Dec 13, 2011

Cruising Crew

Cruising Crew
Imagine that you are traveling around the world on board the luxurious Titanic (but no sinking!), sailing across the wide blue sea, feeling the seabreeze caressing your face. That would be awesome, wouldn't it? On top of that, you're getting paid!

Those are only some of the privileges you can get when you work on board a ship, not just a regular transportation ship, but cruise ship. A cruise ship doesn't merely take passengers from port to port. It is the resort destination itself, that's why the ship provides premium facilities. Who wouldn't want to work in such place? (One such major cruise is Holland America Line Westours, Inc.) 

What It Takes
Anyone who wants to start a career on a cruise ship should have a hotel school diploma and at least three months job training in the respective division. Having experience in a service industry is also important.
Besides the educational background and experience, certain personality traits are essential:
• Willingness to render service. Hotel schools in Indonesia do focus on fine service aspects
• Open personality
• Understanding the ambience of the dining table (this feeling can be developed while working onboard).

If you have fulfilled the above requirements, you should go through a process, including tests and training, before you start working on board. The first step is an English test, then there is the professional interview. For the professional interview, basic knowledge of the job is required, such as basic knowledge of Food & Beverages, Kitchen, or Housekeeping. English is the first step, because it is absolutely imperative. It is as imporant as knowledge of the job. You will have to meet passengers, greet them and have conversations in order to make them feel comfortable on board. About 95% of the company's passengers are American, and the other 5% are European.

Further states that having passed the English test and professional interview, you will have to go through a training period which takes approximately 9 weeks. The first five weeks is for an English introductory course, and the rest is for skills training. The training focuses on the company's products and services, so that prospective crew are familiar with the situation and whereabouts of a ship.

Interesting and Well-Compensated
You have an opportunity to see the world and broaden your view of the world. Besides you can meet people from different social backgrounds and cultures. It's so fascinating. And by working on a cruise ship, you are able to gain a lot of experience at the start of your career in the service sector. The job is lucrative both financially and professionally. How lucrative is it? The cruise industry beats various interesting positions for young people in their early 20s. They can have a very good base for their career, they might end up in the hotel industry in middle or top management level positions, or start their own businesses in restaurants or travel agencies.

There are also difficult aspects of life at sea. The first thing is being away from family and friends, each time for about 11 months. Working on board seven days a week, eight hours a day with sometimes two or three extra hours as overtime, you'll not be on the soft side of life. On the other hand, any crew member on board is in the same situation, and that gives you a lot of support to be able to survive. The good news is that you are very well compensated for the hard work and overtime, and there is three to four month vacation awaiting you after sailing. Never fear boredom, because there are magazines and newspapers to read, and a kitchen to cook Indonesian cuisine. Besides, there are recreational facilities on board provided specifically for the crew, such as video games, movies, and also the Internet and telephone, which on board Holland America cruise ships, are at specially reduced rates, so that the crew can stay in touch with family and friends back home. Holland America also caters to all religions in their religious programs, adjusts meals and provides fixed areas designated for religious purposes. And when the ship is docked and the crew don't have any duties on board, they can always go ashore for recreation.

The Prospect
On a cruise ship, you usually start at an entry level position, such as dishwasher, general purpose cleaner, or laundry employee, but you can make your way up in the organization. Currently, the highest positions for Indonesians are Purser, Food & Beverage manager, Maitre D', and Chief Housekeeper. If you wonder how long it takes to get there, well, generally it is 5-10 years from the entry positions. It also depends on your background, knowledge, and performance, of course.

As company policy, Holland America prefers only a few nationalities to work on board: Indonesians and Filipinos, and certain positions are open only for certain nationalities. This is the only constraint. But by do¬ing so, the company protects the crew's quality of life order, and the product is served best by limiting the nationalities and limiting them per function. So far, it works extremely well, and Holland America's standards are high and well known in the industry.

Currently there are no Indonesian female workers on board of this America based cruise line. The ships have been designed in such a way that the accommodation and facilities are designed only for males. With that kind of lifestyle and conditions, it's not easy for female workers to be included. But that doesn't mean that Holland America doesn't employ female workers.
If you are really interested in working on a cruise ship, get more information at any manning company. For Holland America, the manning company is PT Sumber Bakat Insani, at Menara Sudirman 16th floor, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav.60, Jakarta 12190, tel. :(+62-21)5227717, facs.: (+62-21) 5227707.
Welcome aboard!
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