The Pros and Cons of Working on a Cruise Ship: A Personal Perspective

Aug 04, 2023

The allure of working on a cruise ship is undeniable, offering a unique blend of adventure, travel, and rewards. However, like any endeavor, it comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. From experiencing new cultures to dealing with isolation, here's a look at the things I love and the things I don't about the ship life.

Among many others, I can single out one thing I hate the most about the cruise ship: shipboard politics. Plenty of rules and regulations are implemented depending on a case-to-case basis, the job title, and the status on board the ship. The same applies to the way of promoting employees on the cruise ship; I have witnessed many injustices. Especially there were many cases when crew members got terminated for little things, and for example, some officers on board got away with breaking policies. The rules on the cruise ship are implemented in different ways for everyone.

Also, people who do not deserve a promotion at work are often promoted because they are close friends of the senior management on board the ship.

Indeed, shipboard life may not be for everyone, but it offers many advantages.

The most obvious benefit, particularly for people from developing countries, is financial. Cruise ship companies often receive flak for poor pay, but even at the most basic position on board, this is enough to support a family from a poor country. Reputed cruise ship companies, however, adhere strictly to wage laws, and staff working in galleys and in housekeeping can expect decent pay by international standards. Due to reasonable conversion rates, they make much more money when compared to a similar position on land.

Medical insurance is another benefit that is required by maritime law. Employees at reputed cruise companies can choose from various programs that suit their situation. This means that while there is basic insurance coverage, other paid programs are also available for broader coverage or discounted rates for medical services such as advanced eye care. It is worth noting that medical assistance and services are quite expensive in developed countries like the US or the Caribbean, where cruise lines stop, so having medical insurance taken care of is a great boon.

If you are looking at investments with your hard-earned money, your company might offer you a chance to be part of the cruise industry's industry's growth. Employees can often buy company stocks at a rate lower than the market price. As the company profits, so do you.

However, not all benefits are related to finance. When you join on contract, the cruise company pays for your tickets to and from your home to wherever the ship is docked. On board, you can avail of free laundry service, depending on your position. Crew bars, stores for general supplies and medicines, and even restaurants on the cruise ship you work on offer discounts and low rates for the crew.

The benefits of cruise ship jobs can even extend into port. Tours to sites of interest or activities are cheaper for the crew than for guests. One of the things I like about working on the cruise ship is getting discounted tours to some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

The crew life is not as easy and exciting as it seems from the outside.

It is different and amazing at times and thoroughly difficult at other times.

The cruise crew's responsibility and life could be of different phases. They can be good, bad, or ugly sometimes.

Read on for a quick list of the Good and the bad of working on Cruise ships.

Here's why I love working on cruise ship

- New places, new cuisines, new people, and you get paid to travel.

- Meet new people and staff and make friends.

- There is a feel-good factor involved in cruise jobs. If you are a fun-loving person, you will enjoy the excursion.

- The different origins, languages, regions, and other aspects of people create a unique mix of the crowd at cruises. You get to learn about different cultures.

- People with successful careers on cruise ships know to deal with uncertainties, boredom, pressure, and team management.

- The hospitality industry appreciates the experience of Cruise ships. You will be much more valued after a stint at one of your favorite Cruise Lines.

Things I hate about working on the cruise ship.

The bad part is about being stuck on a cruise for a longer time period.

Depending on the duration of the contract, you may find it exhausting to work on a cruise.

Cruise ship jobs are certainly not for everyone. There are also a few disadvantages of cruise jobs among all the excitement.

Listed below are some of the cons of working on a Cruise Ship

- Employees long for a change at work, but it's a small world out there if you are on a ship. You need more options to fight the monotony.

- If you face some rude guests, unlike hotels, you would need to bear with them day and night for the whole trip. Painful, isn't it?

- At times you might end up doing that you don't love, but you can walk out or resign. You cannot run away from being locked up on a cruise where the only part of the focus is your work.

- Those facing seasickness can face their worst nightmare of spending months working while on medication.

This is not a job for the homesick guys and gals of the hotel industry. So, if you are seasick or a family bird looking to meet your parents every weekend, working on a Cruise ship is not your cup of tea.

- The shifts can sometimes be very long, and there are seldom any holidays while on a Cruise ship. So, you need to push the limits regularly.

- You need to get used to staying alone while at work. You are sure to miss your friend reunions.

The flip side of cruise line jobs can be daunting.

However, for extroverts and those who love challenges, this can be a small hurdle in deciding to work on cruise ships.

What I also don't like about the cruise ship work is that you will form friendships and relationships with colleagues onboard. Still, there will be times when you'll have to say goodbye to those people, knowing you probably won'twon't ever see them again. You are going to have little privacy or time to yourself.

Moreover, you will always feel that you're" on duty" anytime you're in a public area of the ship. You'll have to wear your name badge at all times, which ''flags'' you as a crewmember to the passengers - even if you're not on duty. Heck, you get recognized on the beach sometimes! That was the only place where I used to "hide" from passengers.

There are a few other things I hate about working on cruise ship

- Not knowing what's going on in the rest of the world.

- Not establishing a firm base at home. If you make this a career and go away for long periods, you may need a firm base to come back to as family and friends move on.

Overall, many crewmembers tend to find that the positives of life onboard FAR outweigh the negatives. In fact, just being paid to visit some of the most amazing and exotic places on earth blows these negatives away.