Frequently Asked Questions

Cruise Ships

Frequently asked questions relating to the search for jobs and careers aboard cruise ships, its requirements and selection and recruitment processes to start working on board.

Frequently Asked Questions - Cruise Ships
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Considering the many questions, uncertainty and doubts that might arise when entertaining the idea of applying for a seagoing position in the cruise industry, we have created this section on our website as a general information guide to provide our visitors and users with answers to commonly asked questions regarding its requirements, selection and recruitment processes, onboard living conditions and other factors to take into account before making a decision in this respect.

1. What kind of positions are available to work on a cruise ship?

Modern cruise ships offer the same variety of positions as any large resort of hotel, with around 1,000 available positions on a single large ship, including some roles exclusively peculiar to this segment within the maritime sector.

For a general description of them, please visit our Jobs on Cruise Ships section.

To check out current available job openings to work on cruise ships in our website, please visit our Job Vacancies section.

2. What previous work experience do I need if I want to get hired on board?

Most positions on board require some kind of previous experience, but there many entry-level jobs available for people without experience at all. On the other hand, many cruise lines use to train new employees for the different roles.

To check out the general description and requirements of the different positions on cruise ships, click here.

3. Age to be hired?

Most cruise lines require you to be aged 18 or 21 and considered an adult according to the legislation of your country.

4. What kind of documentation do I need to work on a cruise ship?

Obviously this matter depends on the position to be filled, the law and regulations of flag state of the vessel, the nationality of the employee and other diverse aspects.

But generally it would include:

  • Passport.
  • If you are not American or Canadian citizen and the company is registered in any of these countries, you need an American C1-D seaman’s visa, which can be requested at any US or Canadian consulate.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to request for specific information on this subject.

5. Do I need some medical certification to get a job on board?

Yes, but it is easy to obtain. In the most of cases, it will be done by the physicians of the shipping lines. However, sometimes a certificate authorized in the country you live in. The medical certificates are usually cheap ($75-$90). If it has been done by a particular cruise line doctor, it is free.

6. If I am not an American citizen, can I get hired to work aboard a cruise ship?

Without any problem. The cruise lines hire people from all around the world.

7. How long are the contracts?

Normally, from 6 to 11 months, depending on the company and the cruise ship.

The different sort of contracts can be extended by mutual agreement.

8. Can the new employees decide the region or territory where they want to work?

Not initially. It is the shipping company that assigns the ship where you will work on. After the first contract, when you are already working for the company, it is possible for you to ask for a change.

9. What does it happen if you want to finish the contract earlier than the end date?

The employee will be responsible for the cost of the ticket to her/his nation of residence. In the case of being discharged, the company will be responsible for that cost.

10. Is there any sort of discrimination on board?

Absolutely not.

11. Is it possible for the crewmembers to go down to the ports of call?

Yes, if they are not on duty.

12. Is there any area on board where the employees can enjoy their time-off?

Cruise lines provide extra amenities for the crewmembers, such as recreation lounges near the crew quarter or a deck with a swimming pool and other services. The well-being of the employees is essential to assure the quality of the work passenger services.

13. Can the crewmember use the public areas?

It depends on the position on the ship.

14. Do the shipping companies have any plan of pensions?


15. Will the crewmembers cancel taxes while they work on board?

If the company has its offices and is registered under laws of the United States of America, American citizens will get their taxes deducted from their paychecks. In another case, crewmembers will have the responsibility to declare their taxes to the government of their country when they return home.

The amount taken from the paycheck depends on the legislation of the government. You can find out the details in the cruise line office or employment agency.

16. Will the employees have to pay their air ticket from their origin place to the shipment port and from the port of disembarkment to their country when the contract is finished?

In the most of the cases, the shipping companies pay for it. But, sometimes, the employees will have to pay the air ticket to the place of embarkment, and it will be refunded after the end of the contract. You will be informed about it in the company offices or employment agency during the interview.

17. Is there medical and dental coverage on board?

There is health coverage on board and any medical expenses will be paid for by the company. Dental care is a different matter and the crewmembers are responsible for the cost of any treatment, except emergencies, in which case the possible expenses will be covered by the shipping line.

18. Is there any expense on board?

No, save exceptions such as the telephone and mail cost.

19. Can the crewmembers purchase gifts and goods on board?

Of course, they can, getting up to a 25-30% discount.

20. Are the crewmembers allowed to use drugs and narcotics while on board?

Not at all. Any employee caught using drugs on board will be discharged and, regardless of the location of the cruise, disembarked and submitted to local police authorities. In addition, the crewmembers have to be prepared to the tests performed regularly to detect any prohibited drug.

21. Are the employees expected to carry out any work different to their usual positions on board?

Due to government and fleet regulations, crewmembers are expected to take part in constant safety and emergency drills.

22. Have crewmembers to share their cabins?

Normally yes, save the higher positions.

23. Where will I have my meals?

Some crews on small ships eat the same meals as the passenger, but, on the big cruises, there are a crew mess. They can have their food in the employee cafeteria or from de kitchen.

24. Are the crewmembers allowed to have visits on the ship?

Usually, it is possible, but it depends on the company.

25. Do the cruise lines employ married couples?

This is possible in many cases. You will have to contact with the company for information about the specific case.

26. Can I work on a cruise ship with my friends, boyfriend/girlfriend or relatives?

There is no problem at all.

27. What currency unit are the employees paid in?

It depends on the country in which the shipping company is registered.

28. Can the crewmembers receive mail or phone calls?

Mail is not a problem, because it works as on land. But the use of the phone may be problematic, because must use a satellite connection.

29. Can I use the telephone while on board?

Of course, although it is really expensive (up to $10 a minute), due to the necessity of a satellite connection.

30. Can I use the laundry?

There is a laundry service available for the crewmember.

31. How many days will I have to work?

Usually, 6 days. Nevertheless, you may be required in your position at any moment.

32. Have the employees to use uniform?

It will depend on the position. Although, usually, there are uniforms required, which will be provided by the company.

Cruise Ship Jobs 2022

Cruise Ship Jobs - 2022

If you are interested in working on cruise ships and looking for the moment to access the sector, do not miss the opportunity to apply for a shipboard position in 2022 (vacancies in January).


Job Opportunties

Job Opportunties

The maritime cluster offers considerable job opportunities to workers and professionals unemployed or seeking for an occupational change.


Most In-Demand Jobs On Board Cruise Ships

Most In-Demand Jobs - Cruise Ships

There is a large diversity of positions and jobs to be filled aboard cruise ships.

Obviously, there are also a number of most-in-demand positions in the cruise industry, with different chances of getting hired depending on their requirements and the candidate's profile, qualifications, expertise and objectives.

Job and Career Advice

Working in the cruise sector is an option for an increasing number of people and professionals seeking for a well-remunerated job in a dynamic working environment with career prospects.

Notwithstanding, a correct approach to the human resources representatives of a cruise ship company is decisive to maximize the possibilities as a suitable candidate for a certain position.

Both in terms of eligibility for the position and the application process.

Job and Career Advice

Please do not hesitate to contact us.


We are open to receive – and we shall reply – any inquiry or request for information about the cruise industry and its job opportunities and for career development.

Wind Rose Network

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Frequently Asked Questions: Cruise Ships