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Pros & Cons of Cruise Ship Employment

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Cruise ships employ hundreds of employees on each ship in a company's fleet. Working on a cruise ship has a lot of pros and cons. Perks of the job include visiting exotic tourist destinations, meeting customers and making money. Pitfalls of the job involve the working and living conditions on the boat.

Free Travel

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One of the pros of working on a cruise ship is that even crew members get days off. The crew like the passengers can enjoy a day at one of the cruise ship ports or just relax on the boat. Working on a cruise liner allows employees to travel the world and get paid.


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According to the Cruise Ship Jobs website, most cruise liners offer employees a minimum 25 percent discount on booking family vacations and in the ship's boutiques and on any other goods purchased on the boat. Also, employee room and board on the vessel is free. Crew members have no real expenses as the cruise liner covers food, uniform and room fees.

Work Conditions

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According to Cruise Ship Jobs, cons of working on a cruise ship are that the average work day is 10 hours and the average work week is 60 hours. The work conditions are hectic at times and the customers are very demanding as quality customer service is a top priority on all cruise liners.

Living Conditions

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Crew member living conditions are far from luxurious. A typical crew member shares a cabin with at least one other crew member if not two or three. Due to the closed corridors of ship life, airborne illnesses and diseases often occur.


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The pay scale for a cruise ship employee varies by the position held. Pay can be viewed as a pro or con depending on the position held. According to the Cruise Ship Jobs website, the average salary for an entry-level employee is $1,500 to $2,000 a month. An experienced employee or higher ranked crew can make $2,000 to $6,000 a month.