What Cruise Ship Crew Do During Their Time Off

What Cruise Ship Crew During Their Time OffIt’s common knowledge that cruise ship crew have fairly demanding jobs. They often work up to 12 hours and may not see port for days at a stretch depending on the roster. But when they do get some free time, there are a few things they typically like to do.


International maritime law requires a minimum number of crew on board at all times, which when berthed is called In Port Manning. These duties are swapped around between departments on a regular basis so everyone gets a turn. 

Being on In Port Manning doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a job. You could be free to do your own thing based on your roster unless there’s an emergency. This is usually the time cruise ship crew take to catch up on sleep. 

Cruise ship chefs jobs are slightly less hectic during the day while in port since most guests eat ashore. Many crew members like to do some reading during their free time as well – perhaps they’re studying to get ahead in their careers, or just want to binge on a crime novel.

Internet is expensive on board, even for crew, so while they might write an email or two home, they will avoid live streaming shows or movies. For this, the cruise ship broadcasts popular films which crew members can watch in their rooms if they have a TV there or in the common lounge. Sometimes these may not be in English, so crew take the opportunity to brush up or get acquainted with a new language.

Cruise ship crew also use their free time to get their personal chores done. Perhaps they need to stock up on supplies from the on-board store, or get a haircut. One of the most important chores they like completing when they have time off is their laundry. It’s imperative that cruise ship crew are always impeccably dressed in a well-pressed uniform. Laundry rooms in the crew area are some of the busiest places on board.

Finally, some of the most fun memories on board are made in the crew bar. This is where you’ll find crew relaxing and spending time with their friends. Alcohol is sold at a far cheaper rate than at guest bars, and the cruise company often puts on theme nights to boost morale.


Many times, cruise ship crew will take the opportunity to go ashore and explore the area. Some cruise companies organise special tours at discounted rates for crew. Others host voluntary activities with local communities that crew can participate in.

Ship crew on their first run of the itinerary will mostly try to get out and enjoy time in port, discovering new restaurants, relaxing on the beach or doing other tourist activities. Seasoned crew prefer to take advantage of the high-speed internet available ashore to catch up with their families. Many cafés and restaurants cater specifically to crew and offer discounts and free Wi-Fi.

They also take the opportunity to do some shopping – not everything is available in the crew shop on board, and even these prices are slightly higher than those on land. Some ports offer a free shuttle service for crew to get to the main shopping hubs.

Crew often get together based on nationality and it’s not uncommon to see them heading to their favourite restaurant to get a taste of home. It offers a welcome departure from ship meals and keeps the homesickness in check.

Port calls are also a time for crew to send money home. Dozens of money transfer opportunities exist. Crew centres in port usually offer cheaper rates than the ones on board. 

Cruise ship crew only have a few free hours in port and should use it in a way that helps maintain their mental well-being. But whatever they do, they must ensure they are back on board at least an hour before departure.

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Women In The Cruise Industry

Women In The Cruise IndustryWhen one thinks of cruise ship jobs, the immediate association is with long working hours, chaos and months away from family. Back in the day, these conditions were considered more appropriate for men. But today, times have changed and women have just as many opportunities to avail in the cruise industry.

According to Condé Nast Traveller, around 18-20 per cent of the cruise workforce is made up of women. Statistics vary depending on cruise lines but figures show that between five and 22 per cent of officers are women. When compared with just five per cent in the global airline pilot industry, this looks promising.

Back in 2007 – more than a decade ago, a woman took control of a cruise ship as its captain for the first time ever. Since Karin Stahr-Janson’s ascension to the top of Royal Caribbean’s Monarch Of The Seas, many other cruise ship companies including Cunard, P&O Cruises, Sea Cloud Cruises, Aida, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seven Seas have employed women as captains.

Cruise ship jobs are open to women of all nationalities. It appears, however, that for the moment, women from developing countries typically land offshore cruise ship jobs in the lower rungs before getting the chance to slowly climb up the ladder. 

