Explore the World of Cruise Ship Jobs: Opportunities, Requirements, and Life Onboard

If you love traveling and meeting new people, working on a cruise ship is the job you have always been looking for. You can explore the world while earning money and having fun by doing cruise ship jobs. But how do you get a cruise ship job? What are the different types of cruise ship jobs? What is life like onboard a cruise ship? Let’s discuss these questions and other interesting facts in this article.

Embark on a new adventure with cruise ship jobs

The cruise industry is growing at an impressive rate. Guests on board get many exclusive services and entertainment options during the trip. There’s something for everyone, from dining and shopping to shows and excursions. For guests to have this amazing experience, crew members from different countries and backgrounds work together.

Therefore, the cruise crew and their jobs are one of the most important components of the cruise industry. There are plenty of cruise ship jobs available in various categories. What are the most common job categories? Let’s find out.

Deckhand jobs

These roles are about keeping the ship running smoothly, from navigating and ensuring safety to cleaning and repairing. Some examples of deckhand jobs are,

  • Captain
  • Officer
  • Sailor
  • Engineer
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Carpenter
  • Painter

Entertainment jobs

Entertainment jobs involve the entertainment and recreation of the guests, such as music, dance, comedy, sports, games, fitness, etc. Some examples of entertainment jobs are,

  • Singer
  • Dancer
  • Musician
  • Comedian
  • DJ
  • Host
  • Instructor

Culinary jobs

These jobs involve preparing and serving food and beverages for the guests and crew, such as cooking, baking, bartending, serving, etc. Some examples of culinary jobs are,

  • Chef
  • Cook
  • Baker
  • Bartender
  • waiter/waitress

Cruise ship hiring

The hiring process for cruise ship jobs differs on each cruise line and the career you want to continue. But knowing the following common steps is essential.

  • Find out which cruise lines are hiring and what positions they have available by checking their websites or contacting recruitment agencies.
  • Submit your resume and cover letter either online or via email.
  • Provide some additional documents, such as a copy of your passport, education certificates, or proof of relevant training courses.

Jobs on cruise ships with no experience

Are you new to the cruise industry? Don’t have any experience in hospitality or tourism? Don’t have doubts about entering the cruise ship industry. There are still some entry-level positions you can apply to that only require a little experience. You will have to do simple tasks like cleaning or helping other staff members with these jobs. Some jobs you can do on a cruise ship without experience are cabin steward/stewardess, utility cleaner, or dishwasher.

Resume for cruise ship jobs

You need to make a clear, easy-to-read resume relevant to the job you’re applying for. Follow these steps to create a good resume for your wishing cruise ship job.

  • Highlight your skills, qualifications, and achievements that match what the job is looking for.
  • Include relevant work experience, volunteer work, or internships demonstrating your abilities and potential.
  • Avoid any spelling or grammar errors.
  • Don’t include any false or exaggerated information.

Cruise ship job interview

If your resume stands out to the cruise line or recruitment agency, they’ll want to interview you. This could happen in person, on the phone, or via video call. Follow these steps for a successful cruise ship job interview.

  • Prepare for the interview by researching the cruise line and the position you are applying for.
  • Practice some common interview questions and answers.
  • When you attend the interview, dress professionally, and be polite and confident. Also, express your enthusiasm and interest in working on a cruise ship.

Working on a cruise ship

Once you are hired, you must complete some formalities before you can start working on a cruise ship. Let’s see what they are.

Job requirements and qualifications

The requirements and qualifications you’ll need to meet will depend on the position you’re hired for. You may need to perform physical and medical exams, background checks, drug tests, visa and work permits. You’ll also have to sign a contract that sets out your duties, rights, and responsibilities as a cruise ship crew member.

Training and onboarding

Before joining the ship, you must undergo training and orientation programs that will prepare you for your job and life. These programs may cover safety procedures, customer service standards, cultural diversity, etc. You will also be informed about the cruise line’s rules, the ship’s regulations, and what your department and role are working towards.

Life on a cruise ship

Being part of a cruise ship crew can be a fantastic journey, but it’s not always easy. Here are some aspects of life you should be aware of.

Accommodations and amenities

  • You will have a cabin to sleep and rest in as a cruise ship employee. 
  • You may share your cabin with others or have it all to yourself, depending on your job role.
  • Your cabin will be furnished with the basics, like a bed, closet, desk, and TV.
  • And you’ll be able to use facilities like laundry, internet, gym, and library.

Work schedule and time off

  • Your schedule may vary depending on your position, department, and itinerary as a cruise ship employee.
  • You’ll usually work 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week, for several months at a time.
  • But you’ll also get some breaks during the day and some days off when the ship is in port.

Crew culture and social life

  • Cruise ship crew is diverse and multicultural. You will get to meet thousands of workers from different countries and backgrounds.
  • You can make friends, learn new languages, and experience different cultures.
  • You can also join social activities and events organized by the cruise line or the crew welfare committee.

Compensation and benefits

Working on a cruise ship is a financially rewarding and personally fulfilling experience. Following are some benefits you can get from working on a cruise ship.

Cruise ship salaries

You will receive a monthly salary depending on your position, department, experience, and performance as a cruise ship employee. You may also get tips or commissions from guests or sales included in your salary.

Health insurance and retirement plans

As a cruise ship employee, you will be covered by a health insurance plan covering your medical expenses if you have an illness or injury while working on board. What about your retirement? Don’t worry. You may also be eligible for a retirement plan that will provide you with some income after you retire from the cruise industry.

Travel opportunities

Who doesn’t love to travel around the world and explore different destinations? You will be able to do it by being a cruise ship employee. And you might even be able to benefit from discounts or perks offered by the cruise line or other travel companies.

Cruise ship job scams

Today some crooked scammers are trying to take advantage of people looking to work on a cruise ship by scamming them. They might offer phony jobs or charge fees for services that aren’t necessary or legit. Let’s see what are some of the common cruise ship job scams.

Fake websites or emails

Keep an eye out for scammers who might make fake websites or emails that seem like they’re from real cruise lines or recruitment agencies. They might ask you to send them your resume or personal information online or by email. To avoid this scam, always check the official websites of the cruise lines or their hiring partners and apply only through them. And be cautious of any email that asks you to pay a fee, send money, or provide personal details.

Advance payment

Scammers might ask you to pay a fee upfront for things like uniforms, medical exams, visas, or work permits. They might claim that it’s a requirement for getting a job on a cruise ship or that they’ll reimburse you later. To avoid falling for this scam, never pay any money to anyone before you receive a job offer and contract from a legitimate cruise line or agency.

Unsolicited job offers

Scammers might send you an email or message on social media offering you a job on a cruise ship out of the blue without any prior contact or interview. They might use fake names, logos, or documents to make it seem legit. To avoid this scam, always double-check the identity and credibility of the sender and the company they claim to represent. Always be aware of any job offer that seems too good to be true, like if they offer a high salary for low qualifications or give an immediate start.


Working on a cruise ship is an extraordinary adventure. After you successfully grab one of the fantastic cruise ship jobs, you can see new places, meet new people, and learn new things while making a living. No matter your background or experience level, you can find an opportunity for you to find your dream job on board.

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