What Is It Like Working on a Cruise Ship?

Lots of people dream about working on a cruise ship. It must just be like taking a cruise vacation every day, right? Well, not exactly. A job is a job, and a position on a cruise ship is no exception. You still need to do hard work, and the reality isn’t as sweet as most people imagine. But with that said, there are lots of pros to balance out the cons. Let’s go over what it’s actually like to work on a cruise ship.

First of all, let’s talk about the downsides, as you probably already have a good sense of the upsides. According to some who have worked on ships before, the hours can be pretty ruthless. A waiter from a Carnival ship once wrote about how he had no days off, and he wasn’t exaggerating. He said that he would regularly work 80 hour weeks, and they were completely exhausting. The days are incredibly busy for anyone working on a cruise ship, and it can definitely take a toll.

Another thing to keep in mind is that working on a ship – no matter what position you have – will keep you away from the people you’re close to. If you’re looking for a fresh start, this could be a pro. But for most people, spending so much time away from family and friends is quite the hardship. Cruise contracts usually last for around nine months. It’s not easy to just say goodbye to your daily life and the people in it for that long.

Living conditions are also not always great. When you’re just starting out, you can expect a small, cramped cabin. Many cruise workers liken it to a dormitory-style of living. If you’re an adult with your own home, that’s a hard adjustment to make. If you’re not social, you’ll probably suffer.

But here’s the thing: for some people, the best parts of working on a ship outweigh all of these negatives. The main draw is the fact that you are always traveling. As part of your job, you’ll visit new countries – even new continents – and you’ll constantly be introduced to new things. For many, this is more than enough reason to sign a contract with a cruise line.

There are other upsides too. Because living expenses are part of the contract, you won’t be paying rent or a mortgage while you’re on the ship, and that adds up to a ton of money saved. On top of that, you’ll also get a generous vacation once your contract is over. You’ll have weeks of time to yourself before you hop on the next ship. Finally, those who stick with this lifestyle are rewarded as time goes on. Promotions come easily to those who dedicate a lot of time and effort to the cruise worker lifestyle.

It should be obvious that working on a ship isn’t for everyone. If it sounds like a chore to you, you should probably look at more traditional career paths. But with that being said, there’s a certain kind of person that really thrives in cruise positions. If that’s you, you’ll truly be able to enjoy the rewards of a travel-focused lifestyle.

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