Seven-day weeks, up to 13 hours a day on duty, set meal times and a mixture of languages from 60 nations: that's how young lena eschenbacher from bad staffelstein spent her last two months. From the beginning of november to the end of december 2019, the 18-year-old was at sea. With the cruise ship MS albatros, which sails under the flag of the bahamas, the prospective hotel manager has traveled to more than 15 mostly african countries. And all this during their training.
The vocational school (berufsschule II in bamberg) took part, she says: "i just have to rewrite all my schoolwork up to date." Her employer andreas poth, general manager of the best western plus hotel in bad staffelstein, had also given his okay for the internship on board.
After the application, which she submitted as a video in september, further tests followed before the journey via nurnberg and munich to south africa could begin. Lena needed a certificate of fitness for sea service, plus the yellow fever vaccination. "I had to go to rostock for a week for basic safety training, that was a requirement of the shipping company, she tells. There, rescue and first aid were taught, but also rescue islands were built, swimming and personal rescue were practiced. Not so easy, everything was done in english.
But the young woman mastered this well, now after the trip even better. "What do you want to do? There were 300 crew members from 60 nations on the ship, "german didn't get you very far", she says and laughs. From germany came only 15 employees. But that did not matter.
The work on such a rough ship is probably the same all over the world: checking passports and vaccinations at reception, serving food in the dining rooms and drinks in the bar, cleaning passenger cabins and working in the ship's laundry, from operating the automatic washing machine to ironing crew suits and washing passengers' tables and beds.
Always correctly dressed
There was a dress code for each task area: lena could be seen in a skirt and blouse, in pants or a work coat, or even in a sporty leisure look: when a country walk was called for.
This did not happen often, but it was an experience every time. The captain and the doc were also on the road with the quad in senegal, says lena, beaming. It's probably her favorite picture, a unique reminder of her time in training.
Interesting were also the shootings with the twelve-headed television team of the ARD for the broadcast "verruckt nach seer". Uch lena comes in one or the other of the daily recorded episodes to word.
This year the young woman from kasendorf will finish her apprenticeship. Then she will know that there is a german bakery in cape town with nut cookies and pig's ears (geback), that on german-speaking ships the crew doesn't necessarily speak german and that you can get lost on an ocean liner even if you have a detailed map of the ship's location.
Three years ago, a trainee from the staffelstein hotel was on a cruise ship: laura bauer also completed an internship of several weeks at sea.