Skip to content

How much do you get paid on a cruise ship?

Table of Contents

Do Cruise Ship Workers Get to Travel?

Working on a cruise ship can be an exciting and adventurous career choice. Many people are drawn to this industry because of the opportunity to travel and visit exotic destinations. While it’s true that cruise ship workers get to experience different ports of call, the extent to which they can explore these destinations varies.

1. Port Visits

During their contract, cruise ship workers typically have the chance to disembark at various ports of call. They can explore the local attractions, indulge in cultural experiences, and even participate in organized shore excursions offered by the ship. These port visits allow employees to immerse themselves in the beauty and charm of different destinations.

2. Time Constraints

Although cruise ship workers have the opportunity to explore ports of call, their time is often limited. The ship operates on a strict schedule, and employees need to adhere to their work duties and responsibilities. This means that their time ashore may be restricted, and they might not have the chance to fully explore each destination they visit.

3. Crew Facilities

Cruise ships are like floating cities, equipped with various facilities to cater to their crew members. These facilities can include recreation areas, gyms, swimming pools, and even crew bars. While on board, workers can take advantage of these amenities during their free time, enhancing their overall experience of living and working on a cruise ship.

4. Crew Excursions

In addition to exploring ports of call individually, cruise ship workers may also have the opportunity to join crew excursions. These organized trips allow employees to visit popular attractions or partake in activities specific to the destination they are visiting. Crew excursions enable workers to socialize with colleagues and create lasting memories while experiencing new places.

5. Travel Benefits

One of the perks of working on a cruise ship is the opportunity for discounted or complimentary travel during time off. Cruise lines often offer special rates for employees and their families, allowing them to book cruises at reduced prices. This benefit enables workers to continue their exploration of different destinations even when they are not actively working onboard.

6. Cultural Exchange

While cruise ship workers may not have extensive time in each port, they still have the chance to engage with locals and experience different cultures. Interacting with passengers from around the world and working alongside colleagues from diverse backgrounds fosters a rich cultural exchange that enhances the overall travel experience for workers.

7. Challenging Work Schedule

Working on a cruise ship is not all about leisure and travel. The job can be demanding with long hours and challenging work schedules. It’s important to note that cruise ship workers are primarily employed to provide services to passengers, and their primary responsibility is ensuring guest satisfaction rather than personal exploration.

8. Unique Lifestyle

Pros Cons
Opportunity to visit multiple destinations Time restrictions during port visits
Discounted or complimentary travel benefits Challenging work schedule
Cultural exchange with diverse colleagues and passengers Limited personal exploration time
Access to onboard crew facilities

Working on a cruise ship offers a unique and exciting lifestyle that combines work and travel. While there are some limitations when it comes to exploring ports of call, cruise ship workers still have the opportunity to experience different destinations and benefit from travel perks. It’s a career choice that allows individuals to meet new people, gain valuable skills, and create lifelong memories.

“Working on a cruise ship is like being part of a floating world, where you get to see the beauty of various destinations while providing exceptional service to passengers.”

Is there a shortage of cruise ship workers?


In recent years, the cruise industry has been booming, with more and more people choosing to take a vacation on a luxury ship. However, as the demand for cruises increases, there has been speculation about whether there is a shortage of cruise ship workers. In this article, we will explore the current situation and shed light on the topic.

The Growing Demand

The popularity of cruises has skyrocketed over the past decade. With various luxurious amenities and the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in one trip, it’s no wonder that cruise vacations have become so desirable. As a result, cruise lines have expanded their fleets, offering more ships and itineraries to cater to the growing demand.

The Need for Skilled Workers

Operating a cruise ship requires a diverse range of skilled workers, including captains, engineers, chefs, housekeeping staff, entertainers, and hospitality personnel. Cruise lines often invest significant resources in training their employees to ensure high-quality service and safety on board. It is crucial for them to maintain a skilled and reliable workforce to meet the demands of the industry.

The Perception of Shortage

Despite the increased demand, the perception of a shortage of cruise ship workers may stem from various factors. One reason could be the limited number of experienced individuals willing to work on cruise ships for extended periods. Living and working on a ship for months at a time can be challenging and not suitable for everyone.

