Working on a cruise ship is a dream for many people and it can be hard finding a job on board. You are able to save a lot of money, because you have no bills to pay.
You work hard and you play hard on board. You work 7 days a week and go out every day. Sleep is overrated.
For most jobs experience is required. And you will want to have that experience, as you will be working from the moment you step on board. A cruise ship is like a floating hotel, many positions are the same, but a cruise ship has a few more, like of course the Captain and his team.
Languages are an absolute pro. English is needed and a European language will put you ahead of the competition.
A selection of types of jobs on board on a cruise ship:
Customer Service Representative
Engineering Department Crew
Gift Shop Position
Hospitality or Hotel Manager
Shore Excursion Staff
A cruise ship runs 24 hours a day. Even the day it comes back into port and the guest leave. That very same day the new guests come on board and the ship sets sail again. You do not have a day off. You will work everyday of the week for the duration of your contract, which can be up to 9 months. Your hours may vary from day to day, depending on if the ship is in port or at sea, but can vary from 8 to 16 hours, the longest hours are on embarkation day/turn around day.
In between contracts you have around 2 months off.
Depending on the type of job your salary can range anywhere from $1500 to $6000 (tax free!) or even more. For the higher earning positions, experience is needed. Expect to start off at a lower salary. But you have no bills, room and board are included and you have hardly any other expenses, so you can save a lot of money.
Room & Board
Depending on your position there is a good chance you will share a very small cabin and sleep in a bunk bed. An inside cabin, which means no window.
You will eat in the crew mess, not with the guests. All meals are included and will be provided in buffet style. Think rice, lots of rice. With some positions you do have the privilege to eat in guest area’s, but you have to be in uniform, which means guests will come up to you during your break.
Cruise ships sail over the world. Most popular area’s are the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The size of the ship depends on the ports they go to. Working on the largest cruise ship in the world may sound appealing, but the ports it can go to are very limited, due to the ships size. The smaller cruise ships and yachts can dock in smaller villages and islands, which can be nice.
Different types of Cruise Lines
From 3 to 6 star cruise lines, from small to large ships, from expedition to family cruises, there is a world of choice out there.
River cruises are growing in popularity and
How to get a job on a Cruise Ship or Yacht
There is so much information on the internet that is can be hard to find the right information.
First you need to decide if you want to go through an agency or approach the cruise lines direct, though some cruise lines only hire through agencies, so there is no point in contacting them directly.
Below is a list of agencies and cruise lines websites with hiring information.
All Cruise Jobs – Cruise job vacancies
Career8 – Jobs with NCL, Oceania and Regent
Carnival Entertainment – Entertainment jobs
Carnival UK – Carnival, Cunard, P&O
Costa Cruises – On board jobs for Costa Cruises
Crown Recruitment – Hiring partner for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara (UK only)
Cruise Careers – Hiring partner (Europe)
Cruise Carreras – Hiring Partner (Europe)
Cruise Job Fair – Annual fair in London with cruise line recruiters
Cruise Ship Job – Cruise ship vacancies
CTI – Hiring Partner for Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Myanmar
Desperate Sailors – Forum for cruisers
Disney Cruise Line – On board jobs with Disney Cruise Line
Excellent Entertainment – Hires entertainment staff for cruise ships (UK)
Excite – Cruise ships jobs, apply direct with Excite.(UK)
Harding Brothers – Hiring partner for the shops on board
Kings Recruit – Hires child care staff for cruise ships (UK)
Ocean Images – Hiring partner for photographers
Silversea – Luxury Cruise Line jobs
Steiner – Hiring partner for Spa positions
Viking Recruitment – Hiring partner for Holland America
Voyages to Antiquity – Their job page
Wandering Earl – Blogger who worked on board cruise ships
Webix – Overview of jobs and their hiring partners
Crew4Crew – Jobs on yachts
Crew Bay – Jobs on yachts
Crew Seekers – Jobs on yachts
Crew Unlimited – Jobs on yachts
Desperate Sailors – Unpaid jobs/stays on sailing boats and yachts
Find a Crew – Jobs on yachts
Float Plan – Jobs on yachts
Luxury Yacht Group – Jobs on yachts
Super Yacht Jobs – Jobs on yachts ( experience needed)
Ya Crew – Jobs on yachts
Yacht Loop – Jobs on mega yachts (experience needed)
Yacht Molly – Information on how to approach yachts for jobs