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3 Important Things To Know When Getting A Cruise Ship Job

There are certain things you really need to know when you’re about to embark on your first cruise ship contract and thereby making the transition from living on land to living at sea.

The things you need to know come in three’s.  The first group of three is:

Learn to be flexible.  Nothing is ever cast in stone and you shouldn’t be either.  Life goes far more smoothly if you can bend when that is the most prudent or useful thing to do.

Learn to compromise.  Like being flexible, compromising really comes in handy when you are faced with choices that will make your life easier or more difficult.  Sometimes you can negotiate and sometimes you just have to say, ok, we can solve this problem but neither of us gets it all our own way.

Get used to it.  Sometimes no amount of flexibility or compromise will change a situation, so you might just as well get used to it.  For example, if you are in the Caribbean for the next umpteen months, does it do you any good to complain about the sand?

The next three that are incredibly useful to know before boarding your ship:

1.  Get to know your ship and the officers on it.

Learn the language of the ship – port, starboard, fore and aft all mean different things and especially during a safety drill, you must know what they mean.  Think of it this way, if you are standing facing the front of the ship, starboard is on your right and port is on your left.  Fore is the front of the ship and aft is the inside rear of the ship.  Stern is the outside rear portion of the ship.

Learn where things are – when you first board your ship, walk around and learn where your cabin is (first and foremost!), where the crew mess and the other crew facilities are.  If your job involves working with the passengers, learn where all the guest areas are.

Get to know the ship’s officers and what rank they are – there is a hierarchy on the ship and you are expected to live within it.

Safety – since safety is the primary concern of all of the officers, it’s a really good move to make it your primary concern too.  Pay attention during the safety training and meetings and carefully follow instructions.  The ship’s officers will appreciate the efforts you make.

2.   Know what and how much to bring along.

You’re going to be away for some time so you’d better take along whatever you can’t live without.  However, you have a very small space in which to put your stuff.  Anything you buy along the way also has to fit into the same finite space.

You have to carry whatever you take with you whenever you travel off the ship – this could be halfway around the world, so think carefully if you really need that piece of whatever.

Think about comfort when you pack.  You will be working 80% of the time in uniforms provided to you.  The other 20% of your time will be spent on a beach or lounging somewhere or asleep.  Leave things that are only marginally comfortable at home.

Take a bag of tricks that will make you ready for anything. – This bag needs to be small, able to hold all sorts of handy things and be packable. A soft sided, collapsible can cooler works wonderfully.

Into this little bag you put: red, blue and black pens, felt tip pens, white glue and super glue, a small amount of string, a small sewing kit, breath mints, condoms, magnets, sticky tac, a bottle opener, typing correction fluid, staples and a small stapler, cellophane and masking tape, a repair kit for eyeglasses, a small screwdriver with a handle full of different bits, lip balm (Chapstick or similar), a stain remover pen, and Preparation H.  Use this list on your first contract and adjust as necessary for your second and onward.

3.   Take care of the people who take care of you.

Your cabin steward – this is the person who keeps your cabin from smelling like dirty feet!  He/she will clean your cabin, make your bed, deal with your dirty towels and bed linen, etc. You don’t have to use this service but why would you want to do it all when you can be on the beach sunning yourself instead?   The crew stewards don’t get paid very well and some people don’t hold them in high regards but it really pays to be nice to them.

The Provisions Master – everything that people on the ship (passengers, officers and crew) consume or use is controlled by this person.  If the supply of something like good toilet paper runs low and the next port of call is a long way away, it pays to know the right person!

The bartender for the crew– this person tends bar plus does many other things for the crew.  Again this is someone worth cultivating.

Other people like the baker or hairdresser or someone who performs services that you particularly want or need. – Take care of those who take care of you! Do them little favors, get them some beers or whatever else tickles their fancy because these are the people who in one way or another can make your life much easier.

Medical Jobs By Type of Cruise Line

To care for their passengers and crews while they are on board, all cruise ships need medical personnel to staff their medical departments.

The positions normally available on cruise ships are Chief Doctor/Physician, Ship’s Doctor, and Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP), read more about these by clicking on job descriptions and requirements as well as medical jobs by type of cruise line.  Some ships also have dental departments however these are primarily ships that are on world cruises or going to very remote places.

