sunset over cruise ship deck

Life on a Cruise Ship

Working on a cruise ship gives healthcare professionals a rare opportunity to visit breath-taking destinations such as America, Australia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, all whilst performing the job they love. But what is life at sea really like?

Daily life on board a cruise ship 

Food 

All meals are free and served at set times with breakfast, lunch and dinner available in the staff dining rooms. 

You may also be entitled to dine in guest restaurants to mark a special occasion or to have a special evening with a friend, however, this is subject to approval from your manager. 

Gym 

Most ships have excellent health and well-being facilities. You are free to use these facilities in your downtime and on your days off. Most ships even have a selection of fitness classes available specifically for crew members. 

Spa and Salon 

Aboard the ship, there may be a designated spa and salon. If you fancy treating yourself, you can book appointments for hair, nails and any other beauty or spa treatments. As a member of the ship’s crew, you’ll also receive a discount on these services, which will be explained to you once you’re on board. 

Shopping

As a cruise ship crew member, you can enjoy a discount in the on-board shops. These shops are typically closed when the ship is in port and reopen once the ship has set sail. 

Also, there is often a crew shop on board which stocks basic toiletries and snacks. 

Laundry

Your uniform will be fully laundered every day. This is to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and personal appearance are maintained at all times. 

There is also a crew launderette on the ship, allowing you to do your personal laundry. 

Shore Excursions 

If you are off duty when the ship arrives in port, you may be invited to take advantage of the exciting shore excursions that are offered to guests. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to socialise with guests, experience amazing destinations and gain valuable knowledge about the countries you are visiting. 

The pros and cons of working on a cruise ship 

Pros 

Travel

While taking a job on a cruise ship isn’t exactly like a vacation, it does give you the chance to enjoy some unforgettable experiences during your downtime. On your days off, you are free to explore the various ports and enjoy some of the ship’s fantastic amenities. 

Flexibility

All contracts are issued on a four-monthly basis, so if you’re looking for the flexibility of a short-term contract, or if you’re just not ready to settle down anywhere, this could be a fantastic opportunity for you. 

People

You will have the opportunity to meet people roam all around the world and treat people from different walks of life. 

Variety in Work 

Working as a cruise ship healthcare professional is a very exciting job. Every day is different and you never know what to expect.

Operating within a small team also gives you far more autonomy and responsibility than you may receive from land-based roles. 

Save Money

You will earn roughly US$4,000 per month if you’re a paramedic or nurse and US$9,000 per month if you’re a doctor. Expenses such as accommodation, laundry, food and drink are covered. This means that you can use your time on board to save money. 

Cons 

Being away from home

You must be comfortable with being away for months at a time, something that isn’t appealing to everyone, especially if you have family ties or other responsibilities. 

However, you may be able to apply for a travel companion or host family and friends on board at the discretion of the company. 

Limited access at times 

While you are allowed into most guest areas, exceptions do apply. There are designated areas in which crew members can eat, drink and socialise away from guests. 

Limited availability

Healthcare jobs on cruise ships are in high demand, and you may find that the market is very competitive. However, at Medacs Healthcare, we will manage the application process and help you to stand out from the crowd. 

Work/Life Balance 

You don’t get the luxury of clocking off and going home at the end of your shift. 

As you’re confined to the ship for the majority of the time, it can be difficult to switch off and maintain a good work/life balance. 

Need to know more? Take a look at the frequently asked questions about working on a cruise ship.

Cruise Ship Jobs

Start an exciting new career as a member of a cruise ship medical team.

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