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Old 12-01-2008, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,177,283 times
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Has anyone here ever worked on a cruise ship? I posted it on here since I am interested in working in the travel industry. Do they take people just for a summer or do you have to sign up for longer shifts?

Any advice at all will be appreciated.

P.S. I'm really interested in a summer job that will allow me to travel so if you have any suggestions besides cruise ships feel free to post.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
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I beleive the cruise lines offer 6 month contracts for their ship based employees.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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I have a friend who's a musician on Carnival---it's not like a vacation, by any means! It's a job! And he doesn't have to "help out" with the everyday things like most employees do.
If you think it's a fun, relaxing job---think again! They work almost all the time....the pay is low...
Yes, you do get to travel, but it's no "vacation"!
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
2,866 posts, read 8,476,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
Has anyone here ever worked on a cruise ship? I posted it on here since I am interested in working in the travel industry. Do they take people just for a summer or do you have to sign up for longer shifts?

Any advice at all will be appreciated.

P.S. I'm really interested in a summer job that will allow me to travel so if you have any suggestions besides cruise ships feel free to post.
You could try NCL America. Its NorweiganCruise Lines, Hawaiian Cruises. Because they don't stop in a Foreign port they are only allowed to hire US citizens to work on their ships. You may have a better chance finding a job with them.

Diane G
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,423,177 times
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I met a gal once who worked on a cruisle line, who said it was the most boring job imaginable. The money was good, the tips were good. But there was nothing at all to do in your time off, so you spent all your time (and money) getting your hair and nails done, or drinking. I believe you can jump ship any time you want to, but you get a substantial bonus if you stay for the duration of your contract.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,177,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
I have a friend who's a musician on Carnival---it's not like a vacation, by any means! It's a job! And he doesn't have to "help out" with the everyday things like most employees do.
If you think it's a fun, relaxing job---think again! They work almost all the time....the pay is low...
Yes, you do get to travel, but it's no "vacation"!
Interesting. By no means am I expecting a vacation though-I'm willing to work hard (heard that 10 hr days 6/week are the norm) but it interests me due to my love of traveling. Although someone else's comment about 6 months means that it would be impossible for a summer gig, as I'm a college student.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,630 posts, read 47,908,804 times
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We've been on several cruises. Talked to several people signed on to work those ships. They unanimoulsy state, that their contract is for 6 months. If you want out before the 6 months, the ship drops you off at the nearest port and you are on you own from there and must pay your own way home.
When you finish your 6 months, you get a bonus if you re-contract again for 6 months. The hours are actually 24/7 for 2 weeks. Then 1/2 day off at a port to call home. shop etc. Yes you get time off each day, but you can be called to work at any time, though you usually get time off from midinight to 4 am. You eat sporadically after all passengers have had their main meals.
The pay is quite good since most $$ is from tips. Several have mentioned making over $50,000 a tour. One fellow was on his 3rd year of tours and had saved over $250,000, he claims, and was planning to open a restaruant in So Africa as soon as that tour was over. Those making the most money are the room stewards, and wait staff where people give extra tipping.
You share a small room at the bottom of the ship with 4-6 people during the whole tour. Getting to use the bathroom can present problems as you share one for each group.
They employ primarily foreign employees as they don't have to follow US regulations for taxes, health care, etal. There may some American only port ships that hire only US citizens, but we haven't seen that yet as we did Hawaii and Alaska twice and they had mostly foreign employees.
They all claim that it is not as glamourus as most people think. Bosses are very strict, hours are long, sightseeing is short and accomodations cramped. Most are young people doing the grunt work.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:12 PM
 
3,088 posts, read 7,792,642 times
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,495,685 times
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Would you be interested in working on a tow boat as a deckhand? 6 hours on/6 off, only on the inland waterways (rivers), 28 days on/28 days off? Great benifits. I am the cook on a tow boat on the Lower Mississippi River (cook works different hours than deckhands). The boat I work on travels from below New Orleans to sometimes St. Louis. I love it out there and love my job (especially the $$$ I make!!!!)

Ingram Marine Group

Ingram Marine Group

Note, there is no contract to sign but if you get out there and decided you do not like it and quit, you do have to make your own way home, otherwise they get you where you need to be and pay for everything, including the food you eat traveling to and from the boats. You can advance all the way to the wheel house of that is what you want to do. We have a guy right now that has made 2 or 3 trips with us and he is already looking at being a Captain one day and the company is offering to pay for the schooling he will need to get there.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:20 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,076,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
Has anyone here ever worked on a cruise ship? I posted it on here since I am interested in working in the travel industry. Do they take people just for a summer or do you have to sign up for longer shifts?

Any advice at all will be appreciated.

P.S. I'm really interested in a summer job that will allow me to travel so if you have any suggestions besides cruise ships feel free to post.
I've been on a number of cruises and have talked with people that work on the boats, and here are my impressions:

1. Most cruises, with rare exceptions, do not hire Americans, because it's expensive and drives the prices up. Spa workers and officers are usually from an industrialized country -- but not the US. Everyone else is from Eastern Europe, the Philippines, etc.

2. Unless you are one of the officers, the accommodations are extremely spare and packed, and the hours are grueling -- on a larger vessel more so than on a smaller one. There is little privacy: people are housed in cabins for 4 to 6.

3. You get very little time off the boat. Even when you do, you are still generally on call, so you can't wander off too far. Plus, since you are getting paid little and probably want to save your money, it will be hard to do much sightseeing, particularly in expensive places like Europe. And if you want to see the world, you do need both time and money, at least a little.
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