Cruising for a job

Cruising for a job header image 1
June 23, 2019  

Ep #1 - text

June 23, 2019

Cruising For A Job Episode #1 – Introduction and The First Question;

Starboard is right, and port is left!  - Welcome! -- to cruising for a job - episode #1, the podcast that tells you everything you want to know about working on a cruise ship, and how to get a cruise ship job.

Cruising for a Job draws on the knowledge and firsthand experience of cruise industry professionals with over 50 years of combined cruise ship experience working for over 10 different cruise lines, on more than 25 different ships. Between them they’ve held onboard positions in Passenger Logistics, Crew Administration, Guest Services, IT and Technology, housekeeping, Food and Beverage, and Human Resources and Crew Training, and they have expert firsthand information on cruise ships, and their crew.

Before we cruise into episode number 1, we wanted to give you an introduction to this podcast, why it’s different, and tell you about our release schedule.

There are plenty of YouTube, podcasts, and websites telling you stories about cruise ship life and work, but the cruising for a job team found many of them lacking in quality, and often giving incorrect information. Many of these offerings only talk about a party life onboard, and tell stories of scandalous liaisons and shocking truths…. That is not at all the complete or accurate story of modern day cruise ship operations.

Cruising for a job is different because it offers detailed information and insight based on first-hand personal experience of crew and officers from multiple positions and different companies. No matter what main stream cruise line it is; the people working onboard cruise ships today are highly trained, skilled professionals. From a deck officer to a galley cleaner, they are not only trained in their job duties, but their cruise line has also trained them in firefighting, CPR, safety duties, security procedures, and much more, and the procedures and processes they follow are all very similar even between different cruise lines.

Whether you're interested in finding a cruise ship job, or just want to learn what it's really like working onboard, Cruising for a Job will inform you in a fun and professional way.

We will start from the very beginning, in this episode, and discuss one of the very first things to consider if you're thinking of cruise ship work. After that, we will have episodes dedicated to preparing your application, how and where to apply, preparing for your interview, and what you can do in advance to get noticed. We will cover life onboard, cabin arrangements and general rules, onboard jobs and positions, general pay scales, crew entertainment and facilities onboard, and even where to do your laundry.  We will tell you all about shipboard safety, the training you can expect to receive, your role in the safety culture onboard, general information on lifeboats, life rafts, and emergency systems on cruise ships and even discuss coast guard inspections.

You will learn about shipboard health, USPH standards, and crew inspections. There will be episodes covering different itineraries, and even topics such as hurricanes, broken ships, dry docks, and new builds, and how they affect you in your work onboard.

We will begin regularly publishing episodes of Cruising for a job in August 2019. If you're interested in knowing in advance when episodes are released, email us or subscribe! You can email us at –, and we will add you to our mailing list, or visit our webpage at

If you have any questions or comments about cruise ship work, or living onboard that you would like to see included in future episodes; please send them in by email, or in the comments section.


So! Without further delay, let’s get this episode underway! With a quick rundown of what we will cover in today’s episode --- Caribbean cruise ship style!

Cruising is more popular now than it ever has been. Cruise lines continue to build new ships, and by 2025 there will be more than 30 million global cruise ship passengers each year. In the next 3 to 5 years, almost every mainstream cruise line will be building more than two new cruise ships, and many cruise lines are building 4 or more. What that means for you is opportunity.

Every new ship being built will require the cruise line company to hire between 1000 and 2000 NEW crew, and finding excellent people is not easy. The demand is there, and you can take advantage of it!

So in this episode, we’re going to talk about the one thing everyone interested in working on a cruise ship should think about FIRST! Before you do anything else. Before you start sending out resumes all over the place… stop and think;

You realize you’re going to have to leave home if you get hired, right?

That’s a hard truth many people never really fully consider. It seems obvious.  Your probably thinking, this guy’s nuts... of COURSE you have to leave home to go work on a ship....

