Advantages of working on cargo ships

What are the advantages of working as a Deck Officer on cargo ships rather than on cruise ships?Both types of ships have their advantages, for me personally I prefer cargo ships. You have a limited number of crew and depending on what company you work for and crew you live with on board it can actually be quite a nice environment to work in. A lot of people work and do a job because they have to, most people who work on a ship really like what they do, its a choice that each of us make, to leave our families at home and step on board a ship to sail away from at least 4 weeks to 6 months at a time. I mean why would you do that if you didn’t want to?So a ship a less than 20 crew that all get on and speak English is my choice of ship and chosen job. I found that on my last ship the Tasmanian Achiever, I can’t think of any other cargo ship that I have worked on where I have felt such a well knit family environment on board a ship. I mean there is no brick wall between departments like on the tankers and everyone enjoys interacting with each other, especially on a Sunday night when we all get given a well deserved day off.

On a cargo ship as well you are on set watches (12-4, 4-8, or 8-12) so you know exactly when you are working and what time you have off watch to rest. You are able to get your body into a routine of working and proper sleeping patterns and also able to set aside time to go ashore and have a good coffee. With less crew on board a ship there are more chances to get to know each other and grow up together in your job. The crew become like close friends on a family sort of level. My last ship has really shown that cargo ships and crew can be the best environment to work in at sea; compared to the tankers I’ve worked on in the past.Cruise ships – well they are another story. Personally they aren’t for me, over 2,500 people on board, not many English speaking first language crews, limited shore leave, not regular set watches and so many different uniforms to wear.
So thanks go to the crew on the Tasmanian Achiever for making my time on board really enjoyable :-)

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