Medacs Healthcare

Cruise Ship FAQs

Do you have a query about life at sea? Simply click a question below to reveal the answer and discover more about living and working aboard a cruise ship.

Where will my cruise ship visit?

Cruise ships travel to exciting locations around the world. Information on the itinerary will be made available to you before departure.

What are the requirements for working on a cruise ship?

Regardless of your position, all crew members must present the following documents to qualify for employment:

  • A valid passport
  • A C1-D visa (not relevant for Canadian/US residents) – this is a non-immigrant visa issued by US embassies around the world and allows crew members to pass through US ports
  • Relevant itinerary-driven visas (e.g. Schengen)
  • Relevant qualifications/certificates - based on the role for which you have applied

You must also pass a pre-employment medical examination and a criminal background check.

How do I get to the ship?

You will need to travel to the port in which the ship is located prior to its departure. Popular methods of transport include plane, train and taxi.

Travel expenses may not be covered ahead of your first contract. 

Who will I treat?

As a healthcare professional, you will be responsible for treating both guests and crew members. In serious cases, you may be required to accompany patients to the nearest health facility.

What conditions will I be expected to treat?

You will be expected to treat a wide-range of conditions. From administering general first aid, treating sea-sickness and bad sunburn to more serious issues like cardiac arrest, serious injuries and critical care.

How long will I be away from home?

Cruise ship contracts generally run for four months.

What language/s are spoken on the ship?

All staff must be able to read, write and speak English.

As many cruises cater to international guests, additional languages including French, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish are beneficial, but not essential. 

Will uniform be provided?

Yes. Uniform will be provided and, in most cases, is subsidised by the cruise provider. Some crew members may be required to purchase elements of their uniform, however, you will receive a briefing before departure.

In the interest of hygiene, your uniform will be laundered daily.  

What should I pack?

As cabin space is limited, we recommend that you pack only essential items, including:

Clothing:

  • Jeans and / or long pants
  • Sweater
  • Shirts
  • Belts
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Tennis and / or beach shoes
  • Swimsuit

Toiletries:

  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Brush / comb
  • Toothbrush / paste
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Sunblock

Other:

  • Mobile phone
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Medication
  • Beach towel
  • Camera
  • MP3 player
  • Hair dryer                                                                                       

Are any items prohibited?

Items that represent a hazard to health or severe fire risk are strictly prohibited.

Banned items include weapons (guns, knives, etc.), clothing irons, candles and incense.

Grooming aids such as curling tongs and hair dryers are permitted.

All cruise ships implement a strict zero tolerance approach to the consumption of illegal substances.  

Will I get time off?

Of course. While you may not be off-duty for a period of 24-hours, you will have downtime. During your free time, you may want to visit the ports or participate in on-board activities.

What happens in the event of a family emergency?

In the event of a family emergency, your cruise operator will make every effort to accommodate your requests.

How often will I be paid?

You will be paid in US dollars every month.

Is accommodation provided?

Yes. You will be assigned you own cabin and accommodation is free of charge.

Can I visit the ports?

Of course. You are welcome to explore the incredible destinations on offer, providing you are off duty.

Will my mobile phone work on board the ship?

Yes, mobile phone service is available. However, international roaming charges do apply.

What happens in the case of an emergency?

While emergencies are rare, all crew members are expected to undergo relevant safety training.

Will I always work on the same ship?

While you may be assigned to a particular cruise ship, remember, you need to be flexible. Be prepared to be transferred to another ship where necessary.

I require specialist equipment to carry out my role – will this be supplied?

Yes. You will be provided with all of the tools necessary to perform your role to the best of your ability.

What food is available?

You can enjoy a variety of delicious dishes from around the world. All meals are prepared by onboard chefs and served in allocated dining areas.

Will I need money?

You are advised to bring at least US$200-$300 cash. This will cover any out-of-pocket expenses before you receive your first pay. Alternatively, all major credit cards are accepted aboard ship.

Can I call home?

Yes. Long distance call time can be purchased on the ship.

Will I receive mail on the ship?

Yes. All mail is sent to a central location and distributed to the cruise ships. For more details, consult your shipboard HR team.

Are laundry facilities provided?

Yes, laundry facilities are provided. To ensure the highest standards of hygiene and personal appearance are maintained, your uniform will be laundered on a daily basis.

What leisure facilities are aboard the ship?

Each ship boasts a spa, hair salon, shops and fitness facilities.

Spa & Salon

You can book appointments for hair, nails and any other beauty or spa treatments. As a member of the ship’s crew, you’ll receive a discount on these services. Booking is essential and guests have priority.

Gym

You are free to use the crew gym during your time off. Most ships even have a selection of fitness classes available specifically for crew members.

Shops

Shops stock a range of products and typically closed when the ship is in port. There is often a crew shop which stocks basic toiletries and snacks.

Can my friends and family visit?

There is the option to apply for a travel companion or to host friends and family aboard the ship, however, this is at the discretion of the cruise company. 

Can I socialise with other crew members?

Yes. Each ship includes a bar, lounge and other common rooms exclusively for crew members.

Can I socialise in guest areas?

Medical officers are allowed to visit most guest areas, however, exceptions do apply.

Is wifi available?

Wifi spots are available throughout the ship. Internet cafes are also available. Normal per-minute fees apply.

What electrical system is in my cabin?

Each cabin features US 110V and 220V outlets.

Can I participate in onshore excursions?

Onshore excursions are arranged for guests, however, if space is available you are welcome to participate at a discounted price.

Do you still have a question about living and working aboard a cruise ship? Simply complete the form below and we will be in touch to answer your question.

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