Many dream about living the cruise ship life: open seas, interesting people, parties, waking up in a different port every day. While all of that is true, there are some other considerations to make before climbing aboard.
Most shipboard contracts last from 6-9 months. There are no days off. And the holidays? Forget about it. Those are the busiest days of the year. Christmas is insanity.
You won’t have privacy. The only people that get their own cabins are supervisors and key entertainment people. There are usually 2-4 people per cabin, and the cabins are about the size of a closet.
The environment is incredibly fast-paced and everything needs to get done now. On “sea days” (days without ports) you can expect to work long ten hour days. E.g. start at 8am and finish at 11pm; with only a couple breaks thrown in between.
Still interested? Great! Because working ships is an extraordinary experience that can’t be had anywhere else. About 60 different nationalities are represented on any particular large ship. There is a vibrant “crew life” full of events and activities—most of them revolving around the C.B (crew bar). And, of course, you get to see some amazing places.
So for anybody with an adventurous and hardworking soul, and isn’t scared off by the close quarters, ships may be just the perfect place.