Greetings to All! Particularly here in this section of crewmembers!
Nice forum you have here. I've been trolling your forums, til I've decided to sign up,finally! lol
I've noticed most of the professions in the topics mentioned in the threads here at crewmembers are mostly musicians, singers, stewards, Hotel staff, etc-etc, But I havent seen any threads/topics about the kitchen department.
*Anybody here had or are still working in the kitchen/galley department of a cruiseline?*
A little about me I am 25 yrs old, male, I've been working in french and european fine dining restaurants since 17 yrs old, got my culinary and pastry diplome from france and other misc culinary schools in other countries in asia as well, I also have hotel experience and I have about a little over 2 years managerial/chef experience. I'm well travelled and speak english and french and to a certain extent some other asian languages such as philippine, some korean, and a tad bit of japanese, but I'm always open to learn more.
After taking all the seafarer certification/trainings and tests, getting the seaman passbook, required trade tests, medical tests and all the vaccines necessary, etc-etc. I've been accepted and signed up for a job in the kitchen/galley department in a cruiseship as a cook(I dont mind going back to the grind as a cook it is my first job onboard a luxury liner anyways).
This would be my first time to work onboard a luxury ship, company notified me to be ready next month, thats in a few days.
While I have been doing my research about cruiseship job and life onboard, on internet and talking to other people who had and are still working on cruiselines and even cargo and tanker vessels. Like cooks/sous-chefs, messmen, maritime officers deck and engine, OS and AB's etc-etc, bar/hotel staff...., I would still like to get input and tips regarding the job and life onboard from anyone here (and hopefully Paul Motter
included, who seems most knowledgeable with shipboard employment) not just cook/chefs, everyones welcome to enlighten moi ^^, but especially from people who work in the kitchen/galley of cruiselines!
The company that I'm in is NYK, company says I will be put in the World Cruise Route, I've requested to join the Asuka II(particularly to get my hands on some high grade japanese cuisine experience, since asuka II's market clients are mostly japanese people), but I'm open to also the Crystal Cruise ships of Symphony and Serenity, I think they got a sushi bar as well and Chef Nobu's signature dishes. The company will dictate where they will fit me in or where there's an opening in one of their cruise ships.
I know the Company will give me a quick orientation prior to boarding, but i still wanna err on the safer side and I still have some lingering questions that come to mind such as the ff:
- Are the jobs absolutely back breaking? how long are the normal hours of work for cooks onboard ship? (I've heard some people mention same as onshore but some have mentioned 12 hours atleast and 7 days a week no day off, just time off.)
- For instance there's some cooks and sous-chefs from huge liners who mentioned to me that some cruiseships DO NOT even the have time enough to make fresh stocks(cause of the extra fast pace), so it comes canned and frozen? any truth to this??
- And if its common for crew/staff to be able to access the internet while onboard the cruiseship? for pay or free(free i hope, as I can tell satellite internet connection sounds expensive, lol)
- I'm planning to bring a laptop, but I was wondering if there'd be electrical outlets in the cabin rooms? and if applicable what are the sockets most likely to be? And the Voltage 110 or 220?
- I wont be bringing my own knife set since I dont wanna possibly lose my knife kit(besides I'm sure the they would be well equipped there), and there are some regulations for having weapons/blades inside the cabin, but would it be alright to keep a swiss knife?
Any information or experience you guys share to enlighten me would be most appreciated! 8) Thanks in advance for any who reply, thanks also to who dont but the take the time to read my ramblings! ^^
------------------------I have a good number of cruise info and employment links but i just remember one now, that I'd like to mention, if its any use/help to anyone heres a website about cruiseline employment - http://www.cruiselinesjobs.com/
(but their message board is swamped with people's ad-like CV's).[/b]