Couples working together on a cruise ship

Many relationships form and break while working onboard a cruise ship. However, maybe you are planning to embark on the adventure of working at sea with your partner.

Over the recent past years cruise lines have become more couple friendly. 10 or 15 years ago, some cruise lines discouraged having couples onboard. There was no flexibility in assigning a two bed cabin to a couple. I have met married couples, who didn't have a cabin together but shared their living space with same sex room mates.

Everyone can understand that this arrangement is not the best – not for the couple and not for the other room mates.

Some department heads managed to transfer one of the parners to another ship - which is also a very counterproductive way to encourage crew members.

In these cases the work performance suffers greatly. Luckily the most cruise lines have recognized that, and when a relationship does not interfere with onboard hierarchy, work performance and the general code of conduct, couples are well received.

When you apply as a couple, do so in saying this straight forward in your application letter. Mention the name of your partner, the position he/she will apply for and that you would like to work onboard the same ship, with a contract which starts and ends around the same dates.

You also should pay attention to what contract length is offered for different positions. If one applies as Hotel Manager and the other as Cabin Steward, chances are, that the one will get a 4 month contract, the other a 6 month contract. This means, spending your vacations together will not happen too often.

Some cruise lines are more open to applications from couples than others. Each cruise line always reserves the right to send each employee to where he or she is needed the most at a specific time. It also happens that one part of the couple needs to start a contract earlier than another.

So be prepared for a possibility of being separated for some time even if you manage to get contracts to work on the same ship.

It is important to be open and clear about applying as a couple in your applications. If you both have the relevant previous work experience, applying as a couple should not be a negative factor.

Related article