Wow! You don't ask too many questions now, do you
First - if you haven't already, join Facebook and look for crew groups - one being the Royal Caribbean Crew Bar and Splendour of the Seas Crew. Not sure if BR has a group as I haven't worked on that ship (yet). The crew bar group has a newby questions thread started
good thing I'm on vacation now and can type a lenghty answer! I'm not cruise staff, but in the division, so here goes . . .
Has anybody here worked in one of these specific ships (Brilliance and Splendour)? Could you tell me how they are, specially for staff and crew?
Every ship and class of ship has it's own distict personality and vibes both good and bad. Smaller ships usually have a more family atmostphere - which is nice. I have worked on the SP - and it was a great ship.
- Are the priviledge differences between Staff / Crew that tremendous in Royal Caribbean ships? As a Staff, I really do have access to *all* areas of the ship?
Basically, crew (housekeeping, cooks/galley/waiters/bar staff, maintenace staff) can't go into guest areas when off duty. Staff can - which is the big difference. Any crew member CAN'T go into the casino unless working it, and you really don't need or want to be going into the galleys or engine rooms, but you'll have access to most of the ship. You can't use guest facilities when busy (like gyms, spa, pools,etc) but can 'go out' and you will be out hosting and being one of the 'faces' that all the guests will know!
- How many Cruise Director's Staff are there, usually, per ship? I have no clue wether it's 3, 5, or 10..
The cruise director, his/her asst known as the activites manager, 4 to 5 cruise staff depending on the size of the ship, then 2-? sports staff, and a DJ or two. The CD division also has the musicans, singers, dancers, technical, stage, broadcast staff and any traveling entertainers.
- Do I host a lot of activities by myself or most of it it's done in groups? Does the Cruise Director himself participate in a lot of them?
Yes to all the above - the CD is there many for many of them and may jump into one of yours. Smaller group activites are usually a solo thing, but game shows usually take several and sometimes everyone is on hand for the big events and parties.
- How long is training, usually? Is there theorical training for my position or it's pretty much "learn while you're doing it" (which it'd be fine with me)?
You will be trained to death! no joke! Mandatory safety and corporate training has to get done within the first 2 weeks onboard, and you're probably going to get thrown on some things and shadow on others and do them the next time. There is specific activity protocol for every event, class, party, etc that goes on - so you'll have some sort of guide.
- Is there any significant difference between work on Docked days and Tendered days?
Cruise staff is the crowd control for getting guest off the ship when docked. Tendering takes a lot longer that just walking off the ship, so it makes for a longer shift Usually everyone is on for tendering, where maybe a couple will be on for a docked (and others are helping with shore excursions groups off the ship if needed)
- How is internet in these 2 ships? Should I even bother bringing my laptop, or there really is internet access on my laptop from my cabin? Is internet really 0.08 cents/minute? (I've read some places it's 0.15, so I'm confused)
I haven't been on SP for a couple years, and every ship is different. The older ships are being retrofitted with wifi and ??? as to where the hot spot is each on each one. Any ship built after Radiance (about 2001?) had little terminals in every crew cabin, but they started breaking and got used as drink rests and not terribly functional. There is an internet cafe on every ship that's the .15 you saw and is usually hideously slow. Depending on what package you get for connecting with your laptop via wifi, it is .08 to .15. Also always check for free hot spots in the ports, and there's always crew friendly cafes, restaurants etc with free hotspots. I'm not sure, but you might have limited intenet on the cruise staff office computer, but I really recommend not using it for personal stuff.
- As Cruise Staff.. should I bring lots of clothes to wear on duty, as formal nights, casual nights, parties, etc? I'm specially concerned about the themed parties and whatnot
This would be a good question for a facebook group - you need at least one formal dress/shoes, and there is a heap of uniforms you'll get onboard for most of your day to day activites. Not sure what the themes are on European or SA runs - but someone usually can lend you something until you can get off in port and shop.
- My agency says I also get comission from paid activities, like bingo.. but there aren't any other paid activities that I can think of, that a cruise staff would be hosting. Any other examples?
Bingo most def, maybe horseracing if the CD isn't doing it - there are other jobs within the division like broadcast who get a comission on cruise videos . . .
- I know this may be too much to ask.. but if there is a very kind ex-cruise staff out there, could you brieftly tell me how is a regular day of work, and difference between sea days, tendered days, docked days, embarkation days?
another good facebook question - I know what the day entails but not all the specifics. . . maybe someone would send you a daily schedule?
- How does the eating work? Is it like a buffet for crew, staff, etc? Are there specific times for each meal, as breakfast 6-10am, or the place is pretty much open 24hs? What if I finish working at a party at 2am and am starving afterwards? hahaha
Ships run on very strict time schedules, and there is what's known as 'the mess' - one each for officers, staff and crew. The crew one's open the longest, but are more geared towards asian and island tastes in food (lots of rice, stews and curries). Set hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner and at midnight for those working late shifts. If you're working a late event , there usually is a guest venue that might be open for a snack, but if someone's abused the privilege of going there, you might be out of luck (so eat before the gig!). You can keep some snacks in your room and there is a little fridge in every cabin. There's a microwave and toaster in the mess and usually cereal and milk is available 24/7
- How much is a Corona bottle in a Royal Caribbean's crew/staff bar? :P
I'm a wine drinker, but I think it's .75 or a buck . . . .
Have a great contract and good luck~