Tricks for your life aboard

23 Jun

It’s Embarkation Day! I am usually not quite that joyful about embarkation, but this is my last embarkation shooting, so there is reason to celebrate. As a matter of fact, this blog will be somewhat helpful to other people who are about to become part of the crew of a cruise ship. So, maybe there is something in it for you.

As happens so often I wake from dream-less slumber around 8:30 A.M., which is just early enough to rush for the staff mess, and acquire some bread roles and fruits for my journey ahead. I have to start shooting the embarking passengers at 13:00, and at that point already need to wear uniform, so really I should be back aboard by noon. Returning to my cabin takes at least forty minutes, because I would have to stand in line to get aboard, and stand again, to get back into the terminal. Considering that it takes some thirty minutes to get into town from the cruise terminal, this would leave me with barely two hours of port time. However, Lolek & Bolek showed me how to make the most of my port visit to Hamburg.

Hamburg retains that "Merchant of Venice" charme

For me as a German Hamburg is not actually that incredible a sight. I still want a few hours to explore, if I’m here.

Instead of rushing back to my cabin after I return from Hamburg, I actually drop my uniform in a big paper bag, and leave it with Bolek, who will be shooting the first shift. When I return from the city around 12:45 my uniform is already at the terminal, so I just slip into the bathroom, dress up, and Ta-Da! Saved myself nearly an hour of running and waiting, just by employing my coworkers as uniform mules. Unfortunately the electronic schedule will show later that I did not sign in for work, because the only places where I can swipe my time card are aboard. But that’s a minor issue; hardly a day goes by without one of the photographers forgetting to punch his/her card in or out before or after work. I know people from the Entertainment Team that NEVER punch their cards, because the whole process is so utterly futile.

Everyone aboard gets paid a fixed salary (plus potential bonus). Everybody has their own schedule. If they don’t show up for their shift, that’s immediate trouble, because a lot of other people depend on your punctuality. As long as your do your job the actual electronic clock and its synchronicity with your life depends merely on the discretion of your supervisor. I know that Ingrid from Entertainment sometimes forgets to punch her time card in or out, which results in her serving longer hours than she is signed up for, at least on paper. So every other day she has to sign a paper that sets the record straight, synchronising her work schedule with the electronic time served.

Cruise Photography during embarkation

This is the last time I gonna show this stupid photo from the embarkation shooting. Promise!

Ingrid’s work partner never punches his time card. NEVER. So, according to the records he never works. That’s fine, though. Nobody cares. It’s just when your work hours exceed the limit set in your contract that you run into trouble.

Where was I? Oh yeah, time matters. Particularly when it is limited; like when you are working a cruise job, and have a few hours to explore a port. So, use what resources you have at hand to make the most of your scheduled spare time.

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