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
For 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.