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Old March 17th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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Default ..my new adventure (the whole 'getting a job' story)

hello folks.. i've been scouring the internet to find some type of message board that is active with cruise crew/staff and it looks like i have found one.

here's the info on me.. and let me know what you think.

i currently have a great job working for the premier television station in Indianapolis, IN... a great job if you're 26. it's not one of those jobs that you want to stay in for 5 or more years. there is no track of upward mobility. so.. i'm at the crossroads... apply for jobs elsewhere or keep chugging along with the position i currently have.

i have decided, obviously, to apply for something that i wish i had done the first time the opportunity presented itself - broadcast tech on rccl. i was amazed at the rapid turnaround between resume submittal and call-back. i submitted sunday night and had a call by that following friday to set up a phone interview (which, by the way, is this coming tuesday march 20!).

my question is.. what should i expect in the days/weeks to come. say, for instance, the phone interview goes according to plan.. will they want an in-person interview.. and how will that work seeing that the recruiter (c-deck) is in miami and I am in indianapolis.

two other questions, and these kind of worry me..
1.) i own a home here in Indy, and have a car payment.. and other utilities to pay. how do you deal with these while at sea? i have started to consider the possibility of renting my home while at sea, at least to start. anyone else in a similar situation?

thank you all in advance
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Old March 17th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Hey Brady

I LOVE my broadcast guys onboard

I joined RCCL before C-deck took over hiring (and live a couple hours from MIA), but the previous agent would ask for a web cam interview just so they could see the person they were talking to. At one time, one person could feasibly do the interview and another person show up to the ship . . . but now there's thorough background checks, etc.

I have a house, car payment, etc also. Make sure ALL of your bills are payable online or that you have someone trustworthy (ie parent, sibling or such) as another person who can take care of banking business for you. I have had roommates while out, but also have really good neighbors that watch out (and mow the lawn) also. When no one's there, all the utilites together are maybe $75-80/month and I put cable/internet on seasonal service.

Remember that you're going to be spending considerably less when onboard. No utilites, food, commuting etc, which can add up to quite a lot. If you save while onboard, instead of partying or doing loads of excursions/lunches while in port, you can come home after a 6 month contract with a nice sum of cash.

I posted this link on another thread, but in case you didn't see it
http://preview.videosystems.com/mag/video_video_seas/
one of the best articles I've seen on your gig!

Good luck - I know they've been been short on broadcast techs, so you have a pretty good chance, so you might want to think about what to do if they offer you a ship! Do you have a passport? If not, start the application process NOW and get it expeditied as the normal processing time is takin 10 weeks!

8)
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Old March 18th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Hey Brady,

As someone else re-evaluating what experiences I want to have make up my career, I have two suggestions:
1) Weigh the pros and cons - I know it's the standard old advice, but it really worked for me, especially when I was working out if I could financially afford the change. Really take into account what your lifestyle is now, and what you will allow it to be at sea.

2) Think about what you will regret when you are 30...or 35...or 40. Will you regret not taking the chance when reasonably young to work on a cruise ship? Or will you regret time away from whatever is in the States for you right now (family, home, etc.)?

The article sz recommended is VERY detailed regarding the equipment and types of responsibilities you would have onboard a ship - if you haven't checked it out yet, you definitely should.

Good luck and let us know how it all goes!
R
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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thanks. i read the article a few times and now have some more questions to ask when they call. i hope you are correct when saying that they have been short broadcast techs. maybe that will give me a little bit of leverage when it comes to monthly salary.

i will keep you all updated.. even those of you who did not reply! lol.

one other thing: i have read varying accounts of what life on board is like depending on your position on board. as a broadcast tech, am i considered crew or staff? would i have the ability to go into public areas of the ship?

thanks!
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Old March 18th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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I just PM'd you - hopefully the real email?

