How To Deal With Seasickness

How To Deal With Seasickness
For those with cruise ships jobs, the sea is their home. This means living on water 24/7 which can disturb the delicate state of balance that your body is used to. This can cause seasickness. But it does not have to be the debilitating feeling that makes you curse the ocean.

First off, you must remember that sea sickness does not affect everyone. Some may not feel it at all, and among those who do, the degrees of sensitivity vary. It’s important to note that large cruise ships are very stable on the high seas and motion is imperceptible.

Symptoms of sea sickness include dizziness, a general feeling of uneasiness and fatigue, headaches, excessive production of saliva, sweating, burping, nausea and vomiting. These can be from mild to serious, depending on the person and the range of motion being felt.

One of the keys to dealing with sea sickness is being able to predict motion – by spotting something on the horizon or looking at land. This might not be possible for people with cruise ships jobs, but other options are certainly available.

If possible, change to a position that makes you feel better – some people prefer lying down with their eyes closed, others prefer standing or sitting. Try getting some air. Go out on deck for some fresh sea breeze, or turn a few air vents or a fan towards you. Make sure you avoid cigarette smoke, engine fumes and activities such as watching television or reading from a book or electronic device as these can increase nausea.

Food is important too. Some people prefer to avoid eating, but a completely empty stomach might not be the best idea. However, it’s best to avoid heavy meals and greasy food as these are hard to digest. Look for light snacks, such as crackers, cereal or fruit. Apples and bananas are known to be great options for dealing with hunger during sea sickness.

One more thing to avoid is drinking alcohol. Some people also prefer to avoid heavily sweetened carbonated beverages, while others find soda, seltzer and ginger ale ease discomfort. It is possible that sweet soda pops which, like coffee, have caffeine can increase dehydration and worsen the symptoms.

That said, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you have been sweating and vomiting. Have small sips of water frequently. Alternatively, try chamomile tea, which is said to induce relaxation and relieve feelings of nausea.

There are a number of home remedies that people have found useful. Some of these include sucking on a piece of ginger before running into rough weather at sea or suppressing nausea and neutralising stomach acids by sucking on a slice of lemon.

A 1983 study even showed how B vitamins help ease symptoms of sea sickness. Your options are to either consume vitamin tablets or eat food such as fish, poultry, milk, meat and eggs. But this is a preventive measure and it would be wise to avoid eating these foods if you already feel sick.

All home remedies should be consumed only in consultation with your doctor, as herbals such as ginger or additional vitamins may have effects on medications like blood thinners. That said, people with cruise ships jobs who find sea sickness too tough to handle can always visit the on-board doctor. The shops on board also stock over-the-counter medication that can help.

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Dispelling Common Myths of the Dangers at Sea

Dispelling Common Myths of the Dangers at Sea
The vast expanse of the sea can be overwhelming, especially for people like aspiring crew-members who are looking at spending most of their working lives sailing. There are many myths – from folklore or general disinformation – that could cause unnecessary anxiety. Here are a few:

A powerful rip current can drag you out to sea
Rip currents are strong, fast-moving currents that occur on the surface of the water and move directly away from shore. It is true that they are dangerous, but it is certainly untrue that getting caught up in one will land you in the middle of the ocean.
They occur close to shore, and while it may be a bit of swim back, it is possible to get back to safety. The key is to not fight it. The undertow – which is the force that can make you panic – is short. It drags you underwater but throws you back out quickly, so the important thing here is to hold your breath and relax. Always swim perpendicular to the current and away from it, towards the shore. Don’t tire yourself out.
This is an important point to remember for crew-members who spend some time off swimming at the beaches in port.

The deadly Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda triangle is located between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico, well in cruise ship territory. Disappearing ships and flights gave rise to myths about the existence of an unexplainable force of destruction, with suggestions from alien abductions to magnetic anomalies.
Thousands of ships have safely crossed through the Bermuda Triangle with calm seas and beautiful skies. While it is still uncertain what caused those disappearances, they were likely the result of bad weather, human error or technical failures.

