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I found a fellow on Fiverr.com that was answering questions about cruising. He is a security officer on a ship. He has a little different perspective than the stewards and other staff would have. *Keep that in mind for the gift question* His profile on fiverr is http://fiverr.com/user998. For those not familiar with Fiverr, it is basically a place where you can hire people to do stuff for you for $5. I found this guy and figured the knowledge was worth the money.
My questions are in Green. His answers are in blue.
Do the good comments on comment cards about staff really help staff get raises?
Good comments on comment card sure help get noticed. It is the only feedback that Chief Security Officer gets about interaction of his staff with the passengers.
If staff doesn’t get in trouble and complete their duties on time, that counts towards their competency, but when praised by passengers, it is surely above the ordinary, especially considering the seriousness of their duties.
Comment cards are being displayed at the department’s notice board, and all team reads them. The head of department often collects them in a personal file of a crew-member in question, and consider them when completing an appraisal for the crew-member at the end of his/their contract. Raises as such do not exist, all crew gets paid only what is specified in their contracts. What everybody is hoping for is promotion to a higher level. All cruise lines have 3-5 rankings of security staff.
For example, Princess Cruises has; Security Patrolman>Senior Security Patrolman>Security Supervisor>Chief Security Officer
As a staffer, what kind of gift would you like to receive from a guest? (Money, candy/food, phone cards, stamps, books/magazines, trinket from their home state, etc) – Please be honest on this one!
Money is not allowed, one can get fired for that.
Phone cards are as good as money, allowed, and most welcomed.
As for other things you’ve mentioned, I’ve spent years onboard, and don’t remember getting any of it. Not even candy.
What’s the best way to sneak alcohol on board?
Hm Hm …Not very ethical question, but here it comes:
A plastic bottle with liquid in it, will always pass as a Coke, Fanta, Pepsi …regardless of what is really inside.
What draws attention of an x-ray screener is a shape of the bottle. Any liquid always looks the same on a monitor.
Does the staff have their own entertainment options or is it pretty much boredom when you aren’t working?
It can be very boring sometimes, especially on sea days, when there is no place to go. However, management tries hard to compensate, and crew parties are often.
Almost every night in crew bar is themed night, and there is usually a person onboard whose sole job description is to organize entertainment for crew.
He/she is called Crew Welfare Coordinator.
How is the food for the staff?
The food for the staff is better than at home.
The staff enjoys the privilege of using passenger’s restaurant at “slow” times, when there’s not too many people at the line.
Regular crew has fewer options, but still wide variety. It is in everyone’s habit to cry for mom’s food, and for the most crew-members, it seems to be a constant struggle.
Anything you wish the public knew that would make yours or other staff members’ lives easier?
All photo-cameras are safe to go through x-ray, regardless of its sensitivity. No pictures will be “ruined” when scanned through it. Digital or non-digital.
Last edited by charmingtortoise; May 12th, 2013 at 05:42 AM.
But I have no heard of "money is not allowed" as gifts.
Tons of us here always give money as extra tips and the crew is really appreciative of it. They send most of it back home to their families.
He is a Security Officer, which is different from Crew Members. Crew can accept money. Evidently Security can't.
NM Lady (Mary Kay) & my Joe
HAL 2- Star Mariner
NCL Star - Oct 2013 Panama Canal
NCL Star - Oct 2013. Transatlantic
NCL Sun - Oct 2010; Western Caribbean
NCL Sun - Oct 2010; Transatlantic
NCL Sun - Sept 2010; Norway, Iceland, Faroes, Lerwick, Scotland, Ireland
HAL Amsterdam - May 2010, 14 day Alaska
NCL Jewel - 2008 Transatlantic/British Isles
Celebrity Century -2007 British Isles
Oceania Regatta - 2007 Transatlantic to Marseille France
HAL Zaandam - 2006 Hawaii
NCL Sun - 2006 Panama Canal
NCL Sea - 2005 Cozumel, Belize, Roatan
Radisson [Regent] Diamond - 2005 Around the Boot of Italy
Oceania Insignia - 2005 Transatlantic to Rio de Janeiro
RCI Empress of the Seas - 2004 Soutther Caribbean
Celebrity Milennium - 2004 Transatlantic
Carnival Imagination - 2003 Grand Cayman & Ocho Rios Jamaica
NCL Majesty - 2000 Mexican Riviera
Carnival Ecstasy - 2000 Bahamas
RCI Nordic Empress (before remodel to Empress of the Seas - 1999 Eastern Caribbean
One of my neighbors, a retired US military officer, worked as a cruise line security manager for many years.
When people ask him about how safe it is to be on ships he always says "Remember a cruise ship is a town with all sorts of people on it. There are few security checks run on passengers. Just about anyone can buy a ticket."
He also was forbidden to accept gifts of any sort including cash and phone cards.
He also often traveled as a passenger often posing as a couple with another security person and moved from ship to ship frequently. He retired to life on dry land when his first grand child was born.
We were on a cruise and this mid 50ish guy started hitting on my DD's friend who was in her mid 20s. He told her he was a photographer and would love to take pictures of her in his cabin. Creeped her out. The next day, the guy said the same thing to my DD. He said he was traveling with his mother. He again approached the friend. We told the photography guys who called security who told us to keep on eye on him until they got there and asked for his description. We waited and waited and after 20 or so minutes we asked what was going on. Well, this was being taken seriously and currently the Captain and other senior officers were discussing the action that needed to be taken. The next time we saw him, he was being shadowed by a crew member. Never saw him after that.
Ocean Princess - Western Mediterranean - 10/10 -- Ruby Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 3/10 -- Island Princess - Coastal 5/09 -- Sapphire Princess - New Zealand/Australia 3/08 -- Sapphire Princess - Coastal 5/07 -- Tahitian Princess - Tahiti/Hawaii 7/06 -- Island Princess - Coastal/Alaska 5/06 -- Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean 9/04 -- Sun Princess - Coastal - 4/04 -- Sun Princess - Panama Canal - 4/01 -- Carnival - Caribbean - 11/00 -- Royal Caribbean - Caribbean 7/99 -- Grand Princess - Caribbean - 11/98 -- Pacific Princess - Mediterranean - 11/97 -- Sun Princess - Western Caribbean - 12/95 -- Regal Princess - Western Caribbean - 11/94 -- Dawn Princess - Mexico 5/93 -- Dawn Princess - Mexico 4/93 -- Fair Princess - Mexico - 12/92 -- Regal Princess - Alaska - 5/92 -- Regal Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 8/91 -- Fairsky - Western Caribbean - 4/87 -- Fairwind - Eastern Caribbean - 4/84