I am sure that my company will give me a "dos and don'ts" list. Actually, they have to a point, in regard to bringing a passport , tuxedo, dress attire and money until the 1st check is received. But, I am wondering if anyone out there that has worked on a cruise ship can give me some packing advice for casual wear and other items. I.E. What do you really need to bring, what's nice to have and what isn't necessary? ( 6 mo. contract. )
Also, are the 1st few weeks difficult onboard...to adjust? Any pointers?
It look like I am going sometime in Febuary. ( Port Lecturer job. ) Not sure what line yet. May be Carnival, HAL, Princess, Costa.....most likely. That's all I know.
As far as packing- pack light! I've made the mistake of packing so much stuff that I really didn't need. Of course, you'll need your tux, some dress shirts and pants, under garments, etc.. but pack maybe 2 or 3 casual outfits like shorts and t shirts. Remember, buy things when you get there! There's always enough time to go shopping and stuff once you get on board - like local malls and of course WALMART during debark/ embark days. So pack like one suitcase, a carrier for your formal clothes and a duffle bag and it should be good.As far as adjusting to ship life...you're going to have a great time. Things that you have to adjust to is the work schedule. Every position is different and has different hours but most of the time the hours are scattered. But I think it's better that way because it's better to be doing something then just staying in your room. The food is a BIG adjustment - some things don't look so appetizing. It makes peanut butter and jelly look like a delicasy. However, if you're (2 1/2) 3 strips or higher you can eat in the officers mess which is much better food. I've heard Princess let's everyone order off the passenger menu so if you work for them, you're in good shape in the food department. Well good luck!
Magnets...I alwasy look for magnetic things. A. I have a lot of picture, and you're not allowd to use tape, I have magnetic mirrors, baskets, clips and tons of little ones to just hold things out of the way. Bring a Surge protector...chances are if you have a roomate, which i don't think you will, they will have one, but you'll need it after they leave. Fabreeze for the night in the crew bar(it gets rather smoky) I don't pack without it. Downy wrinkle release when your pants get left on the floor...I don't know why they would, but sometimes it happens. I always bring two large suitcases cause A. I'm a girl, and B. I have two floor length formal dresses, plus the endless amounts of theme gear that the youth staff must now don aka wigs and extra clothes i would other wise throw out. And when i'm not doing that i need smart cas for dudes it's a button up shirt with a tie, sometimes you can get away with not having the tie, but if you were to go to the VC or any of the bars, sorry VC is rccl, but you would probably have to wear that. I'm trying to think of any other little secrets, Hand sanitiser!!! travel alarm clock, i always bring my portable DVD player it's rather small and it's great for movie nights, As for adjusting to life...it might take a day or so because you are coming into these peoples lives, i know sometimes i'm bad at inviting the newbie. But you'll have a great time. I leave tomorrow and even though I had a great vacation i miss ship life so much. It's a constant go go life style then you get home and you have 5 hours to do nothing and you feel as though you're wasting it!!! But trust me, you'll love it! Have fun and safe sailing, also saltine crackers and sprite will help the seas sickness, also stay low, like deck one, in the middle.
As the P&S guy - appearance is important - and you'll be on TV a lot . . . I'd go for less items but good quality, even your casual clothes. You'll have what you wear for your talks, which is usually a nice suit and tie - and I'm fairly sure that's what you wear at your "desk" during public Q&A times. P&S are usually at the gangway when pax are debarking at each port (answering questions and handing out literature) , so I usually see guys in upscale polo shirts, khaki shorts or pants and nice shoes. And since your work IS shopping - I see the P&S people in the local stores talking with the shop owners and pax - a professional appearance at all times really helps.
Your first two weeks will be crazy! I'm sure they're going to put you with a trainer (or the person you're relieving). Depending on the line, you're going to get a HEAP of safety and corporate training. (always show up AND on time to these) You may also have some sort of saftey duties during the first day pax drill. My line the P&S guide is usually one of the people on the promenade deck with a clipboard calling out the pax names.
Some folks have a bit of adjustment to do with the sometimes military atmosphere - you always need to be respectful to the marine officers as they're there to protect you and the pax. Same goes to everyone you meet and work with 'below' - it's the most wonderful opportunity to work and live with so many different cultures.
I remember my first few days ever - I wondered what the heck I got myself into. But everything was so different and strange. Doesn't matter who you are or what you do on the ship - everyone seems to go into a 'funk' about week 3 of their first contract. If you can push past it and make it a few weeks more, you'll find either you totally love it, or it's time to go home. Thought I think with your job, this isn't going to be a problem ;-)
Lucky has some really good items!
-Travel alarm/surge protector - ship power can be really really 'dirty' (i.e. surges - so keep important electronics unplugged when not in use - I lost a laptop to one).
-Enough toiletries for at least 2 weeks, just in case you're too busy with training. If you're addicted to a specific product, bring more, since it might not always be available on your run
-Vitamins - depending on how you adjust to ship food. You also have the job where restaurant owners will want you to chat about them in your talks, so I bet some good meals are in your future!
Another REAL important one - finances
If you don't already - make sure to have some sort of internet access to all your bills and bank - Bank of America has something called 'My Portfolio' where you can keep links and info on mortgage, insurance, phone bills, credit cards all in one location. Most banks have something similar. Also - If you can, have someone you trust on your account - like a parent or sibling. I was overseas for 9/11 and didn't have this . . . All mail was stopped and I ended up beating the checks I'd sent from Europe over to the US. Now I do and life is SO much easier!
Have a great time! If I remember, you put in a lot of time on your audition tape - if you approach the job with the same attitude, you'll be very succesful!
PS - if you ever work on ship with an ice rink, don't throw the Del Sol color change rings on the ice. Really!