Sharks hunt down humans
These poor creatures have borne the brunt of the effects Hollywood fiction portraying them as serial killers of swimmers. The fact remains that while they are ruthless hunters, humans are not their natural prey.
If they turn up in waters popular with swimmers, it is because we are in their home. Most shark bites occur because sharks are curious and exploring what we are. Since they don’t have hands and have the most sensitive areas at their snout and mouth, they take a nibble.
Sharks are wild animals and must be respected and protected in their environment. Crew-members relaxing at beaches off work should heed any shark warnings and swim calmly since they are attracted to thrashing animals that are most likely wounded.

Urine eases jellyfish stings
Some jellyfish can be deadly, others not so much. But any poisonous jellyfish sting is likely to cause at least irritation, if not painful welts.
Myths abound as to the most effective and immediate pain relief when stung by a far-reaching tentacle. One of these is that urinating on a jellyfish sting, made well-known by popular sitcom Friends, can heal it. The fact is that urine could cause more pain rather than relief.
Instead, it is more effective to wash the area with saltwater – not freshwater, or better still vinegar.

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Cruise Ship Jobs: Laws On The High Seas

Cruise Ship Jobs: Laws On The High SeasIt can be very exciting to get on with your cruise ship jobs – you’re in a luxury hotel far away from land and everything seems rosy. But what happens when things go out of hand. If someone commits a crime? There isn’t a police station for miles, and you’d have to swim for it!
On board a cruise ship, things are very different from a perspective of law. Jurisdictions are confusing since you have got people of different nationalities, the ship travelling to and from ports in various countries and in international waters, as well as the flag registration of the ship.
One of the main laws that all ships must adhere to is SOLAS (International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea), an international maritime treaty that sets minimum safety standards for merchant and passenger ships.
These include the number of lifeboats each ship is required to have, types of communication equipment needed for rescues and even certain specifications for ships plying in freezing seas. On cruise ships, one of the most prominent SOLAS requirements is the safety drill. You will need to know this and other safety information as part of your cruise ship jobs.
If your cruise ship job requires you to work with cargo (loading, discharging or securing it) or embarking and disembarking passengers, the law requires that you have certain approved training in passenger safety and cargo safety.
Most cruise ship companies ensure that these requirements are met. But the problem arises with issues such misconduct, assault and theft. There’s no one single rule of law to follow. One online portal offered the example of an alleged rape of a US citizen that took place in international waters on a cruise ship registered in Liberia but docking at Mexico during the voyage. While her case was registered in Los Angeles, she was told that there was nothing that could be done.
This is because the areas of jurisdiction differ and could come in conflict with each other. Internal waters such as ports and bays are governed by that part of the country, down to the state laws (which could differ from national laws in places like the US). Territorial waters stretch out to 12 nautical miles from the coastline and are governed by that particular country.
International waters start from 24 miles out where the ship is ruled by the law of the country whose flag it flies. So if a ship registered in South Africa is sailing 25 miles off the coast of the US, it will be subject to South African law.
In between the 12-24 miles is a contiguous zone which offers the country it is nearest to certain rights with issues such as smuggling drugs and sanitation. It still remains, however, that most cases of alleged misconduct on the part of an employee might take a turn for the worse for the crew member involved. There will be an inquiry during which time the accused can try to clear their name, but to be on the safe side, it is best to avoid situations that could be used against you. For example, skip the elevator that has only one guest in it, ensure the room is empty before cleaning it, and be polite and respectful at all times.
Often, cruise ship companies also take certain measures to protect their interests. Many tickets and cruise ship job contracts will include clauses regarding which countries, states or cities any lawsuits against the companies can be tried.
Most employees on US ships can avail the benefits of the Jones Act when it comes to accidents or fatalities on the job. Guests are governed by other laws. The Jones Act covers everyone from captains and support personnel to entertainers, housekeepers and cruise ship chefs. It helps them receive compensation in case of injury and could include covering medical bills, extended rehabilitation treatments, retraining for transitions to new positions and forms of ‘future damages’.
In all cases, it is important to read your contract carefully before signing it and ask questions if you have doubts. Signing up with reliable recruitment companies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultancy can help clear any confusion.