But did you think about all that it means?

Family, Mom and Dad. Friends... you won’t see them for 4 to 8 months at a time, maybe longer.

Of course, the thought of leaving home for an adventure can feel different to different people... maybe you’re worried... and a bit sad at the thought of leaving;

Then again, perhaps a fresh start and a new adventure is what you want!

It’s not uncommon for a few people, “new joiners”, who have never been on a ship before, to give up and leave after a month onboard. They feel alone, uncomfortable, they get so homesick they can’t handle, decide this life is not for them, then quit, and that’s expensive. It can cost you flights home from wherever you are, and it can cause immigration problems. Most cruise lines pay for your flights, but if you quit, that’s another story.

The length of time you’ll be gone will vary, depending on what cruise line you work for, and what job you do.  But remember you can’t go home on weekends, or holidays, you’re going to be living onboard, and working the whole time.

What about cats and dogs?  Do you have any? A Fish? A bird? House plants? You will need to arrange a new home for them. Your parents maybe, a friend, it’s for you to decide, but it’s something you need to be aware of, and think about in advance.

What about time obligations? Do you have something you need to do in 2 months, three months, or 5 months that you can’t miss? A university course to complete, a test to take, anything at all you’re obligated to do? Maybe a friend’s wedding coming up? A birthday you can’t miss? An anniversary you want to be at? Because once you’re onboard, you’re onboard. You can’t just ask for a couple of days off... it doesn’t work that way.

There are some other things to consider. How social are you? Are you prepared to share a small cabin with another person? A stranger? Don’t misunderstand; sharing a cabin can be a great experience. You make some of the best friends you’ve ever had. But, some people never really think about that in advance and are surprised to find they will be living with a stranger.

Yes you can call home, yes you can email home, and yes you can viber your friends when you’re in port, where there usually is a lot of places offering free internet near the ships.  But for some people, that isn’t enough.

Many people, who are fully prepared for the change, and looking forward to it, still end up missing their routine at home; Their early morning runs, meeting their friends for beers after work on Friday, or even their favorite TV shows.  The fact is, if you’re not used to being away from home, or have never left home before, it’s bound to have some effect on you.

The good news is; it usually isn’t too long until that’s all washed away by the adventure. You are meeting new, fascinating people, and visiting new countries all over the world, and having opportunities to grow not only in your career but in your life. Cruise Ship work can be enriching in allot of ways. You’re surrounded by around 25 different nationalities and cultures all on one floating city. You learn so many things, and your mind opens up. And let’s not forget, you’re getting paid for it!

But... Can you leave your friends? Your family? Your current life? Is it what you want to do?  If it is, I can almost guarantee you will do well and love working at sea. If you’re not sure... well, you need to be sure... before you go.

Yes! It’s time to read some email and comments. But being the first episode… there isn’t any yet!  So, if you have specific questions or comments you would like included in an upcoming episode, please visit, all one word, and leave your comments or email.

 I was asked one question the other day while preparing this episode -- and that was, “What kind of jobs are available onboard, and can anyone apply for them?” Now that’s a huge topic -- which will all be covered in upcoming episodes -- in short, I’ll say, there is a job onboard for almost every job ashore. 

Hotel jobs, reception jobs, jobs for waiters and waitresses, jobs for boutique staff, jobs for photographers, and many more. Again it’s a big topic, and I will cover it thoroughly soon, but rest assured  there is no lack of jobs for most people, and nationality or age isn’t a concern, yes, you can be over 40 and work on a cruise ship!  If you’re between 21 and 60, and in good health, I would say there is no reason you can’t apply.

In our next episode, we will discuss the things you need to have, and do, BEFORE you submit your resume and get an interview, critical steps that will give you an edge over the competition if you prepare in advance.

Now let’s close out this premiere episode, with a recap… but not just any recap… A REGGAE recap! Thanks for listening! And remember, subscribing is free!