Amen to 'beenthere' - you really do have to evaluate where you're going in life. On the ship I'm heading to this week, the head broadcast tech is in his early 50's - and relatively 'fresh' from covering the war in Iraq. He's been in network news most all his career. Many other techs are fresh out of school - Full Sail in the Orlando area supplies a heap of all sorts of techs (sound, lights, stage staff) to the cruise lines.

I'd say your real world experience would give you more leverage - but I wouldn't guess more that a $100 to 200 variance in monthly salary. That article is right in the ballpark of $$$.

You'd be considered staff and being out in public areas is not that much of a big deal - you need to always be in uniform and have a nametag on - which means LOADS of questions. Your job will keep you out there - i.e. on the pool deck every sea day and at all the evening events to record the pax having fun. All the shows as broadcast is involved in either the production or filming for rebroadcast. There are lots of shopping talks, interviews, etc, that generally are filmed in guest view. Give it a month and you be wanting to be in plain clothes and in the crewbar during your time off

The one thing that RCCL has over most of the other cruise lines - all sound/light/broadcast techs have their own single cabin. This is quite the commodity!!! You might be able to get a higher salary on one of the smaller, upscale lines, but you would be sharing a small, small cabin with probably the only other tech onboard.

Here's a photo of my fav video guy "hard at work". He titled it "Like No Job on Earth" to paraphrase an ad campaign.

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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Default ...interview

hello. had an interview today via telephone with a guy down in miami for c-deck. i guess you could call it a battle of the nerves.. the talking part of the interview was great, but i had to take a little quiz to test my television knowledge. i bombed one question.. i know how to read waveform and vectorscope monitors.. but i couldn't tell you exact measurements. that's just not my area of expertise. i can read and properly calibrate bars and such.. but i couldn't answer his question.

they want to put me in a 'gap pool' but i don't know how that is going to work. i need a little bit of committment from them before i can totally say good-bye to my current employer.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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I hear you on that one!!!! The gap pool concept is evil, evil, evil. I am suffering through it right now - I enjoy spontainaity in most things, except where my next paycheque is coming from. I will not screw over my current employer, so I made sure the recruiter knew I HAD to have 2 weeks notice. They were very accepting of that fact and now I am just waiting for my assignment.

I make that sound so simple, but the waiting is the hardest part. I know I got it. I know they are happy with my skill set. I know that I need to get my loose ends and what-not tied up here in Canada...but I don't know how long I have - two weeks from tomorrow, or another 2 months to wait. The frustration of that question is mind-numbing. But it also has made me realize exactly how badly I want to do this, and has rasied my excitement level going into this job. That anticipation is probably a really good thing since it sounds like the first 2-3 weeks at sea are the hardest to get adjusted to.

Someone else on here mentioned this blog http://www.crewoffice.blogspot.com/
and I think it is great. If you are looking for a more comprehensive look at the crew/staff-side of cruising, it has a ton of different articles to read. This board is great for one off questions, but that blog makes you feel almost like you have already been there and seen what it's like.

Trust your feelings - if you can't rationalize doing this to yourself don't try to talk yourself into it - you'll be unhappy. If you list all the bad things, concerns, etc and you still come out of that wanting to go, to try this crazy adventure, then do it!!

Good luck making up your mind - and remember - being in the gap pool means you have time to think about it, so use that time wisely.

R.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Default ..gap pool

i wanna take a dive into the gap pool head first, and you know 'beenthere' i can't see myself NOT doing this (does that makes sense!? i really want to). i believe the adventure, demands and new experiences both job and non-job related would be 10 times that of what i would receive here in indianapolis.

i could stay here in the control room in indianapolis for another 5 or 10 years.. pressing my space bars and working with my computers.. but then i would always be kicking myself for not having taken the risk of giving up what i have to gain what i don't.

