How to get a Job on Cruise Ship without any experience?

Cruise ship job: Being a cruise ship employee is an amazing and transformative experience. If you enjoy traveling, this can be the perfect opportunity for you to see the world, meet new people, and form friendships while earning money and improving your resume.

How do I get a Cruise Ship Job?

security on cruise ships
(Credit: Cruise Hive)


Make sure you do your homework first. Learn everything you can about working on cruise ships and the various cruise companies by going to their websites, reading or listening to staff biographies, and seeing firsthand what life is actually like on board. Would you be able to live and work in close quarters with other crew members or staff members while being away from home for extended periods? Since it’s not for everyone, do as much research as you can before applying.

Fulfill the Basic Conditions

Certain professions on cruise ships, such as technical or bridge crew, call for postsecondary education at an accredited marine school. However, postsecondary education is not required for the great majority of positions at cruise lines.

Cruise lines prefer applicants with at least one to two years of relevant experience in a related field. For example, cruise lines prefer to see 1-2 years of service experience if you apply for an onboard server position.

While not necessary, having a degree in tourism and hospitality is also beneficial. Additional online courses are available to train cruise line employees in pertinent skills.

A job on a cruise ship is largely similar to a job of a similar nature on land. Additionally, the prerequisites are nearly identical.

Cruise ship jobs have some unique requirements, like:

  • Most cruise lines require applicants to be 18 or older, but some may have a 21-year-old minimum.

  • All crew members who deal with passengers should speak English fluently. Most cruise lines cater to international passengers, but English is the primary language. It’s a plus if you’re fluent in French, Spanish, Mandarin, German, Japanese, Russian, or Arabic.

  • Work on a cruise ship requires a valid passport, visa, and work permit. Depending on the cruise line and ship deployment, there may be other paperwork.

  • A good physical examination is a must for cruise ship crew. People with health conditions might find it challenging to sign contracts for cruise ships that last several months.

  • Having access to sensitive parts of the ship and close contact with guests and other crew members requires criminal background checks. Everyone on board needs a criminal background check.

  • You can’t get tattoos or piercings on cruise ships or wear non-traditional hair. The cruise industry doesn’t allow visible tattoos, piercings, or non-traditional hair colors. It’s usually not allowed to have facial hair.


Verify that you meet the requirements for the roles you are interested in applying for in terms of experience and qualifications. Revise your resume to highlight your qualifications for the position.

Employers just have a few seconds to review your resume, so you want to make sure it is concise, informative, well-styled, and clear. They will just not bother if it is hard for them to read or learn about you. Thousands of additional resumes are in line for their consideration.

Being an excellent hotel manager, cook, captain, and nurse at the same time is not possible, so be honest about your experience and narrow your application. As an illustration:

  • Apply for relevant positions in the Food and Beverage department if you have catering experience;

  • You shouldn’t apply for senior positions if you don’t have any experience, and

  • Don’t apply for jobs that require qualifications you don’t have; you’ll waste your time and the recruiter’s.

Cruise Ship Jobs

Jobs on cruise ship
(Credit: CBCP Online)

Thousands of crew members from all around the world work on cruise ships. On cruise ships, hundreds of jobs are available.

The captain’s position is the most important one on a voyage. The captain is in charge of all cruise ship operations and is positioned at the top of the organizational chart.

Medical personnel, bridge crew, entertainment personnel, engine room technicians, and cruise directors are among the other high-paying occupations.

Years of experience and specialized education are usually required for these professions.

On the other hand, there are jobs on cruise ships that don’t require any prior expertise.

The following ten cruise ship professions require little to no training and no prior experience:

You better enjoy cleaning if you want an entry-level position on a cruise. The majority of entry-level jobs involve serving, cleaning, or maintenance duties.

Additionally, they pay among the lowest of all cruise ship occupations. However, if working aboard a cruise ship is your dream, these jobs offer a great chance to start your career.

