Why travelling on container vessels?

Before launching yourself in such a journey, you have to take into account some important aspects. You have to be sure that this is the type of experience you need and can endure because once you put foot onboard a container vessel you can only ‘escape’ when arriving at your destination. Of course, you can give up after one port (if this is possible) but in this case you lose the money you paid for your ticket, or you can try to survive and finish your itinerary. Life is not always easy on container vessel and the fact that you are a passenger on this kind of ship does not give you the right to ask for more than it is already offered. In some cases, you can experience bad weather or the food might not be always to your liking, but these are the risks you have to take before making your reservation.

If you want to have only a nice and comfortable cruise do not choose a container vessel as a way of cruising.

You have to know that cruising on real cruise vessels and cruising on port container vessels are two very different things. The only thing they have in common is the sea, but everything else is completely different.

Maybe you  choose a cruise vessel for the nice route it is taking – allowing you to visit some beautiful cities on the way . You also choose a cruiser for the whole package of offerings included in the same ticket:

– beautiful (sometimes luxurious) cabins;

– wonderful gastronomic display of food you have never tasted before;

– funny and entertaining programs (shows, dance lessons, casinos, discos …).

In a few words, a holiday on a cruise vessel can offer you that luxurious vacation you can brag about among your friends and may be something you will never forget.

If you expect to find the same things on a container vessel you are very much mistaken. On the contrary, the cabin you will probably be accommodated in can be small and modest, the food can be bad sometimes and the entertaining programs may be totally absent.

Nevertheless, you can experience bad weather, during which it can be almost impossible to sleep, eat or do anything else. You have to understand one very important thing: the ticket you paid for the voyage does not make you the number one most important person on board and the crew is not there to make you feel better (or entertain you). They have a lot of work to do and the last thing they want to hear is one guy complaining about the food, the weather or the reason why sun does not rise every morning. You are a guest on their ship, they will respect you and treat you well, but they all have their own problems and not enough time to waste with some unsatisfied passengers. In the end,  if you know how to behave you can be very lucky to make some very good friends and you will go home with a lot of memories and many stories to share. If you are lucky enough you can have the privilege of participating in some onboard parties and celebration which can really make your day.

Before deciding that this is the kind of cruise you want, please take into account that some unpleasant things can happen to you while on board (the things I mentioned earlier). Knowing this from the beginning will make you more aware and more easily to please once you are on board. You have to know that, in fact, most of the time, food is really great on container vessels, the cabin may be small, but it will offer you everything you need and maybe something more, weather can be bad, but mostly only this, not worse. The most important thing you have to understand is that the same food, the same kind of cabins and especially the same weather will be experienced by everybody on board, regardless of rank.

So, if you choose this kind of voyage, for sure you choose it for some different reasons. You don’t want fancy food, nor silk linings. What you really want to experience is the life on board, together with a multinational crew and free time to do things you like best –  reading, taking photos, bird watching, practicing foreign languages. Especially if your journey lasts more than a few days, you’ll have time to enjoy the peace and quiet time you mostly miss when you are at home. You can find out that life can be really nice and interesting without the TV or internet that consume most of your life ashore and taking a break of things like these can help you rediscover yourself and your real pleasures in life.

On most vessels that travel around the world, the official language onboard is English, so do not underestimate its power. Be sure that you are very good friend with it because it is going to be a real help whenever you go and whatever you decide to do. It really can make your day brighter and soon you’ll come to realize the importance of English classes at school. You will need it to get by in the cities you visit, to make yourself understood and also to understand what people from Immigration Department ask of you but more of this, you will need it in order to be able to get along with the people on board.

So for you, speaking English can be the key to open many doors. But, be careful. There are many vessels where the spoken language on board is different than English – crew can speak only native languages as German, French or even  some impossible Asian languages. Before booking your trip, be sure that the crew speaks English, so you’ll be able to enjoy useful conversation onboard.

If you do not speak English well or even not at all, you can be also ‘fit to travel’, but you will miss most of the fun as you will not be able to understand the others and hear interesting stories.

On a container vessel you will be allowed to visit the bridge whenever you want, to witness the maneuvers or just during the passageway. You can ask questions and find answers to your most intriguing curiosities (regarding the sea, the vessel and other things involved). Be sure not to disturb people who are working and make your presence on the bridge as unnoticeable as possible. Ask questions, but choose the right moment to do it.

If you want to find out more and get to know everyone on board better you can take part in their usual meetings after working hours. The time you spend with seamen in The Recreation Room can be the most interesting time onboard, revealing to you some interesting adventures.

Be patient and listen carefully to those who want to share their life experiences at sea, ask questions about the things you are interested in and ask permission to do different activities while you are on board.

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