Data is scarce, but this could be due to a combination of various factors including necessary qualifications and experience along with a general attitude stemming from a male-dominated industry.

But opportunities exist. For young women new to the industry looking for cruise ship jobs, some of the more easily available sectors include food and beverage, reservations and front office, and spas. In these sectors, typically available positions include cruise ships chefs jobs in different hierarchies – from line cook to chef de partie, waiters, maitresse d’s, hostesses, bartenders, receptionists, provisions assistants and managers. 

Good work and excellent track records in the food and beverage sector can get one placed as private butlers or head chefs of various restaurants, and supervisors in the housekeeping sector. In spas, cruise ship chefs look for beauty therapists, hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists, spa attendants and even fitness instructors.

Based on experience, there may be a chance for women from developing countries to work in youth services – baby-sitting, caring for toddlers and working with young children and teenagers to keep them safe and busy while their parents relax.

Cruise ship jobs are also available on a side of the industry one rarely thinks about. Increasingly, women are applying for jobs on deck and as engineers to help physically take the cruise ship from one port to the next. 

These are important jobs and come with the many perks of being an officer on board. For these cruise ship jobs, one will need an educational background in navigation or marine engineering and perhaps some experience working on board. Like the merchant navy, some opt to join as cadets and work their way up.

The price may still be heavy for women from developing Asian countries lower in the hierarchy – long contracts, limited access to birth control options, and sexual harassment, but like other industries, many brave these by taking appropriate measures and manage to enjoy a successful life at sea.

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Dangers Of Jumping Cruise Ship

Dangers Of Jumping Cruise ShipMany Indians have long harboured desires of living in more developed countries, particularly in the West – Europe and North America. One of the perks of cruise ship jobs is being able to visit many of these countries, and the temptation to Jumping the cruise and staying on is very real and frankly quite dangerous.

Back when cruising was an emerging market, dozens of crew jumped ship and made comfortable lives for themselves abroad. Today, with the ongoing refugee crisis and economic pressures of maintaining an increasing population, governments are cracking down hard on illegal immigrants.

It might seem like an easy idea to overstay your visa, but the fact remains that once you have crossed over that date, you are considered an illegal immigrant. The US is one of the top countries that crew attempt to jump ship to and if caught, you could be fined up to US$250 and imprisoned for up to six months.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. With a turbid socio-political climate, the US is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable place to be an immigrant, legal or not. People of colour often find themselves victims of crime, and if you have jumped ship, it creates a dilemma of whether one should report the crime or not for fear of being deported.

The lack of identity can be a problem, especially when it comes to healthcare. Without insurance, it can be very expensive to get adequate care for serious conditions. If you have been seriously injured, are unconscious, or worse killed, the lack of identity may make it more difficult for authorities to get the information across to your relatives back home.

As an illegal immigrant, if you are convicted of crime – innocent or not, the consequences are much tougher to deal with. You can be imprisoned for 10 years or more without hope of parole or supervised release.

If you jump ship, get caught and are deported, there is very little chance that you will ever be given a US visa again. In addition, many developed countries can base their reviews of visa applications on rejections or approvals by other countries, and you may thwart your own chances of getting even a tourist visa to places in the Schengen zone, the UK, Australia and Canada if you are blacklisted in the system.

Successfully jumping ship is fraught with dangers. As a cruise ship crew member, if you do not report back when a ship has left port and it is confirmed that you have jumped ship, you are immediately struck off the employment rolls. No company wants to take responsibility for anyone connected to them violating international immigration law.

Some people have tried to jump ship after it has left port, imagining that swimming the deceptively short distance to shore will be easy. Reports have suggested that people have died in the attempt. In 2015, an Albanian being deported from the UK by a cruise liner decided to jump off the ship as it pulled out of Essex, hoping to swim back to shore and into obscurity.

Unfortunately, he was killed almost instantaneously after being sucked underwater by the tides and then “sliced to death by the machete-like motion of the ship’s propellers”.

