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How to Work on Cruise Ships

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Working on a cruise can be a fun, exciting experience. Not only do you get a chance to travel for free, but you have the chance to interact with a diverse company of co-workers and cruise guests. Because of the perks involved, there is a lot of competition for the few openings available each season.

Make a list of any special talents you have. Cruises regularly hire people to entertain the passengers or to offer special classes or workshops. If you're a writer, a fitness instructor, a lifeguard or a musician, your chances of getting hired to work on a cruise are certainly higher. You can also land a job offering beauty and medical services, from massages to facials to aromatherapy.

Emphasize any service job experience you have. You may not think that bussing tables at a local cafe may help you get a job on a cruise ship, but the truth is that employers are looking for people who have experience working with the public. Cruise ships need workers with experience in childcare, waitressing, hospitality, sales and administration.

Start big. In this industry, it pays to stay at the top. The biggest cruising companies are more likely to have an opening than the small ships. Princess and Carnival are the two biggest cruise companies, with Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International following close behind. Long-distance cruises also hire more workers than those lines specializing on weekend trips.

Make sure you have the right personality. Working on a cruise means being in regular contact with the passengers. When your shift ends, you don't get to go home but instead have to socialize with the same people you just serviced. This means you're expected to keep a smiling face and a positive attitude at all times. When leading workshops or classes, you will need a lot of energy, as you will probably be expected to do the same thing over and over several times a day.

Check the cruise ship companies' websites frequently to check for job listings. rotect yourself from fake companies offering bogus jobs in exchange for a fee.


Don't expect huge salaries. You will earn as much teaching aerobics on a cruise as you would doing the same thing in a gym. However, you will save on meals, rent and utilities, since these will all be provided free while you're working onboard.