Here are a few tips for you:
First and foremost, a working knowledge of the English language is a must to those who wish to work onboard cruise ships. Fluency of the language is definitely a plus factor.
Secondly, knowledge and experience of the field (position you wish
to apply for) is crucial. For example, for the hotel side positions
like waiters, bartenders, cabin stewards, etc., you should have at
least a year of work experience in the above-mentioned
capacity/position in a DeLuxe, if not a 5 star, hotel
or restaurant. Remember, working for McDonalds for 3 years is very
different from working within the fine dining service onboard the
Thirdly, you should be in top physical, mental and psychological
shape if you wish to be considered. Please bear in mind that working
hours onboard cruise ships are normally long (12-16 hours a day). Some
of the crew tend to give up after 1-3 months due to physical
exhaustion, mental drain or psychological breakdown.
Working onboard a luxury cruise liner will always have its pros and cons.
One thing is for sure: you will get to travel and see the world for
free and get paid for doing it. I have been to 87 countries since 1990.
Also, if you play your cards right, you may get to save money for
food and accommodation is free onboard cruise ships. You would also get
to meet a wide range of personalities of different nationalities. But
the few things I have just mentioned are not without the "cons" which
normally serve as the trade-off.
If you think that working onboard a cruise ship is paradise - well,
forget it. Difficulties will come your way from time to time while
you"re onboard. The key factor here is to maintain a proper frame of
mind at all times. If you think that you"ve got what it takes to hack
it, then go for it! Otherwise, forget the whole thing.
There are more than a hundred reasons and factors for you to
consider. There are frequent rough seas, inconsiderate guests at times,
very strict ship rules and regulations, sexual harassment incidents,
long working hours, a crew of at least 200 to over 900 of different
nationalities, inconsiderate bosses, crew food which may either be of
poor quality or totally foreign to your taste, living quarters (crew
cabins) may be too small for the number of crew living inside,
recreation or communication facilities for crew may not be available 24
hours (if ever they do exist onboard), or 7 working days a week to name
I can go on with the long list just to prove a point. In other
words, working onboard a cruise liner will demand so much from you. It
may be way beyond your respective individual limitations.
It is not my wish to discourage any of you. I merely wish to help
you open your eyes to the various difficulties you shall be
encountering onboard the cruise ship for shipboard life can be hell to
the weak but manageable to the wise.
Now, should you be really determined to work onboard a cruise ship,
then go ahead by all means. By the way, should you succeed in finishing
your contract, I can guarantee what will happen to you next: it"s
either you return home wiser ... or you return home psychologically
impaired. It"s now up to you to decide on how you see yourself coming
home. So, to all the future applicants I say - good luck!!!