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Employee Evaluations

Like with positions on land, employees onboard cruise ships are evaluated on their job performance. Due to the constant change of crew members and supervisors, due to the end dates of their contracts, evaluations happen more frequently.

Once again, each cruise line handles evaluations a little different.

I have experienced cruise lines, where an evaluation is made after the first month the crew member is onboard, if the department head signs off, even if the crew member will be onboard for another 3 and more months, and when the crew member signs off.

It is useful to have an idea, when a crewmember's direct supervisor is scheduled to end their contract in comparison to ones own contract length. The simple reason for this is, that it is better to receive an evaluation from someone with who one has worked with for several months, instead from someone who has been onboard/will be onboard only for a short time.

The important part on the evaluation is that it is discussed with you, the one who is being evaluated, before it is signed by the Master of the ship and before you hold your passport in your hand, the day you sign off.

It has happened in the past that evaluations have been "handed" to crew members with their sign off papers. They were asked to sign, take their passport and leave the ship, because immigration and customs have designated this time for crew sign offs. If this happens, the crew member signs and acknowledges that document while being pressed for time – and only later, at the airport – he/she will look at it. And then it is too late to change anything.

So, when you know your sign-off date, ask your supervisor when you get your evaluation. A one-on-one meeting with the person who evaluates you should come with the evaluation.

Evaluation Process

While procedures differ from cruise line to cruise line, here is an examply of a typical evaluation process:

  • The responsible supervisor prepares the evaluation. He/She maybe consults his/her supervisor.
  • The evaluation is presented to the crew member and discussed.
  • The crew member signs and therefore acknowledges the evaluation.
  • The evaluation is then given to the Hotel Manager (if you work in the Hotel Department) and the Captain for their signature.
  • Then the copy signed by all mentioned above is given to you. This happens often on disembarkation day – together with your sign off papers and passport.

If you do not agree with the evaluation you got, discuss it with your immediate supervisor. If you feel unjustly evaluated, go to the supervisor of your immediate supervisor. It is very important that you follow your way correctly through the ranks in this matter.

Make sure you collect and keep copies of all evaluations you receive while you are working onboard a cruise ship. If you later want to work for a different cruise line, these will be a deciding factor for hiring you. Evaluations also serve as back-ups for your CV, when you start working on land again, after your time at sea.

Written by Scarlet Perez