The Role of Recruitment

Cruise lines actively recruit workers from around the world to fill positions on their ships. They utilize various recruitment channels, such as job fairs, online platforms, and partnerships with educational institutions specializing in hospitality and maritime training. These efforts help to attract and train new talent to meet the demand for workers.

Current Outlook

While there may be challenges in finding skilled workers for the cruise industry, it is important to note that cruise lines are actively addressing this issue. They continue to invest in recruitment strategies and training programs to ensure a sufficient workforce. The industry’s growth creates opportunities for individuals seeking a career on board a cruise ship.

How many hours do cruise ship employees work?


Working on a cruise ship can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it is important to understand the working conditions, including the number of hours that cruise ship employees are typically expected to work. In this article, we will explore the typical working hours for various positions on a cruise ship.

Crew Members

Crew members, including housekeeping staff, waiters, and bartenders, often work long hours. A typical workweek for cruise ship crew members can range from 70 to 84 hours. Due to the nature of their jobs, crew members often work in shifts and may have irregular working hours.

Officers and Department Heads

Officers and department heads, such as the captain, chief engineer, and hotel manager, usually have more structured schedules. They typically work around 10 to 12 hours a day, with some variations depending on the specific role and ship’s operations.

Entertainment and Activities Staff

The entertainment and activities staff, including performers, DJs, and sports instructors, work in shifts and have varying schedules based on the ship’s itinerary and programming. Their working hours can range from 8 to 12 hours a day, often including evenings and weekends.

Administrative and Technical Staff

Technical and administrative staff, such as IT specialists, accountants, and office managers, generally work regular office hours, which can be around 8 to 10 hours a day. However, during busy periods or emergencies, they may be required to work additional hours to ensure the smooth operation of the ship.


“Working on a cruise ship can be demanding but also highly rewarding, as employees get to travel the world while working in their chosen fields.”

Work-Life Balance

Considering the long hours that cruise ship employees work, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be a challenge. Cruise lines, however, usually have policies in place to ensure that employees get time off between contracts to rest and recharge.


Position Typical Working Hours
Crew Members 70-84 hours per week
Officers and Department Heads 10-12 hours per day
Entertainment and Activities Staff 8-12 hours per day
Administrative and Technical Staff 8-10 hours per day

Do Cruise Ship Employees Get to Keep Their Tips?

Working on a cruise ship can be an exciting and rewarding experience for many individuals. However, one question that often arises is whether cruise ship employees get to keep the tips they receive from passengers. The answer to this question can vary depending on the cruise line and the specific job role of the employee.

1. Tipping Policies

Most cruise lines have designated tipping policies in place to ensure that their employees are fairly compensated for their service. These policies typically involve an automatic gratuity charge that is added to passengers’ onboard accounts. This charge is then distributed amongst the crew members, including waitstaff, housekeeping, and other service personnel.

2. Different Positions, Different Policies

While most employees receive a share of the pooled tips, there are certain positions that may have different tipping policies. For example, some cruise lines allow their front-of-house staff, such as bartenders and servers, to keep their own tips in addition to the shared gratuities. On the other hand, back-of-house staff, like kitchen staff and engineers, may not receive tips directly but are included in the shared gratuity pool.

3. Additional Sources of Income

In addition to the shared gratuities, cruise ship employees also have other sources of income. Many positions receive a fixed salary, which varies depending on the employee’s role and experience. Employees may also have opportunities to earn extra income through commissions on sales, such as spa services or shore excursions.

4. Importance of Service

Cruise ship employees understand the importance of providing excellent service to passengers. Tips often serve as a reflection of the quality of service provided, so employees strive to offer exceptional experiences to passengers in the hopes of receiving higher tips. This can lead to a more personalized and attentive level of service for passengers.

5. Employee Contracts

It is important to note that each cruise ship employee signs a contract outlining their terms of employment, including details about tipping policies and compensation. Before accepting a job on a cruise ship, employees should carefully review their contract to understand how tips are distributed and whether they will have additional opportunities to earn income.

6. Considerations for Passengers

For passengers, it is essential to be aware of the tipping policies on the cruise line they choose. Most cruise lines provide guidelines on their websites or in pre-cruise documentation about gratuity charges and recommended tipping amounts. It is customary for passengers to acknowledge outstanding service by providing additional tips to individual crew members.