so, i'm back once again.. to the place i was when i started my thread! i wonder what comes next. i had a nice first interview, and i hope that within 7 days i will get a call back. the guy from c-deck said if you don't hear from us within 2 weeks call back.. but, i say.. if i don't hear from them within 7 days.. i'm calling.. and calling.. and calling until they get sick of me and offer me something just to get me out of their hair! HA!

so, 'beenthere', are you waiting for your first contract to begin?

anyone.. is the gap pool just a 'beginner' thing.. or can you get placed in it after you have completed a few contracts..

and.. what are the chances of your contract being renewed? if your a good employee is there a good chance it will be renewed? that is another thing that does frighten me a bit--the uncertainty of un-employment at the back end of my contract.

thanks
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Old March 20th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: ..gap pool

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradyusi
and.. what are the chances of your contract being renewed? if your a good employee is there a good chance it will be renewed? that is another thing that does frighten me a bit--the uncertainty of un-employment at the back end of my contract.

thanks
You have to do something REALLY stupid or REALLY piss off someone not to get rehired. Once you're in, you're in.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 07:30 PM
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SZ - That photo should seriously be a recruiting poster for the boys!

Brady - Trust yourself, you already sound like you know what you want to do. I worry about "what happens when I come home" too, but then I think - hey, get ahead of the game a bit on savings, and I have time to get the right job when I decide cruise-life is over. The contacts you will make onboard will be invaluable in the search down the road.

I'm still doggie-paddling around the gap pool (sorry, that mental picture makes me laugh every time). 6 weeks now....uuuuugggghhhhh....I'm dying. I understand though - the job I have been hired for isn't held by THAT many people that one is leaving every day, or even every week. My hiring partner thinks I'll be onboard by April at the latest, so it's just a bit more hurry up and wait. Well, that and cross my fingers that I'll get assigned to a ship going to the Med for the summer!! That's the big wish right now - but if not this time around, then hopefully Australia in the winter. 8)
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Old March 21st, 2007, 07:53 PM
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beenthere.. what job did you apply for? did you go through c-deck. what was your interviewing process like?

it's the waiting that stinks. it's horrible!!
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:05 PM
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Hey Brady,

I'd actually never heard of c-deck until you mentioned it - but then again, I have a hospitality background, not an entertainment one, and I haven't yet been on ship to hear these company names. I have gone through one of the RCI recruiting partners here in Toronto.

I did all my pre-interviews and stuff with the recruiting partner, then had the final meeting/interview with an RCI human resources officer who placed me with the Celebrity line as a crew purser. I'm pretty lucky actually since this position is not normally offered to first-time cruise staff from what I understand. The HR recruiter seemed quite happy with my experience level and my specific skills are quite suited to the detail-orientation they need for this job.

I've done quite a bit of looking into the Celebrity fleet since I was told I was successful, and considering they don't have the highest number of ships, and there are only approximately 4 crew pursers (or so I have heard) per ship, there are only so many spots available for me. If I had been placed on RCCL instead of Celebrity, I might already be gone since there are more ships, but they have said that they try to place you with their line that they feel you best suit. Maybe it's because I am not the typical 21 year old recruit - who knows!

I read up on the type of job you will get - I am jealous - it sounds fun!! You'll have to share the details once you are onboard...I'll be your gap pool penpal! hahahaha

Gotta hit the hay...early work meeting tomorrow.

Rebecca
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 12:22 AM
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ohhh yeah, you're canadian! you have different hiring people than i do. well i wish you luck on your job that first timers don't usually get! you must be good!

question for ya tho.. your final interview.. was it in person? how did your specific interview process go.

so you are actually hired.. just waiting for the call to go right? once you get that call.. do you know how long it will be until you have to be at your ship?

i love asking questions! one day i'll hopefully know it all!
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Yup - a canuck through and through.

So this is how my hiring process went:
1) Hiring partner called to determine my interest (mid-December)
2) Structured phone interview with hiring partner (December)
3) Detailed reference checks (January)
4) Office meeting with hiring partner to take verbal/listening test, view "life at sea" prep video, fill in required employment documentation (mid-January)
5) In-person interview with RCI recruiter from Miami - in conjunction with hiring partner (late January)
6) Verbal offer of employment stating position, wage, etc. (early February)
7) The waiting............................

