If you’re the type of person who loves cruising so much that you dream of never having to leave the ship, a cruise ship career might be the right choice for you. Cruise industry careers can vary widely, from entertainers to hospitality management, engineering, and more.
Shipboard Career Overview
Working on a cruise ship is a great way to see the world; however, most of your time spent traveling will be measured in hours or days because of the nature of your job. Because room, board, and medical insurance are included, there’s a good chance you can pretty much bank your salary. While you won’t be able to disembark at every port of call (someone needs to stay on board the ship with guests who choose to remain), you’ll likely see cities and towns you might otherwise never get to. Quarters can certainly be cramped and you’ll definitely work hard; but you’ll also make friends from around the world and gain a wealth of new experiences unlike any you’ll find in another career field.
For nearly all cruise ship jobs, you can expect that you’ll need the same education and training as you’d need for the same career on land. Most cruise ship jobs require a few months of training, both on job duties and overall cruise ship policies, procedures, and regulations, as well as safety and emergency training. Nearly every employee has a contract. In general, employees work 6-9 months on and then 2 months off, although there can be some variation.
Where to Find a Cruise Ship Job
For general cruise ship openings across companies, try Indeed and All Cruise Jobs. For cruise company-specific openings, check out the hiring page for each cruise line. Here’s a list to get you started.
Princess Cruises: https://www.princess.com/careers/
Royal Caribbean: https://www.royalcareersatsea.com/
American Cruise Lines: https://www.aclcareers.com/
MSC Cruises: https://www.careers.msccruises.com/#/
Norwegian Cruise Line: https://www.ncl.com/about/careers/overview
Disney Cruise Line: https://jobs.disneycareers.com/disney-cruise-line
Celebrity Cruises: https://celebritycareersatsea.com/
Most of these companies allow you to sign up for hiring newsletters. You may also have the chance to upload your resume so that it’s available to cruise ship company recruiters when relevant job vacancies come up. In the meantime, find out what education and training are required for the kind of career you want (e.g., culinary training, dance lessons, college courses or professional certifications) and begin completing those requirements.
If you love cruising and seeing the world, then a job on a cruise ship may be right for you!