Staff life onboard a cruise ship can be very exciting and fun provided that your expectations are sober and your focus clear.
There might be a variety of temptations awaiting their chance, but be sure that any violation of rules under your cruise job contract will inevitably lead to an immediate termination of your assignment. Which will further affect, if not quit, your future career in the cruise line business.
Before considering this kind of job,you should self- critically evaluate your abilities to live in a floating city in itself with all it takes. So if you cannot handle seasickness or you risk claustrophobia, the cruise ship employment is not for you.
Unless you become one of the ship’s management, you will live in a cabin situated on one of the lowest levels possibly with no window, which may appear cozy to some but confining to most. The cabins are usually shared among 2-4 fellow employees (of different nationalities most likely). With some ships the cleaning staff helps the cabin lodgers to keep their rooms tidy. The towels and bed sheets are changed every week or two. Good news is that most of the rooms are equipped with a TV and comfortable beds and there always is a big enough personal closet to store your clothes.
The simplest key instructions about what to take onboard with you is to pack everything/anything you would need during one week trip, from cosmetics to clothes. You will be fitted with a proper uniform so pack leisure-time clothes mostly, plus a formal evening outfit for special occasions.
If you are prescribed to be on certain medicaments, don’t forget to take them with you in a sufficient amount. Medical care is available onboard to ship staff, too.
It is very important to remember that guest facilities are for guests only, while the ship staff is provided with a variety of employee only amenities when off-duty. Depending on the standard of a cruise liner, these facilities vary in availability. They usually include gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts and movie rooms. And even if your ship lacks any of the aforementioned staff amenities, you can always catch up in sport resorts and on beautiful beaches in any of the numerous ports of call.
Salaries will vary from one position to another. There are no exact pay records available, but as a cruise ship staff you can earn between $1500 and $4000 per month (US Dollars). Some positions get their wages paid every two weeks; others receive their salaries once a month. Wages earned onboard cruise ships are usually income tax-free. Each job requires a 7-day-a-week commitment. All the holidays in all the cruise ship jobs are used up at the end of the current job contract onshore or onboard.
The work onboard a cruise ship is demanding as you will be scheduled to work 7 days a week for a period of 4 to 9 months, but the money (US dollars mostly) is definitely worth your best effort. Both the work and the life require a steady health and self-discipline. If you can resist fancy shops in a variety of exotic ports of call and do your shopping in shops where ship staff gets discounts instead (the same can be applied to bars where ship employees get bar allowances up to some $70 a month), you can see the world for little money, find the love of your life (but remember, search only among the staff and never beyond!) plus save a lot to spend it on whatever you have intended to.