October 9, 2019
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Ever thought about working on a cruise ship?
For some people, the thought of working on a cruise ship is the ultimate dream. The chance to travel the world, meet new people, and experience new cultures – all while earning a salary.
 
Why earn money to see the world, when you can see the world and get paid while you do it? For lots of people, life doesn’t get much better than that.
 
According to Cruise Market Watch, cruising is one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism. That means there’s an increasing number of jobs for anyone keen to put their skills to use at sea. Today’s cruise ships come complete with casinos, cinemas, swimming pools, gyms, lecture halls and more. The jobs on offer range from entertainers and bar staff to florists and childcare professionals.
 
If you’re keen, there’s bound to be a role for you…
 

What are the requirements for working on a cruise ship?

Finding a job on a cruise ship can be incredibly competitive, so make sure you include all relevant qualifications and experience when you apply. Entry requirements will differ depending on the cruise company and the job you’re applying for.

It’s possible to get a job on a cruise ship without any qualifications, but you’ll need to start at the bottom and work your way up.
 
Anyone looking for a job on a cruise ship will find that most cruise companies have a minimum age of 21 – although, some will take on staff from 18 years onwards. Other requirements include having a valid passport, a clean criminal record and good English language skills.
 
You will be required to complete an application form or apply with a CV and a covering letter. There are likely to be several stages in the application process including a video or telephone interview before having a face-to-face interview. Whatever job you are applying for, all applicants will need a positive, can-do attitude, passion and a confident, outgoing personality.
 

Benefits of working on a cruise ship

People of all ages are keen to work on cruise ships, primarily for the benefits it brings. These include:
 
·        See the world: Working on a cruise ship gives you the opportunity to see places you’d never normally have the opportunity to visit.
·        Save money: Saving money is simple because your room, food and uniform are all paid for.
·        Meet new people: You’ll get to make friends with other staff members from all different nationalities, sharing cultures and lifestyles.
·        Chance for promotion: Most new recruits start in entry level positions, but many are able to quickly rise through the ranks. Staff members are encouraged to attend regular training sessions and apply for promotion.
·        Retention is high: There are many cruise ship workers who have clocked up at least ten years of service. Lots of employees choose to renew their contracts – which is surely a good sign.
·        It’s a lot of fun: Life on a cruise ship is renowned for its ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy. There’ll be plenty of parties to keep you entertained and your social life will be transformed for the better.
The crowded deck at the rear of a cruise ship with two water slides at the end

Disadvantages of working on a cruise ship

Working on a cruise ship may seem all fun and games, but that’s not always the case. As well as all the advantages of working on a cruise ship, there are a few disadvantages as well. These include:
 
·        Long hours: Make no mistake – working on a cruise ship is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work and long hours. Working 10-12 hour shifts is not easy when you’re not used to it.
·        Quality of life: Your accommodation may be free but it’s also cramped. Unlike the paying guests, staff living quarters are generally on the small side and staff often share cabins.
·        It can feel repetitive: When you’re doing the same two-week itinerary again and again, it can feel a bit like Groundhog Day.
·        Time away from home: Contracts last from between six and nine months, which can feel a long time to be away from friends and family.
·        Always on your best behaviour: Living where you work can take its toll. It can feel like you’re never off duty and you’re expected to be on your best behaviour 24/7.
·        Passenger grievances: Although it’s mostly fun on board a cruise ship, things can go wrong. Passengers take out cruise travel insurance before they leave and if something goes wrong, they’ll want to talk to the staff. You’ll need to be prepared to give them plenty of information.
 

How much money do cruise ship employees make?

A scenic ocean view out of a cruise ship window at sunset
Cruising is not renowned for its high salaries, but with living costs so low, it’s possible to save.
 
An article on Business Insider revealed there is a big gap between the salaries of the highest and lowest-paid cruise ship workers. Speaking with former cruise ship employees, those questioned reported monthly earnings of between £400 and £8,000. And around 40% said their monthly salary was £1,637 or less.
 
The three largest cruise companies – Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – reported their median annual earnings for 2018:
 
·        Carnival Corporation: £13,600
·        Royal Caribbean Cruises: £15,875
·        Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings: £16,450

 
According to data from the ONS, the average salary in the UK is £29,009.
 

Travelling (not working) on a cruise ship

Working on a cruise ship is not going to suit everyone. For many, travelling as a guest is far more appealing. Cruise holidays means you get to see amazing places, eat delicious food, and meet new people along the way.
 
One of the best things about going on a cruise holiday is that you make all the important decisions before you set sail. Choosing your itinerary, onshore excursions, and dining options are all done in advance, along with finding affordable cruise travel insurance. All you need to do is show up and start relaxing!
 
You may think that cruise travel insurance is only something you need during hurricane season, but lots of other things can happen at sea. Of course, most cruises go off without a hitch, but having cruise travel insurance in place is essential, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
 
Cruise travel insurance helps passengers ensure their trip goes smoothly, protecting them from the costs of cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical care and lost or stolen luggage.
 
Although there is standard cruise line Insurance (you will generally be offered it when you book) speak with a third party insurance specialist instead. At Insurance Choice, we compare cruise travel insurance to find the policy to suit your needs.
 
Get in touch with the team today to find out how we can help you.