7. Conclusion

While the specific tipping policies may vary, most cruise ship employees do receive a share of tips through shared gratuity pools. However, it’s important to remember that tips are just one part of their overall compensation. Cruise ship employees work hard to provide exceptional service, and tips are an acknowledgment of their efforts. So, the next time you embark on a cruise adventure, make sure to recognize and appreciate the hard work of the dedicated crew members who help make your trip memorable.

How Long Are You Gone While Working on a Cruise Ship?

Working on a cruise ship can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its unique challenges. One question that often arises is how long employees are typically gone for while working on a cruise ship.

Contract Length

The length of time spent on board a cruise ship can vary depending on the position and the company you work for. Most contracts range from four to eight months. However, some positions may have shorter or longer contracts. For example, entertainers and guest performers often have shorter contracts, typically ranging from four to six weeks, while officers and other essential crew members may have longer contracts.

Rotation and Time Off

While the duration of the contract can be several months, most employees will have some time off during their contract known as “vacation” or “leave.” This time off typically ranges from a few days to a few weeks and allows employees to rest, recharge, and visit family and friends back home.

During their time off, employees are usually provided with transportation to their home country or assigned destination. The exact length and frequency of time off can vary depending on the position and the contract terms.

Living Arrangements

Living arrangements on a cruise ship vary depending on the employee’s position. While some crew members share cabins with one or more colleagues, others may have their own cabins. Typically, employees have access to communal areas such as dining rooms, recreation spaces, and crew lounges.

Impacts on Personal Life

Working on a cruise ship often requires being away from loved ones for extended periods. It can be challenging to maintain relationships and stay connected with family and friends while at sea. However, many employees find ways to stay connected through phone calls, emails, and video chats during their time off.

“Working on a cruise ship can be a unique experience, but it requires sacrificing personal time and being away from home for extended periods.”

Job Rotation

Some cruise ship employees are fortunate enough to experience job rotation, which allows them to switch positions or departments periodically. This can provide a change of scenery and prevent monotony during long contracts.

Benefits of Working on a Cruise Ship

Despite the challenges of being away from home for extended periods, there are also several benefits to working on a cruise ship. These may include the opportunity to travel the world, meet people from different cultures, and gain valuable work experience in a unique and dynamic environment.

  • Travel opportunities
  • Cultural exposure
  • Work experience in a unique setting

In conclusion

Working on a cruise ship often entails contracts ranging from four to eight months, with some positions having shorter or longer durations. Employees typically have some time off during their contract to rest and visit loved ones. While being away from home can be challenging, the opportunity to travel, gain work experience, and meet people from around the world makes it an exciting career choice for many.

How much do you get paid on a cruise ship?

Cruise ships offer an exciting and unique opportunity for employment, allowing individuals to work in a dynamic and ever-changing environment while traveling the world. One of the most common questions job seekers have when considering a career on a cruise ship is regarding the salary and compensation they can expect. While the pay can vary depending on various factors, such as position, experience, and the specific cruise line, there are general guidelines that can give you an idea of how much you can potentially earn while working on a cruise ship.

Factors Influencing Salary

Several factors influence the salary on a cruise ship. These factors include:

  • The position or role you hold: Different positions on a cruise ship come with varying levels of responsibility and require different skill sets. The higher the position, the greater the salary potential.
  • Your experience: Experience in the industry can play a significant role in determining your salary. Cruise lines often prefer candidates with prior experience and are willing to compensate them accordingly.
  • The cruise line: Different cruise lines may have different pay scales and compensation packages. Some may offer higher salaries compared to others.
  • The ship’s itinerary: The destination and itinerary of the ship can also affect salaries. Ships sailing in popular or high-demand regions may offer more competitive salaries.

Salary Ranges

The salary range for jobs on a cruise ship can vary widely. Entry-level positions, such as housekeeping or galley staff, may start at around $1,000 to $1,500 per month. However, as you gain experience and move up the ranks, salaries can increase significantly. For example, officers like Chief Engineers and Hotel Directors can earn anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 per month or even more.

