Author Topic: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?  (Read 5067 times)

LLCoolDave

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Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:51:56 PM »
Hi everyone, I am wondering if anyone has every worked on a cruise ship and what your experiences were. I realize the pay is not great but room and board is taken care of. I have a decade of experience in food service (FOH).

I am taking some time off work to travel and was considering this when I am done.
Thanks,

Dave

Ynari

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 08:23:30 PM »
I know some people (performers) who have. I didn't catch a lot of details, but they seemed to enjoy it overall, with some reservations (long ish hours, plus it's definitely not a glorious gig.)  But if you like cruises, it doesn't sound half bad to me!

coachese

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 08:30:21 PM »
I have a bartender buddy that did this for 10+ years. He saved every dime he made while working, because not only is room and board paid for, it's a small world as well, and he NEVER paid for a drink while off work, never paid for anything really, as it was "we take care of each other" among the industry workers. Plus, *ahem" he bragged about the quality of the never ending rotation of members of the opposite sex.

JoJo

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 07:59:34 AM »
I've taken a few cruises.  Typically the folks that work in food services are from 3rd world countries (Indonesia, Philippines, etc) because the pay is very low.  They work all day... like from 6am to 10pm with breaks between meals.  Living quarters for these jobs are not great (bunks on the lowest floors with no windows).
You might be better trying for one of the more "glamorous" jobs - customer service, tour desk, activities staff, spa, entertainment.

LLCoolDave

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 02:44:42 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the responses so far. From looking at the websites it does seem that they recruit heavily from developing nations.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 10:51:52 PM »
The cruise ships aren't US flagged so minimum wage, workers' comp and other employment laws that you are used to aren't going to apply.

ABC123

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2015, 07:13:25 AM »
We did a cruise several years ago, and pretty much all the workers were from other countries. I thought that was odd, but figured that was a way of paying lower wages.

Albert

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2015, 08:03:52 AM »
Wages are not that low particularly if you go up from the lowest positions, but working conditions are very challenging. Long hours, nowhere to go even in the limited time off, very cramped living conditions with roommates you might not like and so on. They'd need to pay a lot more to entice people from rich countries to work there. It's true though that if you have a lot of discipline savings rates could be much higher than possible on shore.

I know a Columbian guy who was a barman on cruise ships (mostly luxury ones) for about 10 years. He meat a Swiss woman (a passenger) on one of those cruises and now they are married. As he likes to say he drew the lucky ticket in life.

GypsyGentleman

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 10:00:38 PM »
Look at smaller, American flagged cruise ship companies. Pay a TON more, and you have to be a citizen to work aboard. Majestic American, Cruise West, etc... Less glamour onboard, but much higher pay and nice perks like 2weeks off every other month.

gillamnstr

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 02:22:11 AM »
I've spent a lot of time working on ships in the theater department.

Very few Americans get hired by any department that isn't entertainment or taking care of kids. There used to be a NCL American ship that toured Hawaii. All of the crew are unionized. I'd try for Cruise Staff - tend to be American and you get to play a lot of bingo!

The way the ships work is that they can visit American ports as long as one of the ports is international they can have the way-cheaper international crew. And when I say way-cheaper - they can go as low as $400 a month, and do 12-14 month contracts. There's some pretty bad stuff that goes on. PM me if you have any questions - I've worked for Royal and NCL.

purplepants

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 06:06:33 AM »
I've taken a few cruises.  Typically the folks that work in food services are from 3rd world countries (Indonesia, Philippines, etc) because the pay is very low.  They work all day... like from 6am to 10pm with breaks between meals.  Living quarters for these jobs are not great (bunks on the lowest floors with no windows).
You might be better trying for one of the more "glamorous" jobs - customer service, tour desk, activities staff, spa, entertainment.

My SIL worked on a cruise ship before she came to the US.  She is originally from Lithuania, and left her son behind with his grandmother so that she could send money back to care for them.  She would confirm the above about wages and living conditions. 

On the particular cruise line she worked for (I can't remember which), they nickel and dimed her out of a lot of the promised wages through payroll deductions for anything she needed above food and a bed.  All in all, she was only able to send a few hundred dollars home each month, and it wasn't worth being away from her son for that.

She enjoyed the travel and she was a serious extrovert so she enjoyed meeting and chatting with new people all the time.  She just didn't make the money she was promised, so she only did it for about a year and then she left (and by left, I mean got off the boat one day and never got back on - I don't think her contract was up yet). 

grundomatic

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Re: Anyone ever work on a Cruise ship?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2015, 08:05:23 PM »
I worked at a dude ranch after college. Same thing - room and board was paid for, but I wasn't stuck on a ship. Open up the back gate to the ranch and you were in a National Forest. it was a pretty sweet gig, and I've thought about going back to it in the future.