Living abroad illegally is infinitely harder than working on board a cruise ship. You are constantly trying to avoid getting caught and the few jobs available to people without sufficient documentation offer minimum wage at best.

Additionally, you are thousands of miles away from your family with no way back to them without the risk of being able to re-enter your ‘adoptive’ country. There are many who have jumped ship and gone years without visiting their loved ones.

Any so-called benefits of jumping ship by cruise ship crew are far outweighed by the dangers of doing so.

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Why Candidates Should Offer Feedback

Why Candidates Should Offer FeedbackFeedback typically constitutes information about an action or behaviour that can be used to change or improve certain behaviours. It can be either positive or negative, although it is usually the negative that comes to the fore.

In the world of business, including education and recruitment, feedback – even from the candidate – can be vital to staying current and relevant. It offers both client or candidate the chance to avail better services and the company the opportunity to improve.

Feedback can be a way of ironing out issues within a company. As a recruitment candidate, the ideal situation would be to receive the best service every time. But this might not be possible. With feedback, companies can look into faulty systems and offer smooth service.

Clients also receive superlative treatment, and in such cases, it helps to leave a review. This most often happens for hospitality establishments such as restaurants and hotels but is extremely helpful for all other companies, including recruitment agencies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultants, as well.

Positive feedback not only provides information but also serves to motivate the company serving you, boost its confidence and shows that you value them. With companies where you receive a service, such as recruitment agencies, feedback can help others looking for jobs to know where to turn to. It boosts the credibility of the organisation and gives you the chance to pay it forward.

Feedback does not always have to occur after a service or product has been availed. It helps to provide feedback at every step of the transaction process. This can help companies immediately act on a behaviour that is not satisfying or efficient, and in turn smoothen the rest of your experience.

Constructive criticism is one of the best ways to improve your experience as a client or candidate. It can help improve and enhance performance and can give companies an idea into how you view them. You can continue to offer feedback much after you have received the service, or if you have availed continued service. It helps companies to understand how they have progressed and create newer goals for themselves – in turn, providing you a better service in future.

Offering feedback is free, and at the most, will take a few minutes of your time. It is ideal that the candidate offers feedback or reviews to the company as soon as possible since it will correspond to the current situation. Focusing on issues or methods of practice are more important than focusing on the person who delivered the service. It is helpful to point out the exact problems you faced – such as an application form that was too complicated or obscure, or the methods you were happy with – such as informational brochures of various companies looking for employees or a well-oiled follow-up system.

When giving feedback, it can also be helpful to the company to offer a suggestion of your own to an issue you are facing. Perhaps they didn’t offer enough details of the job on offer or were very vague about the entire interview process.

The most important point to remember – other than to consistently give feedback – is how to deliver it. Always be polite. Being rude and venting is unlikely to help your cause as you might be seen as a hot-headed candidate consumed by anger. If you are polite, it is more likely that your feedback will be reviewed more earnestly and be effective.

Be respectful, helpful and if possible, do it on a public forum – such as social media, where others may benefit off your positive feedback for the company or be warned of a sub-par experience. If more candidates left feedback, recruitment companies would probably be more inclined to offer better services and continually strive to improve.


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Cruise Ship Jobs You Can Apply For

Cruise Ship Jobs You Can Apply ForIn 2017, former cruise crew member website Crew Center estimated that around 250,000 people worked on cruise ships. Cruise ship companies can employ anywhere from a few dozens to more than a thousand crew members on a vessel depending on its size. So what does everyone do on board?

Cruise ship jobs largely emulate hospitality jobs, so you can be assured that if there’s a job at a resort, there will probably be a similar one on board. Large cruise ship companies such as Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian and others tend to list the employment opportunities they offer by department.

One of the main departments is Food & Beverage, and this is where many job-seekers from developing nations find their feet. Here, they are looking for people who enjoy being creative with food and drink, and also those who are good with customer interaction. Cruise ships jobs for bakers, chefs, bartenders, utility personnel, stewards and more  come under this department. For those in positions that require customer interaction, for example a maitre d’, for knowing a foreign language can be especially helpful.

