What’s It Like to Work on a Cruise Ship?

Working for a Cruise Line

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for a cruise line? When you work onboard a cruise ship, you get to meet new people and travel to all sorts of exotic lands. You could eventually become a cruise director or a ship’s bartender like “The Loveboat’s” Julie McCoy or Isaac Washington. Recently, several of our readers have been asking what crew members do onboard and how ship life is. Some of the questions asked have been where do they sleep, do they get weekends off, do they eat the leftover food, etc. In this article, we explore life onboard a cruise ship.

Do the Crew Members Sleep Onboard?

Yes, most of the crew members sleep onboard however the conditions may vary. All crew cabins have a shower and toilet in the bathroom. The crew members beds are singles, often bunk beds. The crew has room stewards who dust and vacuum. The crew generally has TV’s in their rooms which get all if the channels that passengers get and more. Crewmembers live on the lower deck, usually two to a cabin. Staff members live on the upper deck and often get a cabin to themselves. Everyone who works onboard a cruise ships works seven days a week, however the number of hours varies a great deal depending on the particular job.

Staff members live on the upper crew deck, except for the captain and other officers, who live right behind the bridge. This is the room where the ship is steered, usually on deck eight or nine. Their corridor of private staterooms is behind a secure door.

Cruise Line Crew Cabin

What Types of Crewmembers Are There?

There are two categories of cruise ship workers; crewmembers and staff. Crewmembers of the ship include busboys, cooks, waiters, housekeeping, bartenders, and maintenance. These crewmembers eat, sleep and live on the two crew-only decks when they are off-duty, and only enter passenger areas to work.

Other staff members are on the higher end job scale. These staff members include the captain, the captain’s officers, guest relations, entertainment staff, and the hotel department. These are staff members that interact with the public on a regular basis. This category of staff also includes computer techs, theater techs, videographers, sports and fitness, etc.

Cruise Ship Hotel Staff

There are also many people who work on a cruise ship but are not employed by the cruise line itself. The casinos, spas, gift shop concessionaires, photography services, entertainment, and medical staff are often outsourced. Two of the major gift shop concessionaires are Harding Brothers and Starboard Cruise Services. Most of the spas on a cruise ship spas are operated by Steiner Leisure.

Concession employees have limited access to the ship. For example, concession employees can eat in the buffet area however they cannot go to the nightclubs.  Generally there are 2 decks where ship workers live. There is a deck right at the water line, which has windows that look outside but do not open; and there is a deck below, with no windows that is under the water’s surface.

What Activities Do Crew Members Have Access to?

The upper crew deck has a dining room, a game room with screen TVs, a fitness center, a bar, a laundry room, and a room for internet access. The crew does have to pay for internet by the minute but it is a lower rate than the passengers pay. The cruise line crew also has a store where they can buy snacks, toothpaste, drinks, etc. The crew’s bar is generally open every night for dancing and drinking.

Cruise Line Staff Bar

Restaurant workers will work in shifts and sometimes have lunch off. This gives them a chance to go ashore or catch up on rest. Many of the onboard facilities like the casino and gift shops close for legal reasons when a ship is in port therefor these workers are always off duty during port calls. Staff jobs usually include “run of the ship” privileges. This means the staff can eat lunch and dinner in the public buffet area. They usually have to wait until 30 minutes before lunch or dinner ends. They are also allowed in all public rooms of the ship to fraternize with the passengers. Most hang out in the nightclub to drink and dance after their work shift.

No staff member onboard the cruise ship is allowed to gamble or sunbathe by the passenger pools. They can however use the spa, watch live shows, get a haircut, use the gym on the ship, etc.

Does the Crew Get Weekends Off? Do They Eat Leftovers?

Many passengers think that crew members get weekends off. This is not true. All cruise ship workers work everyday of their contract. They get hours off but not full days. They think perhaps on those days, they will just get leftovers and all the bars and restaurants will be closed. No, ship workers work every day of their contract. They get hours off, not full days. The crew members only will get leftover passenger food if it has never left the galley. The crew is never given anything left behind by passengers. Any cruise ship employee who is caught eating unauthorized passenger food can be fired.

Cruise Line Buffet Food

Interested in Working for a Cruise Line?

If you’ve ever wanted to work onboard a cruise ship, Derek Baron and Liz Aceves have released a guide on how to get a job on a cruise ship. Derek Baron has worked on board 10 different cruise ships as a Tour Manager over the past 6 years while Liz has worked on a cruise ship for over 3 years. When you work onboard a cruise ship, you’ll typically earn anywhere from $1500 to over $5000 USD per month, depending on your position. More importantly, you will have almost ZERO expenses as your room, meals and even medical coverage are provided for free. This allows you to save up to 95% of every paycheck.

You generally will work anywhere from 40-60 hours a week. Even though you work everyday onboard the ship, ship life can be a vacation in itself. You get to travel the world, socialize with the passengers, and have access to a variety of activities on board the ship. A cruise line job is a life changing opportunity. You’ll get to make friends with people from all over the world and learn about a variety of cultures. Your typical cruise contract lasts anywhere from 3-8 months which enables you to get anywhere from 2-4 months vacation a year. Most cruise lines will even pay for your flight home.

Does this Cruise Line Employment Guide Cost Anything?

The guide itself costs $25 USD. Applying for a job onboard a cruise ship is not the same as applying for a job on land. The rules are different and the process is very complicated. It’s almost impossible to do on your own. Without knowing the specific steps involved, cruise lines just won’t notice you and your resume won’t even get a first glance. $25 is all you’ll ever need to pay in order to land a job that will allow you to save $1,500, $3,000 or even over $4,000 per month on board a cruise ship. For more info, click here or on the banner below

Santana Mackline from New York City said “I followed this guide precisely and in less than two weeks I have landed a job on board a major cruise line!  I’m headed to Alaska, a place that I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d ever get to see.  I’m so excited to begin this journey and to those of you who want to work on board a cruise ship GET THE GUIDE!!! It helped me tremendously and I know it will help you!  Thanks again Derek & Liz!” Amelia Williams from Florida said “Following your instructions made it possible for me to apply to 9 different cruise lines in less than two hours!”

Cruise Ship Job Guide 60 Day Money Back Guarantee

The How to Work on a Cruise guide offers a full 60-day money-back guarantee on every order. Derek and Liz are so confident that the material is going to exceed your expectations that they want you to try it, without any risk whatsoever. Click below to get started.

Comment below if you’ve found this article useful or if you have ever experienced work on a cruise ship

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