Kia Ora, I'm Timmy and I'm from the beautiful Island nation of New Zealand. I've worked for various cruise liners on and off over the space of four years. I've been lucky enough to work for P&O Australia where I got to travel throughout the South Pacific, Australia and Indonesia. I also had the opportunity to work for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines where I worked on the worlds LARGEST ship at the time (Oasis of the Seas) and travelled throughout the Caribbean & Mediterranean.
My role on board the ship was as Entertainment Staff. It included:
- Maintaining continual interaction with the guests.
- Socializing with guests in public areas.
- Attending Captain's Cocktail Party and Welcome Back parties to provide introductions, collecting invitations.
- Participating in shows and events presented by the Cruise Director's Division by taking part in skits, and/ or simple dance routines.
Why did you decide to work on a Cruise Ship?I've always loved travelling and after finishing up full time volunteering for an incredible non profit I needed some money quick. It seemed like the perfect way at the time to fuel my love of travel while topping up my bank account for the ever elusive next adventure.
What types of jobs are available on a Cruise Ship?There's a ton of different jobs onboard cruise liners, I like to think of a ship as a floating resort.
From working behind the bar to housekeeping to entertainment there's a job for everyone. www.royalcareersatsea.com is a great link that shows the various jobs on offer with RCCL.
How does someone get a job on a Cruise Ship?Generally the only way to land a position onboard is through a "hiring partner. Partners can normally be found through the cruise lines websites. Take note, there are a lot of partner imposters out there so make sure you go through a trusted source.
What is the pay like?Pay can range from $1800 USD tax free per month through to $4500 USD tax free per month depending on seniority and position.
What are the biggest challenges in working on a cruise ship?Homesickness is a major problem for those working on a cruise ship, especially if they are new to the job.
There's not much privacy if you're a member of the crew. Quite often you'll have to share a room with at least one, if not more.
Few days off while at sea. There isn't a 40-hour work week on a cruise ship. Even though you'll have some time off, if the passengers can see you, you're liable to have to work.
What are the best parts of working on a cruise ship?You get paid to travel. This is probably one of the biggest pluses to working on a cruise ship. And, it's the one most people think about. There's few parts of the world that cruise liners don't travel so the options are limitless.
You can save your pay. Because you're furnished room and board (Food also) along with your salary, you shouldn't have a lot of expenses. Be aware, you'll more than likely end up spending most of your money in the crew bar so make sure you're disciplined.
Meeting new people. Because the crew is generally made up of people from all over the world it's a great way to meet new people. Think of all the couches you'll have to crash on around the world when you have vacation time.
Decent vacation time: That's right, most contracts are generally on a 6 month on, 2 month off deal and when working your way up into management it gets even better where you're on a 4 month on/2 month off rotation.
- You get reduced price cruise vacation for family and friends
- Air travel en-route and homeward bound
- Free medical insurance (which is required by maritime law)
- Discounts at cruise ship stores and often at land based stores, bars and restaurants