On many of the newer ships the medical facilities are what you might call a ‘very appealing working environment’ because they are usually very well equipped and on a ship going to wonderful places.

Depending on the cruise line and the size of the ship, a typical medical department can include consulting rooms and treatment rooms, beds for in-patients, with areas for critical care, x-ray facilities, a medicinal dispensary and a laboratory.  There are also waiting areas for the daily clinics for passengers and a separate one for crew members.

Below we list medical jobs by the type of cruise lines that employ Chief Doctor/Physician, ship’s doctor, Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse jobs:


Royal Caribbean Cruises Carnival Cruise Line Princess Cruises
Holland America Cruise Line P&O Cruises Australia Celebrity Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line/NCL NCL America P&O Cruises
Mediterranean Shipping Cruises Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Costa Cruises
Star Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises TUI (Mein Schiff) Cruises Saga Cruises
CDF Croisieres de France Disney Cruise Line Aida Cruises


Having the biggest fleets and the largest ships, each with a medical department, these cruise lines have the largest number of medical personnel jobs available.

Luxury Cruise Lines:

Peter Deilmann Cruises Hapag Lloyd Cruises Seabourn Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Azamara Club Cruises NYK Cruises
SeaDream Yacht Club Paul Gauguin Cruises Cunard Cruise Line
The World Of Residensea Oceania Cruises Crystal Cruises
Silversea Cruises


Medical Jobs


Running exclusive medium and small-sized ships, Luxury cruise liners attract an elite and upscale clientele.

These cruise lines offer fewer positions for medical staff because they operate a smaller number of ships.

Qualifications for employment are usually higher. Working for premium cruise line companies, on luxury cruising vessels, the doctors and nursing staff will enjoy great diversity of itineraries on their ships.



Specialty Cruise Lines:

Spirit of Adventure Cruises Swan Hellenic Cruises Voyages of Discovery


The cruises these cruise lines run are extraordinary voyages of discovery that travel to fascinating and often remote places.  Rather than focusing on the usual fare of poolside ‘sun & fun’, gambling, less than exciting lectures and bingo, these cruise lines offer wildlife and/or cultural exploration. A limited number of ships and passengers means the number of positions for chief doctor/physicians and other medical jobs are also limited.  However being part of the medical personnel on these cruise ships could mean having the experiences of your life.


Budget Cruise Lines:

Bahamas Celebration Cruise Line Louis Cruise Line Kristina Cruises
Cruises & Maritime Voyages easyCruise (Easy Cruise) Quail Cruises
Thomson Cruises

Budget cruise liners operate medium-sized ships (by today’s standards) and they are often older ships as well. While they may have fewer chief doctor/physician, ship’s doctors and nursing staff jobs to offer, their employment requirements are not so exacting. Older ships also offer larger crew cabins, regulations for personnel are less rigid, as well as passengers are less demanding and the whole shipboard experience is likely to be a lot more fun.


Medical Jobs By Type of Cruise Line – Cruise Ship Medical Departments


Cruise Ship Medical Jobs

Cruise ship medical jobs are so important. It’s never fun to get sick or have a medical emergency, especially if you’re on vacation. When someone gets sick or has an injury in the middle of the ocean while on a cruise ship, they are very glad to know that all cruise ships have medical departments. So, if you’re working as a doctor, nurse, paramedic or other medical professional, it may be time for you to begin thinking about which cruise ship medical jobs you want to go for.

Cruise lines are always hiring because staff decide to return to land-based jobs, go on vacation, go back to school, don’t really want a long-term cruise ship career, and for all sorts of other reasons. So when you’re thinking about a career change or having a well-earned adventure, close your eyes and feel the ocean breezes and tropical sun caressing your skin; think about travelling to beautiful, interesting and exotic places and having a workplace like none other – on a cruise ship!

Cruise Ship Medical JobsWhen you do a cruise ship medical job search, you’ll find they pay very well, plus your accommodation and meals are free so you can save almost all of your salary.