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Why Indians are on demand on Cruise Ships

Why Indians are on demand on Cruise Ships
The shipping industry looks promising for Indians overall. Employment of Indian nationals in the Merchant Navy grew 35 per cent globally last year, increasing from 22,103 in 2017 to 27,364 in 2018.

But this isn’t simply because the worldwide shipping industry has grown. It is also because Indians – and other South East Asians such as Filipinos – present an enviable employment opportunity for companies.

One of the main reasons that there is a growing demand for Indian cruise ship crew is their knowledge of English. English is the working language on board most cruise ships, partly because it is the language most crew from varying nationalities can understand and also because a significant number of guests come in from English-speaking countries.

Indians are adept at learning language and English is taught rigorously in school from a young age. This gives them an upper hand in the industry.

Cruise ship crew from India are in plenty, lapping up prospective jobs quite quickly. Applications flood in from jobseekers who have heard about employment vacancies from friends and family who already work on cruise ships.
Indians have an excellent reputation in the cruise ship industry, known for being hospitable and hard-working. Many cruise line companies have employment drives or are connected with reputed recruitment companies across the country like Kamaxi Overseas to get honest, loyal jobseekers.

It’s important to note that for many employees from Western countries, cruise jobs form a stop-gap position between careers or gap year experience. The number that sticks around is far fewer when compared with South East Asian jobseekers who mostly tend to look at cruise ship jobs as careers.

Many Indian cruise ship crew start from the bottom and work their way up. They are reputed for being loyal to the cruise line, which increases their demand. Cruise ship companies invest a lot of time and effort in on-board training so staff who keep returning for the next contract are valued.

The long contracts are also quite stressful and demand a serious commitment if the employee is looking at the profession long-term. Cruise ship crew from India and the Philippines are among those noted for their determined nature when it comes to holding down jobs such as these.

It may be tough to admit, but one of the main reasons why Indians are in high demand in the cruise ship industry is the salaries. Cruise ship crew are paid in dollars and the domestic economy is such that, when converted, even the salary of an entry-level job is lucrative.

According to Cruise Ship Jobs by Seamax, a utility cleaner who requires no experience and a basic understanding of English can earn up to US$800 a month. This roughly converts to Rs 56,700 per month, not including gratuities of any kind. Combine this with one’s saving on food, accommodation and transport, and the possibility of putting away a nest egg or supporting one’s entire family increases rapidly. This is certainly difficult to do in developed countries where the cost of living is much higher.

With commitment, dedication and loyalty, cruise ship companies are able to offer Indian employees well-earned increments as well as promotions through the ranks. Given the salaries, Indians are in a better position to stay on and give the job their best. So it’s a win-win situation on both ends.

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Why Clean Cabins are Important

Why Clean Cabins are ImportantAs cruise ship crew, you will call your cabin ‘home’ for anywhere between six to eight months, depending on your contract. Based on your position, you will share your cabin – with one person, if you’re lucky, or up to three others. Single cabins are only available to superior officers. And just like your home, you will be required to keep it clean all the time.

Clean cabins play an important part in life on board, sometimes for reasons quite unexpected. Here are a few reasons why cruise ship crew need to clean their cabins.


On ships, safety comes first. Every cabin – whether a guest stateroom or crew cabin – is required to have certain safety items such as life jackets for every resident. These need to be accessible at all times.
Cabin inspectors do regular check ups and crew will be pulled up if anything is found obstructing access to safety items. Crew are also prohibited from cooking in their cabins as this poses a safety hazard. So any sign of a hot plate or other heating instrument and it could mean trouble. No food is allowed from the mess back to the cabins either. You must eat in the areas designated for the purpose.