Some cruise ships have job opportunities for specific talents. Only recently, Viking Crew was looking for an experienced and qualified molecular cuisine chef with senior sous chef experience. Opportunities like these allow cruise ship chefs to experiment with food and use the physical and chemical transformations that occur during the cooking process to create exciting experiences.

Another sector that sees many crew from South Asian countries is housekeeping. This department is responsible for maintaining cleanliness across guest areas, including rooms and open decks, and also help with providing laundry service. They are most busy when a new voyage begins, needing to ensure rooms are ready for embarking guests, help disembarking passengers with their luggage and new arrivals with theirs.

Job opportunities here include utility cleaners, laundry stewards, housekeepers or stateroom attendants, and sometimes even what TUI Cruises calls a dresser – personnel responsible for looking after the housekeeping needs of the artist ensemble on board, from helping them get dressed or changed quickly between shows, cleaning up backstage and also ensuring they have food and drink.

The pursers department includes roles that connect with guests a lot. They are most often seen in roles on the front desk where they ensure high quality customer service, answering telephone calls, assisting guests with shore excursions or account queries, and resolving issues. These roles offer great progression into hotel management.

In addition, there are departments that deal with anything and everything that will help improve the guest experience and overall safety. The cruise staff team, for example, schedules innovative and exciting activities every day for guests, including cooking demos, zumba classes, games, themed parties, hosting karaoke and more. In a similar role are those engaged with youth programmes and baby-sitting. They are classed together with entertainment shows such as dance troupes, bands, performers and other artists, as well as retail, wellness departments and casino where staff help sell unique gifts – often tax-free, spa packages and ensure they have a great time at the slots respectively.

Dozens of people also work behind the scenes in non-hospitality cruise ship jobs. These include crew who help keep the ship running smoothly – engineers, technicians, navigation officers, information technology and computer specialists.

Other various cruise ship jobs include photographers and videographers who help guests document their holiday, production technicians who help entertainment troupes with stage management, and the medical staff who aid those who feel ill and also offer emergency paramedical treatment.

Tying all of these together is the human resources department which works with the shore team to look after crew and ensure the cruise ship has optimal staff conditions on board at all times.

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How Recruitment Agencies Hire For Cruise Ship Jobs

HOW RECRUITMENT AGENCIES HIRE FOR CRUISE SHIP JOBSCruise ship jobs are some of the most lucrative positions out there for people in developing countries such as India. The foreign exchange rate makes salaries very attractive and offers youngsters the chance to save a lot of money quite quickly.

Most cruise ship companies use recruitment agencies to help with the hiring process. It saves them time as the agency sifts through the hundreds of applications they receive and only send them the best candidates.

To ensure you have a better chance at getting hired for cruise ship jobs, look for reputed recruitment agencies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultancy. They collaborate with high-end cruise ship companies and offer you a better chance of getting placed in companies which offer better benefits and work conditions. Fly-by-night cruise recruitment agencies increase the risk of being placed in companies that do not respect their employees, or worse, take a recruiting fee and disappear overnight.

Good cruise recruitment agencies retain their reputation in the industry by selecting candidates with excellent potential. The first thing they screen is your resumé. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a well-drawn up resumé that highlights your strengths and showcases your eagerness to work in the industry.

To find good potential employees, recruitment agencies visit hospitality institutes and make use of referrals, database mining and advertising. Many also attend education and job fairs, so it’s a great idea to attend these when on the lookout for cruise ship jobs. Carry copies of your resumé with you and dress smartly – first appearances matter.

Once they have your resumé, good recruitment agencies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultancy will conduct background checks to filter out candidates that are better suited to the job. These checks also verify the education and work experience you have highlighted on your resumé. The worst thing a candidate could do is fudge records as these are easily cross-checked via a simple call to the institution.

