If you've chosen a hospitality career and you're thinking of working on a cruise ship, you should know what you're getting into before accepting a position.
On the upside, a cruise line position offers:
Salary for Traveling. You'll see new places, and meet and work with people from other areas of the world. You may even have a foreign roommate who can help you learn a new language with all its colloquialisms.
Minimal Living Expenses. Your room and board is provided. As are your utilities. So unless you go crazy at every port of call, you'll be saving a lot of money.
"Love Boat" Perk. If you're single when you begin your career, you may find your future spouse on your "Love Boat."
Packaged Perks. Free laundry service, free medical insurance (which is required by maritime law), and discounts at cruise ship stores, land based stores, bars and restaurants.
On the downside, there's:
Homesickness. A major problem for first timers. Most cruise lines hire people for an extended contract (four to six months), not the ideal job if you're married or have children.
Sea Sickness. This can be a problem on smaller cruise ships.
Lack of Privacy. Crewmembers often share a room with at least one or two roommates. If you like to have your own space and blare your CD, cruise line work may not be for you. Another problem that often arises is that you and your roommate may have different work schedules.
24/7 Work Schedule. While you may have time off, most cruise lines will expect you to help a passenger if they need assistance. You may also be asked to work more than one job.
Crewmembers are not Passengers. As a member of the crew, you won't enjoy passenger benefits, which means you can't just lounge by the pool or treat yourself to the gourmet meals and drinks reserved for passengers.
If you're still interested in working on a cruise ship, apply for membership to CruiseJobFinder. This will give you a better idea of what it's like to work on a cruise ship.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.