Cruise Ship Jobs

Find jobs and career opportunities aboard cruise ships around the world. Our website features vacancies with major and minor cruise lines, concessionaires and recruitment agencies specialising in cruise ship work. Positions are available for chefs, catering and bar staff and cleaners as well as entertainment and leisure vacancies including musicians, sports and fitness instructors, casino staff, beauty therapists and childcare assistants. Below you can read more information about life onboard a cruise ship and also apply.


Cruise employment

Guide to Working on a Cruise Ship

Why not get the best of both worlds and make money while you are actually still travelling? Most people preparing to spend time overseas or take a gap year will allocate some time where they will work towards paying for their travels. A “6 months work for 6 months play” philosophy is common for school leavers who want to experience some of the world before heading off towards the bright lights of university. While there’s no shortage of temporary gap year jobs that an enterprising young school leaver can find for a few months of work to fund a trip, the cruise industry is becoming an increasingly attractive employment option. Not only does it offer a variety of temporary positions to suit people with different skills, it also allows you to explore some exotic destinations while you earn.

It’s difficult to comprehend how many staff members are needed to keep a cruise liner shipshape and running smoothly. On a single cruise ship, there will be a veritable army of waiters, cleaners, chefs, hospitality and retail staff, all on standby to give the passengers the trip of a lifetime. This is without mentioning the more specialist positions such as fitness instructors, massage experts and theatrical performers. Whatever your skill set, there’s likely to be a suitable place on a cruise ship for you. Fortunately, the resurgent popularity of cruise holidays means that many companies now feel confident enough to begin recruitment drives for their new liners. Household names in the industry such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Celebrity are offering hundreds of new positions on their liners as a host of new cruise deals and offers drive British holidaymakers to book in record numbers.

Any job on a cruise liner will give you a wealth of useful work experience, as you will need to work as part of a large team and likely deal with customers on a daily basis. Not only is it a good way to save money and get valuable work experience for your CV, it is a great way to see some of the world before you launch forth to discover more of it on your own.

Popular destinations you can visit include: Mediteranean, Russia Japan, Hawaii, Brazil, South Africa or Hong Kong - working on a ship will let you witness the rare sight of some of the world’s most beautiful coastal cities as your ship gracefully sails into port. It’s true that you wouldn’t be able to venture far from the ports where the cruise ship docks, unless you arrange to have time off to coincide with shore excursions. However, these brief stops can serve as an excellent way to get a series of tasters of exciting new countries. Perhaps they will even encourage you to earmark a number of places to visit on your “real travels”! Even if you don’t find a destination that you would love to properly discover, it should still whet your appetite for travel and adventure. 



Top Reasons to Work on a Cruise Ship

  • See the world, cruises cover most of the globe and you will visit famous and luxury destinations 
  • Meet new friends from a number of countries worldwide
  • Get paid
  • Save money, your food and accommodation is free
  • Get to experience a lifestyle and experience like no other
  • Enjoy new climates and cultures



Cruise Ship Jobs

Types of Jobs Available

  • Activity leaders
  • Entertainers
  • Childcare
  • Photographers
  • Health and beauty
  • Cabin cleaners / stewards
  • Management
  • Kitchen Staff - cooks, chefs, kitchen porters, servers
  • Retail staff selling fragrances, clothing, jewellery, watches etc



Application Requirements

To work on a cruise ship generally you will need to be:

  • Fluent in English
  • Be in good health (you might be required to have a medical)
  • Have no visible tattoos
  • Have no criminal record
  • Have a valid passport
  • Be able to work hard and be adaptable / able to work in teams under management orders
  • Not get sea sick
  • You will have a strong awareness of customer relations and customer satisfaction
  • You will have the ability to work both as part of a close-knit team and alone
  • You will need to be able to be confident speaking to other nationalities
  • You will need to be highly organised




Wages really depend on the company and job role. Generally cruise ship jobs are no the best paying job in the world but remember you get free accommodation, meals and also you will not really spend very much money unless you decide to buy things when the boat docks.



How to Apply

You can search recruiters and global cruise jobs on our website. There are positions available to apply for all year round and to be employmed you will need to make an online application, attend an interview and then sign a contract. Renewable contracts of are offered. People from all around the world apply for these positions and competition can be high.



What to Expect from Working on a Cruise Ship

Life as an employee on a cruise ship is, in many ways, an incredibly unique experience. In few other situations will you encounter the same mix of challenges and rewards. Knowing fore from aft and starboard from port will come quickly, but expect to get lost even weeks into a contract. At the same time, you may never have as enriching and varied a cultural experience; while guests’ nationalities may be quite unique, crew members - all of whom typically speak English, depending on the cruise line - represent 60-70 different nationalities. Still, there are many typical job hassles which you could expect to experience in any other job.

Most entry level jobs in the world will require long hours, and working on a cruise ship is no different. Whether you work in retail, guest relations, or most other positions, you can expect to work around 12 hours a day when the ship is at sea. However, one benefit most other jobs don’t have is that when the ship is at port, many departments are off duty until the “all-aboard.” This means that you get to explore the world while you work, which is one of the biggest reasons people get into this industry. Many crew members covet itineraries in the Mediterranean, the Baltic or Oceana, but there really is no bad itinerary out there - or the ship wouldn’t be making money. One of the joys of being crew is getting to return to ports multiple times, whereas guests can only go once. It’s typical for a crew member to not really “get” a port until having visited it two or three times. By then, you will have found the little holes in the wall or hidden parks that make each port unique and exciting. Often it ends up being the case that some of the crew’s favorite ports are ports that most guests find boring. 

But at the end of the day, you’ll have to retreat back to your cabins just below where you work, and often a few minutes’ walk from any parties or other activities—ships throw parties or hold basketball or soccer tournaments for crew regularly. It’s important to remember that you live and work in the same place; if you make a fool of yourself, there’s nowhere to hide, and plenty of people ready to take your job. This rarely happens, but if it does, it happens to someone who has just started and is still adjusting or is just about to finish his or her contract and is getting careless. But as long as you stay responsible and don’t mind sleeping in a tiny cabin, working on a cruise ship can be a great way to spend a gap year - or more - seeing the world and making some money at the same time.

By Evan Trout


So what are you waiting for, search our featured employers and apply for a new life onboard a cruise ship today.



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