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Posts posted by BrianCruiser

  1. The issue isn't always about how much they its also about how much gets deducted by the manning agency. You basically cant get hired directly. The manning company gets a slice of everything. And mandatory allotment. And of course many positions don't come with tipping. Those that do are very well off though. I've seen some amazing houses purchased from 5-10 contracts.


    Also they pay own medical and visa. The first contract you get reimbursed on board for that. Subsequent contracts you do not. Most start off in huge debt from BST (Basic Sea Training) and other job specific courses. And the waiting time between contracts though supposed to be 2months can often be much more and unpaid.


    They get an allocation of water and that's about it. They pay for wifi and any nights out. They definitely aren't hard done by or they would all quit after one contract. But it usually works out at a couple dollars an hour only. Albeit tax free. If you quit mid contract you get flown home for free, black listed, and lose the vacation pay.

  2. Most crew do 5years or less. Enough to buy a house back home. I think the salary when new is much better than what they could get in Philippines/India and they get to travel for free. After a few years the novelty of travelling is over and they've seen all the places. Pay rises are minimal so no real advantage of hanging around long term.

    For Example commiss de cuisine trainee is $495usd/month for first contract. For second contract you are no longer trainee. You become commiss de cuisine and it jumps to $520usd/month


    Having said that, the galley is the lowest paid area of the ship. I know waitresses clearing $1000usd/month and security slightly more.


    Most the promotions go to the Italians and salaries also vary. The same position is different salary depending where you came from. But crew seem to understand that Europeans earn much more and that Europeans have larger expenses maintaining a house/family in Europe.


    In addition POEA and mannking agency will mandate 40% of your salary is allotted and sent home. So what you keep is minimal. But there are tricks like allotting it to a card only you have access to. But in general they want to help there family and that 40% will happily go to parents and be spent. From the 60% they keep some will go on excursions and food and clothes and magnets. So the first couple contracts saving is hard but after a while you've been everywhere and the saving kicks in.


    Crew moan about extensions because they want to go home. But in reality many actually ask for the additional month as it can be saved easier at the end. And the 2months between contracts often ends up more. With Smeralda delays I know people that waited 4months for the next contract embarking. And you only get leave pay that equates to base salary x 2months. And that leave pay is actually deducted each month anyway. So in example above you don't get 495$ they withhold $65/month x 8 months and give it to you at the end minus the allotment portion. Your first month on board also no allotment because its never a full month pay so allotment kicks in the second month. Salary is 10th of month.

  3. Crew are stating its a very noisy ship. Will be interesting to get passenger reviews soon. It could be the LPG engines are genuinely noisy or it could be crew not used to sleeping in passenger cabins and the general quietness of the ship without passengers on board.

  4. My ex was in luminosa and my current gf is diadema though she just disembarked. I have friends (crew) in Finland at the moment that give me updates on Smeralda. Everyone knows everyone since you get a new ship every contract and you keep in touch with previous colleagues. So through my gf I know many different crew and I've availed the family and friends free cruise which has crew pass as part of the deal. So I've met many hard working crew and chatted over beer.

  5. I'm not sure which jobs you are eligible for but I can say onboard jobs are very low paying and Costa is the lowest paying of all cruise lines even lower than other Carnival brands like Aida. Also it depends where you are from whether they have a hiring partner in your country or not.

    You need to get used to 8months on board and 2 months off. Work every day. Depending on department you will probably get a couple hours between breakfast and lunch especially if you are waitress/waiter or galley team. Usually even though you will only work 10hr/day its not 10hrs straight. The break it up to have you work bfast lunch dinner which is a real pain.

    The pay in galley is $495usd/month but its tax free. Obviously free room and food. Though food is horrible. Internet is expensive. That is base salary plus guaranteed over time (40hr week + 30hr OT). That way they never pay you more. But they do pay you around $20/month for incentives based on itinerary, passenger numbers, feedback. This is to try and even out the different ships and itineraries.

    Other departments are similar but you definitely want to have contact with passengers as you can get tips and if you have 20rooms to clean or 20 passengers to serve and a repeating 7day cruise you will double your salary in tips.

  6. Yeah crew are all in hotels undergoing training. Some have been there a long time (pre-delay) and some have finally arrived (post delay). Although they are happy to be in a hotel with more room and better food they are annoyed with the delays. Some of them had a 4month vacation rather than usual 2months. That's a lot of money to lose. Then once they are in Finland they are on base pay only. No incentives and no tips. So am 8month contract could start with 3month of low pay. They are really struggling. But the hours are much more reasonable with plenty of time off.

    I believe another 3weeks and they leave the hotel and start staying onboard. I imagine that will tie in with another sea trial.

  7. I don't think a new crew matters that much. They are all experienced and every contract they end up on a different ship with different crew. Some crew have already been in Finland a couple months getting the ship right. A big bunch start next week. Its not exactly the same as a normal ship in that these crew are in a hotel for the time being and only working days. But in a month that changes and they are all staying on the ship.

    The itinerary starts very easy and not sea day intensive. Its also repetitive. Any technical difficulties they would be able to either make up time or just skip a port.

    Still with the histories of delays I wouldn't book until mid January. But being on the first cruise is usually a bit more special than other voyages. So I can see an attraction in trying to be on the maiden voyage.

  8. With new ships coming on line and old ships being sold. Then things like 3 ships being based in brazil to capture an emerging market. The Brazil thing is what go Luminosa I think. Its hard to plan that far out but if the itinerary still exists they will opffer you the same cruise on the ship that gets swapped out. I'd just wait and hear what alternatives they offer you. But I think Magica will do Caribbean.

