If you work in travel and hospitality meaning anything between hotel manager and dishwasher, the “cruise ship” talk must have come up from time to time. It always sound so wonderful, just like invitation to the military “lifetime opportunity, great pay, management position, travel the world etc” slogans, which already sounds too good to be true. Well they are.
In hospitality, we all know this is hard work, long work, and a different lifestyle. But on the other hand hospitality work is hard and long and it is a different lifestyle! Also a lifestyle where is relatively easy to find a job, but its hard to find a good paying one, one with good reputation, or one where you not going to be surrounded with complete assholes, or to be used and abused at. Or just being layd off from 1 minute to the other. If you tried almost everything, or had a bad experience, or just completely ran out of money, and have no idea how to get out of the debts, or just simply want to try something different you do start thinking about the cruise ships.
What do you need for the ship? Education is important, for some positions, lets say kitchen and front desk etc, where you studied and how many experience you have is pretty important. Languages. English and German is minimum, but the more the merrier! Again work experience is good, but lets say in housekeeping is not so important, you don’t have to spend years in the industry, but if you don’t have experience at all, it will be hard to get in! Be open-minded and friendly, you will be working with many different people, maybe from all over the World, you’ll learn tolerance is good! As I told you it is hard work, so be ready for working hard, without complaining!
Yes it is true, it is good money! And we are talking about very good money, also no expenses, as there’s no rent or bills on the ship. You get crew meals, some drinks, aaaaaaaaaand I guess that’s it. Be ready for working 7 days a week, 15 hours/day, no days off, maybe a holiday for 10 days or so in every 3 months. Be ready for sharing a cabin with someone who has completely different habits then you do, and be ready to live and work with people you don’t necessarily like. Be ready for not being in daily contact with your loved ones, as there barely internet connection, or phone reception.
It does sound a bit depressing isn`t it? But when you are there it is not so bad after all. You find that the people on board most likely are well-trained professionals, who chose this lifestyle almost after college. They are nice and friendly, even if you are not a fan of everybody you’ll get along and will be able to find friends. The ship stops almost everyday, so most likely you going to be able to go out for a walk, or shopping, or massage or whatever you like, you can travel around on the company’s expenses, visiting places, that maybe you would never do, on your own free will. You can save up money, as you don’t have expenses, only the stuff, food, drink, sweets, clothes whatever you buy for yourself. But let me tell you, shopping sometimes is very tempting, pretty much as one for of entertainment after the time spent on board.
So what can you do on board? It also depends on the ship you are on. The difference between the river and the ocean cruises, is that the ocean cruise sucks your soul, and you’ll turn into a zombie pretty soon, so they have a bit more entertainment..lets say gym, or free internet. River cruises, are even lighter on the choices, after work you can either chill in your cabin, read, or watch a film. Or you can go to the crew room, hang out with the people you see everyday, and join or look at the alcoholics, doing they daily routine, emptying the vending machine, and sculling beer all night. So there`s no other way to put it there IS drinking, there is heavy drinking, and you need to watch out cos you can easily be a part of it!
Well this is my general “know how” handbook about cruise ship work. I’ll b back with more posts, explaining the work and the lifestyle a bit deeper. If you are planning, to get on board, it will be interesting to read, as the same rules apply, wherever you are!
Thank you for stopping by!