Info from Cruise Security Officer

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#1
Northern Michigan
19 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Hi Cruisers,

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.
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Past Cruises:
July 2013 - 7 Day Glacier Bay from Seattle - Norwegian Pearl
November 2016 - 7 Day Eastern Caribbean from Orlando - Norwegian Epic
#2
Enosburg Falls, Vermont
16,853 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Very interesting, thank you.
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#4
105,564 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Interesting.

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.

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Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#6
Enosburg Falls, Vermont
16,853 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Keith1010
I'm thinking the money answer might relate to those who work in security.

Keith
Money offered to someone working in security could be seen as a bribe (although the same could be said for other types of gifts).
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Cruise photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparks1093/

Previous cruises:

NCL Dream CTN May 2008
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#7
southern NM desert
10,871 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
Interesting.

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.
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#8
more or less in TX
10,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
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.
#9
81,375 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
IMO, the less any of us know about ship's security the better.

No one actually thinks any responsible cruise line sends out these hugely costly ships, filled with thousands of souls on board and they don't do everything reasonable to protect people and property.

We see some of the surface security but I believe there is much security being done about which we have no knowledge...... and don't need to.

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#10
Oak Park, CA
5,759 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I agree. Don't tell us how it works.

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.
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#11
Iowa
740 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Interesting Q & A.

I'm happy to hear that the comment cards are read and taken seriously. I always take the time to fill them out (and tip extra) especially when someone goes above and beyond the call during a cruise.

Thanks for sharing, charmingtortoise.