  1. Galley cleaner
  2. Potwasher
  3. Bartender
  4. General cleaner
  5. Server
  6. Deckhand
  7. Cabin steward
  8. Bell staff
  9. Laundry services
  10. Engine wiper

How much money is the crew on cruise ships making?

crew members on cruise ships
(Credit: Cruiseline)

An average cruise ship employee makes between $16,000 and $20,000 per year. While the lowest-level occupations pay as little as $6,000 a year, cruise ship captains can earn as much as $180,000.

Crewmen on cruise ships don’t get paid much. However, crew workers on a cruise receive food and comfortable lodging while they work. Along with free WiFi and drink and alcohol allowances, some cruise ships offer these amenities.

Speaking with a former employee of a cruise ship, she shared that despite her modest wage, she managed to pay off her $30,000 student debt in just two years.

Sara claims that during her time working on cruise ships, she had no costs. “Every dollar I made went straight to paying off debts or savings,” she continued.

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Terms and Conditions of the employment contract

Cruise lines hire contract employees to work on their ships. Depending on the cruise ship position, employment contracts might vary in length, although they normally run for four to ten months.

Crew members are usually required to work 10 to 13 hours a day, seven days a week.

It seems like a laborious task. Indeed, it is. Most personnel take time off between contracts because working on a cruise ship involves long hours and hard tasks. usually a hiatus of a few weeks or months.

Crew members have the option to fly home and resume their normal lives before the start of their next contract while they are in between contracts.

However, not every job is so hard. While jobs on a cruise ship that involves serving or bartending may have long workdays, entertainment staff members may just put in three or four hours a day.

Additionally, crew personnel in the hardest jobs might get one day off every week. When a staff member has a day off while the cruise ship is in port, they have the same freedom as customers to explore the port or go on a shore excursion.

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Additionally, there are many benefits to working on cruise ships, such as:

When starting a new contract, new cruise ship personnel frequently overlook the cost of transportation to and from the ship. Cruise lines provide flights to the assigned ships for the workers.

Despite the hard work and long hours, cruise ship employees enjoy their jobs. It’s common to discover that most crew members have worked on multiple contracts when we interact with them.

During our most recent voyage, we spoke with over two dozen employees, and we never met one who wasn’t enthusiastic about working on a cruise ship.

In addition to the benefits outlined in the contract, crew members expressed great satisfaction with the connections and camaraderie they formed with other employees.

How to Apply for a Job on a Cruise Ship On cruise ships, laundry crew members use folding towels.
While some cruise lines only accept applications sent through their website, others also accept applications submitted through employment agencies. Each cruise line provides a list of the required qualifications and application materials.

You’ll need to send your resume and cover letter if you find a position you like. You might need to submit more paperwork, depending on the employment and cruise line.

There are several perks to working onboard cruise ships, including:

    • Free accommodations
    • Free food
    • Discounted WiFi packages
    • Discounted alcohol at the crew bar
    • Free flights to and from the cruise ship at the start and end of a contract
    • Crew discounts for personal vacations with the cruise line


Once your resume is complete, you can apply for jobs on ships in several ways:

  • Cruise lines have websites where you can apply directly or through their hiring partners.

  • Concessionaires—companies that operate spas, retail, photography, and entertainment on ships—can help you out.

  • Online job boards like All Cruise Jobs let you apply online. Make sure you search and apply for relevant jobs on All Cruise Jobs, as well as upload your CV. Find out about new jobs by signing up for job alerts (jobs by email).

  • Attend a Cruise Job Fair – this is the perfect networking opportunity to meet recruiters in person, hand out your resume, and talk about job opportunities.

You’ll need a cover letter and resume if you find a job you like. You might need to submit extra paperwork depending on the cruise line.

Here are some cruise ship jobs you can apply for:

  • All Cruise Jobs
  • Cruise Job Finder
  • AIDA Cruises
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • MSC Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Seabourn Cruises
  • Silversea Cruises
  • TUI Cruises
  • Viking Cruises
  • Virgin Voyages

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