One of the most important factors of a cruise is the service provided by the crew and the interactions with them. Most cruise ship crew work on the ship for at least six months, some more than ten months. So one of the most important and exciting times for a crew member is when it’s time to go home. Usually the countdown to a crew member’s vacation at home will start weeks before and some even keep track with a calendar. Cruise Hive looks at those 10 things which crew members do while at home for one month or more before their next contract. The list is not what you expect.
The first thing a crew member usually does after that long flight home from the cruise ship is sleep. This is not just any sleep but it’s the mother of all sleeps. Crew members rarely get a good sleep for an unlimited amount of hours and it’s one of the most popular things to do while working long hours onboard. Usually a crew member will sleep way over the average time of ten hours until the afternoon when first back home.
2. Real Food
For passengers this might be a surprise but crew members actually don’t get the same food and at times will get the leftovers from the ship’s dining room. Food in the crew mess or staff mess can be terrible at times and will put anyone off from eating. So when a crew member is home one of the first things done is having a full-blown home cooked dinner with the family. It’s one of the highlights of the vacation and hangs in the crew members minds during the entire contract onboard.
3. Spend It All
With a limited amount of time in port during a crew member’s contract, shopping at home has never been so important. All the money saved during the six months of work or more has just been spent in one day from clothes shopping, going to restaurants with friends or just treating the family. Fashion onboard ships is pretty much only uniform so when back home it’s time to purchase the latest trends for those crew parties back onboard. That money goes quick and by the time vacation is almost up the crew member is desperate to get back to work and start saving again.
How does everyone know when their friend is back home from the cruise ship? Facebook of course! When home the crew member will constantly be on the popular social network site, posting photos and commenting like never before. The ship’s Wi-Fi can be expensive and using internet in port is limited. Crew members will also browse for hours making up for all that missed time online. When you notice a crew member’s activity going silent then it probably means they are back on the ship.
When visiting tourist destinations or even going out near home a crew member can sometimes feel like a tourist. So much time away from home can be difficult and trying to feel at home might never be the same again. Working on a cruise ship teaches crew members to be polite and provide a great service to guests which can be the same on land. When it’s the other way around a crew member can feel sorry and uncomfortable and at times too nice back when interacting with people at home.
By working on a cruise ship contract after contract there is a serious possibility of losing friends at home. Working on the ship is like a bubble and isn’t a real life, nothing really changes while working onboard and when it’s time to go home friends have moved on, had babies and even moved away. The only way to really stay in contact is Skype and Facebook but it just doesn’t feel the same.
It’s time to spend time with the family, that’s all the family! Once home crew members usually visit everyone in their family from the grandparents and aunts to the distant cousins and babies. They all want to know what happened on the ship and what was life-like. Often a gift from the cruise ship or one of the port of calls is given to keep them happy. Going to watch movies and having a good time with brothers or sisters is an essential part of any vacation.
8. It’s Time
A week or so before vacation is up the cruise line sends the next contract and with not much notice crew members are usually rushing around doing last-minute preparation before departing once again. The family will be there at the airport and tears will flow but after six months or more it will happen all over again.
9. Sea Legs
Crew members will not be used to staying on land for such a long time. Walking around can feel strange and land legs are needed again. A crew member will be standing and walking on the ship for hours every single day and can be very stressful by causing leg pains so on vacation it’s time to reset and rest those legs.
10. Music & Movies
Finally something which all crew members do and that is catching up on all the latest music and movies online. On the ship as mentioned earlier is like being in a bubble so music and movies stand still. Being at home gives the chance to update the collection ready for the next cruise ship contract.
We’re sure there are more things crew members do while back at home on vacation as every crew member is different and countries have different cultures. Feel free to add more in the comments below.