Alcohol Ban

Surely this is going to make me sound like a big whiny baby but Matson banned alcohol and it makes work that much more monotonous. Gone are the open carry BBQ’s and game nights. And it’s not like every night was a party. Sometimes I just want a glass of wine after a long day! It sucks and technically I’m in a position where I have to monitor & report others. I feel like I’m being watched in my own home and what’s coming down the pipe is even worse. They will be installing cameras everywhere. In the passageways, work areas, etc. They claim it is for our safety but I am sure this is just the lawyers wanting to harass people reporting injuries. Ughhh.


If you’ve followed maritime news at all the past 6 months or so, you know exactly why this is happening.

On a side note, you’re right…you shouldn’t put up with that shit. If you’re an engineer, please post in which port you’ll be quitting and when as I would be happy to relieve you.


We all know why unless you’ve been living under a rock.

No good ever came from alcohol being consumed aboard ship. I never touched it even when it was allowed.

APL is next.

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If the reason being insinuated is that the lawyers believe men wouldn’t dare harass/rape/maul their female shipmates unless under the influence of alcohol, it is absurd. It is likely more incidents are not reported when alcohol is involved.

I’ve seen more alcohol abuse on “dry” ships which is why I wonder how they’ve come to the conclusion that banning alcohol is the answer to this problem.

It’s the company with the LEAST stressful run in the entire US fleet. They’ll be just fine without it.

I always ran into Pasha and Matson guys at La Marianas having a drink or three with dinner, same in Long Beach. With the barrel watches it’s easy to get out and have a good time, moreso if you can control yourself and not ham out like a mouth breathing douchebag.

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The “L” word (liability)

Yup. Get over it and move on.


Not so easy to move on with the thought of surveillance cameras patrolling the hallways. This is not an exciting prospect.

As for the alcohol, I don’t want my job to include being a narc because folks do not take the policy seriously but here we are. If you don’t report it you will end up sh*tcanned with everyone else in the event a situation occurs.

Yes, I came to complain that there are more reasons a career at sea is becoming less attractive. No, I will not be quitting but we seem to be running low on skilled labor on the west coast so come thru.

What are you worried about the cameras for? What are you doing in the hallways? You’re on surveillance cameras every time you walk into Walmart.

The only thing they can be used for outside of their intended purpose is to catch people who aren’t working when they’re supposed to be. Those folks are shitbags anyway.

And if you’re management, discipline is part of your job. And if you’re not, then don’t worry about it.

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Cameras covering most of the vessel are quite common on a lot of modern vessels, not very common on the bridges or in ECR though.I think in Brazil cameras on the bridge are quite common, heard there were a lot of incidents involving bridge watch keepers being on their phone and not keeping a proper lookout so they wanted to keep an eye on what they were doing.

Alcohol on a ship almost always leads to some kind of trouble, some unstable people just can’t control themselves and it ends badly, total abstinence is the best policy.


I’m on camera on several MLL ships that I know of/have been on and I know for a fact people drink on them as well, but they keep it hidden. The solution is simple, as @New3M said: don’t be an asshole on camera. If you’re operations and know people are drinking, avoid being in their cabins or spaces where they engage in such activities and if you’re management then you should want to be more proactive in tossing dead weight. If it’s my watch partner who is getting shitty you’d better goddamn believe I’d report their ass right away – if it’s my career or theirs guess who is going home? Not me.

I never ratted people out, but I for damn sure never hung out with them off watch either. With two groundings in the MLL fleet in one year, one of them a vessel of THAT class on THAT run, I was amazed those morons wanted to play with fire.

Let’s put cameras in the bathrooms. It’s not like you’re doing anything bad in there so what does it matter? They’ll only look at the footage if you fall in the bathroom and file lawsuit.
Just saying.


That’s a bit of a stretch.


In my entire career at sea I’ve never worked on a ship that allowed alcohol consumption onboard, nor one that didn’t have cameras.

Never really seemed to be anything to harp on since I’ve never known any different.

I’ve seen cameras in passageways before, generally installed after theft or harassment complaints. As a deterrent, anecdotally they work. The rest of the cameras help for monitoring operations, and sure, they’re useful in investigations…that’s not a bad thing.

I asked an MMP pensioner once if he loved working on the SS United States, figuring he had plenty of fun in the 60’s enjoying the company of women while wearing dress whites as a young officer on the fastest ocean liner ever built.

“Nah, they had cameras everywhere.”

Not a recent development…

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I doubt if the cameras will be monitored, I would expect only for a look back if there is an issue. I cant imagine the satellite connection , or cell in port, to be good enough to transmit that much data off the vessel, so think of it like the vdr recording your voice and vessel operations. No one will have time or bother to look unless there is a reason. Dealing with alcohol onboard a merchant ship seems an unnecessary risk/burden on those who have to manage it. I do agree there are more and more reasons making it less desirable/ beneficial to going to sea. This item doesn’t register on that list for me.

Not into the whole media thing this forum is a part of but…
I participated in US Merchant Marine for 30 years off west coast in the hot room. Union. Worked off the boad for 20 for all contracted companies. Then 10 for Matson. Huge difference between dry jobs and Matson/APL. Picture what your family members lived through during prohibition.

Reading last night about Matson online looking for this alcohol ban i ran across a couple more lawsuits and firings based on this subject. Not a one way street. Assuming this audience is aware of present day box boat turnaround schedules at issue is feeling treated like a responsible human being. Matson was a standout in this regard during most of my employment period. It makes a difference in moral and team performance.

Bottom line, being the last real maritime employer Matson can set the rules. Powers swung in their favor. They also enjoy record profits in a protected industry. That they have other than profit making responsibilities escapes public criticism. Truth be told the worst offenders with alcohol were almost universally Captains and Chief Engineers. With 21 person crews the rest just didn’t have the energy to be performers , which is just how contract language labeled them in years past.


Yea, its pretty fucking bullshit… I’ll sorely miss the karaoke BBQs between Hono and Guam. I’m not even much of a drinker, but having 2 or 3 beers with some fellow shipmates, while literally sailing into the tropical sunset, is a memory I’ll always cherish.


I hope that the management sets an example by also abstaining from alcoholic beverages, during the week days and in the weekends.


Why? They’re not on duty during nights and weekends. Those onboard are.

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