14 Dec


How to work on a cruise ship?

Working on a cruise ship is undoubtedly one of the best jobs if you are passionate about travel and the sea. Few people can say they can make a living getting to know the world and cultures by travelling around the planet in a ship with more than 4000 people on board.

It is not just any job and it is not made for everyone, there are certain considerations to keep in mind, which we will try to explain to everyone who is thinking of taking the step and embarking on this exciting industry.

Sailing on board a big cruise ship you will discover the world, you will find fun, people from all countries and cultures, you will learn languages and you will get to know places you probably didn’t imagine, but you will also have to work because you will have a role on board the ship. You have to take into account that you will live in a reduced space, nothing bigger than a cabin, and you will be far away from your family sometimes for long periods of time.

There is a great variety of jobs aboard a cruise ship, but practically the same diversity that can be found in a city or in a large hotel complex. Jobs like cruise hostess, cruise waiter, sailor, cruise cook, mechanic, administrative, etc.

To this great variety of positions we must add those specific to the maritime sector that deal with the proper functioning and governance of the cruise, the bridge area (responsible for the management, navigation and governance of the ship) and the engineering area (responsible for the management and proper functioning of the entire propulsion of the ship).

What are the requirements to work on a cruise ship?

The requirements for working aboard a cruise ship will vary depending on the company and the position, note that there are cruise companies around the world. However, most of them request the following:

Language proficiency on a cruise ship

Knowledge of english is essential, as it is essential to work with colleagues and passengers of different nationalities. Depending on the position, a higher or lower level will be required, as well as other languages, usually two more from the European Community.

Hourly availability

It is necessary to have some availability to work and travel for long periods of time away from home. The boarding time is usually 3 to 6 months, and sometimes up to 8 months.

Maritime professional training

Proof of specific training related to the position is essential, as in any other job, in this case, there is a mandatory maritime training. This type of training is essential to be able to access any position on board. The studies are not related to the job but to the responsibilities on board. In cases of emergency, fire, abandonment, medical aid and crowd control as the most relevant situations, competent training can make a difference. In the sector, this training is known as STCW TRAINING (International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Surveillance for Seafarers) and is given in centres approved by DGMM and ISM.

To work on a cruise ship it is necessary to have present at least 3 certificates of proficiency, and depending on the responsibilities or functions more.


What courses do I need to work on a cruise ship?

The essential courses are: Basic Safety Training STCW – A VI/1, Crowd Management on Passenger Ships STCW – A V/2 and Security Awareness and in Designated Security Duties STCW – VI/6. If your job covers more responsibilities and functions on board, you will also need to take the course of Proficency in Survival Crafts and Recue Boats Rescue Boats and the Medical First Aid Training.

After completing the Basic Safety Training course you will be able to issue the speciality certificate, as well as the maritime passbook that will give you the right to a free medical examination by the Social Institute of the Navy and will be required to present for the job you want to access on board of a cruise ship.


What employment contract should I get to work on a cruise ship?

The labor contracts can be very diverse, the most common are contracts regulated by the European Union where the company governed by the labor regulations of your country makes the relevant deductions and deposits the salary in the employee’s account.
There are other contracts known as international contracts where the company outside the European Union fully pays the salary to the employee without deductions so the employee has the option to contribute voluntarily in their own country or take the action you consider appropriate for your subsidy in case of unemployment or retirement. In the last case, companies usually pay every 15 days.

We hope that all this information will help you.