Additional Benefits and Perks

While the salary itself is an essential aspect of employment on a cruise ship, it’s worth considering the additional benefits and perks that come along with the job. These can include:

  • Free accommodation and meals: Cruise ship employees are typically provided with free housing and meals throughout their contract period.
  • Travel opportunities: Working on a cruise ship allows you to travel to various destinations around the world, which can be an exciting perk for those with a sense of adventure.
  • Tips and gratuities: Many cruise lines distribute a portion of the onboard tips and gratuities among their employees, providing an additional source of income.
  • Healthcare and insurance: Some cruise lines offer healthcare benefits and insurance coverage to their employees.
  • Career advancement opportunities: A career on a cruise ship can offer opportunities for growth and advancement within the industry.

“Working on a cruise ship not only provides a salary but also a unique lifestyle and an opportunity to save money.”

It’s important to note that while the salary may seem lower compared to some land-based jobs, working on a cruise ship often comes with lower living expenses since accommodation and meals are included. This can allow employees to save a significant portion of their earnings while enjoying a financially comfortable lifestyle.

Position Average Monthly Salary Range
Housekeeping Staff $1,000 – $1,500
Galley Staff $1,000 – $1,500
Entertainment Staff $1,500 – $3,500
Deck Officers $2,500 – $6,000
Hotel Directors $6,000 – $10,000+

It’s important to research different cruise lines and positions to get a more accurate understanding of the potential salary range for your desired role. Keep in mind that while the salary can be a significant factor, working on a cruise ship offers a unique lifestyle and the opportunity to explore the world like no other job.

How much does a cruise ship captain make?


Cruise ship captains are responsible for the safe operation and navigation of the ship, as well as overseeing the entire crew. They play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for passengers on board. While the responsibilities are significant, so is the compensation that comes with the position.

Salary Range

Cruise ship captains are among the highest-paid employees on a cruise ship. According to industry sources, the salary range for cruise ship captains can vary widely, but it typically falls between $8,000 and $14,000 per month. This range accounts for factors such as experience, size of the ship, and the cruise line the captain works for.

Additional Benefits

In addition to their base salary, cruise ship captains often receive a range of benefits. These may include free accommodation and meals on board, health insurance, retirement plans, and even bonuses based on performance or length of service. Some cruise lines also offer captains the opportunity to bring their families on board during certain voyages.


As the highest-ranking officer on board, cruise ship captains have many responsibilities. They are responsible for the overall safety of the vessel, overseeing navigation, managing the crew, and ensuring compliance with international maritime regulations. Captains also serve as the primary point of contact for passengers and handle any emergencies or issues that may arise during the cruise.

Earnings Potential

The earnings potential for cruise ship captains extends beyond their base salary. Captains may also receive additional income from gratuities given by passengers, which can significantly boost their overall earnings. Furthermore, experienced captains who have established a reputation for exceptional leadership and performance may have the opportunity to command larger ships or move into higher-ranking positions within the cruise industry.

Industry Outlook

The cruise industry continues to grow year after year, and with it, the demand for qualified cruise ship captains. As more people choose to embark on cruise vacations, the need for skilled captains to ensure their safety and enjoyment becomes paramount. This trend bodes well for aspiring captains who can look forward to a prosperous career ahead.

Do Cruise Workers Get a Day Off?

Cruise ship workers work hard to ensure passengers have an enjoyable experience onboard. However, this often leads to the question of whether or not cruise workers get a day off.

Working Hours

Working on a cruise ship can be demanding, with long working hours and minimal time off. Most cruise workers tend to work for several months without a day off. Their duties include providing customer service, maintaining cleanliness, and performing various tasks related to their specific roles.

Work-Life Balance

Due to the nature of the job, achieving a work-life balance can be challenging for cruise ship workers. The demanding work schedule often leaves little time for rest or leisure activities. While this can be mentally and physically exhausting, many cruise workers are passionate about their jobs and find fulfillment in serving passengers.

Crew Welfare Programs

Cruise lines do recognize the importance of crew welfare, and efforts are made to provide some form of relaxation for workers. Many cruise ships have designated crew areas where employees can unwind during their limited free time. These areas may include recreational facilities such as gyms, bars, and lounges.

Time-Off Opportunities

While regular days off may be scarce, cruise workers do have occasional opportunities for time off when the ship is docked at a port. During this time, they may be able to explore the destination, relax, or catch up on personal errands.

