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Working on a Cruise Ship - Basic Questions

Do you want to know if working on a cruise ship is for you? Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself to find out:

  • Am I open minded and have no problem with sharing my meals, room, work place and free time with people of different nationalities and various cultural backgrounds?
  • Am I ok with not seeing my family and friends for 6 months or more?
  • Can I deal with a strict hierarchy, often military-like, in which I have to follow orders, without questioning them?
  • Am I able to adhere to strict rules, such as:
    • Smoking only in designated areas for smoking;
    • No drinking of alcohol or very limited alcohol consumption;
    • Saying good-bye to my piercing and jewelries for the duration of my contract and when on duty;
    • Following grooming standards as set forth by my employer;
    • Always being friendly and courteous to guests and fellow employees;
Working on a Cruise Ship - Basic Questions


  • Can I live with not having access to the Internet and mobile/cell phone 24/7?
  • Can I share a tiny room and bathroom with one or more persons, for a minimum of the next 6 months?
  • Can I be considerate of my fellow room mates (noise, length the bathroom is used, respecting the others person properties etc)?
  • Can I deal with the fact that I will not have much privacy while working onboard the ship?
  • Am I happy to eat pretty much any meals served in the crew canteen? While a great variation and amount of food will be available, you will need to find something to eat in the array of what is provided. You cannot be too picky.
  • Do I know that I need to keep my cabin clean and orderly, change my bed-linen as directed, do my laundry and that weekly cabin inspections will be carried out by the management?
  • Can I adhere to set hours for my fee time, working time, meal times, when I can go ashore and when not?
  • Am I prepared to do all the safety training onboard and recognize that this is for my own safety? Safety regulations and training will interfere with your plans of free time or of going ashore, but you will have to deal with this.
  • Am I prepared to work long hours, for 7 days a week, for a period of 6 or more months?
  • Have I done a research on the subject of working onboard a cruise ship? Do I think I can also deal with the not-so-great aspects that are associated with this kind of work?
  • Am I aware that I need to make plans on what I do with my flat/apartment for the time I will be onboard a ship?

If you can answer the most of the above questions with a "yes", we think you should give it a go, do some more research and go after what you want. Good luck.

Written by Scarlet Perez