ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What's it like to Work on a Cruise Ship? Our experience

Updated on July 15, 2018

Life on a Cruise Ship

Do you have dreams of living on the ocean, and getting paid to travel the world? Life on a Cruise Ship can be a lot of fun, although it is a lot of hard work and extremely stressful. My wonderful fiancé Amanda and I met working on a cruise ship that traveled along the East Coast of the United States. This was our experience, and a few tips for getting hired onto a cruise ship, if it interests you.

The Independence- docked at Martha's Vineyard


The company I worked for hired me after two interviews at a conference center in Houston, Texas. I had posted my resume on a listing they had made on They called me almost immediately, and booked the flight for my training. Amanda flew in from Cincinnati, Ohio. We both attended a very brief orientation in Guilford, Connecticut. Although we were to be working at different stations (she was hired as a steward, and I as a chef) we got the same basic training at their facility.

This training was all expenses paid, in a cheap hotel, and only lasted about three days. We went over basic security procedures, overall life on the boats, and what our duties would be once we arrived at our assigned ship. This was a cake walk, and really had nothing to do with any of my jobs requirements. The orientation is actually where I met my beautiful fiancé- and luckily, we both ended up being assigned to the Independence, a relatively small ship with a capacity of about 400 passengers.

Day One

We were flown into Savannah, Georgia, (a very beautiful city,) where we were rushed into taxis and quickly whisked to the docks where the Independence was awaiting our arrival. Upon arriving at about 4 in the morning, I was quickly given a tour, and crammed my belongings into my new room, which was in the bottom of the ship. The rooms were tiny and dirty, and I would be sharing this space with three other men.

My first day as a chef aboard this ship was, in a word, hell. Exhausted from a five-hour flight, I started my first shift in less than an hour after I was aboard, and proceeded to work for over 14 hours that day. I really thought I had made a huge mistake, but it gets better. So if you get the job, stick with it! You will enjoy it, eventually.

My quarters
My quarters

Sunrise on the way to Charleston, South Carolina

This is what sleep deprivation looks like
This is what sleep deprivation looks like
Just a couple of dorks on a boat
Just a couple of dorks on a boat

Day in, Day out

From your first day to your last day, you will be working. For me, it was at least 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 months. Cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the crew and passengers. With a team of only 3 chefs, this was an exhausting routine.

I do not regret my time spent working aboard the Independence. It looks fantastic on my resumè, I had many wonderful experiences with the other crew members, we have tons of new stories to tell from this experience, and I met my future wife. But the pay was relatively low for the amount of work involved, and we did not have much free time to explore the cities we came to port in. The entire crew was exhausted every day. There are no days off. Keep this in mind. If you are looking to work on a cruise, remember, it's not your vacation. You are there to work, and you will.

Providence, Rhode Island- From the Second Deck Outlook

How to: Get the Job

Finding a cruise line that is hiring can be difficult, Amanda and I both found ours by going to their websites. If you are really dedicated to finding a job on a cruise ship, you may want to get in contact with a head hunter. We also had related experience in the fields that we applied for (chef and waitress,) so keep that in mind as well. You should also try calling the numbers listed on their websites, even if you call the wrong department, they will be able to redirect you to the right place. Getting these jobs can be very competitive, for obvious reasons, so good luck to you! If you work hard enough to get this job, you will get it eventually!

Rare Free Time

On the shore in New Hampshire
On the shore in New Hampshire

Overall Experience

Our overall experience on the boat was relatively positive, we got to explore some beautiful places, lived for free, saved a lot of money, got paid to travel, and made a lot of new friends. Plus, Amanda and I have a really romantic story on how we met on the ship! I will definitely never forget my time spent on the water.

Thank You!

Thanks for reading my article! If you have any questions about our lives on the ship, or comments for me or my wonderful fiancé, please let us know! We would love to read them! If you decide to apply for the job, good luck! And have fun out there! Sincerely,


Note: if you enjoyed my article, please make sure to check out this link here, it will tell you all about a fundraiser I just started, with the end goal being to start a non-profit based on starting an organic culinary herb farm to raise money for various charities. If you can't donate, no problem! But- I Would greatly appreciate taking the time to read it, and possibly sharing the link with your friends or family. It's for a good cause! Thanks~ Daniel 7/15/2018


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      Very informative article about working on a cruise ship. You certainly worked hard, but the good thing is, you see the positive side of the overall experience, and I'm glad you found your life partner there:)

    • StreetSmartIntl profile image

      Ian Marsh 

      2 years ago from Guanaba, Queensland, Australia

      I always wanted to work on a cruise ship, but I get paranoid after watching the "ghostShip" movie haha. In seriousness, I had a great time reading this.

    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 

      2 years ago from Singapore

      Your hub made me appreciate all the service staff on the recent cruises I took. 13 hours per day for a week. Gosh.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Working in a cruise ship can be an a new experience. That will be totally different because we spend our time in a ship which is in the middle of the sea. we can see the outside world only after we reach the port.

      dissertation writing help


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)