Think You’ve Got What It Takes to Work on a Cruise Ship?


Cruising around the world in wonderful luxury and meeting people from all walks of life sounds like the perfect job — but it’s not all beautiful sunsets and big tips. Cruise ship crews work incredibly hard to maintain the immaculately high standards expected by guests. So if you’re thinking about handing in your notice at your current workplace to trade it in for a life on the seas – we’d recommend listening to the experiences of someone who has worked on cruise ships.

So, we decided to ask Kobus of Life Remotely to share his experiences during four years working aboard cruise ships. Here’s what he had to say about his life on the seas.

Could you firstly tell us which cruise ships you worked aboard?

I worked for Norwegian Cruise Line, aboard Norwegian Sea, SS Norway, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Dawn.

What were your roles aboard the ships, and what did that entail?

I started as a Casino Dealer and quickly moved to Executive Casino Host. As a dealer, I simply had to deal the cards or spin the ball for the passengers. My typical shift would be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours per day.

working cruise

As Casino Host, I had a lot more interaction with the guests. I had to attend events like the Captain’s Party, opening night on stage and casino tournaments. I also had to host dinners and excursions for high rollers as well as dealing with the day-to-day operations of the casino.

What was your favourite aspect of working aboard a cruise ship?

I liked waking up in a different port every other day and experiencing the different cultures and foods. To me, this was the best part about working on the ships. I was lucky enough that if the ship was in port, I was off duty – others, however, were not so lucky.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you whilst working aboard a cruise ship?

We were on our way to Quebec from Halifax, Canada. The average age on the ship was 75, it was very windy and had started to snow and so the captain ordered that all the doors leading to the deck stay closed and that no one should go outside. Just in case someone slipped and fell on the wet and potentially icy deck. There was a door in the casino that led on to the deck, and a little, old passenger with a walker decided that there was no way she was listening to the captain, and insisted that she wanted to go for her morning walk around the deck.

cruise work experience

Against everyone’s warning, she stepped out the door with her walker and disappeared out of view. About 30 seconds later she came sliding back past the window in an uncontrollable manner, arms flailing all over the place – followed by her walker, and then followed by the ship’s security. Turns out she was being blown down the deck by a gust of wind and security was trying to stop her from going overboard, which, thankfully, they did. At the time not so funny, but looking back it is priceless. She survived with a bruised ego and backside.

Would you recommend working aboard a cruise ship?

Absolutely, Yes. Would I do it again? Unlikely. Ship life is fun when you are young, when you can sleep for two hours, work for 18 and hang out with fellow crew members in the bar for four hours before you did it all again for the remainder of your contract.

Do you still keep in contact with other crew members you worked with? 

The bonds you make on the ships last a lifetime. I met my wife on board, together we have been around the world and have visited many friends we made on board. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary at the end of July. I recently met up with a friend I had not seen in eight years, we picked up right where we left off.

So, do you fancy swapping the landlubber life for a nautical adventure? Why not enquire with the crew on your next cruise, and put your name down for your fancied post.

Or, if Kobus’ words of wisdom have not inspired you to change careers, but have made you realise that you’re overdue a delightful cruise, waited on by a dedicated, skilled workforce – Cruise1st can help. Head over to our homepage, or call our team on 0808 2746 777, for a full range of great deals.

Think You’ve Got What It Takes to Work on a Cruise Ship?
Article Name
Think You’ve Got What It Takes to Work on a Cruise Ship?
A view inside the life of a cruise ship former employee with details, recommendations and curious anecdotes about his working experience onboard.
Cruise1st UK

About Author

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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