ShipSpotting.com
Login: Lost Password? SIGN UP
Ship Photo Search
Advanced Search
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Just booked a cargo cruise with CMA CGM. Advice for a great trip?  (Read 11633 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
gratefuled
Just popping in

Offline Offline

Posts: 5


View Profile
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:45:04 am »

Hi, folks. New to the board.

I used to sail in and around Boston and I've wanted to take a cargo cruise ever since. I've finally booked one on CMA CGM White Shark for this July. Le Havre > Antwerp > Rotterdam > Bremerhaven > transatlantic > Charleston.

Link to ship description: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:191732/mmsi:235052035/imo:9317975/vessel:CMA_CGM_WHITE_SHARK

I'd really appreciate any advice you can give me for getting as much as I can out of the experience, especially in ship and business and port operations. What to see in the limited port time. And I'm especially interested in tips for being a good passenger--ship's protocol and ways to be considerate to the crew and other passengers and such.

It's a lot to ask, but I promise to post pictures when I get back.  Smiley

Help?
Report to moderator   Logged
lappino
Home away from home
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 266


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 04:25:40 am »

Hello there,

Not sure if I can be of much practical experience, but anyway. Couple of times when I was on board of a cargo vessel for a survey, they had paying passengers on board. Every time their relationship with the crew looked very cordial.

I asked just about every captain I've met about his opinion about taking passengers along; few were happy to have them, as it added responsibility. At the same time, following the basic rules should be OK with every crew.

Now, I've seen passengers mostly on general cargo vessels, with their port stays being both longer than the ones of the container vessels, as well as getting closer to towns, as compared to separate container terminals.

Therefore, getting good advice on specific ports/container terminals is key for getting the most out of port stays.
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 10:27:06 am »

Hi Gratefuled,

Be aware that on board there are 2 main things to remember:

1. While on board, what the Captain says is law

2. 'Safety First' applies to everybody, everywhere, anytime

Apart from that, remember a few key things:

- Inform yourself asap after boarding which areas of the ship are accessible to you, and which are not. The list may change according to things such as operations (eg, mooring, etc.), times of the day, and weather and sea conditions, for example.

- Expect mandatory drills to take place before departure or during the voyage. Make sure you know which are also mandatory for you to attend, take part, and always comply with instructions.

- Remember that to disembark, national legislation of the country being visited will apply. This varies still widely from country to country (EU, and Schengen countries in particular, being the exception). So plan your trip carefully before boarding, and make sure you have all the required documentation at hand (such as, for example, passport, visas, health and vaccination records, etc.). Remember also that all professional seamen have also a 'Seaman's Book' which may be required to disembark at some ports. Inform yourself fully first!

- Bring an helmet. It may come in handy at times...

I hope this helps.

Enjoy the trip!

Best Regards,

Jose
(jdap)

Report to moderator   Logged
B.Clark
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 100



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 10:39:09 am »

don't forget Camera, spare batteries, memory cards and charger!!
Report to moderator   Logged
gratefuled
Just popping in

Offline Offline

Posts: 5


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 01:59:51 pm »


- Bring an helmet. It may come in handy at times...


Thanks! That's all good advice. As well as a helmet, I guess I should bring my own ear and eye protection?
Report to moderator   Logged
davidships
Webmaster
Top Poster
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,876



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 02:52:11 pm »

Make sure you have the contact details for the port agents at each call.

You will probably be given the one at Le Havre in the joining arrangements, but the others could be useful if ashore or are contemplating doing so.  Loading/discharge time is just when the ship's crew will be least available to deal with queries or problems.

DAvid
Report to moderator   Logged
shippingman
Quite a regular
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 63


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 12:56:22 am »


- Bring an helmet. It may come in handy at times...


Thanks! That's all good advice. As well as a helmet, I guess I should bring my own ear and eye protection?

Not sure if you can free walking on deck, not like bulker ship
So better stay at bridge when day time till sunset time  Grin

Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 11:40:39 am »

Hi again,

As for ear protection, that is not mandatory, unless if you are technically minded, and obtain clearance to stay for long hours in the ship engine room. In that case, ear mufflers may be required for your own protection.

Apart from that, most noises will be coming from the crew lounge, and will refer to occasional chatting among seamen off shift. Other noises during the voyage, and in particular during the North Atlantic crossing, will be limited to wind and sea, and occasional portable radio transmission sounds shared between crew members in different parts of the ship...Even seagulls will disappear just a few nm away from the shoreline. What you may need in that case, to break the surrounding sounds of silence, is a good collection of your favourite songs, and ear plugs to listen to your play lists for hours and hours...

Eye protection equipment will not be required, with the exception of a pair of good quality sun glasses. However, bear in mind that while onboard a containership, chances for laying down and getting a good sun tan may be scarse, if not nill. There may not be any sun decks on board! (unless, of course, you manage to rent a sun roof on top a container on top of a stack - in that case, beware that getting up and down there may not be an easy task... Grin).