  9. Yeah just use common sense approach. You see people taking a pastry with them all the time. If its not too messy and it was a cold dish you should get away with it particularly the buffet. If you were to order an extra entre at dinner and try take that then you will have an issue. It also depends if you've already built up a relationship with the staff and waiter. The ones that will see you doing it. And to a lesser extent security who will likely see you during the walk back to cabin.

    One example of what not to do is 2nights ago on Diadema a Spanish guest threw a plate at my friend who was assigned his table. His reason was slow service. Firstly unacceptable. And secondly waitress does not control that its the kitchen staff that were falling behind. Of course she reported the incident but as she said Costa have a policy of guest is always right so he will not be disembarked the next day.

    But that guy aint going to be taking food to his cabin or expecting any special treatment.

  10. Best is price. Especially longer cruises and world cruise. You cant beat it. Next best is loyalty program and upgrades and low deposit bookings. All fairly unique and generous. Most people book well in advance. Being able to pay so little upfront with generous refund policy is a plus.

    Itinerary is not plus or minus. You'll find something that suits but nothing really uniquely positive or negative. Time in port also very similar to competitors. Though a lot less overnighters but that depends on duration and location.

    Ship is neutral too. Some of the ships are a bit dated but they also have some very new ships with more on the way and the same class of ship is used by other companies. Smeralda with 6000pax capacity will be interesting. But it comes down to choice you can chose a smaller ship if the itinerary suits.

    Food I think is a positive. I think if you like Mediterranean food its well above average. Then they have enough regional dishes based on your itinerary and the regular favourites to please everyone.

    On board entertainment I find a bit lacking. But i'm not into theatre and animation and poolside activities or casino. So no cruise ship really impresses me in this department.

    Cabin I don't find them any smaller than others. I do find them a bit bland though compared to some.

    Excursions neutral. Book your own or use there's. All comparable to others. Though the mark-up seems higher than competitors in some cases. That's probably the biggest negative over all is they do try to charge as much as they can for excursions and pizza and any add on they can find.

    Crew and ambience. The demographics of crew are same as anywhere so I don't think any different to other companies. Always served with a smile. The occasional miss communication or bad day. Ambience is nice. Not a party ship full of drunks. Not a go slow ship full of grannies. Very European but vibrant. Nice theme nights. Include yourself as much or as little as you like.

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  11. They will claim its not food costs that they are reducing. Its food waste. Hence they food donations they make at every port for un used food. You eat what you eat and you drink what you drink. They don't care you might drink 10 wines because someone else will only drink 1 wine. Packages balance out. Food consumption averages out.

    You cant really take stuff from the buffet. Not because of saving money. ITs just frowned upon probably more health and safety. That's what room service is for. I have seen people take pizza and its tolerated. What if you drop the food on the walk back to cabin and make a mess. And the food cooling down while walking and becoming unsafe to eat. Also how do they know you have plates and cutlery in your room.

  12. it varies on ship and itinerary and sea day or port day. but in addition to meals you have morning and afternoon tea available. So really the only dead period is after dinner by which time the pizzeria has opened and you can eat there. But also good to have some smacks in your cabin for when its late and you are lazy to go out.

    Day time you will have a few small windows where its too early for breakfast. OR breakfast is done and not yet morning tea. But you'll get a pastry from a coffee shop or you should be out in the port during this period. Lunch is done but not yet afternoon tea. etc.

    Bear in mind they need to clean the area and staff need breaks. Usually split shift like 3hr on 2hr off. 3hrs on. 2hrs off. 4hrs on. sleep. repeat. That's why if they do get to go off in port the usually have at best a 2hr window. Some crew might get a lunch off on a rotating roster. They roster is COSTA plus spacing for sea days. If you are given letter C you get lunch off that day. O next day and so on.

    Some departments like entertainment and casino is much quieter in port and get more time. And of course they have various stops on world tour where they try give everyone from Indonesia a day off in Indonesia. Or Peruvian in Peru. And the various Indian independence days which are celebrated onboard.

  13. Gratuties form part of the crew salaries. They get base + incentives. Incentives is basically tips and gratuities and for KPI. The OBC is money as far as you are concerned. But its not money in crew pocket. I guess Costa like you to spend that $100 so to them the cost isn't actually $100 its more like $40 marked up to $100.

    Sadly they even do this with crew. Crew get paid in arrears on 10th of month. So that week you'll see they are happiest. They have two cards. The crew pass  (same as your passenger pass) used for all onboard spending. And they have ocean pay for another portion of salary. Also they have the mandatory allottee where money is sent home. 

    The crew pass is used for internet at 0.07euro/min and for pizza nights. Of course there is a mafia on board and you might get free internet and free food. But Costa are smart. The will have monthly crew sales in the hope of getting back some or all of the slarry they just gave you. You get nice watched for 30% off. Fragrances. Modelino. Thiose king of things. Yes its a choice but its very smart for costa to exchange $300 salary for $300 watch which probably even with the discount is only costing Costa $150.

  14. Technically no. But in reality yes. Basically they have to put them through the POS individually. Most waiters especially when busy prefer it as it will keep you happy for a while and let them focus elsewhere. Even you don't pay it still goes through the system and must be two transactions but they will do it seconds apart. Only issue will be if you get a newbie who sticks to official policy or if corporate are onboard.

  15. And Costa Luminosa had a crew medivac off Greece last week.

    With man overboard its generally suicide. Depression is huge amongst the crew on all ships not only Costa. But I think the Pacifica was an elderly passenger from reports I've seen.

  16. Not real easy. If you talk they sometimes tell you when they have the 2month vacation. You'll at least know if they are working. Many also like befriending you on facebook then you will know. But HR can leave the actual ship until very late in the crew portal. So sometimes they don't know. Especially new ships and delays cause HR massive headache.

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