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That0neguy01's avatar

What would it be like to work on a cruise ship?

Asked by That0neguy01 (206points) February 2nd, 2011

Well I am looking into working on a cruise ship and I’m wondering what it would be like. As fun as it sounds, or long horrible hours? I’m not yet sure what I’m applying for simply because I don’t know what there is to apply for. I’m looking for something fun, exciting, adventurous, not too long hours, and possibly even creative. I like to work with video and I’m good at it, if there’s anything I can do with that? I am really wanting to learn about this and my possibilities and choices. It would be a great help if I could also talk to people with experience. The more info the better, thanks!

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18 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

This is all second hand, I got most of it talking to my stewards and waiters while on cruises.

Long hours, rigid hierarchy. The pay is not great, but you don’t spend much while you are working on the ship. If you don’t go nuts when you are on shore leave you can make a pretty good chunk of change by the time the season is over. The ships I have been on had a fairly high retention, and most of the crew worked one or two seasons a year, while going to school the rest of the time.

Most ships now have their own CCTV and get some satellite feeds. They put on their own weather and news shows as well as promoting the activities during the cruise.

That0neguy01's avatar

Yes well i actually wasnt looking into being a steward or waiter just cuz im hearing alot of the same thing =P but i have heard there are certain jobs onboard that can be quite fun and also i might even have a chance to help promote their activities with my video work?

That0neguy01's avatar

I was wondering if i could also get paid by people on the cruise to film them having a good time or take professional pictures for them or whatever

WestRiverrat's avatar

No, at least not on the lines I have been on. You will get paid by the cruise line. You may get tips from the passengers, but they have to go through the Purser. Most of the time the tips were figured into the bill for the activity you were engaged in. The cruise line discouraged tipping individuals directly.

None of the cruises I was on accepted cash at any of the bars or shops, not even in the casino. You used your room key and everything was settled at the end of the cruise.

Most cruise lines the privacy and comfort of the passenger is the prime directive. The videographers did not go around asking if they could film, if someone wanted to film, they either did it themselves or arranged it through the activities desk.

That0neguy01's avatar

Dang. that lowers my options alot lol. hmm but it sounds like id still be able to work as a videographer, instead id be getting paid by the cruise line? and having to film when requested, not walking around asking. idk just looking at my options. still got plenty of time for people to answer this overall question for me lol.

That0neguy01's avatar

thanks for the info tho, it helped

crisw's avatar

My husband and I were quasi-employees of a cruise line, teaching bridge as independent contractors. To add to the above:
• You are last off the ship at ports.
• You are last in line for any amenities.
• You can’t enter any contests or games on the ship.
• The quarters (at least on Princess) are far from posh- possibly even bunk beds, and a tiny, tiny room.

We had a lot of fun, despite all of this. But we only “worked” for three hours a day.

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bkcunningham's avatar

@crisw how cool was that? The tiny room is every room on cruise ships unless you have the family suite. Were you under contract for a certain period of time? What cruise did you work on location-wise with Princess?

crisw's avatar


I should mention that we did not get paid for this work- we just got to take a cruise for very cheap. :>) Our obligation was to give a lesson and run a game on every at-sea day. We got the job through Posh Talks- they do not have a website but there is some info on them here and here.


We did the Mexican Riviera. We want to do it again in the future when we retire- do the more exotic ports we don’t have time for now.

That0neguy01's avatar

Awww thats a bummer. lol. i was hoping it was a job xD hmmm

kariper's avatar

I really want to take a summer job one time at a cruise ship. It sounds like a different, but still great experience. And the good thing is that when you’re on the ship you dont spend much money so you’ll (hopefully) have loads when the summer is over. And think about the places you’ll see, and the people you’ll meet. I think i have to do it at some point in my life!!

jca's avatar

I am sure that the crew’s quarters are on the bottom-most decks, so when you are at the top decks, you don’t feel the waves. When you are down below, you feel it more. Hence the below-deck being where the poor were traditionally staying (Titanic, for example).

I would think a cruise line would not want people videotaping because just like in a hotel, some people might be there cheating on their spouses or S.O.‘s. Therefore, they would want their trip to be discreet.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a close friend who worked for years on the cruise ships. She liked it. She worked in the retail stores, if I remember correctly when they docked the stores were closed and she could explore the ports. Sometimes I joke, well half joke that I want to work the ships with my husband when he retires or if he ever was laid off from his job.

I think the ships have contracts, so you sign on for like 9 or 10 months. Not sure?

Oh, there was a recent episode on Undercover Boss about Norwegian Cruises.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Actually @jca the higher you are up the ship the more you feel the waves. The top of the ship will move farther with each wave than a deck at sea level.

crisw's avatar

Scopolamine patches work wonders for seasickness!

JLeslie's avatar

@WestRiverrat @jca it is true the higher up the more you feel the waves. The center lower parts of the ship move the least. Below deck doesn’t have balconies, and traditionally being in the basement is not an elite status on the water or land.

submariner's avatar

Feh, cruise ships are for lubbers. Get a job aboard a ship like this .

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