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Old 07-17-2003, 09:34 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 23,689
Are cruise ship jobs a good idea?

A friend of mine is in the doldrums because his employment opportunities are few. He saw an ad for working on a Cruise Ship through and is interested, but unsure of its claims; it all seems a bit too good to be true.

Has anyone had any experience, or has any genuine anecdotes, about working on Cruise Ships? Is it good, bad, okay, dangerous, safe, good money?

Any info would be great. Thanks.
Old 07-17-2003, 09:49 AM
CrankyAsAnOldMan CrankyAsAnOldMan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 8,578
My neighbor did this for awhile. As I recall, she felt it was okay, but she got bored with it fairly quickly. She created the ship's daily newsletter, danced in some shows, and taight some craft classes. It's not a very glamorous life--long hours, cramped accomodations, not great pay (although easy to save since there isn't much occasion to spend it). But it was a fine job for a few young years of her life. Once she started doing the Alaska run, she got some ideas for a tourist lodge up in Alaska, and when she left the cruise line she and a friend started something like that up.

So.... I'd say it might not be something to make a career out of, but if he's unencumbered and up for something different, he should go for it.
Old 07-17-2003, 09:51 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,106
I used to work on board cruise ships - not all the time - I would join a ship and stay with it for a week or so while stocktaking the onboard gift shops.

There seems to be a very distinct and intense culture on board; everything seemed more intimate than it would be in other cases - maybe just because the folks there live and play together as well as working together.

My impression is that it is a great way to get out and see the world; it can be really hard work and sometimes you will have to stay onboard and work while others go ashore and enjoy paradise, but arrangements for shore leave are usually kept very fair.

Since accomodation and food is provided, it ought to be the case that you could live really cheaply and return home to a nice nest-egg at the end of your contract, but this doesn't seem to happen an awful lot in reality; cruise ship staff work hard and play hard, often at great expense. I think the fact that bed and board is provided is also likely to be reflected in a lower wage.

As far as safety is concerned, the only significant risks would be those that you create yourself (bungee jumping off the Sydney harbour bridge while on shore leave, or something stupid like getting drunk and leaping overboard etc); the onboard culture is quite protective of its members, but emotions do run hot, which tends to rule out ambivalency in personal relationships - it is very much love or hate only.

Then there's the whole seasickness issue (if you're prone to it), but after a week or two of absolute hell, it wears off and going ashore makes you feel ill...
Old 07-17-2003, 11:01 PM
j.c. j.c. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: nearby
Posts: 1,480
Depends on the job. A couple of my friends have been the entertainment on a cruise ship, which was great. People who were waitrons or stewards really really hated it.

My information is at least a decade old, so take it with a grain of salt.
Old 07-18-2003, 12:13 AM
smaft smaft is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 327
A cow-orker's brother is a cruise ship harpist.

Yes, harpist.

He works a couple hours each night, spends a couple hours tuning each day; but, other than that, he's on a cruise.

He rather likes it; personally, I'd have difficulties with the whole harp aspect. But maybe that's just me.


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