Once this is done, all screened candidates will have to visit the recruitment agency for a meeting or interview to assess their personality, attitude, temperament and fitness levels. This will further shortlist them for available cruise ship jobs. To get past this round, ensure that you maintain a healthy diet and exercise schedule, be polite and honestly answer questions. If you are lacking in certain areas, the recruitment agency will give you tips on how to work on these so you can re-apply later.

At this point, candidates will be tested for their language abilities. All cruise ship companies require employees to have a standard level of ability with speaking, reading, writing and understanding English. Candidates who feel insecure about their abilities should attend a few classes to gain confidence.

You will also be screened for your abilities pertaining to the job. If required, a human resource personnel from the cruise ship company might conduct an online interview with you. For cruise ship chefs jobs, for example, you might be asked recipes of certain dishes or specific details concerned with safe cooking procedures for various types of produce. It’s best to brush up on at least basic knowledge ahead of your interview.

Following these assessments and interviews, good recruitment agencies typically let you know of any points to work on if you have not made the cut. This will give you areas to improve on so you can try again later.

Selected candidates then go through a series of procedures including orientation about the job and life at sea, follow-ups for confirmation, documentation and letters of appointment, and assistance for visas and flight tickets before they finally get on board.

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Where the cruise industry in India is headed

Where the cruise industry in India is headedIndia has never really been on the radar when it comes to cruises. It was always looked upon as an exotic nation with jungles and monuments. But with a coastline spanning more than 7500 kms and hundreds of miles of rivers, cruising has a whole new world of potential.

Cruise ship companies are taking notice of this, making the future of the cruise industry in India look brighter than ever before. Costa Cruises is one of the first international companies to start cruises in and to India.

Currently, the company offers five cruises in India along the western coast, going all the way up to the Maldives. The vessel has all the makings of a global cruise, including a variety of restaurants, bars, spa, fitness centre, outdoor games, luxury cabins with butler service, a casino and entertainment every evening.

But this isn’t all. Indians are taking more cruises than ever before. A recent report in a national daily suggested that 1.6 lakh Indians went on a cruise tour just in Singapore in 2018, representing a 27 per cent increase over the previous year. Singapore Tourism Board pointed out that India is its fastest growing market from among its top 15 source countries, and described Indians as high spenders.

MSC Cruises, a popular company plying Mediterranean waters, has witnessed a 40 per cent growth from the Indian sector and is planning to market more aggressively in the country. Cruise weddings and MICE excursions are important segments it is looking at as the company sees good performance from Tier II and III cities.

This is excellent news for the cruise industry in India. For staff, including those looking at cruise ship chefs jobs, it presents an excellent opportunity to stay within a better time zone, spend less time in travel to and from work, and engage with more patrons from the same nationality.

An increased number of cruises to and from India also offers better economic conditions. It boosts jobs both on land and at sea – in hospitality and seafaring. Seafaring jobs are mostly higher paid when compared to land-based jobs, which will in turn increase the spending power of the public and thereby boost the economy.

The potential India’s eastern coastline has been far from realised. From the Gangetic Delta and Kolkata’s historical significance and the beautiful beaches of Puri in Orissa to the colonial magnificence of Pondicherry and the southern-most tip of India at Kanyakumari, there is so much to discover. Additionally, cruise ship companies can include the gorgeous Andaman & Nicobar islands into their itinerary, offering excellent spots for snorkeling, surfing and scuba diving.

River cruises are another potential sector in India’s cruise tourism. Laid back cruises down the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Cauvery, Narmada, and numerous other smaller waterways such as the Irrawaddy and Periyar offer outstanding avenues for growth and expansion of cruise tourism into India’s hinterland.

Statistics clearly show that Indians are increasingly interested in cruise tourism around the world. It’s only a matter of time before cruise ship companies bring the game to India.

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BEFORE & AFTER: CRUISE SHIP CREW ACCOMMODATION...History has not been kind to cruise ship crew. Logs show that living quarters were cramped and comforts were almost non-existent. Cruise ship crews were just not considered important enough to be given decent accommodation.