To avoid disease

Cleanliness and hygiene is of utmost importance on board a cruise ship. Due to close living quarters, it is extremely easy for contagious diseases to spread rapidly and turn into an epidemic.
It is best to keep any eating or snacking out of cabin areas as this might create problems with your superiors. Even the slightest bit of food could invite cockroaches, flies or even microscopic germs that can cause disease.
Cleaning up after yourself is also important. Remove any food crumbs that may have caught onto your clothes and dispose them properly. Wash your clothes and linen regularly. A clean room is also less likely to trigger any allergies from dust mites.

To stay organised

It might take something to believe this, but putting effort into cleaning your room can make you more organised or efficient with your work. Right off the bat, you will spend less time getting ready for work since everything will already be in place.

You will start to put things away as soon as you are done with them, instead of waiting to clean up at a specific time. This gets transferred, often unknowingly, to your work space, where you will return items to the place you found them in. Everyone doing this helps the ship run like well-oiled machinery.
Illusion of space

A clean room makes your room seem bigger. It is well-known that cruise ship crew cabins are fairly small as space is minimal. With a mess, it will feel smaller and more cramped, which can make people irritable. A neat room will do just the opposite.

Positive mindset

Even as small a chore as making your bed can help you feel uplifted. An Indiana University study showed that clearing up your room can help you organise your thoughts. It can even leave you with feelings of pride and happiness that stem from a sense of accomplishment.

Happy cabin mates

It is the responsibility of all in the room to share the task of cleaning it. If everyone does their bit on time, there is less likely to be conflict over messy spaces. After all, both cabin mates will be pulled up by the inspector if the place is out of order.

You can share responsibility by dividing tasks fairly – each person does a specific set of jobs and swaps with the other every day or week. Or cabin mates sometimes get together and pay another crew member to do it for them.

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Common Illnesses On Cruise Ships

Common Illnesses On Cruise ShipsThe last thing anyone wants is to fall sick far away from home and be forced to take leave. Despite high quality cleanliness and care, cruise ship crew need to look out for symptoms of illnesses they can contract on board.


Motion sickness is all too common for first-timers. Some may never experience it while others may take to it quite badly. Rest assured, the size and itinerary of a cruise ship renders it fairly well-balanced out on the high seas, such that you will rarely feel like you are even away from land.
However, if you do feel dizzy, heavy-headed, nauseous and tired, it could be a sign of sea-sickness. More severe symptoms include vomiting, excessive production of saliva and balance disorder.


Cruise ships dock at many ports, exposing crew and guests to indigenous germs and viruses. Many, including malaria, yellow fever, cholera and tuberculosis, can spread quickly in confined spaces. Most cruise ships require crew to get themselves checked and vaccinated before they join each time, but there is a risk of a stray guest or two forgetting or intentionally avoiding vaccinations.
Some countries may have a different strain of the virus that is immune to vaccinations, so it’s important to be aware of the endemic diseases in the ports you will be visiting.


This is akin to a bad stomach upset gone horribly wrong. It is caused by a highly contagious bug that leads to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and muscle pain. The bug is easily transmitted through contaminated food and water, and coming in close contact with a person who has the illness or surfaces they may have infected.
On board cruise ships, norovirus is one of the most dreaded diseases as it travels quickly. The easiest way to avoid infection is to wash your hands and fresh produce thoroughly, cook seafood properly, dispose of bodily fluids carefully and disinfect contaminated areas.


Pink eye or sore eyes is another common illness on cruise ships. It’s a more common infection for children as they are often not careful about washing their hands before touching their face. But it appears to be more prevalent at sea than on land since salt water in the air and from the spray of the ocean causes us to touch our eyes more often, thereby spreading the germs.
Symptoms include redness and itchiness in the eyes and tearing. You may also find discharge or crusting around the lids when you wake up. It’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible.


Both of these can be caused by infections in the water. Many cruise ship crew relax by the sea during time off in port, and the sea water may carry parasites that irritate the skin. Sea snails can infect the ocean with parasites that cause rashes and blisters. Swimmer’s itch eventually goes away but can cause up to a week of annoying itchiness.
Swimmer’s ear is caused by parasites in sea water that get deposited inside your ear canal. This can happen when sea water gets trapped in your ear when swimming. If not checked, the infection can even reach your ear canal.