Importance of Rest

Rest is crucial for cruise workers to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Cruise lines understand the importance of rest and may implement policies to ensure workers get sufficient sleep and breaks between shifts.


“Working on a cruise ship can be challenging, but it’s also a unique experience where you get to travel and meet people from different cultures.” – Cruise Ship Worker

Benefits of Working on a Cruise Ship

Despite the demanding schedule, working on a cruise ship offers several benefits. These can include opportunities for career growth, travel to different destinations, and the chance to form lifelong friendships with fellow crew members.

How much do cruise ship cleaners make?

1. Introduction

Cruise ship cleaners play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the ship, ensuring a pleasant experience for passengers. Many aspiring individuals are interested in pursuing a career in this field, but one important question that often arises is, “How much do cruise ship cleaners make?”

2. Job Responsibilities

Before discussing salary details, it is essential to understand the responsibilities of cruise ship cleaners. These professionals are responsible for cleaning cabins, public areas, dining halls, and other facilities on board. They may also assist with laundry services and be involved in waste management.

3. Salary Range

The salary of cruise ship cleaners can vary depending on several factors such as the cruise line, the position held, and the individual’s experience. On average, entry-level cleaners can expect to earn around $10 to $12 per hour. However, experienced cleaners or those with specialized skills may earn more, ranging from $15 to $20 per hour.

4. Additional Benefits

In addition to their base salary, cruise ship cleaners often receive various perks and benefits. These may include free meals, accommodation, and medical insurance while on board. Furthermore, cleaners may have the opportunity to travel to different destinations and explore new cultures, which can be an appealing aspect of the job.

5. Career Progression

Cruise ship cleaning can also offer opportunities for career growth. Dedicated cleaners who demonstrate exceptional skills and work ethics may be promoted to higher positions such as housekeeping supervisors or executive housekeepers. With promotions come higher salaries and increased responsibilities.

6. Challenges and Considerations

While working as a cruise ship cleaner can be rewarding, it is important to consider the challenges that come with the job. Cleaners often work long hours and may have to deal with demanding passengers. Additionally, being away from family and friends for extended periods can be challenging for some individuals.

7. Quotes from Cruise Ship Cleaners

“I love working as a cruise ship cleaner because not only do I get to visit incredible destinations, but I also earn a decent salary.” – Sarah, Cruise Ship Cleaner

“The salary may not be extremely high, but the benefits, travel opportunities, and job satisfaction make it worthwhile.” – James, Cruise Ship Cleaner

8. Comparison with Other Cleaning Jobs

When comparing cruise ship cleaning salaries with other cleaning jobs on land, the figures may appear lower. However, it is important to consider the additional benefits and perks offered by cruise lines, which can significantly enhance the overall value of the compensation package.

9. Conclusion

While the exact salary of cruise ship cleaners may vary, they can earn a decent income, especially when considering the additional benefits provided. Moreover, the opportunity to travel, gain valuable experience, and advance in their careers makes it an attractive choice for individuals interested in working on board cruise ships.

10. References

  1. CruiseJobFinder
  2. Marine Insight


In conclusion, while there may be concerns about a shortage of cruise ship workers, the industry is actively addressing the issue through recruitment and training initiatives. As the demand for cruises continues to rise, there are opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career at sea. The perception of a shortage should not discourage those considering a job on a cruise ship as the industry strives to meet its staffing needs.

Working hours on a cruise ship vary depending on the position and responsibilities of the employee. Crew members often work long and irregular hours, while officers and department heads have more structured schedules. It is important for prospective employees to consider these factors when deciding to work on a cruise ship, as it can significantly impact work-life balance and overall job satisfaction.
Being a cruise ship captain is not only a position of immense responsibility but also one that comes with a rewarding compensation package. The salary range for cruise ship captains is competitive, and with additional benefits and earnings potential, it can be a lucrative career choice. As the cruise industry continues to expand, the demand for skilled captains remains strong, making this profession an appealing option for those with a passion for the sea.

While cruise workers may not have regular days off, they are provided with some opportunities for rest and relaxation during their limited free time. The demanding nature of the job requires dedication and a passion for serving others, but many find this fulfilling and rewarding.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x