Trying to become a west coast merchant marine!

Hi guys, I just recently finished getting my MMC and TWIC card. I have absolutely no seafaring experience but I know this is something I want to pursue. My ideal company would be something along the lines of MSC, or anything on a freighter.(I’d like to see as much of the world as possible). Though I would be willing to work on a cruise ship. Does anyone know a website that might help or a company that hires people like me. If you even have a port that I should go wondering around I’ll take it. I’m located on the west coast close to Long Beach, San Diego, areas like that. Please help I need something to go on here. Thank you.

Why do so many neophytes always come on here with exactly the same mile wide question? There are hundreds of threads already answering them and all you need to do is use the search function. Please read through all of them and then come back here with specific questions about what you have learned so far. Nobody wants to keep teaching the same class over and over to one student at a time.

First lesson to you…you’re trying to become a Merchant “Mariner”…not a Merchant “Marine” but if you had read some old threads already you would have known that. Marines are in the USMC

Second lesson…address superiors with something more formal and respectful…“guys” is much too familiar. You would not go up to the master and chief engineer on a ship and say “hey guys” yet that is exactly what you are doing here.

Third lesson…there is little tolerance at sea for people who are unable or unwilling to learn and to take instruction. Remember always that you know nothing and do not allow your mouth to say anything otherwise.

Heed well these three lessons and you will have a good start.

btw, my advice to you is also to change your username…nobody at sea is that effing happy and we don’t need no 'just gosh isn’t this golly sooper" new crewmembers in our faces. People know that I am a perpetual wiseass here but NEVER use smilies in my posts. (if I have used a smiley in the past couple of months, I apologize for a momentary lapse of my usual curmudgeonly scale covered self. :wink:

bbtw, when you change your username, don’t change it to “the dude” because that’s reserved for “the dude”

“the Dude abides”…


Between here and the boat I’m surrounded by FNG’s!!! Wonder if they can just make a forum header if you don’t have a clue click here first and have all the rookie advice in its own section? I’m not opposed to giving advice but as you say it’s getting old.

[QUOTE=Happydude;71193]Though I would be willing to work on a cruise ship.[/QUOTE]

It isn’t a matter of doing what you are “willing” to do. It is a matter of doing what you “must” do to obtain your goal. You should be prepared to do anything because as you say “you have absolutely no seafaring experience”. To work on a cruise ship might be an excellent start for you but the work will be unpleasant, long hours, and low pay. You will clean everything all the time but you will gain experience. Norwegian Cruise Lines has an American division with one ship in Hawaii that is US flag and needs American seamen. Their website for employment opportunities is here. Ordinary Seamen are represented by theSeafarers International Union. I’d consider contacting them.


Happydude, consider yourself lucky for not getting totally throttled with that post. Reread c.captains first post and do exactly what he said.

Thank you c.captain for the link my apologies for annoying you. I missed the employment tab, but I’m just using all the tools at hand. I’m sure you can understand how hard it is to get your foot in the door.

Go visit Nickie Collins in Cut Off, LA with Edison Chouest on a Monday at 0800. Tell him you are hungry to start a seagoing career and explain how you would be willing to pay for STCW
classes just to get your foot in the door. I would suggest you fly in on Sunday to scope out the area. Have your docs photo copied, a clean collar shirt, firm handshake and a great attitude.
Remember, first impressions are lasting. Search gcaption for ECO or Edison Chouest. The information you will gather will be invaluable., Good luck Dude.

Why don’t we make a FAQ sub forum?

Very good idea. Or we could create a tab and call it, “Getting started as a Merchant Mariner”. GCaptain is the best tool these kids have to gather information.