General Information about jobs on Cruise Ships

The majority of the large international cruise liners employ multi-national crew and cruise hands. Statendam has crew from 68 countries; Royal Caribbean had crews of 85 nationalities and Carnival Cruise Lines from about 60 and so on. The question rises on how such a vast diversity of people live and work together. Actually, it is easier than it sounds. There is strict segregation of duties and staff on cruise liners. The majority of the unskilled labor works in the kitchen and house keeping. These people usually come from developing countries because the pay on the ships is good, while the cruise liners employ them because the labor is comparatively cheaper and less demanding than in developing countries.

That does not mean that there are no jobs for unskilled American people; there are still a lot of the smaller cruise liners who prefer to have an all-American crew on their ships. For all those who really want to get a job on the ship, you will need to be very persistent, patient and a bit lucky.

The fact that most of the international luxury cruise liners employ unskilled labor from the developing countries is actually the result of a law that requires any ship registered in USA to employ only American crew. Now, the salaries in America are much higher than those payable for the people in developing countries. Hence, most of the US ships are actually registered and staffed in countries like Indonesia, Liberia, Korea and Panama. This is why most of the unskilled staff come from countries like Philippines and Indonesia or Korea where labor comes dirt cheap. Also, since the United States does not subsidize ship building in any way, most of the big names in the cruising build their ships in Germany, Italy or France.