Shipboard Jobs Aren't For Everyone!

When people think of cruise ships, they think of the fun in the sun, the waves, amazing itineraries, and nightlife. Very few people think of the hard work it takes to make a cruise successful and enjoyable for the passengers. If you're thinking of working on a cruise ships, it's wise to know the pros and cons before accepting that position.

Before delving into the perks of working on a cruise ship, here are some of the negatives, or cons.

  • Homesickness is a major problem for those working on a cruise ship, especially if they are new to the job. Since most cruise lines will only hire people with an extended contract (four to six months), this job is not recommended for people who are married, nor have children.job factors graphic
  • Sea sickness can be a problem, especially if you're on a smaller cruise ship. It's not as much of a problem on the larger vessels, but does still happen on occasion. Of course, there are medications you can take to combat sea sickness, but if you have that much of a problem, it might be wise to choose another profession.
  • There's not much privacy if you're a member of the crew. Quite often you'll have to share a room with at least one, if not more, roommate. If you like to spread out, working on a cruise ship isn't the job for you.
  • Speaking of sharing a room, quite often your roommate will be from another country, so there may be difficulties communicating. Other difficulties may arise if your work schedule is different from your roommates.
  • Few days off while at sea. There isn't a 40-hour work week on a cruise ship. Even though you'll have some time off, if the passengers can see you, you're liable to have to work. Also, some cruise lines will have employees work more than one job, so that will cut down on the amount of free time you have, as well.
  • Things are not as expected. Many new cruise ship employees think they'll have the same benefits as the passengers. This isn't the case. Unless the passengers are off the ship at a port of call, it's unlikely the crew can lounge by the pool. Food choices are also quite limited for the crew, regardless of what new employees might believe.

Of course, as with any job, there are negative factors. There are also positive ones to consider.

  • You get paid to travel. This is probably one of the biggest pluses to working on a cruise ship. And, it's the one most people think about. Not only are you able to see new places, you'll have the opportunity to meet people from other areas of the world, many who are crew members along with you.
  • You can save your pay. Because you're furnished room and board along with your salary, you shouldn't have a lot of expenses. You don't have to pay utilities, so that's one expense you won't have. You're busy most of the time, so there isn't much opportunity to spend your hard earned salary.
  • Meet new people. Because the crew is generally made up of people from all over the world, you can meet new people and learn about their cultures. You may even have a foreign roommate, which will help you learn a good deal about their culture.
  • After you've successfully completed one contract, you'll be more likely to be chosen for another. If you choose to change cruise lines, your previous experience may help you get your foot in the door with the new company.
  • If you're single when you begin your career on a cruise ship, you may find the biggest pro for working there is that you find your future spouse. While this is not a guarantee, it seems that quite often romances bloom among the crew.

Other perks and benefits that are often included with your cruise line job.

  • You get reduced price cruise vacation for family and friends
  • Air travel en-route and homeward bound
  • Free laundry service
  • Free medical insurance (which is required by maritime law)
  • Discounts at cruise ship stores and often at land based stores, bars and restaurants

Many people find the idea of a career in the cruise industry to be pretty cool, despite the negative aspects to it. A great way to start is by getting a membership to CruiseJobFinder. A membership will help you learn a lot more about working on a cruise ship, and you'll be able to make a more informed decision about whether to continue the process. You never know, you may find that working on a cruise ship is perfect for you.


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