Working on a Cruise Line

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  • M83J01P97 1 May 2012 23:55:11 6,522 posts
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    Bit of a random request this... but anyone have any experience of working on a cruise line?

    I've just got back from a week away in New York and Florida for a friends wedding and while I was there, I got talking to someone who works for the UK offices of Norwegian Cruise Lines, who are apparently the go to company if you want to go on a posh cruise. Anyway, I basically admitted to him that I hate my current job and he suggested I look into cruise line work as he did it after graduating from uni and basically spent 8 years seeing most of the world while working as a retail manager on board ships, which on the surface, sounds perfect to me, seeing as I've spent about 5 years stuck in a dead end job that bores me to tears most days.

    So anyone else on here ever done similar work? All stories, both good and bad welcome!
  • faux_carnation 1 May 2012 23:58:41 9,039 posts
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    I haven't done it but was reading an article the other day about P&O staff getting paid 75p an hour. Sounds horrible. Here.

    Also this one from Jon Ronson about the working culture on board cruise ships in relation to a girl that fell overboard.

    Edited by faux_carnation at 00:00:59 02-05-2012
  • Trafford 2 May 2012 00:01:37 5,607 posts
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    I found this article very moving.
    There's some insight into life onboard in the comments section.
  • faux_carnation 2 May 2012 00:02:07 9,039 posts
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    SNAP!
  • Trafford 2 May 2012 00:03:04 5,607 posts
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    @faux_carnation , heh snap.
  • macmurphy 2 May 2012 08:14:35 999 posts
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    I spent some time working with guys on private yachts. They had all had cruise ship experience and said the yachting life was much better. The comments above seem to be right - bad pay and often long hours, or bad shift patterns.

    On yachts they get paid pretty good, averaging about 2500 euros a month which can increase if they do charter boats and get tips. It's a good wage regardless bearing in mind all accommodation and food is paid for. First officers are on about 5k, captains 14k.

    The lifestyle also seemed pretty amazing. They work real hard at times but there seemed to be a great sense of community on board. Also when they get down time they get to go on the pop in glamorous places, often with a lot of other crews about to socialise with. The job itself sees you travelling to really beautiful places too.

    I'm too old to start changing careers but if I did I would look at this. Don't even think you need that much experience, but why not check a few websites. Seems like a great job, much better than working on cruise ships anyway.
  • Deleted user 2 May 2012 08:28:31
    A friend of mine did this, he is now married to Denise Van Outen :D
  • sport 2 May 2012 08:37:36 12,499 posts
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    OP, do you get sea sick? Probably the first thing you should clear up.
  • smoothpete 2 May 2012 08:41:37 31,314 posts
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    My sister worked on a couple of ships, 2 x 6 month stints (Caribbean, can't remember the name of the company though) . She liked it. She working primarily in the cabaret team (trained dancer), and as a sort of meet and greet / customer service person. And a friend of mine worked as a childcare nanny person. They both really enjoyed it but there are pros and cons. As someone mentioned, the shift patterns can be quite fierce, the staff accommodation is generally in the bowels of the ship, and is cramped, and smells of diesel pretty much all the time. BUT - they both saved up a fair amount of money as all your living costs are taken care of.

    Edited by smoothpete at 08:43:50 02-05-2012
  • sport 2 May 2012 08:43:46 12,499 posts
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    A dancer you say?
  • M83J01P97 2 May 2012 08:47:58 6,522 posts
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    Post deleted
  • M83J01P97 2 May 2012 08:53:45 6,522 posts
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    A lot of the negative comments I have seen online seem to be from people who worked on ships in the 90's, from what I can tell the industry has changed a lot since then, epically with the big high profile liners and not your bog standard P and O, no frills lot. The sea sickness was the first thing I mentioned and the guy said that pretty much everyone gets some degree of sickness within the first 48 hours of being at sea, but once you find your 'sea legs' as he put it, that all goes away. The idea is very tempting as you'd get to see some amazing places alongside the hard work... Imagine being able to take your days off in the Caribbean for example...

    Edited by M83J01P97 at 08:55:33 02-05-2012
  • sport 2 May 2012 08:56:48 12,499 posts
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    M83J01P97 wrote:
    Imagine being able to take an hour off in the Caribbean for example...
    FTFY ;-P
  • smoothpete 2 May 2012 08:57:28 31,314 posts
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    sport wrote:
    A dancer you say?
    Yeah she was for many years (ballet, not pole), till she wiped out when snowboarding and mashed herself up. Broken arm in 2 places, trapped nerve, the break was so bad they had to take a bone graft out of her hip. Kinda put the kibosh on dancing career
  • sport 2 May 2012 09:04:28 12,499 posts
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    smoothpete wrote:
    sport wrote:
    A dancer you say?
    Yeah she was for many years (ballet, not pole), lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed id adipiscing sem. Aenean non leo erat. Morbi vehicula neque ut nibh congue sollicitudin. Phasellus aliquet nibh ut risus auctor sit amet consequat eros varius. Fusce ultricies ultricies velit placerat condimentum.
    hmmm, yes, uhuh, oh...I see...
  • RedSparrows 2 May 2012 16:38:25 21,960 posts
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    sport hits a homerun in the LOL stadium

    LOLOLOL

    anyway, I was thinking of doing yacht crewing. Not sure it'd be my bag though.
  • welshben23 2 May 2012 16:52:12 1,072 posts
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    M83J01P97 wrote: I got talking to someone who works for the UK offices of Norwegian Cruise Lines, who are apparently the go to company if you want to go on a posh cruise
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: I have no idea about working on a Cruise line but that's the biggest laugh I've had all day!
  • Trafford 2 May 2012 17:09:42 5,607 posts
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    Yeah, the Sainsburys of cruise lines.

    OP, go for it, no point in hanging around waiting for a better thing to happen.
  • elstoof 2 May 2012 17:13:38 6,586 posts
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    I love these threads where someone asks for advice and anecdotes, then completely disregards all the bad stories and negative points as not relevant to their situation.
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