If you have ever considered getting a cruise ship job, you have probably reflected on at least some of the many benefits of this form of employment. You get paid to travel the world and save a lot of money while working on a cruise ship, and there are also a number of other advantages associated with cruise ship jobs. But working on a cruise ship is no walk in the park, and there are certainly some drawbacks to cruise line employment, so any one interested in a cruise ship job should consider the cons along with the pros. With this is mind, what exactly are the disadvantages of working on a cruise ship?
It should be noted up front that what gives rise to some of the benefits of working a cruise ship – namely, the fact that you are traveling around the world on a ship – also contributes to some of the negative characteristics of cruise ship employment. What nourishes us destroys us, we suppose. Sure, it is great to sail around the world and see new places, but while doing this, you are largely cut off from the rest of the world, including your friends and family. It is not at all uncommon to get homesick while working a cruise ship, and thus this type of labor is not for everyone. You have to be okay with living away from the comforts of home for several months if you want to work a cruise ship job. Also, that you will be sailing around on a ship is relevant if you are prone to seasickness, and while this is less of a problem on large ships, it is still something to keep in mind when considering cruise ship jobs.
It is great that you are given room and board when working on a cruise ship, but keep in mind that neither the room nor board will likely be worth writing home about. You’ll likely have to share a small cabin with another employee (leaving you with little privacy), and given that cruise lines are international employers, you may have difficulty communicating with your roommate because of language barriers. The food that employees are served is not of the greatest quality, or in any case it is not the same food that passengers have access to, as some new employees expect. The cruise line will offer a little variety to their employees, but, again, don’t expect anything fantastic.
Overall, working a cruise ship is a great way to save money because, with room and board covered, you get to save most of your earnings. However, cruise lines at least partially take into consideration that they are paying for your food and lodging (this is factored into your compensation), so you may make slightly less filling a cruise ship position than you would otherwise make in a similar position on land. This isn’t so much a disadvantage of cruise ship employment as it is a consideration to remember.
What your earnings will amount to is impossible to pinpoint because of how widely wages vary. How much you earn will depend on what position you hold and which cruise line you work for. You’ll probably make a little less than a person with a comparable position on land (because of room and board being factored into your wage), but that’s about all we can say. It’s worth noting that your hours might be relatively long while working on a cruise ship, as you can basically be called upon to do something anytime you are physically on board the ship. In other words, don’t expect a standard 9-5, 40-hour-a-week gig when you sign up for cruise ship work.
Despite the drawbacks to cruise line employment, jobs on cruise ships can still be great positions to hold. They just require a certain type of person, one who can deal with hard work far away from the familiar comforts of home.