This may not seem like an obvious issue but it is certainly on the rise in nautical jobs. Cruise ship crew are often exposed to long work hours and high stress levels. This, coupled with poor diet and almost no exercise, can lead to cardio-vascular diseases.
It’s important to make time for some sort of relaxation, by way of meditation, exercise, a hobby, etc. and also keep a check on your diet by focusing on clean, wholesome food at least 80 per cent of the time.

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Important Qualities To Succeed In Cruise Ship Jobs

Important Qualities To Succeed In Cruise Ship JobsCruise ship jobs require certain capabilities, and not just those pertaining to the technical aspects of the position. To be successful, you will need to work on a number of soft skills. Here are a few qualities that are important when working on a cruise ship.

Team work

Hundreds of people work on board a cruise ship at any given time. And more than 99 per cent will work as part of a team. To be successful at your job and provide efficient service you should be proficient in working well with others. This means learning how to control your anger, being diplomatic when necessary, covering for others if needed, accepting and taking into consideration constructive criticism.

One of the best examples of teamwork is cruise ship chefs jobs. Without the help and skill of everyone from the provisions assistant and line cook to the utility help and waiter, no chef will be able to place a high quality meal before a guest. Everyone works in tandem for the best result.


Persistence can help a great deal in learning skills on board. There may be times when you are placed in a new team or expected to learn a new cuisine on the job. You may make mistakes as you go along, but the key is to keep at it. 

This quality will prove to management that you are a go-getter and that you will not rest until you are perfect at your job. It is a quality they are looking for when promotions open up.

Attention to detail

Cruise vessels follow a certain standard set by the owning company. For example, executive chefs set the menu down to the last detail – how a dish should be made and plated and what the final product should look like. The housekeeping department will have a certain way bed spreads are laid out, where the toiletries are kept and what shapes the towel origami will take.

Making sure everything is perfect is important as it shows consistency of quality to guests. This capability is evident after the first couple of months into your contract when you are used to the process and start doing things mechanically. This is when staff are likely to slip up if they are not careful. So pay attention every time.

Adaptability & flexibility

Working on a cruise ship places a lot of demands on crew. Issues crop up all the time and you should be able to think on your feet. If peaches are getting overripe, cruise ship chefs should be able to whip up a quick dessert to add to the buffet to avoid waste. 

It also means you should be able to work with different types of people with varied personalities and nationalities. Someone is always at the end or beginning of their contract which means that teams get switched up all the time. You should be able to adapt to a new person on your team and perhaps even in your cabin. 


Working with varied personalities from around the world and in big teams can test your patience. You will need to give new team members extra time to grasp the intricacies of cruise ship jobs and learn the ropes of working on a sailing hotel.

If you are in guest relations positions, you will need to have a lot of patience with guests. You may be asked the same question multiple times a day or have to deal with a rude guest. Keeping your patience will help diffuse the situation and lower the risk of negative feedback for you and your team. 

Time management

Cruise ship jobs also demand excellent time management capabilities. Crew join with prior knowledge of the long hours involved in their position. This proves that time management is vital to completing tasks and perhaps even gaining some extra time to yourself.

Time management involves being proactive and attempting to get the job done perfectly the first time, every time. It means thinking ahead and being prepared for the steps to come, correctly following hygiene and safety rules – particularly in the galley, and reporting to superiors before a situation gets out of hand.

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What Cruise Ship Crew Do During Their Time Off

What Cruise Ship Crew During Their Time OffIt’s common knowledge that cruise ship crew have fairly demanding jobs. They often work up to 12 hours and may not see port for days at a stretch depending on the roster. But when they do get some free time, there are a few things they typically like to do.


International maritime law requires a minimum number of crew on board at all times, which when berthed is called In Port Manning. These duties are swapped around between departments on a regular basis so everyone gets a turn. 