Even on big cruise liners like the RMS Titanic, crew slept in large dimly-lit rooms, often dozens together stacked in bunk beds of three. Engineers, stokers, greasers and other similar crew were accommodated below decks, far away from passengers.

Often the accommodation was not climate controlled at all, with no ventilation to speak of. On warm days it would be hot and sweaty, while in the winter it could get pretty chilly. The cold metal bunks were topped with a thin mattress and bed sheet, and there was barely any space between two adjoining bunk beds. All shared a common bathroom.

Officers had a slightly more luxurious life. On the RMS Titanic, they were housed on the boat deck near the wheelhouse and had a promenade they could walk about on.

Crew below decks back in the day were susceptible to contagious diseases that spread very quickly due to the cramped quarters, shared toilets and bathing facilities.

Today, things have changed drastically. On most ships, no more than two crew members are accommodated in a single cabin, no matter their rank. The cabins are made as comfortable as possible while still economising on space.

Admittedly, cruise ship accommodation is still small and cannot be called luxurious by any measure. However, they are fitted with all the necessities required for a decent life at sea. Depending on the company, cabins might have a bunk bed or two single beds on either side of the room. Each bed has curtains that can be drawn across to shut out the light in case your roommate needs to get dressed for work at odd hours. There is a table where crew can keep handy items or use as a desk.

Most cruise ship crew cabins today have a telephone, television and are Wi-Fi accessible. If you are lucky, you might have a DVD player left behind by a previous crew member. The cabins also have plug points to charge mobile phones and laptops. Some have a porthole, affording the luxury of enjoying beautiful ocean views and natural light. These decks may be reserved for slightly higher ranking crew and officers.

Each crew member gets a cupboard. It may be small, but all you really need to carry are uniforms for the day and a few changes for when you are off duty. Each cabin is fitted with a mini fridge, which is shared by cabin mates. Typically, messy food such as gravies, cupcakes with cream, etc are not allowed in the cabin to avoid pests. Dry food such as cookies and water is permitted.

Every cabin has a bathroom and toilet which must be shared among roommates. You are provided with towels, hangers, air-conditioning and a full-length mirror. All cabins have life vests and smoke detectors as basic safety features.

Officers have the luxury of a cabin to themselves with an en-suite bathroom, and sometimes a porthole. Senior officers’ cabins can have separate living and bedroom, with a tub in the bathroom.

Cruise ship crew accommodation has changed completely since the beginning of the industry. As time goes by, companies strive to make their employees more comfortable and happy without compromising on space.

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Why Indians Are Important For The Cruise Industry…

Why Indians Are Important For The Cruise Industry...For years, South East Asians have been a regular fixture on board, working specifically in the hospitality sector of cruise ship jobs. Indians have been recruited frequently and have shown exemplary skill and determination to succeed in jobs that are often far away from their homes for months at a stretch.

Tens of thousands of cruise ship jobs are filled by Indians each year, offering recruitment companies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultancy an excellent environment to flourish and grow. It also offers potential candidates a great variety of opportunities on board some of the major cruise ship companies in the world.

The currency exchange rate for the US dollar, Euro and Pound bodes well for both cruise ship companies as well as employees from places like India. For a relatively lower wage than what they would typically pay someone from a higher income country, the companies are able to offer world-class services to guests from around the world. Indian employees, on the other hand, earn wages much higher than they would on shore and also gain valuable five-star hospitality experience.

Thousands of youngsters from India apply for jobs on the cruise ships each year, many quitting after a few years to bring their skills and techniques home and set up entrepreneurial ventures.

According to the Indian Cruise Lines Association (InCLA), cruise tourism to India itself has excellent potential to expand. At the moment, any cruise line stops in India occur at any one of the five major ports – Goa, Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin and Mangalore. Even so, facilities that cater to the needs of guests on five-star cruises are severely lacking in these ports, although a few of them are receiving a much-needed upgrade.

In CLA suggests that cruise passengers spend an average of US$200-300 per person while cruise staff spend around US$100-150 per person on every visit. This brings in great business opportunities for land-based players such as transport, bunkering, food and beverage, etc.

