Life on a Cruise Ship for the Crew: Human Resources Manager | CruiseBe
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Life on a Cruise Ship for the Crew: Human Resources Manager

9 minutes read • April 13th, 2018
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We’ve met our blogger only recently, but we are already so impressed by what he does! His pictures make people smile and dream of traveling, and, of course, we can’t help but share his story and shots with you.
Please meet, Jeffrey Hendren, who knows a lot about cruise life.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
Currently, Jeffrey works for Royal Caribbean International as a Human Resources Manager. He is also a popular Instagram blogger with 15.7K followers. He loves to share the moments of his life, work, and adventures on his Instagram Profile (@jeffreyhendren). Besides, Jeffrey has a website (www.jeffreyhendren.com), where he tells about working as the HR Manager, shares his experience, gives helpful tips, etc.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
Jeffrey is a well-rounded and very interesting person to talk to. We decided to find out more about his work and life on the cruise ship, and he kindly agreed to answer our questions. That’s what he told us…

Please, tell us your story about how you began to work on the ship. What is your occupation? How long have you been doing it?
I actually grew up at sea; our family business is a yacht brokerage and marine service company. My father, although not a naval architect, was a brilliant designer of new build and refitted yachts in the 60-200 foot market. However, I diverted from the family business and worked in aviation for 14 years before the ocean called me back. I was recruited by Royal Caribbean in 2015 to join as a training & development manager, then was promoted to learning & development consultant on Allure of the Seas (the world’s largest cruise ship at that time) finally being promoted to my current position as human resources manager.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
Please, describe your regular working day.
No day is the same as the last day. Essentially we have days that have a natural flow to them. Turn around day means we have our largest crew movement of the voyage; we call this the sign on/sign off process. In general, my day starts around 07.00 and can include meetings related to the operation of the vessel and meetings with individual crew members. Most officers tend to take a mid-day break from noon until 16.00, and then we work from 16.00 to 21.00.  Throughout this time we can be inspecting, auditing, training, etc. In human resources, it is thought that I have to give a lot of bad news, but that is not the case, I really enjoy promoting hard working crew members or helping align seafaring couples.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
What are the pros and cons of working on the cruise ship?
As with any job, there will always be pros and cons. A ship is a tight and caring community, and what I love is that the crew members are always there for each other. We also have it fairly easy lifestyle-wise; I can go from my cabin to the gym or the mess in about 2 minutes (who is lucky enough to have that easy of a commute). The cons are straightforward, we spend a lot of time away from our friends and family back home and miss out on simple things that our land-based friends might take for granted. We also lose all sense of time and date; this, in fact, can be both a pro and a con.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
What is your favorite place on the ship?
This is a tough question to answer because I have many favorite places onboard. I love the bridge because it is the quietest area of the ship, zenful and tranquil with the best views of the sea ahead. I also love my cabin because essentially that is my home away from home. Overall, I love anywhere onboard where I can get fresh air and see the outside.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
What do you usually do on port days? Do you leave the ship and walk in the ports, swim, etc. or do you like to stay on the ship and spend time in silence?
I set a personal goal, and I also encourage crew to do the same. To leave the ship at least once per cruise. It is so important to take off the uniform and go get some sun and clear the mind. For me, I am a foodie so I always love trying out the local cuisine. I also love the water so any chance I can I will head to the beach for sun and swimming. On other days, staying in and enjoying me time or Netflix catches up.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
What are your favorite ports? What ports are on your bucket list?
Too many to list! Of the ports I have been to, my favorites have to be any port in Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Greece, Montenegro, and Croatia. My bucket list ports would have to be the South Pacific and South America.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
Have you ever sailed on the cruise ship as a traveler? Would you like to?
Actually, I cruised many times as a guest before I started working onboard. I love it, but I will admit it is hard to “take the employee hat off” when cruising. I tend to cruise on our sister brands so that I can detach a little more.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
What do you think attracts so many modern tourists in this type of vacation?
Cruising is great because it is safe, easy and fully customizable. If the guest wants to relax or party whatever they want is available to them. As technology improves over time we will see that cruising beats a land-based resort type vacation every time. Especially on my cruise brand, we have something for everyone. Some brands cater to certain age groups or demographics while we truly cater to anyone and everyone.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren

What cruise-related advice do you have for our readers and us?
Well, number 1 is to have fun! Make the most of your time onboard. Also, read up on the specifics of your ship and cruise line. Do you need to pre-book any dining or shore excursion reservations? With your cabin what really matters to you? If you won’t spend time out on a balcony, then save the money for other activities that you will use like the spa, casino, etc. Also, please tip your staff, housekeeping, restaurants, and bar. These folks work hard and spend up to 10 months at sea. If you encounter a crew member that wows you, please reward them. Also, we really care about your feedback, if something is not to your liking, please let us know so we can fix it. If you are impressed with something, also let us know, we love to recognize and reward our staff that goes above and beyond.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren
 
This story is really impressive, isn’t it? We thank Jeffrey for his honest, sincere, and inspiring responses. We also thank Jeffry for his beautiful posts showing how exciting cruise life is.
By the way, you can check more cruise pictures by Jeffrey on his Instagram Profile: @jeffreyhendren
When you know that people like Jeffrey work on the cruise ships, you can be sure that your sailing will be exciting.
life on a cruise ship for the crew @jeffreyhendren
Photo courtesy of @jeffreyhendren

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