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Cruise ship vs yachts - worth the move?
Legion
Posted: Friday, October 9, 2015 10:12 PM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


I would like to get the opinion of any engineers who have experience working for both cruise lines and on yachts.

Have you worked on Cruise lines and moved to yachts, or from yachts and moved to Cruise lines? I know the trend is to move from cruise ships to yachts as the money is often better, and in some circles cruise lines are looked down upon, but aside from the money and image what are benefits and also downsides in terms of your daily life as an engineer.

I have engineer friends on cruise ships who are earning 7-10k usd per month year round, working on 2 on 2 off rotations, single cabins and free run of the ship, yet seem to be looking for yacht based positions. To me I think they have quite a good deal and just wonder what more they can get out of moving to yachts.

Aside for the prestige/image associated with working on megayachts, what have been your motivations to move from cruise lines to megayachts.

 


Yachtguru
Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2015 3:32 AM
Joined: 19/01/2011
Posts: 68


If you want with a team of engineers and a large engine room and get paid legitimately go on cruise ships.

It you want to share a cabin, have a second engineer with minimal education, skills and a very small engine room go on yachts and be in tax limbo go on yachts. 


Legion
Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2015 8:05 AM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


 

Hi Yachtguru,

 

Thanks for your reply. When you say tax limbo, do you mean  its more difficult to justify seafarers tax status when working on yachts as oppose to when you work on cruise ships?

 

 


sizzler2008
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 10:57 PM
Joined: 26/10/2008
Posts: 5


Hello Yachtguru,

Could perhaps shed some light on your comment "if you want a team of engineers and large engine room and engineers who get paid legitimately go on a cruise ship.." I find this comment very perculier and frankly offensive. I have worked on yachts up to 120 meters, I'm not from a commercial background. I work 7 days a week frequently in excess of 14 hour days without complaint. Can you tell me how I'm illegitimately earning my salary?

At best your comments are ill-informed at worst just stupid. Your comments about tax limbo make it obvious that your not the "Guru" you proclaim yourself to be.

I look forward to your respone.

 


Helge
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12:24 AM
Joined: 27/10/2014
Posts: 7


Hi Legion,

I have worked as master on cruise ships and yachts and both have their pro's and con's. Working on a cruise liner can be very beneficial but depends highly on the seniority of your position. It is true that (in your case) Chief Engineers with a Chief Eng. unlimited licence are getting paid, depending on the cruise line, around US $10,000.00 per month on a rotational basis, in which the rotation might even be equal time. As a junior engineer, the scenario, however, changes completely since these positions are usually filled with very competent engineers from countries like the Phillipines, who work for a lot less money and longer periods of time.

So I guess it all depends on your qualifications and experience. If you hold a STCW2010 recognised Chief Engineer licence with 10 years plus as Chief, your chances of finding a position on a cruise ship as Chief or 1st Engineer should be quite good.

It is usually easier to switch from a commercial position to a yachting position but it can be quite a culture shock for ex-commercial crews as the hours worked are usually longer, the time off less frequent and the accommodations can be quite basic. This, as well as the rate of pay depends on the size of the yacht. The bigger she is, the more likely it is that she will be registered as a commercial vessel and therefore has to comply with all the rules and regulations of commercial vessel such as ISM, MLC etc. Chief Engineers on mega yachts over 100m in length are usually paid US $15, 000.00 plus per month and, since they have to comply with MLC regulations, are on an equal time rotation.

Hope this helps.


Numpty Sailor
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 4:09 PM
Joined: 06/08/2014
Posts: 23


Hi Legion - I've worked in both commercial and yachting for years. It's strokes for folks as both has advantages and disadvantages. In yachting you may well have some or all of the following challenges to deal with: Tiny, shared cabin; Limited internet access; no TV; no crew bar; no crew gym; maybe the boat does not even move for a whole season; crazy owners; useless thieving management company; Captain and wife "Team" (Good luck with this one); little or no career ladder;  salaries not paid on time; no pension arrangements supplied; salaries range from excellent to terrible; long, long hours seven days a week; some boats unbelievably still 'offer' an 11:1 contract; you'll be lucky to get more than 2 flights a year (If you can find this type of contract); super rich, un-grafeful, stuck up charter guests with ridiculous requests; absolutely no job security whatsoever.

But hey - I'd never go back to commercial. Way too much fun here in yachting.


Legion
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 4:46 PM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Helge,

Many thanks for your detailed reply. Interesting point you made about the distinction between the smaller yachts and the megayachts that are in compliance with MLC. I am familiar with MLC, but dont know enough in terms of how much it is enforced and how much "real world" difference it makes in regards to the terms and conditions for an engineer or just crew in general on the big yachts. Would you say there is a significant improvement in terms of benefits on the MLC compliant megayachts, in particular, on new builds?


Legion
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 5:33 PM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Numpty sailor, good name BTW wink 

Thanks for your reply as well. I guess some of the those negative issues with yachts, might be addressed to some extent if a yacht is MLC compliant??

Obviously cruise ships are quite a bit different from life on land, but you still have the element of working for a large corporation, and with that comes some degree of stability and organisation, that isnt necessarily present with yachts and hence the potential for a lot of the things you mentioned taking place. Also the cruise ships often follow a set itinerary year round whereas a private or charter yacht is far more flexible in terms of what it could be doing.

 

 


Helge
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11:17 PM
Joined: 27/10/2014
Posts: 7


Hi Legion,

My pleasure! I remember the time well when I switched from commercial to yachting and it was not an easy decision (I am back in commercial shipping now)!

As to the question regarding the MLC compliance on mega yachts: It is, again, a matter of the size of the vessel.

As a rule of thump you could say that the bigger the yacht, the more likely it is that she will have the occasional port state control, in which MLC compliance is one of the inspection criteria. It can also be said that the owners of mega yachts are usually more inclined to employ professional mariners (no disrespect to yachties!!) even if it is just for the fact that you won't find many yachties who have made their way up to Master Mariner of Chief Engineer unlimited. In general, I would say that working on a MLC compliant yacht is "better" than on smaller yachts since your rights as professional mariners are easier enforceable than on non MLC/ ISM compliant yachts. So, yes in "the real world" you will find that working for ALL crew members will be more beneficial and, as on any ship, the higher your rank, the better the benefits!


Legion
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:58 PM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Helge,

Good points! Thanks. Any reason you moved back to commercial shipping or was it just a case of a better deal?


 


Stuart_3
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015 1:31 PM
Joined: 29/11/2008
Posts: 1


Hi Yachtguru,

I, like Sizzler2008, can't get around how you can proclaim to be a yachtguru. 

I didn't come from a commercial background but have come from a military one. I am not in "tax limbo", do not have to share a cabin and I do have a professional, well trained second engineer. The engine room of my present yacht is of a fair size as well. 

Maybe you should clarify at what size vessel you work on or have worked on and then pick ma new name like 'Iworkontinyboats' or 'Iknownothing'. 


Legion
Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 1:07 PM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 7


Please can we can this post on-topic without turning things into a slanging match happy

 
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