Cruise ship jobs seem like some of the most envious in the world. It appears to be a paid vacation, where the vessel stops at breathtaking ports and the galley cooks absolutely delicious food. In reality, it’s not all sunshine and smooth sailing.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to know whether whether cruise ship jobs are suited to you.
Do I get homesick?
This is a question not many ask themselves when presented with the opportunity to travel to exotic countries. You must remember that cruise ship jobs involve staying away from home for extended periods of time – around six to eight months in some cases.
This means that contact with your family and personal support system is restricted to long-distance phone calls or video chats during your free time. You will be expected to recover from any illness with care from just the ship medical staff, and ensure your mental well-being on your own.
Am I prone to motion sickness?
Often, one does not understand the full effects having to sail at sea for months at a time. While most cruise ships stay away from turbulent weather, there may be times when they encounter the retreating winds of a storm or a sudden bout of bad weather.
There is medication available on board to help you handle this, but if seasickness affects you badly, you will need to consider this well before accepting cruise ship jobs.
Am I a team player?
Hundreds of crew work together to keep the thousands of guests on board happy and relaxed. This involves working together as a cohesive team, to ensure that everything runs like clockwork.
Cruise ship jobs most often require that you work in collaboration with others who may depend on you to take over some of the burden at times. There’s a give and take involved, particularly on days a team member may not feel so well. The favour is, of course, returned in case you feel the same.
Being a team player on board a cruise ship also means working with people of different temperaments and personalities. You may have difficulties communicating if your teammate is unable to speak English fluently. Or you might have to work with someone whose habits rub you the wrong way.
Cruise ship jobs demand that you are able to work around this by developing behavioural mechanisms that contribute to better efficiency, or by speaking to a supervisor for help if needed. If this is difficult, working on board a cruise ship might not be your cup of tea.
Do I need my space?
When it comes to living quarters, cruise ship crew are usually teamed up in pairs to save on space. Cabin sizes are restrictive and you will need to share a bathroom and toilet as well as a desk with your roommate. Each will have a bunk and cupboard to themselves, but this is the extent of your privacy.
Those who are used to having their own bedroom or are unable to adjust to people with different habits in a small space will find it hard to adjust on board.
Do I need my weekends off?
Working seven days a week for six to eight months at a time can take its toll. In the galley, cruise ship jobs often demand long hours on your feet. It is physically demanding indeed, but often, the mental pressure is overlooked.
If you are unable to work for weeks at a time without a day off, you should seriously consider whether cruise ship jobs are meant for you.