How To Work on a Cruise Ship


I have lost count of the amount of times people have asked me to do a blog about how to get work on a cruise ship. It’s no insiders secret but I guess when you have so many agencies online it can be daunting. If you have read my post about my journey in the industry, you will know how much I loved every minute of it. So here is a guide to avoid the scammers and improve your chances of a life at sea.

Finding work on a cruise ship

Cruise line or Agency?

When it comes to finding work on a cruise ship, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of success. It is a competitive industry and anything you can do to help with that dream job should be considered. One thing you can do is get an agency to help you find a job, especially if you are looking to work as part of the entertainment team.

Because of the high volume of job applicants, cruise lines use agencies to help them find the best candidates. They will interview the applicants and do all the hiring on behalf of the cruise line. They will also get your cv up to a high standard to maximise your potential.

Agencies make their money by earning commission when you start working, so their goal is to get you that job. They also have the contacts to make things happen, and they will probably know the right people to approach to find you the work. This is a huge advantage for someone just starting off in the business.

You can also send an application directly to the cruise line. There are some useful links at the end of this post. If you do decide to use an agency, make sure you use the ones that don’t charge you an fees upfront as they will receive a commission from the cruise line when they have secure you a job on a cruise ship.

A Smile Goes A Long Way

Work on a cruise ship

One thing you must do to increase your change of getting your dream job, is to include a photograph with your cv. This always goes down well with the cruise lines as it offers something a little bit extra, expecially if you are applying for a position that is front of house. A warm genuine smile goes a long way. You would be surprised by the amount of people who do not send a photo, so give yourself the best chance of success and include one in your application.

It does not have to be a professional photograph. As long as it is a pleasant photograph that shows you looking smart and smiling, that is all they are looking for. After all you will be representing the brand as a crew member, so look at it from their point of view.

What Sort of Work on a Cruise Ship Can I Do?

Work on a cruise ship

There are so many different jobs to choose from, with so many ships at sea these days. For instance, certain cruise lines will have more entertainment jobs, whereas others will have more hotel services positions available.

You can read my interviews with Marc Walker, Cruise Director for Royal Caribbean and Lee Mudkins, Guest Relations Manager for Fred Olsen, to get an idea of their day to day life.

Obviously you will be working, but you will also be traveling. To get days off in ports and spend as much time ashore as possible, work out schedules with your fellow co-workiners. You may be thinking that sounds like a daunting task, but trust me its not big deal and can be sorted out fairly simply. Some departments get to make their own schedule. Casinos and shops are not allowed to open while in port so if you work in one of those areas you will have more opportunity to get off the ship.

Websites To Apply For Work On A Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Shipboard Careers

Carnival Careers At Sea

MSC Cruises Careers



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