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What is a Cruise Ship Worker?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2016
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Describing the specific duties of a cruise ship worker is difficult because you can describe larger cruise ships as cities that float. They are packed to the brim with restaurants, retail stores, beauty shops, medical facilities, nightclubs, game rooms, and a variety of others. There are numerous jobs for the cruise ship worker, beginning with lower paid jobs for the inexperienced, and ending with managerial positions, medical positions or jobs as entertainers. Many people love the short contracts offered by cruise ships, usually in the nature of four to six months. Employees receive room and board, and if they’re frugal, they can usually keep and save the majority of their salary, which can range from about $1400 US Dollars (USD) per month, to well over $4000 USD.

There are several main industries that a person can explore while looking for work on a cruise ship. For instance, the ship needs sailors, mechanics, and maintenance staff, from inexperienced to experienced. As a cruise ship worker you can find entry-level positions directly associated with running, repairing or cleaning the ship. Such positions include Able Seaman jobs, where you might learn how to keep watch, tie knots, maintain the ship, and perform basic repairs or maintenance like painting. More experienced sailors may take higher-level positions all the way up to the position of captaining the ship.

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Since the cruise ship functions as a hotel, there are a variety of hospitality jobs a cruise ship worker might take. These include providing maid service to rooms, assisting at the front desk, bellhop positions, or working as a cabin steward or stewardess. As people garner more experience they can become assistant managers or managers of stewards and/or of hospitality in general. In addition to performing those jobs that match hotel work, cruise ship workers might work as activities directors, lifeguards, or tour guides.

The cruise ship contains numerous restaurants and bars. There are positions available for entry level cooks, bus people, food preparation folks, and bartenders all the way up to managers of restaurants, sous chefs, and chefs. If you have some restaurant experience you might consider being a cruise ship worker that works primarily in food services.

The number of retail shops requires managers, assistant managers, and salespeople. There are also service-oriented jobs for people skilled at dry cleaning or laundry, arranging flowers, cutting or styling hair, and giving massages and/or a variety of spa treatments. You might, with appropriate certification, be an aerobics or fitness instructor.

A cruise ship worker with casino experience might be a cashier, dealer, or manager at an onboard casino. There are also jobs for entertainers, and all the support work entertaining engenders, such as managing theaters, maintaining sound systems and creating sets. Another potential area of work is in the computer field, either as an entry-level tech or as specialists in computer hardware repair or informational technology. Electricians, doctors, nurses, mechanical maintenance specialists, accountants, plumbers, and administrative assistants are required too.

Given the range of jobs available on a cruise ship, if you’d like to become a cruise ship worker, you can probably do so even with minimal experience. There are many ways to initiate Internet searches to find cruise ship jobs. You should probably spend some time, at least overnight if you can, aboard a ship in order to make sure you are seaworthy and don’t suffer from intense seasickness, prior to entering this field. Most people do recover from such illness after a few days on board, though, and enjoy all the different types of work that they do.

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indigowater
Post 3

@ninetydegree - I've been on plenty of large and small ship cruises. I think what you have experienced is the typical 'dock rock' that you get once you're back on dry land. You feel as though you're still on the boat and it's temporary, but unsettling.

sunnysideup
Post 2

Another potential area of ship cruise work is in the kids programs. We took our three kids on a week-long cruise when they were 13, 9, 8.

The kids program was incredible and the young people working in it were well-qualified, had bachelor's degrees in child psychology and education. We were really impressed with the professionals who worked with our kids.

I think it's a great job for college graduates who might have quite a bit of wanderlust and just aren't ready to settle down yet. Great opportunity to travel and work with a variety of people.

ninetydegree
Post 1

I've noticed that I have zero problems adjusting to life on a cruise, or I guess you could say I have a healthy pair of sea legs.

But after being on board for a week or longer, I get really nauseous when I get back on dry land. Is this what happens to people who work in cruise ship employment?

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