Sup, I’ve been working here at MSC for about 6 months and think I got it figured out…
I have been reading that its better to be on the West Coast and to sign up for the pool there. Would it be possible to sail the East Coast and if I wanted change, then sign up for the West Coast? I am from OR, and don’t really plan on moving anytime soon.
- You will sail East on you’re first assignment. Sign up for a West Coast transfer your first week, you can always turn it down later. I am from Oregon myself and am waiting on my transfer, it may be a while…
Also how much money/cash should I bring with me to NEO? I’ll be staying at the Double Tree hotel. Does anyone know if there is stuff to do in walking distance? Or should I say a grocery store/food?
- There’s a Food Lion (Grocery store) pizza place and a McDonald’s within walking distance from the Double Tree, however you only get a microwave, coffee maker and mini fridge in your room. Not gonna be cooking steak. The restaurant downstairs is great, but spendy, and there’s plenty of places just a 5 min ride away from the beach, but most are only open during the Summer/Tourist season. When I was in NEO, there was a buffet lunch at the Officers club that was around $6 and the food was awesome, there’s also a couple fast food spots on base.
What kind of testing do you go through at NEO? I have read a few things and it almost sounds like BST and few other classes I had to take for my AB. I know I’ll find out when I get there but am curious.
- Training is BST + MSC specific classes, like unrep, helo ff, and small arms, and that comes after NEO. Only test at NEO is a very simple English test.
Should I pack shampoo/soap for a 6month supply or will there be a place to buy it on the ship? Or better yet is there a store on the ship? If yes, are they expensive?
Ship Store, yes. Prices, about average. All I can say is the weekend before you’re last week of training, have everything you need ready to go, you may be catching a flight halfway across the world. Also, if there’s anything you bought or got during NEO or training that you wont need on the ship, send it home. It sucks lugging an extra bag with you in foreign countries getting to your ship. People may offer to carry your bag, but they will expect a tip and if all you have is a $20, that may make their entire year.
I have heard about option for Union. If so, what do most people do (join or not join)?
The Union won’t be able to help much you’re first year as you’re on probation, but it’s something I’m looking into. It has it’s ups and downs.
It sounds like there is Internet on the ships. Does MSC have a computer for everyone to use, or is it better to bring a personal laptop?
Internet sucks. Lot’s of sites blocked out except .gov .mil .org sites. It’s slow. I have a phone that gets internet and tether it to my laptop, way faster. Now I just need an international unlimited data plan and I’m set, oh wait, it will only work when I’m in port.
All I can say is good luck with that. I will say, bring a large hard drive, I got tons of movies, and no time to watch them, lol.
Is there a gym on board or a place to workout? ie: should I bring workout clothes?
Treadmills, weights, basic stuff. I love the punching bag.
They say bring 3 work blue work pants. Are they talking about, say like, Dickies? How many pairs of clothes should I pack that are not work pants/shirts? Is there washer/dryer…should I bring quarters?
Yes, Dickies. You will get dirty as a dayworker, on watch try not to wear shirts with holes in it. Washer Dryer and detergent is FREE!!! Like I said earlier, pack light.
First day of NEO, does it matter what I wear?
Coveralls. Just kidding. Jeans and a shirt should work fine. NO HATS, they get pissy about that. Show some respect.
Out of my questions am I missing anything that maybe I haven’t thought of? I’ll probably come up with more…I’m kinda brain dead right now.
Get used to that buddy. NEO will blow your mind with all the info they have to go over. At least you get an employee handbook, it covers pretty much everything you need to know and how to get a hold of, say payroll or travel claims, etc. There have been several helpful people since I’ve arrived from Portland, and it’s been quite the adventure so far. I’ve been to Germany (14 hr Layover), DJI, UAE and Italy so far. The pay has been nice, I’m an OS, recently promoted from an SU. I will say there are some knuckleheads you will meet in NEO, Training and even on the ships. Stay away from these fools and you’ll do alright. Nobody likes complainers and freeloaders. Work hard, do your part and you’ll gain the respect you deserve, don’t be “that guy”. I had fun in training in NJ, NYC was not too far and spent many a weekend up there. I don’t care for Norfolk too much, unless there’s something I’m missing. The pool is boring, bring a newspaper, book, laptop, game, puzzle, something to keep you going. As soon as I cleared medical in the pool, I was running back to the hotel to pack as I had 2 hours to catch a flight to Frankfurt Germany. That can be a little nerve racking.
Other then that, save you’re money, don’t spend it like a fool and you’ll do alright. Hope this helps and feel free to ask anything. See you in the fleet!