About a week ago I came across an ebook that was written by one of my favourite travel bloggers Earl Baron (Wandering Earl), but more important than the book and what this post is going to be about is the subject of the book which I think is something a lot of people are going to be very interested in.
I've been on the road for almost 9 years now, tried my hand at more than 10 different jobs, all the while on the lookout for more so I can't believe I’ve never heard anything about this one! If I had, there is no doubt I'd have been applying right away.
The subject is working on cruise ships. And I really think this might be the perfect job for all those people stuck in their home countries, working their arses off motivated only by the hope that they can save enough money to travel more. As well as long term travellers like myself, or anyone who just wants to see 20 different countries while saving huge amounts of money! I know, that covers a lot of people!
So, what is it like to work on a cruise ship?
Basically what I learned from Wandering Earl's book was; you can work for a cruise ship doing just about any job you can do on land, have all your living expenses such as accommodation, food and health insurance completely paid for and therefore save around 90% of your wages. Most importantly get to spend your free time in a different country almost every single day! So of course, you can see why this had caught my interest!
Ok, it's not just a vacation... It's a job, and you have to work quite hard, but it's a job where you get to travel, A LOT! And as it's a job you get paid, also quite a lot.
Here are some of the positives and negatives.
I'll start with the negatives:
- Hard work, you'll get to play hard with your fellow crew members but you'll also have to work very hard, often around 10 hours per day while dealing with the high expectations of passengers.
- No full days off, rather you will be given half days off, usually while the ship is in port.
- You have to wear a uniform every day.
- Not much private space. You'll usually share a very small cabin with another crew member.
Now for the positives:
- You get to wake up in a different country almost every single day and spend your free time on the beaches of the Caribbean, admiring the ancient pyramids of Egypt, or maybe exploring the romantic cities of Europe!
- You'll meet, work and spend your free time with people just like you; young, fun and hungry for travel!
- You can save huge amounts of money, most people earn and save around 1500-3000USD per month.
- Unique work experiences.
- Most cruise lines offer special crew facilities such as crew bar, gym, events and even free language or business courses.
- Promotions are extremely common, most people are promoted once or even several times in their first contract.
Photo by eGuideTravel.com
Who can get a job on a cruise ship?
Well pretty much anyone! The only requirements are:
- Good spoken English. You don't need to be a native but you should be able to converse in English without any problems for most positions on board.
- Outgoing personality.
- Good health.
- No criminal record.
Of course having specific skills or experience such as working in bars/restaurants, working with children or language abilities will help you but they are really not necessary as long as you approach the company in the right way.
So how can you apply?
Applying for cruise ships is not quite as simple as applying for a normal job. So it is important to do your research before you start. As cruise ships usually hire 100s of crew each month they tend to get overwhelmed and be very unorganized with new applications. Each cruise line has a different preferred method of applying, but most will have a recruitment page on their website which will give you more information. Also it is important to consider which cruise line to apply for. This is where Earl's book comes in.
About Earl's book
I actually purchased this book myself as I am looking for ways to cross the Atlantic next year after my big South America trip, and also because I thought it might be useful information to share with my lovely blog readers 😉
The book is 176 pages long and goes through absolutely every single detail about working on a cruise; including what to put on your resume and cover letter, how to apply and follow up on applications, what to say in the interview and of course what life will be like after you get hired. I was really impressed by the amount of useful information Earl gives.It also includes detailed information for almost every known cruise line, including how well they treat their crew members, as well as contact details and instructions on how to apply for them and job descriptions for 70 different positions that you can apply for, including their average wages to help you chose which cruise line, and which position is right for you.
So to anyone who is serious about working on a cruise ship, reading this book is definitely the way to get into it!
The book costs $25 but I think that is very cheap considering how much money you can make from working on board a cruise. It also has a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you don't like it for any reason at all you can simply mail Earl and he will give you a refund.
Have any questions about Earl’s book or working on cruise ships? Ask away! If Earl is not able to come by and answer them I will do my best to answer them myself.