Beginnings the Cruise life

The myth and the reality

Cruise life jobs are often sold as dream jobs, luxury liners, glamorous tourist destinations, etc.

The fact is that they're real jobs, and a lot of them have equivalents on land which are exactly the same work.

The basics:
  • It's a completely different living and working environment. Ships are totally unlike land-based offices or accommodation. Shared cabins are the norm for non-officers or executives.
  • The cruise industry has its share of controversy. Employers vary, just like on land. You need to assess the employer, the package, and any negative information you have.
  • Some of the work is highly specialized, like that of a ship's purser, who's responsible for everything in his care.
  • These are mainly contract jobs, from four to six to twelve months, conditions depending on what your job is. Ship crew get somewhat different contracts and conditions.
  • Wages are basically the same as on land for the same work. Wages do need to be considered relative to your land-based commitments, and sometimes long periods away from home.
  • Relationships are affected by months at sea. Ask any navy personnel, it takes a bit of adjustment.
  • The cruise industry is a very popular, highly competitive place to get a job. Experience is a very relevant consideration and experienced people do get preference. Vacancies are filled rapidly, and there's little or no tolerance for substandard applications.
The upside
  • People have made good lifelong careers out of cruise jobs.
  • It's a very big industry, extremely popular, and it turns over a lot of money. Billions flow through the industry every year. And it's growing.
  • Cruise jobs do have relevance in other employment, because of the responsibilities, client care, and professional skills. They do make good additions to a CV.
  • There are actual career paths, and opportunities for advancement in what is very much a specialized field.
  • The scope of possible jobs is huge. A cruise ship really is a 'floating city', and that's how many different sorts of service are required, as well as the actual running of the ship.

As a career, ship experience also leads up the corporate ladder in some cases. The industry deals with billion dollar ships, logistics, safety issues, finance, etc, and its business side is very much the whole spectrum of corporate business.

People with a good working knowledge of the realities are priceless assets to the industry, and a post-shipboard career is another possibility.

Because the cruise industry and the tourist industry are so interrelated on so many levels, the cruise career also has applications in tourism.

As you can see, there are possibilities which can add up to a very worthwhile career indeed.

However, the one point on which everyone with cruise ship experience agrees is that 'This is a job, not a holiday'.

As you learn your way around, you can really learn how to enjoy it. Get the basics right, and the good life will follow.

Search for a Cruise Ship Job :
Search the main cruise ship employment sites directly here.