Advice for Working on a Cruise Ship


Many people dream of sailing from island to island, exploring the world’s best beaches and ports. What if you could do that while making money? Sounds like an impossible dream, right. The truth is, there are lots of different types of cruise ship jobs available around the world. There are long term positions, short term positions and everything in between. It can be a great way to meet new people, travel the world all while saving some hard earned cash. Finding information on advice for landing a great cruise ship job can be hard to find, so that’s why we’ve come up with an article containing lots of useful advice for working on a cruise ship:

What Kind Of Jobs Are There on a Cruise Ship?

If you’ve been on a cruise ship, think back to all the staff you saw working on board. Cruise ships are essentially floating resorts, so there’s a need for bar staff, restaurant staff, cleaning staff, photography staff, entertainment staff, and the list goes on. There are over 300 types of jobs abroad cruise ships, so chances are whatever your interests are in terms of hospitality, you’ll be able to find something to suit.


How Do I Find a Job?

You can go through an agency or you can apply directly to the cruise ship. It’s important to do a bit of research into the different cruise lines as there tends to be quite a variation in pay, standards and working hours depending on the company. Find reviews of others who have worked on ships and enjoyed their time. Talk to friends and family and see if anyone knows anyone who has personally worked on a ship. The application process is similar to most jobs, you’ll likely have to fill out some forms as well as send along a CV. Often successful companies add in new ships to their fleets and that is the best time to apply as they’ll be needing a whole new set of staff.

The biggest piece of advice I have is: Start looking early. The application process can take a while, so we suggest starting to applying up to three months before you want to start work. That way you can have something in the bag with enough time to spare.

Can I work for a Short Time or During the Holidays?

While a lot of cruise ship companies want to hire you for a longer term, there are some that higher extra staff during the peak times of years. This will vary a lot from company to company, but it pays to hunt around. It can be a great way to get a “tester” of what it is like working in a cruise ship without the commitment. Many people find it a great way to boost their income while studying or being in between jobs. It’s also a very fun and unique experience.

Cruise Ship , Old San Juan

What’s the Pay Like?
The pay is comparable to land jobs, but with a few bonuses: most of the time you don’t have to pay tax on your earnings, you don’t have to pay for food/board, so in the end you end up saving a lot more than you could typically do at home. Pay tends to be between $1,500-3,000 a month and many of the positions warrant considerable tips, too. All-in-all it can be a great way to save a lot of money in a short length of time.

Working on a cruise ship can be an awesome way to make money, new friends and a bunch of savings. If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, start getting more serious about the application process. It might be one of the best things you ever do!


Photo: john williskansasphoto and Conor C used under Creative Commons License