Thousands of school and university leavers head off onto the open waters for a year or two working on cruise ships around the world. There is something so magical about the idea of working aboard a large luxury liner, visiting different countries and ports and earning lots of money.
There are some serious factors you need to take into consideration before you consider becoming a crewmember aboard one of these vessels. Each vessel have different requirements and staffing needs, many have strict guidelines they follow to ensure that you are the right person for the job. Remember there may be hundreds of other applicants all lobbying for the same job you are applying for.
Firstly, it’s a good idea to see what jobs are available aboard these ships. In most cases these cruise ships look for a wide selection of staff members from retail clerks to youth coordinators and entertainers to chefs and engineers. In some cases you may choose to go with a smaller vessel with a smaller team, where you feel part of the team rather than one of the over one hundred staff members aboard a larger ship at any time.
Next, you need to consider the crewmember wages on offer. Crewmember wages are usually based according to the position you are applying for, the company and your experience within that sector of the industry. A chef with two years’ experience will earn less than a chef with ten years of experience, for example.
Your crewmember wages will usually include room and board, you don’t have to pay additional for this. Ensure this is the case, in some instances the cruise company may offer a slightly lower wage to cover these expenses. The advantage is that everything is included, so you can enjoy meals and have a bed to sleep on.
Experience will play a big role on whether you are accepted for the position and the crewmember wages you can expect to receive. Most ships require you have a minimum of eighteen months experience in the chosen position before applying.
Be prepared to feel as though you are living in a university dorm when you live aboard the vessel. Often you will share a small cabin with one or more other crewmembers, some of which will have a television to keep you entertained. Some will have bunks and then there will be a separate television area for the staff.
Further, you will find that there is a staffing dining area, where everyone will eat out of sight of the guests aboard the ship. Often you will have full access to all the onboard facilities during your time off.
You may have decided to become a crewmember to explore different countries and ports, but you need to be aware that the time you are allowed off the ship will depend on the position you hold and your shifts. Each person will have different port leave times, where you may only get half a day or one day, another member may get three. Remember if you are part of the housekeeping team, you won’t get as much shore leave as a retail clerk, where their shop will close while the ship is at port.
Finally, be prepared to go through strict safety training before you step onto the ship. Staff members all have their own roles to play in terms of safety whether you’re applying to be a chef in the galley or a lifeguard at one of the swimming pools.
Crew Advocacy – Crewmember and Maritime Advocacy Center serves the Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County. The firm has over twenty years’ experience in maritime personal injury and commercial litigation law and has a bilingual team of dedicated lawyers and support staff to help you with your claim. Crew Advocacy cover everything from personal injury to wrongful death and wage disputes to sexual harassment cases and more. They offer a professional service with a focus on pursuit of legal justice. Crew Advocacy offer legal advice and can advise on whether you are able to claim or not.