Being on In Port Manning doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a job. You could be free to do your own thing based on your roster unless there’s an emergency. This is usually the time cruise ship crew take to catch up on sleep. 

Cruise ship chefs jobs are slightly less hectic during the day while in port since most guests eat ashore. Many crew members like to do some reading during their free time as well – perhaps they’re studying to get ahead in their careers, or just want to binge on a crime novel.

Internet is expensive on board, even for crew, so while they might write an email or two home, they will avoid live streaming shows or movies. For this, the cruise ship broadcasts popular films which crew members can watch in their rooms if they have a TV there or in the common lounge. Sometimes these may not be in English, so crew take the opportunity to brush up or get acquainted with a new language.

Cruise ship crew also use their free time to get their personal chores done. Perhaps they need to stock up on supplies from the on-board store, or get a haircut. One of the most important chores they like completing when they have time off is their laundry. It’s imperative that cruise ship crew are always impeccably dressed in a well-pressed uniform. Laundry rooms in the crew area are some of the busiest places on board.

Finally, some of the most fun memories on board are made in the crew bar. This is where you’ll find crew relaxing and spending time with their friends. Alcohol is sold at a far cheaper rate than at guest bars, and the cruise company often puts on theme nights to boost morale.


Many times, cruise ship crew will take the opportunity to go ashore and explore the area. Some cruise companies organise special tours at discounted rates for crew. Others host voluntary activities with local communities that crew can participate in.

Ship crew on their first run of the itinerary will mostly try to get out and enjoy time in port, discovering new restaurants, relaxing on the beach or doing other tourist activities. Seasoned crew prefer to take advantage of the high-speed internet available ashore to catch up with their families. Many cafés and restaurants cater specifically to crew and offer discounts and free Wi-Fi.

They also take the opportunity to do some shopping – not everything is available in the crew shop on board, and even these prices are slightly higher than those on land. Some ports offer a free shuttle service for crew to get to the main shopping hubs.

Crew often get together based on nationality and it’s not uncommon to see them heading to their favourite restaurant to get a taste of home. It offers a welcome departure from ship meals and keeps the homesickness in check.

Port calls are also a time for crew to send money home. Dozens of money transfer opportunities exist. Crew centres in port usually offer cheaper rates than the ones on board. 

Cruise ship crew only have a few free hours in port and should use it in a way that helps maintain their mental well-being. But whatever they do, they must ensure they are back on board at least an hour before departure.

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Women In The Cruise Industry

Women In The Cruise IndustryWhen one thinks of cruise ship jobs, the immediate association is with long working hours, chaos and months away from family. Back in the day, these conditions were considered more appropriate for men. But today, times have changed and women have just as many opportunities to avail in the cruise industry.

According to Condé Nast Traveller, around 18-20 per cent of the cruise workforce is made up of women. Statistics vary depending on cruise lines but figures show that between five and 22 per cent of officers are women. When compared with just five per cent in the global airline pilot industry, this looks promising.

Back in 2007 – more than a decade ago, a woman took control of a cruise ship as its captain for the first time ever. Since Karin Stahr-Janson’s ascension to the top of Royal Caribbean’s Monarch Of The Seas, many other cruise ship companies including Cunard, P&O Cruises, Sea Cloud Cruises, Aida, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seven Seas have employed women as captains.

Cruise ship jobs are open to women of all nationalities. It appears, however, that for the moment, women from developing countries typically land offshore cruise ship jobs in the lower rungs before getting the chance to slowly climb up the ladder. 

Data is scarce, but this could be due to a combination of various factors including necessary qualifications and experience along with a general attitude stemming from a male-dominated industry.

But opportunities exist. For young women new to the industry looking for cruise ship jobs, some of the more easily available sectors include food and beverage, reservations and front office, and spas. In these sectors, typically available positions include cruise ships chefs jobs in different hierarchies – from line cook to chef de partie, waiters, maitresse d’s, hostesses, bartenders, receptionists, provisions assistants and managers. 

