Cruise Ship Jobs: Who Should Not Work on a Cruise Ship?

We recently wrote an article about those who should work on a cruise ship, so it is only fitting that we write a complementary article about those who should not hold a cruise ship job. The benefits of working on a cruise ship are well-known – you get to travel while you work, you save most of the money you make because room and board on a cruise ship are covered, etc. – so many people have an interest in cruise ship jobs. But just because you are interested (or even positively attracted) to a cruise ship job doesn’t mean you are well-suited for one. And so we seek to answer the following question to help guide people as they consider cruise ship employment: What are some indicators that you aren’t cut out for a cruise ship job?

For obvious reasons, the disadvantages of cruise ship employment are linked to the reasons why some people should avoid working on a cruise ship. Most notably, working on a cruse ship requires you to operate far outside of your comfort zone. You have to remain focused on your job even though you’ll be far away from home, either at sea or at port (often a port in a foreign country, no less). Moreover, after working in this somewhat intimidating environment (at least for many), you can’t simply return to the familiar comforts of home. Rather, you’ll return to a small cabin, one that you will likely share with another person who may come from a country very different from your own. The basic point is this: working on a cruise ship requires you to work and live in an environment that will be in many ways foreign and challenging, so working on a cruise ship is not for people who are incapable of functioning at a high level outside of their comfort zone.

To work on a cruise ship, you should also be prepared to work long (and sometimes erratic) hours. Contracts for cruise ship employment are fairly short (they tend to last for four to six months), but you will work a lot during this period. Full days off are rare, and many positions require long days of challenging labor. Also, you have to be prepared to work any time your cruise line employer needs you. When you are on the ship, you can be called upon to work – that’s the basic rule. So, you obviously shouldn’t work on a cruise ship if you have a poor work ethic, but you also shouldn’t work on a cruise ship if you can’t handle an inconsistent work schedule. If you thrive in an 8-to-5 position, you might have trouble adapting to the cruise-ship schedule.

Essentially, unless you are confident you can work outside your comfort zone for an extended period of time (the length of your contract with a cruise line), holding a cruise ship job really isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you are excited by being placed in foreign environments and you can tolerate a demanding and often bizarre work schedule, you might be perfectly suited for working on a cruise ship. Because everyone seems to hear about the benefits of cruise ship employment, though, many people think that getting a cruise ship job would be nothing but great. This may be true, but only for the right kind of person.

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