The association further assessed the ratio of cruise staff to passenger as 1:3 or 1:4. By opening up newer ports and upgrading facilities, India could potentially cater to 700 cruise ships each year compared with the 158 that touched our shores in 2017. This means that the cruise industry could potentially generate more than 2.5 lakh jobs for every 10 lakh passengers.

Additionally, cruise lines are constantly looking for new destinations to offer their passengers and set themselves apart. India has more than 7500 kms of coastline; a sizable portion of it remains untouched by large-scale urban development. This offers the global cruise industry excellent options for expansion into India as well as the opportunity for the country to promote related employment in these areas and bring in foreign exchange.

Another facet of the relationship between India and the global cruise tourism industry is its potential as a market for players in the sector. The World Tourism Organization suggested that as many as 300,000 Indians would go on an international cruise by 2020 and that the country is one of the fastest-growing outbound markets.

This year itself, Tirun Travel Marketing, the India representative for Royal Caribbean Cruises, is offering a Christmas cruise from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai and a New Year cruise on the return trip. The company is also organizing cruises from Mumbai to Cochin and then onward across the East African coast to Cape Town in South Africa.

If India has not already made its presence felt in international cruising, it is certainly putting its best foot forward now.

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When Should Cruise Ship Crew Retire…

When Should Cruise Ship Crew Retire...Often, when you begin your career, retirement is the last thing on your mind. However, having a plan or career chart, however flexible, can help you strategise towards achieving your aims. Everyone’s hope is to finally retire with some sort of financial flexibility. When it comes to cruise ship crew, this is even more so.

Working on cruise ships is the forte of the able bodied. The high physical and mental demands of working long hours – particularly in cruise ship chefs jobs – can eventually take their toll. There comes a time when you will need to hang up your boots, and it’s always best to know how to recognise this time and plan for it.


One of the key factors to consider when thinking about retirement from cruise work is your debts. Perhaps you are paying your children’s college fees or paying back the mortgage on a house. You could even be paying back the loan on a business you set up back home.

If a major chunk of your debts have been paid back, you could look at retiring so you can spend time with your family or run your own business.

Physical ability

As we age, physical work becomes increasingly difficult. Cruise ship chefs jobs particularly can be very demanding on the body. It eases only slightly as you get promoted but the fact remains that your biological schedule is continuously tested with changes in meal timings and sleep schedules to accommodate the pressures of work.

If you develop health issues that could affect your work in the long run, it might be a good time to start thinking of other options.

Mental stress

The working life of cruise ship crew is anything but easy. Long working hours and months of labour without a day off can take its toll mentally. This is because safety cannot be compromised and quality is expected to be up to standards at all times. There is no chance to be lazy or let your guard down.

Many cruise ship crew also share their cabin with another member of staff. Relatively small living spaces can also add to the mental pressure. Stress can be compounded by the kind of colleagues, superiors and company policies you deal with on a daily basis.

Whichever way you look at it, your mental wellbeing should not be at the receiving end of unhappy working conditions simply because emotional breakdowns can cost you more in the long run by laying you off work and perhaps even requiring costly medication.

Family pressures

Cruise ship jobs require you to stay away from home for prolonged periods of time. For those with young families or sick parents, this can be debilitating. Many are able to cope with the pressures of being away, but circumstances are different for each one.

If you are required to be physically present to care for an ailing child or parent, or would like to be more involved in your children’s lives as they grow, it might be time to consider early retirement from cruise ships and find other options, if needed, back home.

Stable shore-based option

Often, cruise ship jobs are a gateway to shore-based employment. By working on a cruise ship, you are able to save more money than you would at a similar position on land. If you have a career path that leads you to opening your own business, you can use your years working on a cruise ship to provide the capital investment for your own business before retiring from cruise life.

Another reason to retire from cruise ship jobs could be a stable shore opportunity with a good company, perhaps with a raise or better benefits, and one that keeps you close to your family.

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