How to get a job on a cruise ship – All you need to know

Have you often dreamt of having a career on a cruise line? Have you been wondering how to get a job on a cruise ship? If your answer is yes, then you are in the right place.

Often, people dream about having a career that lets them spend time with nature, and luckily, there is no dearth for opportunities. There are many jobs out there that let you travel the world and pay you at the same time.

Working on a cruise ship is a unique life-changing experience. The best part about it is waking up in a different city every time. It takes you around the world! It may take you to the cold winters in Alaska where you can enjoy the view of wild grizzly bears, or you may find yourself dancing to music on a sandy beach in Havana. What’s more, you’ll get to meet new people and make friends from all over the world.

Working on a Cruise Ship

While working onboard is a life-changing experience, it also calls for some hard work. Be prepared to work 7 days a week and lose out on a couple of weekends. Having said that when you are onboard, your time off duty is truly yours to spend. So, prepare yourself for one amazing ride!

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Minimum and Maximum Age criteria for cruise line jobs

The minimum age is usually 18 or 21 years old. However, it’s totally dependant on the cruise line you are applying for. But you’ll have to hit 21 if you are serving alcohol on board. Unfortunately, for those above 35 years of age, it becomes difficult to land a job on a cruise ship.

Qualities you must possess to get a job on a cruise ship

Being on a cruise means you’ll be meeting new people all the time. It is necessary for you to be comfortable and feel yourself while being around so many people. Life on a cruise is exciting and you’ll be a part of an ever-changing environment. If that throws you off balance, then this is definitely not for you. You must be flexible and adaptable.

English is a must!

You’ll have people from diverse cultures onboard. English is a language that connects people across borders. You must be able to understand and speak fluent English. Knowing more than one language is a big plus on your application.

How to apply?

There are two ways to get a job on a ship:
  1. You can apply directly to a cruise line for a job on one of their ships.
  2. Apply through a concessioner, a company contracted to operate a spa, retail shop or entertainment on the ship.

Visa Requirements

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Cruise ships sail to different countries and everybody onboard the ship must obtain valid visas. It is important to obtain a valid visa/work permit to work on a cruise ship.

Jobs available on the cruise ship

There are thousands of employees working in different sectors on a ship to make the cruise a grand success!

Jobs on a cruise ship are mainly divided into two categories:

  1. Marine Operations – Employees in the marine operations division do everything required to keep the ship functioning perfectly. More on the technical side of things!
  2. Guest Service Operations – They keep the party going. From food management to guest handling services everything is done to perfection!

Here’s a list of opportunities you can seek!

Captain, Assistant Captain and Navigation Crew

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Few career options offer a sense of personal responsibility or a position of authority as absolute as that of a ship’s captain. You become solely responsible for the safety of the ship. It’s an honourable job to be in. Before you obtain a licence to become a captain you must go through a rigorous health check and formal training. Same goes for the role of an assistant captain and navigation crew.

Be a cruise ship doctor

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Having a medical examiner onboard a cruise ship is top of the list. Guests come in all age groups, from toddlers to the elderly. You must tend to all of them. One important thing you must know is that all doctors don’t qualify for the role of a cruise ship doctor. Cruises only hire physicians who practice emergency medicine, family practice, or internal medicine.

Become a Bartender

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Ooh, this one’s a fun job! It is one of the best career opportunities up for grabs right now. But it’s not as easy as it looks in pictures. You’ll constantly need to be on the move, engage your audience while they sit peacefully, waiting for their drinks. It’s all about the show. It’s undeniably tough but you’ll surely love being one.

Prior experience and a bartending degree will come in handy while applying.

Hospitality and Service Jobs

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

There’s a list of jobs that fall under this category like being a chef or a waiter or a stewardess. If you love serving people and keeping them happy then a job in the hospitality sector suits you perfectly.

Spa and recreation jobs

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

This is one of the most required services onboard. Everybody needs a pampering on their vacation. If you have prior experience working as a masseuse/masseur or a beautician or a spa therapist, why don’t you take your services onboard?

Entertainment Jobs

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Keeping the guests entertained is crucial to the success of any cruise. A host of entertaining events are arranged on a cruise to keep the guests amused. You could be a dancer or a guitarist, you definitely have a job onboard!

Now that you know what it takes to land a job on a cruise ship, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge!

Best cruise line companies to apply to

Explore the best cruise line companies on Cruise Finder.

An interesting fact!

How to get a job on a cruise ship - All you need to know

Did you know that a ship’s captain could get you married off?

Usually, a ship’s captain does not have the authority of performing a marriage ceremony at sea. However, Japanese ships allow their captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea provided the couples have valid Japanese passports.

It is the belief of many that it is legal for couples to get married at sea. And many cruise lines have figured ways to get couples married. It all depends on the law of the country where the cruise ship is registered.

Read more about visas here.

Also Read:

  1. Teach English and Travel the World!
  2. How to become a Digital Nomad?
  3. Looking for a chance to earn money? Travel the world as an Au pair


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