Cruise ship chefs jobs are among the more popular positions for young men and women in south east Asia today. The pay is good, relative to land-based jobs, and the chance to travel the world when one is young is exciting. It is also a great way to hone skills and work in a multi-cultural environment.
That said, the cruise ship chefs are expected to work approximately 10 to 12 hours each day without a holiday for the entire duration of their contracts. This is, no doubt, difficult but is quite acceptable in the industry.
However, cruise ship chefs are protected by certain maritime and international labour laws against harassment, work and living conditions as well as safety. Cruise companies are expected to have minimum facilities on board that ensure crew are well taken care of.
Some of these guidelines may be mentioned in your contract or orientation kit ahead of joining, but you are also entitled to ask your interviewer about them before you take the job. Many mainstream or big cruise corporations are constantly in the spotlight for working conditions and facilities available to staff, so they are more likely to have a proper grievance redressal system in place and low rates of complaints.
You should be aware of unreliable recruitment agencies who have poor track records or are mostly unheard of. Speak to people who have been hired by them previously to know the inside story.
Once on board, understand your rights as a crew member and know the procedure to get your grievances redressed on board. The most typical way is to inform your superior about your issue as soon as you are faced with the problem. This could be anything from a malfunctioning piece of equipment that has not been timely replaced or fixed despite repeated requests to bullying or sexual harassment.
Always remember that you should never have to compromise on your safety – physical or mental. It is the key to enjoying a productive contract on board a cruise ship. Formal complaints are often the next step after verbal requests. To successfully get your grievance redressed, you should have clear knowledge of the events that led up to your complaint.
It is important to note down any information you think might be of help to the grievance redressal committee – often a part of the human resources / crew / personnel department on board. To be able to do this, you must be aware of things as they occur.
If you find that safety is being compromised in the galley due to malfunctioning equipment, note down immediately when the each request to get it fixed was made and to whom. If someone is mentally or physically harassing you, note down the date and time of each incident and exactly what happened.
It might be painful to relive these instances, particularly if it is physical or sexual assault, but think of it as your ammunition against the perpetrator when the complaint is being looked into.
Inform your supervisor of the issue, in writing over an email, so there is a formal record. If your company has set guidelines over grievance redresal, follow them as closely as possible.