Working onboard a ship may feel like an exciting adventure for you. You sail out to the sea, you visit new places, and you get to earn double of what you’re earning right now. But there may be some aspects to working on a ship that might surprise you, such as your living quarters and the people you’ll meet.
Cabins for the crew
If you’re coming as a member of the crew and not as a high-level officer, expect that your living quarters will be small and a bit crowded. Most likely, you’ll be sharing your room with another crew member. You may even live in a cabin with four to five other people. That means you’ll have to work on your communication skills, too. It’s best that you get along with your shipmates, especially since you’ll be staying together for a long time.
Also, since you’ll be sharing a room with other people, you need to know the proper etiquette in a situation like this. If you’re a smoker and your roommate isn’t, look for another place to smoke. If your roommate is a smoker and you’re not, ask him politely to smoke somewhere else.
On top of that, you should always try to maintain your bunk bed as clean as possible. Now, if it looks like your roommate is a slob, you could ask him politely to tidy up. But if your request is met with defiance, talk to your superior about your roommate and he might be able to remedy your situation.
Feelings of loneliness
You may be excited at first to get on a ship and start your career in the freight or shipping industry. But, after a couple of weeks out in the sea, you feel a little bit homesick, and you might even choose to stay on land after your contract with that ship is done.
Don’t worry if you feel homesick or lonely right away. It’s normal and every seaman in any maritime manning agency has experienced this. You’re feeling lonely because you’ve fallen into a routine that’s starting to bore you, and you’re far away from your family and friends that you feel so isolated. It doesn’t help that whenever you look out of the ship, all you see is water.
To fight off feelings of loneliness, you can start a new hobby, work out in the ship’s gym, or while away your time watching movies or reading books.
You can also befriend your shipmates and learn more about them. If you have a wonderful camaraderie with your shipmates, you’ll have more time sharing stories with them than sulking in one corner and thinking of home.
Calling home is expensive
Depending on the ship you’re working on, it may be difficult to call home. It may be easier to call home or send emails to your family and friends if you’re working on a cruise ship because of their advanced communications system.
If you’re working on a cargo ship better prepare yourself on not being able to talk to any of your family members for a couple of months while you’re out in the open sea. Also, please be warned that it may be expensive. So, make your call quick, and make it count.
These are some of the things you’ll encounter once you board a ship. So take in mind that life onboard a ship is indeed exciting and the money is also good. But, also be aware of the downsides so that you’ll be able to prepare for them or even avoid them.