In the good old days when Shell had millions of ships, captains with real character/reputation and large crews, I remember when first joining any illustrious Shell Tanker my first few questions were:-
"Who is the old man and what's he like?"...."How long has he got in?"
"What's the chow like?"....
"What are the orders?"...
I would then have a look down the muster list to see if I recognised any names I had sailed with before. Funny how the results of those cursory investigations could set the tone for a trip.
Once those formalities were over it was then it was down to business and countdown to pay-off.