Because cruise ships are floating hotels that travel around the world, they have spas, restaurants, shops, gyms and lots of other types of entertainment. People take cruises to get away from the stress of their ordinary lives, in fact it’s become so popular that 16 million people went on cruises in 2011. That many people (plus the crew of course) means at some point during the journey, some of the passengers or crew onboard are likely to need medical services for tummy trouble, seasickness, an injury, maybe even something much more serious and they need cruise ship doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to deal with their medical problems.

Medical Staff Jobs On Cruise Ships 

Medical personnel on a cruise ships are exceptional. The daily caseload is so varied that all of your medical training, skills and experience could be challenged and put to use.  The experience you gain onboard is hard to obtain in any other medical setting.

The health care staff in the ship’s medical department normally includes one or two doctors, as well as from one to four nurses. If the ship is doing a world cruise, it may have a dentist and a full surgical department. The number of medical professionals will depend on how big the cruise ship is, how many passengers and crew it carries, how far it’s traveling and how long it will be at sea. The medical personnel are normally hired by the cruise line directly or by concessionaires.  Check each job listing to see which you should apply to for the  cruise ship job vacancy you want to fill.

What Are Some of the Advantages Cruise Ship Medical Jobs 

Being a ship’s medical professional offers a very unique working environment plus the opportunity to see the world while doing your job. On many cruise ships, you will have the opportunity to do your own laboratory tests and x-rays, as well as performing your clinical duties.

Besides the varied and challenging clinical cases, different cruise lines offer different professional perks, some may include comprehensive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs, subscriptions to specific eLearning programs and potential for promotion. Other options include a full programme of CPD, appraisal and clinical governance as well as time for working towards revalidation. Career progression is often actively encouraged.

Nurses will have opportunities to develop or enhance their skills in areas such as computer work, radiography, laboratory testing, medication dispensing and medical stock monitoring and control, plus the opportunities for professional development with supported training.

Employment in cruise ship medical jobs whether for doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, paramedics, or dentists bring with them satisfying and challenging work, very good salaries, free meals and accommodation, plus tours of duty of approx. 4 months with 4-8 weeks off (this means you work about 243 days annually with 122 days vacation) – that can’t be bad!

Besides all this, as a ship’s medical professional, you have the chance to visit places to which you might otherwise never go and you’ll have the opportunity to meet with people from all over the world and make lifelong friendships.

So, why stay in a job you no longer enjoy?  Make the change to a better career or short-term, thrilling adventure – the choice is yours!

Bon voyage!


Cruise Ship Medical Jobs – Medics On Cruise Ships


Cruise Ship Jobs – Ultimate Dream Job

Cruise ship jobsCruise Ship Jobs – Persistance

What would be your ultimate dream job, perhaps working on a cruise ship will give you the opportunity to see the world, traveling to lots of exotic places and to get one of these jobs you need to be a thorn in the side of the cruise line companies, be persistent, don’t let an opportunity pass you by.

The cruise ship jobs listed below are just some of the many jobs that are needed onboard almost every cruise ship. Experience is preferable but not always necessary. You should always apply and go for an interview even if you do not think that you are qualified enough as cruise line companies are often willing to hire and train you if you impress them as an outgoing, caring, and adventurous type of person. You have nothing to lose, so get your act together and go for that cruise line career. Read the rest of this entry »

Personality and Communication are Vital for Cruise Ship Jobs

You have all the right skills and tons of experience so you should be just the right person for the cruise job you’re applying for. But how does your personality fit with that unique combination of skills and values that employers are looking for?

How do you convey in your cover letter and resume that you have the right personality?

Crafting your resume and cover letter to reflect your personality is equally as important as showcasing your skills and experience. Cruise lines want crew members that are energetic, outgoing, approachable, able to solve problems and able to get along with others.

Cruise Ship Jobs


They also want employees that are easily trainable, with good listening skills, adaptable to change and goal-driven. These skills are commonly referred to as “soft skills”.  It’s one thing to demonstrate these qualities during an interview, but you need to get an invitation to that interview first!

If your cover letter isn’t interesting or your resume looks too much like every other resume they’ve received, you won’t stand out enough to get an interview. You need to utilize your soft skills throughout especially in the sections on skills and work experience.

•    Give specific examples on your resume of sales goals that you exceeded or the sales techniques that made you successful. Explain how you adapted to the changes involved in relocating or how you cross-trained and learned additional useful skills.