My hiring partner has been pretty good with answering all of my detailed questions along the way, and the interview with the HR woman from Miami went quite well. In the first two weeks after I was offered, I struggled a LOT with the idea that a written offer doesn't happen until you get your ship assignment, but it does makes sense. How can they give you an offer saying you'll be joining an unnamed ship at an as yet unnamed time? I hate the logic of it - I just want it all to happen NOW!!

I am not 100% sure, having never worked for a cruise line before, but I am pretty sure that if you have made it to the gap pool, you're in, done deal, just waiting on a time frame for your assignment. Unless your hiring partner works differently than mine, we sound like we're in the same spot. Do you know if you will work directly for the cruise line, or will you work as a contractor via the recruiting agency?

If our ships are one day docked beside each other in Italy, we can have lunch in port and laugh about our stress over the waiting! Then you can tell me if you have succeeded in asking enough questions to officially say you know everything
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 06:49 PM
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a verbal/listening test? what's that? does it just verify that you can read and speak english? did you ever have to travel for an interview?

so, it looks like 2 1/2 to 3 months from first contact until job on ship. that gives me hope.. but it also kind of stinks. i just found out that the guy who does my job on the weekends is leaving, which means a) i'll be covering for him for a while (yay overtime, boo extra hours) and b) if i leave too.. there will be two new people.. which when you only have 3 on nightside that do this job.. kind of makes things tough on my employer. but oh well.. i must do what is best for me, while not burning my bridges too!

hey beenthere.. check your PM's!!

b
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:42 PM
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The test was computerized. Through headphones you listen to people with different accents say different words, commands, etc and you make a choice of what you think they said. With so many different nationalities on board, I guess they want to ensure you can distinguish similar sounding phrases and what not. It was actually kind of fun (I'm twisted, I know....tests aren't supposed to be fun) - it made me realize how often I don't really listen the way I should.

I don't know if my recruitment has been typical for length of time it takes or not. I have only seem comments from a couple of experienced employees and none seem to be particularly detailed about their turn around time. They have great info to share about life on board, or where to send a resume, but there just hasn't been extensive info on the stuff in between!

Lots of people have been reading this thread, but very few posting....Lurkers of the world.....jump in and talk! The more experiences we waiting people hear about, the easier the wait is to take.

Night all!
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:24 AM
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i think it would be awesome to try to understand what people with different accents are saying. but, when a job is on the line because of it.. i'd have to take it a little more serious. but, still fun none the less.

there are two things that i don't know how i'll adjust to living without.. one is my tivo.. i LOVE my tivo.. and two, is my internet. i know there's internet on board.. but i wonder how it is and seeing you have to pay.. i'm not too keen on the idea on pay per minute. i can get umm.. distracted.. really easily!

b
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Old March 30th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Default update!

hello!

just a quick update.

i heard back from c-deck today and i'm being 'taken to the next level'.. as soon as they have an opening that fits my criteria they will forward my info on to that line for interviewing.

b
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:48 PM
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btw.. passport in hand in 13 days! ..and the gov't was saying it could take around a month for expidated service! HA!

b
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Old April 13th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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I am very interested inhearing how things have changed in the hiring technigues. My last job on a ship was in 1993, stage manager; NCL and Holland America.

Back then, job experience was the main qualifier, I sent them a resume and a picture just to show them I didn't look like Richard Nixon and after a phone interview I was hired. The physical was done on the ship.

The one thing I would encourage is that when you do your phone interview get the contact information of the decision makers. If you "blow" a question then write them a personal follow-up to say, "I can't believed I fluffed that, I used to do that often on my last job, but I just forgot what you called that "_____". Whatever, just contact them that way, and then say, "I want you to know that I have been thnking this over and I am now very excitied about the prospects and ready to move to the next level, please keep me in mind." That should be enough for them to move you into the hot list.

