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Crew Management on Cruise Ship

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Question: Crew Management of Super Star Virgo

Study the crew strength onboard Super Star Virgo. Elaborate on the recruitment methods and criteria in the recruitment of local and foreign crew members by Star Cruise. What are the training and development programmes provided by Star Cruise to ensure quality service? Identify the benefits enjoyed by the crew members.

Evaluate and support with reasons if more can be done to improve crew management.

Tasks: • Study Crew Strength • Elaborate on Recruitment Methods • Elaborate on Recruitment Criteria • Training and Development Programmes • Service Standards • Benefits Enjoyed by Crew Members • Evaluation • Improvements on Crew Management

Crew Strength Currently, there are a total of 1423 crew members of 17 different nationalities onboard the Super Star Virgo. The crew members are mainly divided into three divisions; Marine Department (Deck and Engine, Navigation, Technical), Club Department (Games Operation, Entertainment) and Hotel Department (Housekeeping, Service, Concierge).

Recruitment Methods Recruitment of prospective crew is carried out through a crewing agent (Strada Maritime Corporation and Martley Shipping Inc) which thereafter deployment is processed through authorised local crewing agents appointed in the countries. Similarly, job seekers can also send their general applications for suitable positions through the Star Cruise official website (http://www.starcruises.com) to apply for job vacancies. A pre-requisite interview will be done by the Star Cruise Recruitment Representative for all Star Cruise employment. Finally, the successfully endorsed applicants will then be deployed onboard the ship for work and practical training.

Recruitment Criteria To be a crew member of Super Star Virgo, applicants must reach the minimum qualifications and experience required for the position applied. Being able to converse in English is an important criterion as it enables basic communication among the different races onboard; be it crew or more importantly, customers. In addition, applicants must have positive attitudes as it contributes to a good start in excellent service where the reputation of Star Cruises is concerned. However, as the recruitment criteria for every single position is different, the above criteria only serves as a guide.

Training and Development Programmes Onboard Super Star Virgo, there is an independent training department which conducts onboard training for its crew members. The training ranges from safety and security procedures to service skills and knowledge. The trainings are certified and accredited by prestigious organizations showing its credibility. • Star Cruises is one of the first cruise lines to be certified for the ISM (International Safety Management) Code in 1998 as directed by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation). • First shipping company ever to be accredited by Panama Maritime Authority to conduct STCW-95 without involvement by external training institute, in 2000. • The STCW-95 training programmes are conducted on board Star Cruises’ vessels and is fully endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and used to train captains, officers and crew.

Service Standards The crew to passenger ratio aboard Super Star Virgo is 1:2. This reflects the highly efficient service that it is able to provide, as well as, the greater care and attention each passenger is able to receive. Furthermore, this will allow the crew members to specialize in an area that provides maximum satisfaction available to a passenger. Hence, the quality of service is consistent and sustained. • Star Cruises' award-winning product is noted for its excellent service standards and the highest crew-to-passenger ratio (1:2) of any major cruise line, reflecting the high standards of the hospitality industry in Asia-Pacific.

Benefits Enjoyed by Crew Members Star Cruises provide comfortable and reasonable accommodation for its crew members onboard the ship. Moreover, a 24-hour buffet catering for different race and religion is provided. Welfare services such as healthcare are also available. The greatest of all benefits to the crew is the work experience as well as knowledge and skills gained during their job employment.

Evaluation The overall crew management onboard Super Star Virgo is indeed impressive. The recruitment methods and criteria show the meticulousness of cruise operations in its crew members. In addition, the stringent and thorough training provided maintains the quality of its crew. Lastly, the benefits enjoyed by the crew members ensure that their mental and physical health is at its peak in order to provide optimum performance in their work.

Improvements on Crew Management
Case Study: Based on our observations and research findings, we discovered that there are actually certain management problems that have emerged. The company, Star Cruise, is facing over employment. We observed that too many staff was designated to work on a particular task (too many variable inputs working on fixed inputs). A team of 3 members was noticed to have been assigned to provide routine housekeeping for our cabins. Besides that, a team of 6 members was actually observed cleaning the children’s pool before docking. This implies that the crew management is not entirely flawless. Its failure to dispatch an appropriate number of crew members to do a specific task manifests its inefficiency. In due course of over employment, this would lead to a decrease in productivity and subsequently, an increase in its operating costs.

Solutions: We suggest that the management can reduce its crew members by deploying them to other ships with shortages of labor. Alternatively, it can distribute its labor to other areas or divisions where the amount of variable inputs to fixed inputs can be increased. This will not only increase the productivity of the crew but will help reduce the operational costs.

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