Cruise Ship Jobs in Europe
Cruise ship tours in Europe are an extremely popular vacation choice for many people. There are cruises along the West coast of Europe along France and Portugal, cruises along the North coast of Germany and Norway, and of course, Mediterranean cruises. River cruises have become extremely popular, too.
What this means for you is that there are a lot of ships that cruise these areas and so a lot of jobs are to be had.
A cruise ship is essentially a giant, floating hotel in a small town, but working on a cruise ship is not like working in a hotel on land.
For one thing, you have to sign up for a four to eight month contract.
You also work seven days a week and very long hours each day. In terms of living conditions, you will be bunking with someone else in a very small cabin and, to top it off, you had better hope you do not get seasick very easily.
There are all kinds of different positions available on a cruise ship, but most of the jobs fall into one of three categories:
- Entertainment/activity staff
- Service & hospitality staff, and
- Deck & engineering crew.
Bookmark this cruise job listings page on JobMonkey for a list of current openings.
Wages are usually around $1,000-$2,000 per month for staff and $2,000-$3,000 per month for officers and managers. While these numbers may seem low, remember that while you are on board, all of your accommodations and food is paid for.
With activity & entertainment staff jobs, you are the front line in terms of customer service. You are the staff that works up front with the tourists and your primary function is to make sure that they are enjoying themselves. There are all kinds of different jobs in this category, from hosts and hostesses, to dancers, art auctioneers, and excursion guides.
Service and hospitality staff are the people who work behind the scenes to keep the guest services running smoothly. This includes positions in housekeeping, food and beverage services, hotel administration, or with the purser staff. This kind of work is going to be very similar to the same type of job in a hotel on land.
Finally, there are ship specific deck and engineering crew positions. These jobs deal with the day to day maintenance and operations of the ship itself and include ship officers, engineers, carpenters, and electricians.
To be honest, very few North Americans get hired for crew positions; most of these positions are filled by other nationalities. If you are trying for one of these positions, you will definitely need more experience than usual to get your foot in the door.
You may or may not have to pay for your own way to the ship in Europe prior to starting, or the cruise line might pay for your return ticket at the end of your contract. Also, do not be concerned about a work visa with a cruise ship job. They will help you get the appropriate sea crew visas that you will need; most cruise ships have a very multinational crew, so cruise lines are very used to getting these requirements processed quickly.
There are all kinds of web pages out there that will sell you material on how to get a cruise ship job. But there are just as many websites that offer the information for free, so do some real research before you spend your money. A great place to start is JobMonkey’s own Cruise Ship Employment section.