•    Next, show your enthusiasm by stating your readiness and preparation for working on any cruise ship. For example, your cover letter could say something like, “My passport is valid until June 2020″. Read the rest of this entry »

Offshore IT Jobs On Cruise Ships

Offshore IT jobs are among some of the most important cruise ship jobs, since almost everything, including the ship’s systems, passenger information, crew information, down to how many towels they have onboard is all managed and accessed via computers.

Those working in the IT department are responsible for:
•    teaching passengers and crew how to use the equipment and software,
•    helping them stay in touch with their families and/or businesses,
•    installing new equipment and software,
•    making sure everything functions as it should, and
•    making repairs as and when necessary.

Offshore IT jobs on cruise ships require that job applicants are knowledgeable in computer equipment and systems, internal networks and the proper functioning of access to the Internet. Computer skills and the knowledge of the software needed to run the systems are also prerequisites for the jobs. You will also need to have knowledge in all the relevant software, hardware, topologies, computer configurations as well as have some computer-based work experience. On some cruise lines, job applicants may also need to have some experience with satellites.

Among the offshore IT jobs you could do on a cruise ship are: Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Cruise Ship Jobs in Alaska

Jobs In Alaska – Moving

If you are thinking about moving to Alaska, then you will want to know about the availability of jobs in Alaska. Alaska is the largest of the 50 states in the U.S. and is full of beautiful scenery in some very harsh areas. You need to be prepared if you plan on job hunting or living in Alaska due to the extreme climate, how much it cost to live there, and what kind and cost of housing you could get.

Jobs In Alaska – Cruise Ship AK Jobs

One advantage of Alaska cruise ship jobs is that you won’t have to be concerned about housing for the period of time you sign onto the cruise line to work. There are over a dozen cruise ship lines that run tours in Alaska. These include everything from small tour boats to luxury cruise liners with thousands of passengers.

They travel from Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia and have stops at towns in Alaska such as Ketchikan, and Juneau, and Sitka. The normal cruise ship season runs between Jobs In AlaskaMay and September and the passengers and crew are thrilled to sights like dolphins, whales, or eagles.

All of these cruise ships need people to work on them and offer thousands of jobs in Alaska from Alaska physician jobs to Alaska nursing jobs, plus jobs on board for cooks, stewards, administrative people, entertainment, etc. A great thing about working on a cruise ship is that you don’t have any living expenses and all your food is also part of your pay. Cruise ship employees do work a lot of hours, but since you don’t have all those normal expenses, you can bank a lot of that check too. Plus, you get to see the fantastic beautiful sites of the Alaskan wilderness.

How to Find An AK Cruise Ship Job

You can begin your search for Alaskan employment through the Alaska job bank, though many of the cruise ship jobs require a bit of research into how the cruise ships and industry works, as most are not advertised in publications. Every year the cruise ship industry seems to get larger with more people interested in taking Alaska cruises. This means that there is a good outcome for people trying to get a job on an Alaskan cruise ship.
Some of the various jobs in Alaska on an AK cruise ship are the kitchen staff, hospitality staff (like at large hotels), ship’s crew, entertainment, sales, retail shops on the larger cruise ships, as well as tour guides to lead people on the various tours. Working as a tour guide is a great way to break into the AK cruise ship industry if you want to get hired on for a career in working on AK cruise ships.

AK pros and cons

There are of course pros and cons of working or living in Alaska, especially since many of the jobs in Alaska are only seasonal. Unless you have another job or only come to Alaska in the summer, then you may have to have a second job to cover you in-between the Alaska cruise ship jobs. Cost of living in Alaska is higher than a lot of the other states and you could be competing with a lot of others people for the job that you want.

All in all, it can be a fantastic experience to work on an AK cruise ship. If you are interested in doing so, then you need to do the proper research and be prepared to work hard while also enjoying the beauty of the 49th state in the U.S.

