Author Topic: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?  (Read 1135 times)

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Offline Twynkle

Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« on: Jun 28, 2021, 01:16 PM »
Crew members and the officers; they came from all round the world - as well as Liverpool!

Is it possible to learn more about the transitting, from home to ports, and Crew Changes etc?

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 28, 2021, 02:13 PM »
Crew members and the officers; they came from all round the world - as well as Liverpool!

Is it possible to learn more about the transitting, from home to ports, and Crew Changes etc?
Well i'll kick off this topic by naming the two main ports for World Cruise major crew changes, depending on route it would usually have been either Singapore of Hong Kong. Although nearly every port on the world Cruise would see some form of crew change, be it only 3 or 4 here and there. Remembering that for various reasons, resignations, dismissals etc, crew were also leaving at most ports.
If i look at my Seaman's Discharge Book [that records every ship i served on when and the port i/a seaman, signed on and signed off] there are ports all over the World.
Outside of World Cruises, it was predominantly S'ton for most people.

Favourite port; Difficult but possibly Cape Town or Hong Kong. Least favourite port; easy that one Keelung! To show you how bad Keelung was,  even though sailing wasn't usually until 2200/2300, we could have closed the gangway and gone to bed by 1900 there was just nobody, and i mean nobody ashore after that, not even the shoppies!!

 

Online cunardqueen

Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 28, 2021, 02:15 PM »
Quote
Is it possible to learn more about the transitting, from home to ports, and Crew Changes etc? 

I recall being told by Captain Bates that when we docked in Southampton there would be one of the biggest ever crew changes .
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 28, 2021, 04:29 PM »
I recall being told by Captain Bates that when we docked in Southampton there would be one of the biggest ever crew changes .

That would be true even if only for the fact that it is the easiest port to arrive at and was a call/turnaround that was 'set in stone', so crew changes and rotation schedules could be planned months in advance. Also S'ton was always a passenger turnaround day so not likely to change, whereas a call into say Naples or Barcelona might be missed for various reasons outside of Cunard's control.
Also there are direct flights from most parts of the World into either LHR or LGW so bringing crew in from wherever in the World they live is that much 'easier', i use that term guardedly!
There are some jobs where a changeover in a major embarkation/disembarkation port would not be too practical and then those persons would possibly changeover in a 'way port' for ease of handover. As The Security Officer i've done that several times.
Then of course there are the old problems of passports, some nationalities are not 'welcome' in some ports and as such have to sign on in way ports.

Large Crew changeovers are a nightmare anywhere, not only for the Fleet Personnel Dept in S'ton but also for the Crew Office staff and the Crew Purser. It's one of those things that had to be planned meticulously as the time in between a crew member signing on and taking over their job is zero and they really do have to 'hit the ground running'!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 28, 2021, 04:53 PM »
I recall being told by Captain Bates that when we docked in Southampton there would be one of the biggest ever crew changes .

Was this in October 2004 by any chance? We were on the next voyage after yours and the start of it was an experience I'll never forget! The crew really did hit the ground running, dealing with everything including the 7 hour delay and the following rough weather! I think Ian McNaught took over from Nick Bates on this occasion too? We did run fast through that Force 9 gusting Force 10 to arrive on time in Vigo after all, in true McNaught fashion!
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Rod

Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 28, 2021, 05:15 PM »
Worst port Djbouti! Cholera was rampant ashore, my wife was pregnant at the time so we couldn't risk her going ashore. Looking out from the deck, miles and miles of sand!
Worst leave flight home was from Tokyo. Ship is in Yokohama, a long bus ride from Tokyo. Cunard would get you to the 3 hours before departure.
It was a British Airways flight (that was one good thing)
So we get to where we embark the plane ( 90 minutes before flight time), imagine a clock face and there are 2 planes at each number and restaurants and shops in the center.
Tannoy announces a flight delay, a minor engine problem, better to happen now than at 33,000 feet, right?  It is now about 19:30.
Tannoy goes again, they found another problem, still minor, should take about 2 hours to fix. Now about  22:00.
Tannoy goes again, come on guys and girls hurry up and board! After the fastest boarding in the history of 747's we are belted in and ready. Felt the tractor hook on.............
Tannoy bursts into life again. Ladies and gentlemen, because of noise restrictions at Tokyo, and the amount of aircraft waiting, we will not get to the runway until 23:30. Tokyo airport shuts at 23:00 because of the noise restrictions.
I tell you, when they stay shut, they mean shut! They were even going to close the toilets in our little hub. Staff at BA were excellent!!!! They got our phone numbers and sat there on 2 phones at the desk and called family in the UK saying we were going to be late..
They also opened the drinks carts for us and kept them running through the night.
0600 Pilot comes on the Tannoy, all problems solved airport will open at 0700 lets get boarded.!
Then he drops the kicker......sorry ladies and gentlemen, my staff and I have used up our allotted hours so we cannot fly you! We are looking for a replacement crew.
Plane took off at 11:00!! Cunard had not contacted our families, but BA had.
I had been going to hire a car to get to Soton, went on the crew bus!

Offline Tony

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Re: Crew Matters! Best ports...and why?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 01, 2021, 06:38 PM »
One of my favorites was Madeira. Not just a nice place but the wineries along the waterfront had free tasting all day,

 

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