Also - when it comes to your current employer, you have to face the reality that cruise lines OFTEN call people to say "we need you next week, can you do it." If you say, "I absolutely can't leave without giving notice" then you are not helping yourself. It is good to say it, but I would somehow let them know that if a last minute opportunity comes up that you would like to hear about it, because they do come up.

Another thing about this thread - someone mentioned small boutique lines means lesser accomodations. That was not my experience, they were just as good, sometimes better, and the travel far more compensated. Believe me, seeing new ports all the time is the best, I would do that job for less money, than to be on a ship that does the same trip week after week.

Anyway - my point is this, in the interview, try to come across as a ship person; able to leave home without anything that might interrupt your contract, flexibility on when and where you will join a ship, able to adapt to changing conditions, ability to work with all kinds of people. For techs, ability to "fix" things at sea is also a factor. Mention that you have a toolbox that weighs 50 pounds. Plus your books. Ask if your cabin is big enough to hold all those things.

Good luck.

If you are on the
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Old July 4th, 2007, 02:35 AM
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Default update... and decisions to be made

well hello. it seems like it's been an eternity since i said hello here.. but i had very well given up on the whole cruise ship process because they (royal caribbean) were not hiring at the moment. i started looking at other ways to get ahead in the world. so the last few weeks i had been looking at going back to school.. a masters plus a broad base in IT + media/broadcasting would open me up to many more jobs (and a bit more $$). i even have a few appointments set up in the next few days to explore going back to school.. but alas.. who decides to call. oh yeah, you're right.. c-deck.

oh hi brady, yeah.. have you ever interviewed with royal carribean.. no.. would you still be interested.. ohhh sure what the hell, why not!

so.. i don't know what i'll be doing.. but i do know that something will be changing in my life. i just don't know if i'll end up in college or on a ship. either way, the living quarters aren't much different!

if you get some time, feel free to reply! i'd love to hear what everyone else is doing now.

brady
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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I recall I had one guy on the ship I couldn't understand, and he was the guy training me. And he was British and very sensitive. If i asked him to repeat something he could not believe it was because they guy just mumbled and I actual hadn't heard him. He thought i was putting him on! That was tough, but we finally got along after awhile - grudgingly.

The wait -time is tough, sometimes between contracts they just don't need you and you just have to wait. I know I tended to take it personally and usually didn't call back. In retrospect I should have just believed them when they said "I have nothing now, but in a couple months I might" and hung in there.

These days, they try to keep a stable of regulars working, using the same people all the time, and they always have someone in every position. So your only chance is if someone leaves permanently. The good news is that people leave all the time as well. It depends on your job. For waiters or bartenders, lots of turnover. For a stage manager or IT tech, not so much.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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well.. just updating..

had an interview today for the broadcast tech position and the lady from RCI said that I should hear something by the end of the next day, if not by monday.. give c-deck a call.

so.. we'll see if i get an offer. i'm not holding my breath.. but i think it would be an awesome! if all the stars align, you will see me back here tomorrow saying i was offered a position.

have a great week
brady
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old July 19th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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aaaaanother update?!

another interview, this time with the HR rep from Royal. took about :30 or so. i thought it went poorly, but in reality everything was fine.

so, basically it could be 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months. but i'm to the point now that the next call should be a offer for a ship.. contingent upon passing the medical and criminal background check.

brady
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12/07-01/08: RCI Vision of the Seas (Mexican Riviera)
01/08-06/08: RCI Liberty of the Seas (E & W Caribbean)
7/08-1/09: RCI Independence of the Seas (Med, Ireland, Canary Islands, Transatlantic & Caribbean)
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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:10 PM
ncm ncm is offline
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I'm a massage therapist looking to apply soon. How did you guys go about applying? Did you have to go through an agency or did you just submit your CV to the cruiseline direct?
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Default my itnerview with C-deck