Cruise Ship Jobs – Current Vacancies


Getting Cruise Ship Jobs in Alaska – Alaska Cruise Jobs

6 Vital Qualities Needed for Cruise Ship Employment

Cruise liners are very similar to 4/5 star international hotels, so the employees they hire have to have these 6 vital qualities for cruise ship employment.  They need to fit into the environment of a luxury cruise ship.  They have to provide a high level of service regardless of how they feel at any given moment and they have to be able to do it day in and day out.  Because that is what potential cruise ship employers are looking for.

Now that we have that short overview on cruise ship employment, let’s go into a bit more detail.

A Bright & Cheerful Personality

Living and working in the confined quarters of a cruise ship, with all sorts of people, personalities and nationalities – passengers and crew – can be challenging, to say the least!  Giving cruise ship passengers, who may have spent quite a lot of money to be there, real value for money and the service they expect, can be very demanding.  And, if they get a bit ratty, it can get rather stressful too.

So it’s really important that the people chosen to fill cruise ship vacancies can maintain a cheerful, pleasant and professional manner with everyone onboard.  A person working on a cruise ship has to have an easy-going personality so they can take things in their stride and not get rattled when life gets more challenging.

Particularly during the interview, but all through the process of getting jobs on a cruise ship, you need to  show yourself as someone who can remain cheerful regardless of what is going on.  Your aim should be to show that you can – “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs” …and blaming it on you! 


Cruise line jobs must be filled with people who are reliable.  After all, Cruise Ship Employmenthow will they replace a crew member if that person decides the job isn’t for them and “jumps ship” in some port a 1000 miles from home?  Not only is it much harder to replace someone mid-cruise but it is an expensive hassle.  Therefore cruise ship companies try hard to weed out those who they feel are not likely to stick it out for their full contract of usually 4-6 months.

During the interview you will need to make it crystal clear that you are a very reliable person and that you will fulfill the terms of your contract. And, if you can do it realistically, show that you intend this to be a long-term career move, avoid giving the impression that it’s just a “trial run” for you.


Although bringing some similar, or at least relevant land-based experience to the cruise ship employment you’re applying for is an advantage, you don’t always need experience.  There are a number of cruise jobs where experience isn’t absolutely necessary.

Having a wide range of experience, particularly in dealing with the public, is something cruise lines value and this will always be an advantage in terms of getting cruise ship jobs.


Because working on a cruise ship is very different from land-based jobs, you need real enthusiasm for what you do.  The shifts are longer and there isn’t anywhere to run if something or someone really gets to you.  Your energy and enthusiasm for your cruise ship career will see you through most of these times and that is what you need to put across to any potential cruise line employer or recruiter.

Avoid any indication that you start at 9am, quit at 5pm and don’t do weekends.  If you show that attitude, you certainly won’t get the job!

High Standards of Service & Presentation

Because the cruise ship clientele are people who expect excellent service, everyone employed by a cruise line is expected to provide a standard of service similar to a 4/5 star international hotel.

How you present yourself is also critical, particularly if you will have contact with the passengers.  Therefore you must be immaculately turned out whenever you are onboard ship (even in your off-duty time).  You represent the cruise line, their standards are high, so yours must be too.


What exactly is professionalism?  One suggestion is that professionalism means “no matter what the situation you present the best possible appearance, commitment and respect. You must be committed to a certain standard of behavior and this commitment should supersede your personal opinions and should ensure you will always rise above a difficult day or a difficult customer and remain focused on the job at hand”.

This may not always be easy to accomplish, especially when working long hours in a fast paced environment, but however you define professionalism, one thing is for sure, cruise ship employers know it when they see it, and when they don’t!

To give your chances of landing one of the many cruise lines job opportunities a real boost, do your research and find out exactly what the cruise line you are applying to is looking for in potential employees.  This exercise will help you decide if you can meet their expectations, and knowing what they are looking for will help you develop the best ways in which to present your personality, knowledge, skills and experience so it is you who will be filling one of the current openings for world cruise ship jobs.


Qualities required  for working onboard 5 star hotels

Cruise Ship Jobs – Onboard Facilities for Crew Members, Part 1

Cruise Ship Jobs – Facilities

Once you’re in a cruise ship job, what essential facilities will there be to keep you going?  Cruise ship companies work hard to keep their staff happy. They know that if they provide some essential and leisure facilities for you while onboard ship, you’ll do a better job and be a happier crew member.

