On one of my recent cruises onboard Regatta, I had the pleasure of meeting a Deck Cadet in training, Mr. Lloyd Shettle. At only 17 years old, Lloyd was by far the youngest crew member onboard Regatta. Hailing from the Isle of Wight in the UK, Lloyd had come to his position through his father, who worked as a recruiter for cadets in nearby Southampton. Like most of us, Lloyd was uncertain of what career he wanted to pursue after completing his primary schooling, so at his father’s suggestion, he applied for the Deck Cadet position. Impressed by his interview, Regent Seven Seas Cruises agreed to sponsor Lloyd but did not have space for him at the time. So Lloyd found a home onboard Regent Seven Seas’ sister line, Oceania Cruises.
Lloyd’s training began with four months in the Maritime Academy in Southampton. He says he dreaded the first day at the university, but from the moment he started, he loved every minute of it. Cadets study all aspects of general ship knowledge, from the trigonometry of maps and charts to the lights and flags of navigation signals. After his initial university study, Lloyd came onboard Regatta to begin his hands-on experience. He will continue to alternate months of university study and time at sea until he accumulates a total of two years at the academy and one year of sea time. Then he can take oral exams with the British Coast Guard and become a Third Officer.
Lloyd is the first hand on deck in the morning, awakening early each day to be on the Bridge an hour before the Captain and begin routine equipment checks. He generally starts around 4:00 a.m. and takes part in checking the radar, gauging the ship’s position using various charts, watching out from the bridge for any dangers ahead, checking the ballast, and other duties. He has an enormous training manual in which the Captain and Officers must sign attesting to Lloyd’s proficiency in tasks ranging from the deck to the engine department.
Lloyd will have many career options after completing his training. There are opportunities for work ashore in the maritime field, or he could continue to advance to Second Officer and Chief Officer onboard. With further study his career path could lead him becoming a Captain. Officers are needed on cargo ships as well, but Lloyd says he prefers the passenger ships as he is “quite a social person.” He also says he greatly enjoys life onboard since every day is different and offers a new challenge. And of course, there is the added opportunity of seeing fascinating ports of call the world over.
“Not many people can say they’ve sailed around the world on a cruise ship while working and earning money for it as well,” says Lloyd.
In his free time, Lloyd is a musician who plays guitar and drums and also likes to DJ at local nightclubs. But he won’t have much free time on his hands over the next few years. While most crew members enjoy a few months of vacation at the end of a contract, Lloyd returns to the university to continue his studies. Oceania Cruises is pleased to have such a dedicated and hard-working young man as part of their crew and looks forward to his ongoing successes.
I can attest that Lloyd’s future looks bright, as I happened to board a tender the next day and find that he was in training at the boat’s helm. The seas were a bit rough that day, and maneuvering the tender alongside the ship would’ve been a challenge even for a more experienced crew member. But Lloyd performed very well. The guests onboard could observe that he was receiving instructions from a senior crew member, and as Lloyd successfully brought the tender into position next to the ship, a round of applause rose from the guests in a show of support.
Best wishes to you Lloyd as you advance in your career with Oceania Cruises!