Cruise Employee Lifestyle

Sometimes working aboard a cruise ship has nothing to do with entertaining passengers, visiting faraway shores, or relaxing during your free time.

International law, fleet regulations, and a rich maritime tradition mandate that life at sea be quite different from life onshore. There is a military-like hierarchy of authority that must be respected and obeyed. Government and fleet regulations require constant safety and general emergency drills. Sanitation standards are applied with an almost religious zeal. It’s not the Navy, but you can expect liberal doses of protocol, rigmarole, officers, stripes, and “yes sirs” from the crew. The captain of the ship has ultimate authority. He or she may remove or detain any crewmember for any reason deemed necessary. The captain and the deck officers take their jobs very seriously, which is a good thing, since every year there are maritime mishaps. These rarely affect cruise vessels, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Crewmembers can rest easy knowing that the captain and first officer onboard a cruise ship are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the sea.

On the following pages we examine cruise ship life a little more closely. Take a look at some of the information you will find on the pages that follow:

Another big difference between life at sea and life on land is space. It seems somewhat contradictory that most cruise ship employees should be surrounded by hundreds of miles of ocean with such a small living space onboard. Such is life at sea. It comes with the territory that onboard employees need to learn to live in tight and somewhat small spaces.

Often, employee barracks will only be a few feet in width and length, and although there will be plenty of space for sleeping and a few belongings, it can get cluttered rather quickly.

Also keep in mind that when you’re working on a cruise ship your hours might be longer than you’re accustomed to. Cruise ship shifts can be as long as 10 hours at a time. It is also common for employees to work a split shift, one that is broken up by only a few hours. While this is an extreme case, keep in mind that employees are expected to work hard in order to earn the pay, room, board, and food they are provided with in exchange.

Find out what life is like from actual cruise ship employee. Learn about ship life and what to expect when you leave for your first cruise job experience.

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