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Your Questions About Cruises – A Bit Of This And That

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Chris asks…

How long does it take for a cruise ship to pick up speed once it leaves port?

I will be sailing on the Ruby Princess but it doesn’t have to be specific for this ship.  Overall reviews would be lovely.  Also, how many kids generally sail on the Ruby Princess or Princess Cruises and will a staff member tell a parent to control their child if they are misbehaving/being obnoxious/rude/enjoying.  I have nothing against kids, I am 15, I just want to relax.

John answers:

It doesn’t take long for a cruise ship to get up to speed.   Normal cruising speed isn’t fast compared to cars, about 25 miles per hour, more or less.

No, a staff member will not tell a parent to control their child if they are misbehaving, rude, or obnoxious. The kind of people who won’t discipline their children are the kind who will either bite the staff member’s head off verbally on the spot, or go file a report about them.

As for the number of kids on board, the average number is not really meaningful.  The number can vary significantly depending on a number of factors.  The most important, perhaps, is the school calendar.  You can expect more kids during holidays and the summer, and fewer when schools are in session.

Ruth asks…

Norwegian Jewel cruise ship review, please?

-please give me a list of things to do for free
-please let me know if the Nickelodeon is a big part of the ship, and if its bad
-please tell me a short review if you want
-is it age appropriate for,, 13 16 19 21 and parents
-rate a couple things you have in mind

John answers:

Hi Ruth.  For reviews, I’d suggest you go to Cruise Critic.  They have hundreds of reviews of NCL cruises., and Norwegian Jewel in particular.

Unless you go on one of the infrequent “all access” sailings, where the emphasis on Nickelodeon is quite pronounced, you can avoid most encounters of the third kind with the characters.

The Jewel is certainly appropriate for you and your family.  Finally, most of the on board activities are included in the cruise fare and, therefore, free to the extent that you pay nothing additional to enjoy them – dining in many of the restaurants, nightly entertainment in the theater, additional entertainment in the lounges, the disco, the pool, movies, trivia games and activities around the pool, and on and on.

Joseph asks…

Advice/information about working on a cruise ship?

I’m 20 years old and looking for a job where I can travel and save money at the same time. I’ve heard mixed reviews about working on a cruise ships. What are the hours, pay and accommodations like?  Do you have time off the boat while docked?  What are the requirements for an entry level position in the kitchen or housekeeping department?  Which cruise lines offer the best pay for entry level positions?  Any help or advice on the subject would be great.

John answers:

The questions you have are best answered by the cruise lines.  But I have been on many cruises and also talked with the staff about their jobs.  I know that you must sign a contract that lasts about 6 to 9 months.  During that time you work every day and in many cases a split shift where you go on duty in the early morning and then have some time off during the day before returning  to work in the afternoon or evening.  After you complete your initial 6 to 9 month contract you get 2 or 3 months or so off.  If your work has been satisfactory, you’ll be invited to sign a new contract.

The ship’s crew does have the opportunity to get off ship in some ports some of the time.  But you can’t automatically get off at any port you choose.  It depends in part on your work schedule.  You may have to wait for a couple visits to a port before you have the free time to go ashore.

The pay on ships is very low, well below US minimum wage, but you get free room and board and share a cabin with two or three others, depending upon the ship.

You need to contact the cruise lines directly.  On their web sites you will find a link to jobs, employment, human resources or some such link that will give you information about their positions.  Some sites even have current vacancies they are recruiting for.  Please be aware that the majority of the staff does not have deck privileges, meaning that you cannot relax in the passenger areas during your down time.  To compensate, most of the cruise lines have dedicated crew areas, including dining room, bar, and in some cases a disco and a pool.

Don’t go to the web sites that advertise “cruise line jobs” because they charge a fee.  The cruise lines give you all you need without charging a fee.

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