I am considering a contract with Costa. It is a last minute opportunity and will be my first experience with a cruise line. I would have to leave on Friday - leaving me today to decide and two days to prepare. Before I decide there are some things I am curious about but have not received the answers to so am hoping someone would be willing to help me out. The questions are below and are a plenty but thank you in advance for any information/advice you can provide.
1. My first concern is that it is only a two month contract (the shortest I have seen in all my research which makes me wonder why). From my research three or four are the minimum..comments?
2. There is a 500 Euro fee for Basic Safety Training taken off my last check - is this normal/standard? Does everyone pay for this? On all cruise lines? And if so is it a different course and new fee each time you join a different cruise line?
3. There is a uniform fee which I also have to pay however do not know how much that is except that it is 1/3 of the cost. ( I asked the recruiter who sent the questions to the cruise line but I have yet to hear back...maybe today, hopefully.)
4. I have been offered 50 Euros a day which seems standard, but when you deduct 500 Euros for the training and perhaps 500 Euros for the uniform, that leaves me with only a third of my salary after two months, not to mention I am possibly stuck with a uniform if I do not get a contract with the same cruise line. Anyone pay for their uniforms and if so how much?
5. As the $ is not great (I know there are other benefits to working on a ship), I am wondering if there is a possibility to be tipped as cruise staff? I see that waiters and service staff are...but are cruise staff? The position includes sales of excursions and the job description mentions commission for this, however when I asked the recruiter they said that commission is included in the salary.
6. Also, does one ever get a day off? Or if it is a 2 or 3 or 6 month contract you work every single day? When they tell you you are paid 50 Euros a day, does that mean 7 days a week? What if you are in port and get switched to another ship and have a day without being on board..are you paid for that?
7. And lastly, I am not sure how much to pack or what as far as my own casual clothing. Is there much time we are out of uniform? The position also calls for evening wear as I will have to tend to guests at functions etc. And no matter what, what and how much does one bring? One small or large suitcase?
Does any of t his sound fishy to you or is this normal? I am a trusting soul, however do like to do my research before committing to anything so here I am.
I know this is last minute and I REALLY appreciate your help/comments/advice.