Actually, like everything it is a little bit more complicated than you think in that I must persuade one of my four children how wonderful life at sea would be!
For me that’s not too hard as my middle son, Logan, has always wanted to train as a Deck Officer since he was 10 years old. He was so passionate about it that he researched online for a local sea cadets’ unit and now at the age of 13 holds the rank of Cadet First Class at the Morecambe and Heysham Unit.
He meets there twice a week and is instructed by experienced volunteers in engineering, navigation and seamanship.
Last week we attended an open day at Fleetwood Nautical Campus and I was surprised to learn that at the age of 16 he can start a cadet ship with one of the big cruise lines such as Princess or Carnival and they will sponsor him while he studies for three years.
The course is completed over five phases and includes 22 weeks in the college whilst the rest is spent on the job at sea doing the job.
Now I went to sea at the age of 21 but 16 is far too young surely. Whilst there we chatted to a lovely Scottish young man who was a cadet with Princess Cruises and he was telling us that at the age of 17 he was flown to Australia to join a ship. He did say that his mum was an emotional wreck when he told her where he was off to.
I guess I should be glad that Logan seems to know what he wants to do and has a clear plan for his future and, I remind him daily that when he becomes an officer he can invite his mum on the cruises he is on for free!
So that’s all you have to do to get free cruises – encourage one of your children to work at sea. Job done!