You may think that working on a cruise ship is like any other job. While you do have similar job descriptions, in the end, there is so much more to it. Working on board, you will have to do things you never dreamed of, get confronted with problems that would have never even come up on land, and be in situations you will never could have imagined.
Since the situation can be so stressful and unpredictable, here are five things you will learn while working on a cruise ship regardless of your position.
Being on time
On land, if you are not on time at work, your colleague will be mad because he or she had to cover the extra time. On a cruise ship, that will happen as well, but if you are not on time for your shift, that could mean that you miss the start of the meeting point and get lost during disembarkation and everything becomes a chaos.
Also if you are in port and miss the all-on-board time, you will be left behind. You will be stranded in, for example, Marseille and you have to make your own way to Genoa for the next day to catch your ship again and it will for sure lead to a warming.
Working harder than most others
If you are not prepared to work, working on a cruise ship is not the job for you. The contract itself states that you will be working 11 hours a day for seven days a week for the duration of your contract. It also states that your boss can make you legally work up to 14 hours a day as long as you get 77 hours of rest during the week. Now if you still think your 40 hour work week it tough, think again.
In addition to working a lot, we have hard jobs, especially the crew. Working in the bar on land entails taking orders, serving drinks, and cashing customers. If you have the same position while working on board you have to do all the usual tasks, as well as direct guests to all the different activities of the ship, participate in drills, prepare and execute all the extra events along with normal operations. There are so many hidden tasks that come with your usual job while on board, so you end up working harder.
Separating business and personal
You will spend the next six months on the same boat with more or less the same people. Most likely your colleagues will be your friends, and you might even date one of them. Therefore, you have to become really good at separating business from personal. You might have to give a warning to your significant other one day at work because they were not doing their job correctly. If you let it, this could interfere in your relationship. You might have gotten into an argument with a friend at work over something, but at the end of the shift you put it aside and go to the crew bar. This will become automatic and normal, but it is a great skill to have
Learning fast and applying it efficiently
This one applies on land as well, but I have never seen people being thrown in the deep end as soon as while working on a cruise ship. I embarked at 1 pm, and by 8 pm I was in uniform at the desk talking to customers. You get maybe one week before the team expects you to know everything if you are entirely new. Of course, you will get help and assistance if you need it, but you just have to start learning and working overnight, while on land you would get training for maybe a month. This is something you should highlight if you have stopped working onboard and are looking for a job on land.
Connect with people in a very short time
As you know, a contract only lasts six to eight months, and everybody's contract starts and ends on a different day. Therefore, your best friend may leave two months after you got there and you have to make friends with a new person. You might have a completely different team at the end of your contract then the team you started with. You have to be able to connect with people and form relationships that will last for at least that contract so that you can enjoy your time on board and all the perks that come with it. If you don't know how to do this yet, do not worry. The crew will approach you and try to get to know you. You just have to play along.
Those are five of the many skills you probably picked up while working on a cruise ship regardless of the position. These are all skills used in real life as well as the rest of your professional career. If you are interested to check out more cruise ship related content, feel free to do so here.
If you have any other skills or stories to share with me, feel free to do so in the comments below or on social media.