Have you Considered Working on a Cruise Ship this Summer?

Learn what to expect and how this experience could boost your CV in tourism and hospitality management.

Have you ever dreamed of setting sail on the high seas, canvassing the globe as part of your profession? For those that love to travel, working for a cruise line or independent charter may be your ideal career path. A life filled with exotic destinations, doing what you love best, taking care of the customer with exceptional customer service and finesse.

Grow from the bottom up. A career on a cruise line is very similar to working in a four or five-star resort, with many moving components and departments that manage every single detail of the guests’ experience on board, there is so much room to advance. From electricians to maître d's, there is a wide range of careers to explore. Starting as a barman or cook does not mean that is where you will end. Move up the ranks to greater positions with more responsibility and prestige as you gain experience.

Provide outstanding customer service onboard an independently owned charter

Check Out This List of Careers Available on Cruise Ships

Restaurants
  • Chef
  • Kitchen staff
  • Waiters
  • Barman
  • Managers
Hotel
  • Cabin crew
  • Housekeeping
  • Reception
  • Manager
  • Director
  • Butler
Leisure Center
  • Instructors
  • Life guards
  • Activity leaders
Fitness
  • Personal trainers
Salon & Spa
  • Massage therapists
  • Hair stylists
Land Excursion Team
  • Tour guide
  • Seaman
  • Recreation staff
Merchant Marine
  • Captain
  • Mates
  • Able seamen
  • Deckhands
Engineering Department
  • Chief
  • DDE
  • Assistant engineer
  • Oiler wiper
Shops
  • Cashiers
  • Managers
  • Bookkeeps
Casinos
  • Dealers
  • Security
  • Hospitality

In addition, there are back office positions in advertising, marketing, and sales.

Working on a cruise ship has many advantages. Being out to sea for long periods of time can offer many opportunities to boost your credentials. Often cruise line companies will train its employees in two or three positions, making them cross-functional individuals with a wide degree of talents. This is both beneficial for their operations and employees. It provides professionals an intensive look at the industry and helps them decide what role they want to fill in the future.

What it is Like to Work on a Cruise Line

The most obvious plus to working for a cruise line or private charter is that you get the chance to travel the world. In doing so, you open yourself up to amazing experiences, meeting people from across the globe and immersing yourself in a wide variety of cultures.

Travel the world as your profession. Work on a cruise ship and decide where you want to go

Working on a cruise ship will ultimately save you money. As an employee, you are granted room and board, and other expenses are quite limited. Life on board is busy, leaving little time to spend your paycheck, helping you conserve your finances for the future.

After successfully completing one contract, you’ll more likely be chosen for another. Once you have your foot in the door, this career path is straight forward, working your way up the ranks, as high as you want to climb. Life at sea can be very rewarding for those that enjoy the more nomadic lifestyle.

There are challenges to consider.

Being able to chart the waters as a profession doesn’t come without compromise. Homesickness may be something you have to battle. Signing contracts for four to six month periods at a time leaves little room for family and friends at home.

Seasickness is a common ailment especially on smaller vessels. Large cruise lines are likened to a floating hotel, and it will be very unlikely when you are inside or below deck that you will even be able to tell you are floating. But for those that want to work on private charters or sail boats, be prepared. Pack seasickness remedies to help aid an upset stomach in the time of need.

Remember, you are a part of the crew.

This means there may not be a lot of privacy in your personal quarters as rooms are often shared. Roommates will likely be from another country which is both an advantage and sometimes a challenge. Have patience. Communication may not always be easy, but an open mind and understanding can go a long way.

Living on a floating hotel means there is rarely a day where there is no work. Being "off" is a rarity because guests will be able to identify you, and you must conduct yourself in a professional manner. If you are expecting 40 hours per week, this may not be the industry for you.

In the same capacity that you may feel like you are on-call 24/7, it is important to note, you are not a guest or customer. As an employee, you will not receive or be able to take part in the same amenities as the passengers. This is often a misconception of new employees.


Tourism is the largest economic contributor to the hospitality industry, and among the biggest industries in the world. Getting firsthand experience on a cruise ship can give you a lead over your peers because of the wealth of experience you will obtain in a short period of time.

Globalization and new technologies have created new touristic opportunities for consumers, but also caused global competition among providers and tourist destinations. Students and graduates will find career opportunities across the globe on cruise ships. That is one of the many perks. You will not only get the fantastic opportunity to travel and earn money, but you can specify exactly where you want to go.

The Master in Tourism Management in Barcelona offers advanced insights into the tourist industry and provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and interests within the field of tourism in one of the most exiting touristic destinations in Spain and in all of Europe - Barcelona!

Earning a Master in Tourism and Hospitality Management in Barcelona will provide you with the skill set you need to be competitive in today’s market and land the job of your dreams, whether that be setting sail on the high seas or staying dry on the mainland.

Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Global Content Manager

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