Ok well I first sent in my resume to C-deck on the 18th of June, and I heard from them for an interview on the 30th of July for a phone interview. Then the next day I heard back from them saying Royal wanted to do an HR interview the next morning at 945am so I thought ok this is awesome they need me right away. But after the interivew I was told I was in the dredful pool! I have been taling back and forth to Royal for about a year and a half so I knew of the process but I was hoping that I would be one of the ones that could skip the pool!!! but no here I am waiting in the pool, not sure how it works really just that I am approved for an assingment when it becomes available but of course it is not a guarantee it will become available or when it could be 2 weeks i could be 6 months. So everyone just send good luck vibes to each other!
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 01:13 AM
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well well.. c-deck called today (11/22) and said that there was an opening or a/v tech on the explorer.. and that royal wanted the person to start by the 2nd of december!!!! this is not acceptable as it will not allow me to give my current employer 2 weeks notice. c-deck sent a message to royal asking if i could start after the 10th.. (the ship sails again on the 14th). i hope that royal is understanding.. and willing to go without me for one run.

being that this is a holiday weekend in the US i should hear something back monday regarding royals decision. if they say that it's ok to come on the 14th.. then i'm on board!

--too bad it only took 8 months!
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12/07-01/08: RCI Vision of the Seas (Mexican Riviera)
01/08-06/08: RCI Liberty of the Seas (E & W Caribbean)
7/08-1/09: RCI Independence of the Seas (Med, Ireland, Canary Islands, Transatlantic & Caribbean)
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
IAlso - when it comes to your current employer, you have to face the reality that cruise lines OFTEN call people to say "we need you next week, can you do it." If you say, "I absolutely can't leave without giving notice" then you are not helping yourself.
I've just been surfing these boards this afternoon and came upon this somewhat dated post. I can't help but respond.

I've never worked on a cruise ship, but I have worked in industry my entire life (I'm in my early 50's now). I can say without qualification that this is erroneous advice. Any employer will appreciate a potential employee who will NOT shaft his current employer. As an employer, if I interviewed someone currently employed and they told me they could start immediately, I'd be very suspicious about their personal morals. If they would shaft the current employer by leaving with absolutely no notice, what will they do to me up the road?

No, I think any employer will respect the potential employee who says "I can start just as soon as I work out a two-week notice with my current employer." There is no way anyone could fault someone for wanting to do right by an employer who has provided a paycheck for years past.

I know that in my personal case, I have always insisted on giving a two-week notice ... even for secondary part-time jobs ... and I've never been penalized by a potential employer as a result. Quite the contrary, I think they respected me for my stance.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
..snip..

No, I think any employer will respect the potential employee who says "I can start just as soon as I work out a two-week notice with my current employer." There is no way anyone could fault someone for wanting to do right by an employer who has provided a paycheck for years past.

I know that in my personal case, I have always insisted on giving a two-week notice ... even for secondary part-time jobs ... and I've never been penalized by a potential employer as a result. Quite the contrary, I think they respected me for my stance.
I feel the same way.. if the folks that offered me a job were not able to be OK with me giving my current employer 2 weeks, I was not OK working for them. It turns out that they were willing to work with me wanting to give 2 weeks.. so i'm off to the ship soon!!
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12/07-01/08: RCI Vision of the Seas (Mexican Riviera)
01/08-06/08: RCI Liberty of the Seas (E & W Caribbean)
7/08-1/09: RCI Independence of the Seas (Med, Ireland, Canary Islands, Transatlantic & Caribbean)
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Old December 8th, 2007, 12:48 AM
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Default ...i'm off

by the way.. i leave for LA saturday (8th december) to board the Vision on sunday (9th december)

if you wish to keep up with what havoc i'm wreaking visit my blog: http://bradywalker.blogspot.com
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