We had the privilege to meet with the ship’s Restaurant Manager, Mihaela Mocan. She was very open with the FIU students and helped us understand a lot about ship life and the various positions on the ship.
The Norwegian Sun currently has:
90 assistant waiters
18 food runners
1 restaurant manager
1 host manager
The Restaurant Manager is in charge of the crew mess, room service and the main dining room. Waiters usually work breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Chefs are basically working around the clock. They start their breakfast prep at 2:00 am. We usually wouldn’t think about how many hours chefs and waiters are working because we tend to forget that the ship is a 24 hour operation. The sports bar is open until 5:00am. Then, room service is open 24 hours.
We were told that the managers on the ship try their best to make everyone’s schedule fair. If a server wants to go out in a port city, they need to get approval beforehand and get their shift covered. Unfortunately, on most port days, the staff has mandatory training. It is sad sometimes because if a waiter has off, they still may need to work instead of exploring a new and exciting city.
How to balance home life and ship life:
Mihaela states,”If you’re single, its easier to be away from home. If you’re married, you experience a lot of pressure. It’s difficult, but we have to keep calling our families everyday to keep in touch. A lot of us have to make sacrifices and our families understand. Some stay 8-9 months away from home.”
What was your best and least favorite experience on the ship?
- “First promotion
- Traveling around the world for ‘free’
- Interacting with 65 different nationalities! Becoming more of a family everyday. “
- “Cannot be apart of family functions
- Scared to lose a family member while at sea.”