Good work and excellent track records in the food and beverage sector can get one placed as private butlers or head chefs of various restaurants, and supervisors in the housekeeping sector. In spas, cruise ship chefs look for beauty therapists, hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists, spa attendants and even fitness instructors.

Based on experience, there may be a chance for women from developing countries to work in youth services – baby-sitting, caring for toddlers and working with young children and teenagers to keep them safe and busy while their parents relax.

Cruise ship jobs are also available on a side of the industry one rarely thinks about. Increasingly, women are applying for jobs on deck and as engineers to help physically take the cruise ship from one port to the next. 

These are important jobs and come with the many perks of being an officer on board. For these cruise ship jobs, one will need an educational background in navigation or marine engineering and perhaps some experience working on board. Like the merchant navy, some opt to join as cadets and work their way up.

The price may still be heavy for women from developing Asian countries lower in the hierarchy – long contracts, limited access to birth control options, and sexual harassment, but like other industries, many brave these by taking appropriate measures and manage to enjoy a successful life at sea.

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Dangers Of Jumping Cruise Ship

Dangers Of Jumping Cruise ShipMany Indians have long harboured desires of living in more developed countries, particularly in the West – Europe and North America. One of the perks of cruise ship jobs is being able to visit many of these countries, and the temptation to Jumping the cruise and staying on is very real and frankly quite dangerous.

Back when cruising was an emerging market, dozens of crew jumped ship and made comfortable lives for themselves abroad. Today, with the ongoing refugee crisis and economic pressures of maintaining an increasing population, governments are cracking down hard on illegal immigrants.

It might seem like an easy idea to overstay your visa, but the fact remains that once you have crossed over that date, you are considered an illegal immigrant. The US is one of the top countries that crew attempt to jump ship to and if caught, you could be fined up to US$250 and imprisoned for up to six months.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. With a turbid socio-political climate, the US is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable place to be an immigrant, legal or not. People of colour often find themselves victims of crime, and if you have jumped ship, it creates a dilemma of whether one should report the crime or not for fear of being deported.

The lack of identity can be a problem, especially when it comes to healthcare. Without insurance, it can be very expensive to get adequate care for serious conditions. If you have been seriously injured, are unconscious, or worse killed, the lack of identity may make it more difficult for authorities to get the information across to your relatives back home.

As an illegal immigrant, if you are convicted of crime – innocent or not, the consequences are much tougher to deal with. You can be imprisoned for 10 years or more without hope of parole or supervised release.

If you jump ship, get caught and are deported, there is very little chance that you will ever be given a US visa again. In addition, many developed countries can base their reviews of visa applications on rejections or approvals by other countries, and you may thwart your own chances of getting even a tourist visa to places in the Schengen zone, the UK, Australia and Canada if you are blacklisted in the system.

Successfully jumping ship is fraught with dangers. As a cruise ship crew member, if you do not report back when a ship has left port and it is confirmed that you have jumped ship, you are immediately struck off the employment rolls. No company wants to take responsibility for anyone connected to them violating international immigration law.

Some people have tried to jump ship after it has left port, imagining that swimming the deceptively short distance to shore will be easy. Reports have suggested that people have died in the attempt. In 2015, an Albanian being deported from the UK by a cruise liner decided to jump off the ship as it pulled out of Essex, hoping to swim back to shore and into obscurity.

Unfortunately, he was killed almost instantaneously after being sucked underwater by the tides and then “sliced to death by the machete-like motion of the ship’s propellers”.

Living abroad illegally is infinitely harder than working on board a cruise ship. You are constantly trying to avoid getting caught and the few jobs available to people without sufficient documentation offer minimum wage at best.

Additionally, you are thousands of miles away from your family with no way back to them without the risk of being able to re-enter your ‘adoptive’ country. There are many who have jumped ship and gone years without visiting their loved ones.

Any so-called benefits of jumping ship by cruise ship crew are far outweighed by the dangers of doing so.

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