetics etc. at special crew prices in the shop on board. – It is called Slopchest. The Pax shops on board can be used as well.
S Smoking:
Smoking is allowed but only in designated areas and never in your cabin. On most ships the crew bar on board sells cigarettes for the crew.
S Socket:
In every crew cabin onboard a cruise ship you will find a socket, but it might not be the one you have at home. If you want to bring your own laptop, cell phone, mp3 player etc. with you it is recommended to bring your own adapter which is justified for every country.
S Sport:
Usually cruise ships have their own crew gym which is free of charge for the whole crew, providing different devices for you to stay in shape. This varies and very much depends on the ship size.
S STCW 95:
STCW stands for "Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers". These certificates are for seagoing ships only, not for River Ships. To obtain an STCW95 certificate you have to attend courses in Basic Safety Training, Crowd and Crisis Management, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting and a Passenger Safety. On most of the seagoing ships this certificate is required and has to be done before going on board. See more details in chapter 5.
T Towels:
Will be provided and washed free of charge on board.
U Uniform:
There are uniform requirements and they are usually provided by the cruise lines. Normally you will get the uniform onboard. Our advice is to bring also (depending on your position) 1 or 2 sets of private working clothes. In some countries it can be difficult to buy the right shoes so it will be better to bring sufficient comfortable shoes with you. Ladies usually need to wear stockings, it is advisable to take as many as possible as you may not be able to buy the ones you like all around the world.
U USPH:
This stands for United States Public Health and all passenger ships arriving at U.S. ports are subject to unannounced inspections under the voluntary cooperative inspection program. This could be compared with the European HACCP.
V Vegetarian:
In general there will be no problem in getting vegetarian dishes.
W Work:
Whilst away your working week is seven days a week, with an average of 10–11 hours a day. However as with all service industry jobs you have to be flexible. Some days will be longer than others and some days shorter.