picture of a cruise boat

Have you ever considered a career on a cruise ship?

Do you long to feel the cool ocean breeze against your skin? Is it your desire to experience the excitement of travelling to an array of exotic destinations whilst carrying out the occupation that you love? Then a career aboard a magnificent cruise ship could be perfect for you.

Why choose a cruise ship job?

At ports around the globe, there are cruise ship companies that are constantly on the hunt for doctors, nurses and paramedics who are eager to hop on board and join their team of dedicated medical professionals.

Working aboard a cruise ship is a unique experience that is both exciting and richly rewarding. You’ll work as part of a small, tightly-knit team of healthcare professionals treating guests and crew members suffering from a diverse range of conditions.

You’ll also get the opportunity to travel for months at a time, visiting some of the most beautiful regions known to mankind. You could be marvelling at the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean, before setting sail to soak up the sun in the Caribbean.

What’s more, the pay is great too. With salaries in excess of US$4,000 per month, and expenses such as accommodation, laundry, food and drink covered, working on board a cruise ship is an ideal opportunity to earn and save money.

Which countries will I visit?

Cruise ships come in a variety of sizes with each visiting different destinations around the world.

Each cruise ship contract you accept is accompanied by a sense of mystery and excitement. That’s because you never know which countries you’ll be visiting until you’re assigned to a specific vessel.

Generally, you will be assigned to a cruise ship between two weeks and two months in advance of departure. This gives you plenty of time to pack appropriately and pick up any last-minute necessities.

Our client’s cruise liners typically journey to ports in the US, Asia and the Mediterranean. There are even cruises that visit exotic islands in the Caribbean.

Fun facts about life working on a cruise ship

1. You’ll be working in a hugely diverse environment

Cruise ships welcome passengers from all around the world. This means that your patients are likely to offer a wide range of conditions, allowing you to fully utilise your medical knowledge. There’s even scope to improve your practice.

A cruise ship’s medical team can be diverse, too. Through working closely with your team on a daily basis, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about your co-workers, including more about their working habits, cultures and beliefs.

2. Cruise ship workers are trained in case of pirate attacks

It’s incredibly rare for pirates to board a large cruise ship, but it can happen, and if it does, the crew must be prepared. As part of your safety training, you will learn how to deal with unexpected intruders whilst keeping those aboard safe from harm.

Fortunately, large cruise ships are much faster than the vessels typically used by marauders. And as an extra precaution, ships are often equipped with large water cannons or long-range acoustic devices that emit loud, painful noises to deter attackers. 

3. Cruise ship workers have secret codes

These vary from ship to ship, but it’s not uncommon for crew members to have shorthand codes. These are typically announced over the loudspeaker and are used to avoid causing alarm amongst passengers. Here are a few examples of codes that might be used on board.

  • Code Alpha = Medical emergency
  • Code Oscar = Man overboard
  • Code Bravo = Fire on the ship

4. Return to the ship on time or risk being left behind

If you leave the cruise ship for an on-land excursion, make sure you make it back to the ship before it’s time to depart. Cruise ships risk paying huge fines if they overstay their time in port, so there’s a chance that the ship will leave without you if you don’t return on time.

5. The food is amazing… maybe too amazing

Cruise ship food is renowned for being delicious and the choices on offer are seemingly never-ending. However, as all of your meals are included in your expenses, it’s very easy to return home a few pounds heavier.

6. Cruise ship employees can lose track of current events

Life working on a cruise ship can leave you feeling a little lost when it comes to current affairs. As you’ll be travelling out at sea for long periods, it can be difficult to access the internet. This leaves many cruise ship workers out of touch with what has been happening in the world during their time away.

7. At times, you’ll forget you’re at sea

If the shipboard medical centre is located on the lower decks, it can be very easy to forget that you’re at sea. Some ships are so large and have a range of facilities so comprehensive that some staff fail to visit the upper decks for days at a time.

8. You’ll make friends for life

Being away from your friends and family can be tough, but there is ample opportunity to forge new friendships at sea. Your newfound friends will keep you company during you’re your shifts and on your downtime. You might even decide to meet up once you have returned home.

9. When it’s time to say goodbye, you’ll miss it

Working on a cruise ship can be an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s an experience that is both unique and unforgettable. Of course, once you return home, you’ll be grateful to see your family and friends, but you will certainly miss the simplicity of life working on a cruise ship.

Find out more

If the idea of practicing around the world appeals to you, why not find out more about the wide range of cruise ship jobs we have to offer? You can also discover what living and working as a doctor, nurse or paramedic aboard a cruise ship.

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