EDIT: Thank you to everyone who replied to my post. She has now sorted this out. It has been confirmed by someone who has been on board and knows the ropes that she will be stamped out before the ship leaves the port. This makes sense but she couldn't find someone to confirm it.
She did contact the person who deals with her contracts but that person wasn't very helpful.
Scenario – British national with British passport. Contract to work on cruise ship starts in January. Already has Seaman's Book. Joining the ship entails flight from UK to Germany, straight onto next flight to Italy. Then out the airport straight onto the cruise ship.
We think passing through Germany for connecting flight counts as ‘in transit’ so passport will not be stamped in - and mustn’t be because how will it get stamped out? When she returned from Japan via Germany she was never asked for her passport. Arriving in Italy – this is the problem bit – will the passport be stamped ‘in’ on arrival? If it is it won’t get stamped ‘out’ until 183 days later when she returns home – exceeding the time allowed in Schengen area.
Does presentation of the Seaman's Book mean the passport will not be stamped on arrival in Italy? Or is the passport stamped ‘in’ and stamped ‘out’ in the airport in one go.
I have spent some considerable time – over a week – searching internet for help: it keeps presenting cruise ship passenger scenarios, which is nothing like being crew. Today I had a light bulb moment and thought of Seaman's Book, and ended up on this site.
Every visa we have researched doesn’t help. I think the scenario I present is unusual to the cruise line – not that many UK people work on board. When she was offered the new contract I don’t think her being a UK national in the Schengen area occurred to them in terms of being careful about limiting days in the area.
The scenario is new to us as her previous contracts have all been out of the US or around the UK. I apologise for the length of my post. Thank you for reading this far.