How Working on a Cruise Ship Could Boost Your Finances

by Shelton on December 30th, 2014

filed under Finances

Are you drowning in
debt and ready to consider a pretty drastic
alternative to get rid of it? If you’re ready to leave your regular
nine-to-five life behind, let your lease expire and go on an adventure, cruise
ships could be the place for you.

Pros of Ship Life

The number one reason
to join a cruise line is to save money. Your housing is covered the entire time
you’re at sea. You will also be fed in the crew mess. Some lines allow certain
positions to mingle with the guests and eat in their areas. This allows you to
put nearly everything you make into paying off any existing debts and saving
up a nest egg.

You get to travel the
world for free. Cruise ships go nearly anywhere there’s water – from
transatlantic crossings to tiny river cruises. It’s not uncommon on many lines
for crew members to be allowed to escort tours for free.

Another perk is the
crew bar. Whereas the rest of the ship often marks up drinks and food at a
steep price to passengers, in the bowels of the ship where the crew bar
resides, refreshments are served nearly at cost. That helps you save money
while you unwind, too.

Another benefit is that
you get to work with people from all walks of life, from recent
college grads getting a taste of the world to cruise ship lifers from
third-world countries. You’ll have the chance to broaden yourself and your own
life through your new friends.

Cons of Ship Life

The biggest con of
working for a cruise line is your schedule. The majority of positions work four
to six months on and two months off. It’s not unusual to find that during your
four to six months on, you do not have a single day off.

Another downside is
that the hours can be very long. Cruise lines are required to adhere to laws
set forth by the International Maritime Organization, but even then it is not
unusual to work multiple (perfectly legal) 12 hour days in a row.

To get a job on a
cruise ship, you have to submit to a rather extensive physical, complete with
blood work. Some companies will cover all or part of this expense, while others
will expect you to foot the bill which can be upwards of $300. Cruise ships are
also germ magnets and if you haven’t heard of Norovirus before, you will, and
you don’t want to go out to sea without making sure you’re up on all available

You may also have to
pay for any luggage fees to get your belongings to and from the ship. If you’re
applying with an extreme budget line, you may even have to pay your own way to
and from the ship, so that’s another startup cost to consider.

That being said, don’t
apply to one of those lines! Covering your transportation to and from the ship
is pretty standard with most reputable cruise lines, so make sure you’re
heading out with the best.

Types of Jobs to

There’s a good chance
that almost any job you do on land has a cruise ship counterpart. Are you a teacher?
You could work as youth staff member in the summer on a ship.

Got waitressing or
bartending experiences? Cruise lines have multiple restaurants and bars on
every ship. Been
an accountant for the last 10 years? Each ship has a purser and a crew
purser who deal with all the funds onboard.

Experience with
security? Every line has a fleet of security guards employed to keep the
passengers and crew safe. Ships have a wide variety of other positions like
information technology officers, medical personnel, musicians, housekeepers,
cooks, art auctioneers, tour guides, front desk help and many more roles.

How to Find Them

Is your interest
piqued? The best way to find a job with a cruise line is to apply directly
through each different line’s website. There are also companies that work as
cruise line recruiters and can help you get a job on a ship through them. Here
are a few of the larger ones include Viking Recruitment, Steiner, Proship
Entertainment and Stiletto Entertainment. Working on a cruise ship could be
just what you need to get
your finances back on track.

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