Work 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. 


Types of Jobs Available

Positions are available in all areas including:

  • Activity leaders
  • Entertainers
  • Childcare
  • Photographers
  • Health and beauty
  • Cabin cleaners / stewards
  • Management
  • Kitchen Staff - cooks, chefs, kitchen porters, servers, catering and bar staff
  • Retail staff selling fragrances, clothing, jewellery, watches etc
  • Leisure vacancies including musicians
  • Sports and fitness instructors
  • Casino staff
  • Health and beauty therapists



  • 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



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


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