Puerto Vallarta Marion Rolfe

Working onboard Princess Cruises

Posted January 13th, 2012

By Marion Rolfe

First Day onboard – a former Crewmember’s perspective

I worked onboard Princess ships for over nine years from 1999 to 2007 and I have to tell you that every time the crew bus pulled up at my new home for the next six months I always felt the same – nervous excitement! This would be my home for the next six months, as an Officer and Shore Excursion Manager I enjoyed a shorter contract than most of the crewmembers who would be onboard for around 10 months at a time.

Once onboard the ship early in the morning, the crew is processed with passports and medical forms collected, cabins allocated and induction schedules posted. Then it’s time to get the uniform on and straight to work, meeting your new colleagues or in some cases old friends from previous contracts. The first day is a blur, getting used to the ship layout, finding your way from your cabin to the Mess (the name for where the crew, staff or officers eat – be assured it’s not a mess!) to finding your way to induction (a strict regime of video, lectures and hands-on lessons mainly for safety and environment) and onto safety drill and then you have to find your way back to work!

The crew areas and corridors are a little trickier to navigate than the passenger areas, but all roads lead to the “M1” (as it is known on Princess ships) which is the main crew corridor. You may catch a glimpse of the “M1” when you go down to embark the tender boats. It’s a busy artery for all crew to pass along it at least once a day and there you can find the Crew Office (which is like the Purser’s Desk for the crew), and all the food storerooms (watch out for the forklifts loading stores on embarkation day!) and many of the behind-the-scenes offices like the engine control room, printer, florist, photographers, food and beverage offices, accommodation manager, etc. It’s amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes! Some clients of mine recently did the behind-the–scenes tour on the Sun Princess and really loved the experience. I guess it gives you a little glimpse into the amazing world that the cruise ship crew calls home.


Today's Cruise Specialist

Marion Rolfe comes to us with an abundance of experience from working onboard cruise ships for over nine years. She worked onboard Princess Cruises as Shore Excursion Manager and has extensive first-hand knowledge of the ports and shore tours in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Canada/New England, South America, Amazon, Mediterranean, Black Sea, British Isles, Norway and the South Pacific.

Contact Marion on 1300 841 618, or email her at marion.rolfe@cruiseabout.com




Cruise Specialist

  Absolutely nobody in Australia knows more about cruising than Cruiseabout. With close to 30,000 nights on ships all across the globe, our consultants’ extensive experience and passion for cruising is unequaled. We're here to share the joys of cruising holidays with more Australians and invite them into our world - because we love cruising!

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