By the way, if you have any particular skills that may be shared with others onboard, there is no harm in you proposing them to your handling agent before boarding, or to the captain once on board. If your proposal for occasional or regular contributions is accepted, that may help you kill time while at the high seas, and be (highly) appreciated by other crew members.

I am referring, for example, to skills and interests of your own that may be used on board.

If you can play the guitar, for example, and are good at it, maybe you could bring your instrument with you, and give a live concert one evening...

If you have certified training as a fireman, or as a first aid helper, or if you are an experienced general practioner, maybe your skills could be used also during the voyage for the wellbeing of the ship and the crew...

If you have professional training as a kitchen hand, you could also maybe serve in the onboard kitchen for a few hours a day (not to cook for yourself, but to help cooking for the crew)...

Of course, the scope of your contributions should be clearly spelled out beforehand, and be duly approved by whomever in charge. Once approved, you will have to meet expectations, of course! Cry

But if your proposal is approved, maybe you could negotiate a discount in your passenger's fare, and at the same time be sure to have something to do during the long, idle, boring voyage hours, and at the same time make you feel useful onboard... Huh

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Jose
(jdap)
 

 
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 08:36:04 am »

By the way...

There is another area of life onboard that is perhaps worth mentioning. It might be useful for you to get familiar with it before the trip. I am referring to Waste Management.

It is amazing how much seamen's behaviour has changed in this century with this regard. Until not so long ago, waterways and the sea were regarded as an endless waste treatment station, capable of recycling (or, at least, of absorbing) mountains of waste of all sorts, solid and liquid, produced on board. Everything was thrown overboard, and that was it.

For thousands of years, since the phoenitian started to sail in and around the Mediterranean, that was the way to go for everybody at sea.

Not any more!

There is only one planet Earth, and it needs to be respected. Seafarers have now fully realised this.

A new environmental protection culture has suddenly and quickly developed in the last few years at an amazing pace, and is now prevailing, and it is carefully followed (at least in some parts of the world) by the current generation of seafarers.

The entire cycle of waste production, collection, separation and disposal on board has been redesigned with the aim of minimizing its environmental impact. Litter is now stored onboard until a suitable port is visited, where the litter is then finally transferred to a land-based operator, to enter the usual waste management cycle there.

More on all this from the website of IMO's Marine Environment:

http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/Pages/Default.aspx

I strongly recommend you get familiar with this subject before you go on board.

Once onboard, and during the voyage, maybe you can ask the Captain or the Environmental Officer to lecture you a bit on the subject, and show you around the ship how the vessel now handles the IMO recommendations on waste disposal. It may sound like a smelly subject, but it may turn out to be quite interesting to you.

In any case, and the message is, once onboard, do not throw any of your waste overboard! Please use the waste bins provided there for the purpose!

Have a nice trip!

Best regards,

Jose
(jdap)
   
Report to moderator   Logged
gratefuled
Just popping in

Offline Offline

Posts: 5


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 01:13:27 pm »

Thanks! That's extremely interesting. I'm the sort who likes to learn about systems integration--like at a large music festival, for instance, where there are all kinds of smaller operations (vending, artist relations, crowd control, production, etc.) coming together. How and why are they set up that way, and how do they turn a profit? That sort of thing. So seeing how all the ship's systems work together would help me come away with a much deeper understanding of the industry, which is one of the main reasons I'm looking forward to this trip.
Report to moderator   Logged
Michael Bender
Quite a regular
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 65



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 10:59:40 pm »

Congratulations to your first Cargo Cruise

If you understand german, you can have a look on my website www.micha2009.de.
I wrote trip reports of my 9 cargo cruises.
There you can also have look on lots of pictures of my trips.

On each trip i paid some beer and non-alcohol drinks for barbecue or crew party to say Thank You to the crew. It was always welcome.   

If you can stay on the bridge during maneuvering, keep distance and don't disturb the crew and pilot. The will be happy with this.

If you stay on board in the ports, it is not allowed to stay outside on deck. Exception is outside the accomodation.

If you like to see the engine room, ask the chief engineer. He will arrange a guided tour.
Maybe he does it himself otherwise someone of the engine crew.

Be aware the crew is working on different watches, so most of the time someone will be sleeping. Maybe in the next cabin Wink
--> closed door: Do not disturb!


Have a nice trip!

If you have further questions, tell me. Maybe i can answer it.

Micha
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2018, 10:24:57 pm »

Back for a quickie...

I visited Micha's website, which I found very interesting...

That led me to some of the contacts he has used.

