Cruise Ship Jobs

Gentlemen, has anyone here ever worked a season on the high seas? What's life on the cruise ship like? Do you have any tips on how to land a good job? What company did you work for? What are some jobs you definitely wouldn't recommend?

To me it seems like an adventure of a lifetime and a great opportunity to make some money and see the world, albeit it's not all fun and games because they aren't giving out all that money and accomodation for free, you have to work your ass off. The guy I talked to worked as a waiter on some ship that went from Alaska to South America. On an average day, he worked 12 or more hours a day and slept in a shitty bed bunk with a Filipino roommate who snored. There is practically no idle time onboard. I'm personally no stranger to hard work and I could easily endure 6 months of hard work for a hefty salary, especially because I'm looking for a way to escape my tedious 9-5 and experience something new, which motivates me even further.

I'd love to hear your experiences


I know you have to sign up for a six month engagement. I considered it when I was younger but figured there were easier ways to see the world while still making money. I'm sure it's good for stories, though. I'd have considered it if my others plans didn't work out.

Handsome Creepy Eel

Gold Member
Two of my acquaintances worked in various service positions on cruise ships for years, and were always very happy with the salaries, work environment, etc. However, keep in mind that they are Croatian, so international salaries found on cruise ships are high in comparison to what they could earn here. But they definitively spoke highly of the conditions and work ethic there.

In comparison, I know another two acquaintances who worked on local Croatian cruise boats (smaller, up to 200 passengers) and described it as a living nightmare, with huge amounts of overtime, abuse, mobbing, etc.


Gold Member
I considered it as well in 2013, and then a second time in 2016 while visiting the Cruise Job Fair ( in London. There was a lot of interest, and I basically wanted only a position in Shorex (shore excursions), so I wasn't successful.

It looks like a great lifestyle and I basically wanted to do it for traveling and seeing the world while at the same time earning money.
It didn't take me long after that to realize that working remotely and learning a skill online was a better option to travel.


Have you considered going to a maritime college to become an officer? Here in UK you can get sponsored by a company to do this

You can either be a deck officer, engine officer, or electrician.

The guys I know who work on cruise ships as an officer have a good life on board and will get paid alot more as a result.


i started working on a cruise in 2011, after leaving university(im turkish). Primary reason was to see the world +make a career + escape from army service(didnt wanna die in some shitty border post to iraq/syria). Government allows people to do army service for a fee if they worked abroad for 3 years, so i wanted to use it.
I'll give you my perception of it. But it will be primarily retail part of it. I did a company owned by louis vitton, got into jewelry shop,then had my own jewelry collection on various other ships(got my commission when i sold), its usually hit and miss. Some people make ridicilous amounts of money,some people make average.
First of all,if you are american, most cruise liners will be hesitate to hire you. The americans i know onboard are either mid level/senior management,or production cast, technicians etc.
I suggest getting an IT job, pays good(my friend makes 5000 usd on ncl,hes turkish also), stable hours. Doctors also make good money.
Shore ex and cruise consultant(selling future cruises onboard) makes good money as well.
It's quite hard to say since i dont know your field of expertise.


I went through a maritime academy and in the process racked up half a year of sea time and talked with very many people who work at sea for a living.

Pros: Great pay, learn valuable skills (if you're an engineer), great on a resume, good chance to separate from the world, read books, lift weights. When I worked on a trans-atlantic container ship it was like all of the filth and programming from the news media washed out of me.

Cons: Separation from friends and family. Impossible to start a family while working at sea. If you do have a woman, she will leave you or cheat on you, almost guaranteed. Lots of temptations ashore and away from your church community, if you have one. Ultimately it's a materialistic life, you almost never meet a guy who has sailed for a long time who is a normal person with a family who isn't crazy. You will see guys who have insane amounts of wealth, who own their own island, 4 motorcycles, 2 trucks, a boat, etc. Women who work at sea are either complete sluts or are waiting to accuse you of something, best to avoid them. Whole industry is unpredictable as oil prices, wars, pandemics, can completely change the industry.

If you do this you will be working with some of the dumbest people out there, and some of the smartest people out there. There are no average people who work at sea.


I know a few Ukrainians who worked in cruise ships. Incant remember the details but they seemed to think the pay wasn't great and the work was far too hard.
It seems to me that the idea of going on a cruise is one of the reasons why people get this job, but they don't understand what a big difference there is between vacation on cruise and working half a year on such ship.


It seems to me that the idea of going on a cruise is one of the reasons why people get this job, but they don't understand what a big difference there is between vacation on cruise and working half a year on such ship.

Probably true. With poorer eastern European countries like Ukraine, there's also the allure of a job abroad where everything's surely better than it is at home. Not just in the cruise ships but in other work exchange programs it seems like most young Ukrainians I know who do them get exploited and treated pretty badly, and this isn't the ones that are outright human trafficking that I'm talking about.