This list of cruise ship facilities is not exhaustive, some of the newer ships have more activities like rock climbing, golf driving ranges, ice-rinks and so on, but it does give you an idea of what is possible.  For more information about facilities onboard cruise ships, go to the cruise line’s website and check on your ship or look through the ship’s brochure.

Cruise Ship Jobs – Health

Cruise Ship JobsFor a minor illness or injury, qualified and experienced cruise ship doctors and nurses staff the hospital.  If you are in need of medical attention, including toothaches, you normally talk to the head of your department and an appointment will be made during office hours for you to see the ship’s doctor. Depending on the medical emergency, the ship might dock at the nearest port for the person to disembark or a helicopter might be flown in to take the casualty off.

If the ship’s doctor isn’t able to help you, a referral will be made for you to see a specialist in the next port of call. Many medical situations will be covered by the Protection and Indemnity Insurance for Cruise Vessels, but some won’t not be, so check with your cruise line and take out any extra coverage you think you might need.

Serious medical conditions or injuries like a broken leg will mean disembarking from the vessel and treatment at a facility on shore.  Only after you’ve been certified ready to work will you be invited to come back to the ship to finish your contract.

Cruise Ship Jobs – Staying in Touch

Ordinary mail, email and satellite or radio telephone can be used while you’re onboard ship.  Ordinary mail from home might take a while since it is routed through the cruise line’s head office, then forwarded to the ship by port agents. Alternatively mail can be sent directly to a specific port agent, ask your department head for the address of the cruise ship and its itinerary.

Private calls, faxes or telegrams onboard ship are very expensive so the most popular and best value for money is buying a phone card specifically for phoning your home country.  These can be used from payphones in port.  The ship will probably have an internet cafe onboard which you can use while off-duty but cheaper facilities are usually available in the various ports.

Cruise Ship Jobs – Doing Your Laundry

The crew holding jobs on a cruise ship have their own laundry area, provided free of charge and usually open 24 hours a day. However getting access to a washing machine might be a bit difficult since there may be 10 washing machines for a 1000 or more staff members.  With those numbers, many cruise ship crew members use the passenger laundry facilities.  Make sure you are allowed to do this.

There is an alternative – the Chinese laundry. For about $1 an item, you can leave all your dirty laundry on your bed with the correct payment and your cabin steward will take it away. The next day your clothes are back washed and pressed.  Before using this facility however, ask other crew members about this service since we know of some ships where people didn’t see their clothes again until the end of the cruise!

Cruise Ship Jobs – Shopping for the Bare Necessities

When you have one of the cruise ship jobs you will often have access to a specific crew shop where items like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, cigarettes, etc. can be obtained.  If the ship hasn’t got a crew shop, you will be allowed to use the passenger shops.

Cruise Ship Jobs – Hairdressers

As part of the staff employed by the cruise line, you will be permitted to use either the crew or the passenger hairdressers.  The passenger hairdressers will fit you in when they aren’t too busy and you’ll get a professional cut, etc. at discounted prices. Or, you could always go to a good salon while in port.  Crew hairdressers are pretty basic.

The Crew bar – Where it All Happens!

The Crew Bar is where most of your social life will happen during the length of your employment contract. It’s a big part of ship life, it’s the place to relax and let your hair down after a hard day.  It’s also the place where lots of special parties – bingo nights, quizzes, talent nights, etc. – are laid on by the cruise line. Lots of celebrations – birthdays, leaving  parties – also happen here.  And the crew bar is the place where you get to know colleagues from other departments or perhaps meet a special friend over a quiet drink.

The crew bar has all the amenities that most bars have, with larger ships having larger bars. Opening hours are usually between 6 pm and 2 am.  Some bars have amusement facilities such as pool table, dart board, arcade machines, table tennis (ping pong), table soccer, board games and cards.  A wide variety of drinks are available and discounted for crew members.  Prices vary somewhat from ship to ship but are usually $1 each, regardless of what you’re drinking.


Be sure to read Part 2 of Cruise Ship Jobs – Onboard Facilities for Crew Members

 Cruise Ship Jobs – Current Vacancies


The Onboard Facilities for Crew Members Part 1 – Cruise Ship Jobs