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About chengkp75

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    Maine or at sea
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    Former cruise ship Chief Engineer

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  1. No, but the maritime "union" in their home country will provide protection when time comes to rehire. I say "union" because in most cases this is just a hiring agency, but the laws of all nations signatory to the MLC are the same with regards to labor protection under the MLC. The crew are not guaranteed a "spot", but are guaranteed rehire unless there is documented poor performance. About 2-3 years ago, Brazil detained a cruise ship when crew complained about MLC violations, and the ship was delayed by a day and subject to hefty fines as well as back pay for the crew. The fines go to the crew that complained.
  2. The MLC also allows for protection against discrimination for those who bring complaints, with very stiff penalties for doing so. As for proving that a dismissal was not tied to the complaint, there would have to be a history of poor performance evaluations or warnings, before the report was made in order to dismiss and not become liable for a retaliation complaint.
  3. I'm very surprised to hear this statement, as it directly contradicts the law. International law, in the form of the Manila Labor Convention 2006, says that a seafarer gets paid every day they are onboard the ship, whether sick or working. Now, they need to have visited the doctor and been told to take time off, they just can't decide they don't feel like working because they have a cold or a headache. If Chris was genuinely ill and was docked pay because of it, he has a grievance under the MLC, which can be reported to any national maritime agency (USCG, CCG, UK MCA, etc) for resolution.
  4. BAC for all crew, at all times on the ship (working or resting), is 0.04%, or about half of what is considered intoxicated in the US. Crew are subject to random drug and alcohol testing, as well as "reasonable cause" testing (if a supervisor or a surveillance camera sees actions that could be indicative of being intoxicated) at any time. Needless to say, the camera outside crew bar is constantly monitored, and times like crew parties, as well as the areas close to the crew gangway after port calls.
  5. And, away we go. There are very many crew positions that are not part of the DSC pool. Certainly the shop personnel, who are not RCI employees, but employees of the concessionaire that operates the shop, are not part of the DSC pool. Most of the galley staff, the sanitation crew, deck and engine, laundry crew are not part of the DSC pool.
  6. Class societies have very strict rules about potable water systems when constructing any ship. There can be no connection to any other piping system on the ship. Even the connection between the evaporators, where the fresh water is made, and the potable water system is not a direct connection, but must have a "back flow prevention" device, to prevent any accidental contamination of the potable water system. On cruise ships, every single toilet (since they don't have tanks and float valves (which is a back flow preventer), like land toilets, and every shower head has a back flow preventer on it. Each and every one of the thousands of back flow preventers on a cruise ship must be tested yearly.
  7. "Oceania" is defined as comprising "Australasia" (Oz and NZ), Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
  8. A few factors are involved. Salaries in relation to home country economies is a large one. Also are cultural norms that influence whether that nationality has a history of "guest worker" economy (exporting workers to other countries for long periods of time), and finally whether the culture in the home country has a history of "service" industry. Whether or not a country or culture meets these requirements affects whether crew hire on to work long hours in cramped quarters, for long contracts, and are willing to be subservient to the passengers, no matter what.
  9. This is the infamous "azipod shimmy", which is a side to side vibration. This is caused because instead of steering with rudders, a ship with azipods swivels the azipods to redirect the flow of water to steer the ship. Just like your car, you need to make continual, small corrections to the steering wheel to keep on a relatively straight course, the azipods are continually sweeping back and forth keeping the course correct. This sweeping of the water flow from one side to the other of the flat hull above the azipods causes the "shimmy" and also some vertical vibration. It can become more noticeable when there is a following sea, as the directional stability of ships with azipods is less than conventional powered ships when in following seas.
  10. Were you in shallow water at the time of the brown wake? Most likely this was a food waste discharge (food waste ground up to less than 1/2" size is allowed to be dumped overboard when outside of a few miles from shore (varies by country), but this is typically done at night. As for sewage treatment, most cruise ships have "Advanced Waste Water Treatment" systems, that can treat all of the gray (sink, shower, galley, laundry) and black (toilet) water used onboard to near fresh drinking water quality. The system uses tanks similar to septic tanks, but with aerobic bacteria instead of anaerobic (the ship pumps air bubbles into the tanks to assist the bacteria) to digest the waste. The ship processes waste much faster than a municipal system does, but when the water leaves the bacteria tanks, 98% of organic waste is digested, and the only product left in the water is paper fibers. Paper is why municipalities need retention ponds, as the bacteria take a long time to digest wood. The ship will add a coagulant to the waste water to make the paper fibers clump together, and aerate the flow, to cause the coagulated paper to float, where it is skimmed off and the waste water proceeds to the UV sterilizer, which kills any bacteria that is carried over with the waste water. This effluent is typically tested by third party testing labs for purity every month, and typically comes back near drinking water standards. The paper solids that are skimmed off are either dried and incinerated onboard, or pumped overboard when outside 12 miles from land. One of the major manufacturers of AWWTS is Scanship, and you can search for them and find descriptions of their systems. Some older ships will only treat the black water (toilets), as required by law, using again a "septic tank" type treatment plant. Gray water is legal to pump overboard without treatment when outside of "special areas" and when underway more than 25 miles from land.
  11. Okay, as my final debate as to who the cruise ship inspectors work for, this is the response I received from the CDC: Thank you for contacting CDC-INFO. We hope you find the following information about the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) helpful. The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assists the cruise ship industry to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships. VSP operates under the authority of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Section 264 Quarantine and Inspection Regulations to Control Communicable Diseases). This information can also be found on CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/desc/aboutvsp.htm. For more information about the The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), please visit the following CDC website: CDC Resources Vessel Sanitation Program National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/default.htm A little cryptic, but with some digging, here is the CDC organizational chart: http://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/orgChart.htm And you will find that under the Deputy Director for Non-Infectious Diseases, is the "National Center for Environmental Health", as noted above in the CDC response regarding the VSP. Then, looking at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/13/2018-02821/statement-of-organization-functions-and-delegations-of-authority which is a statement of organization from 2018 from the CDC, it describes the function of the National Center for Environmental Health, and in particular the "Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice (CUGE)" within the Center, and includes " (11) operates a model vessel sanitation program that includes the development of standards, inspection of vessels, sanitation and disease prevention training of the cruise ship industry, conducting gastrointestinal (GI) illness surveillance and disease outbreak investigations on vessels sailing internationally;" This "model vessel sanitation program" is the VSP. Note that it states that the CUGE operates the program, meaning the inspectors are under the CUGE and therefore the CDC, which is separate from FDA under HHS, as can be seen here in the HHS organizational chart: https://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/orgchart/text/index.html And, yes, I'm quite well aware of the VSP pages on the CDC website, as these are what are used (both the operational and construction manuals) when working on cruise ships, and as you quoted, the VSP was developed from FDA requirements and WHO requirements, but it does not say that it is under FDA control. The CDC took US requirements (FDA) and international requirements (WHO) and combined them into a single program (VSP).
  12. And on US flag ships it becomes even easier, as helm orders are not "Port 20" or "Stbd 10" but "Left 20" or "Right 10", indicating the direction the helm is turned.
  13. Cannot be very accurate, since it does not consider the sea day/port day ratio, the distance sailed for the voyage, and the speed making the passages. Propulsion accounts for 70%+ of a cruise ship's fuel consumption.
  14. High roller uses a toasted brioche roll, and gives you a choice of 9 sauces, while Becky's is more traditional and uses a hot dog roll, and butter or mayo.
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