And I looked out what the Pros have to say about Freight ship cruising. Maybe you may wish to pay a visit to the website below, for example - it should help clarify all your doubts, and answer all your questions:

https://www.zylmann.de/en/start/welcome.html?no_cache=1

Best regards,

Jose
(jdap)


Report to moderator   Logged
gratefuled
Just popping in

Offline Offline

Posts: 5


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2018, 11:16:13 pm »

Thanks again, Jose...that's great information.
Report to moderator   Logged
Pieter Inpyn
Photo Corrections
Top Poster
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,879


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 09:23:50 am »

I did make one trip for a week in the Baltic with a ro-ro-vessel. Compared to cruising I did find the facilities (the cabin) very basic but that was fine with me: it was a working vessel. But:
Deck space very limited: only a short walk possible on an accommodation deck. Do take care that you are not locked out outside by accident while you are making outside a picture of a passing vessel. It happened to me and it was one hour later before the next crewmember did see me outside in the freezing cold.
Take some movies on digital devices with you: the crew is very grateful for seeing something new. Television-channels on board very limited or total non-European rubbish.
Also big ships have small crews that are either working or sleeping. Days at sea can be lonely: take books or other entertainment with you and maybe leave them on board for the crew.
Know in advance what you are allowed to bring on board on cigarettes and alcohol. And additional insurance is maybe required, because medical evacuation is sometimes not included in the normal medical / travel insurances.
And CMA CGM is a French company: do you know some of the language, English may not be spoken by every crew member.
Just some remarks.
Report to moderator   Logged

.........
smithy166
Oceangoing OOW (STCW II/1)
Quite a regular
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 50

In a hole.


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 01:39:33 am »

A couple of points from a crewmembers perspective:

-Don't expect everyone to have decent English skills. The CMA CGM boats have multinational crews, some of whom speak great English and some of whom speak basic English.
-If you've got Filipino's onboard, the karaoke machine will be your quickest way to become their best friend.
-Some vessels have a very rigid hierarchy, especially in the messroom(s). If the master tells you to sit somewhere, or the chief steward has laid a particular place for you at the table, sit there. This will likely be in the officers mess, not the ratings mess.
-Do NOT appear on the bridge 5 minutes before we're alongside asking to go ashore. It's best to give the relevant people a few days/weeks notice if you'd like to get off for a few hours, so they can get hold of the agent etc and sort something out.
-Make sure you know when to be back on board (they'll usually be a "shore leave expires at XXXX HRS on the XX/XX/XXXX local time" board by the gangway).
-Make sure you're back onboard by that time. If you're not, we'll still pull the gangway up and leave. Time and tide wait for no man, as they say!
-If you break something, PLEASE tell someone. We honestly won't care that you've broken it, and we won't be mad... But we'd like to know, so we can fix it.
-Try to get to know the crew - We can get sick of the same people day in day out, so a new smiling face makes a nice change!
-As others have said, know where you can and can't go. The bridge will probably be off-limits during arrival and departure (if it's not, please don't get in the way... We'll be pretty busy trying not to hit anything/run aground/getting annoyed with the tugs/weather/current/some moronic WAFI who wants to play a game of chicken with us/something else). If there is somewhere you'd like to go, ask! 9 times out of 10 we'll be more than happy to show you around when we're not busy.
-If the cabin door is closed, don't come knocking. We're sleeping. If the door is open and the certain has been pulled across try knocking, we're probably in!
-Good rest = Good night.
-It's customary to thank the cook when you're dumping your dirty dishes in the scullery.
-Recent DVDs/TV shows/Music will be greatly appreciated. If someone asks for porn, that's up to you to decide...
-If you're not sure whether you're supposed to show up during a drill, go to your muster point. Better to be safe than sorry!
-Don't be scared to have a chat with the OOW (officer on watch) if you're allowed on the bridge/in the ECR when at sea. If we're busy, we'll probably tell you politely to be quiet for a while.
-The ship is our home. Whilst we're happy to have you onboard and would love to show you around our girl, please treat her like you'd treat someone elses house.
-Have two pairs of shoes - An outside pair (for when you go ashore etc) and a cheap, clean pair for use in the accommodation. If there's shoe-covers by the doors, please use them.
-Keep an eye on the crews notice board. It'll have information about changes to ships time, drills, shore leave (maybe) etc.
-If you'd like to help, ask! Please don't just grab a mooring rope when we're coming alongside. You'll give the poor bosun a heart attack.
-If you're visiting the bridge at night, please don't walk in with a torch. Night vision = The watchkeepers friend. If you point that huge LED torch at my face and burn my retinas out, it WILL mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again...
-Cabin walls aren't as thick as they look. If you're having a rave, the rest of the ship WILL hear.
-If you've got any allergies etc, let the captain/galley know - Even if you've let the company know ahead of time. Sometimes messages get lost between the office and the ship.
-The toilets will probably be vacuum. When we say "don't put anything other than what comes out of your body and toilet paper down" them, we mean it...  You'd be surprised how much noise a mad engineer can make when they're told they need to dismantle half of the toilet system to clear a blockage.
-One hand for you, one for the ship. At ALL times.
-Try to show an interest in what we do, even if you know more than the crew.
-Most of all, try to fit in with the crew. It'll make your cruise happier, and our time away from home happier too!
-Oh, and enjoy yourself!


 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 01:44:26 am by smithy166 » Report to moderator   Logged

Enough torque to restart a dead planet!
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Page created in 0.056 seconds with 20 queries.
Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved