Maritime academy’s, and commercial crew and cruise lines

Also crew cabins on cruise ships are shockingly cramped, shared with people who smell weird and bring their hook-ups there to hook up, below the waterline (is that even legal?), and the wifi is expensive. According to the cadets at princess. Additionally, showing up in uniform to charm the cargo at the bar may be required.

I did most of my travelling working offshore. Equal time off, and you just stay where you are.
This is how I saw Scotland, England, Wales, Norway, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Suez, Malasia, Singapore, New Zealand, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Cameroon, New York, and New Orleans: all without paying for airfare. Add the Caribbean if this virus ever gets sorted out. (Speaking of viruses: nora. Cruise ships are disease incubators… I have all my shots, but: eww).

The wage is good, the cabins are private and comfortable, the food is nice, the cargo never wants to chitchat about boring topics, and I’m only charming when I want to be. Its a good life. And I’m talking to you via free, all-you-can-eat wifi.


Stewards on cruise ships work their asses off for almost no money. Its a labour crises and a humanitarian crises. The only seafarers who have it worse are enslaved on illegal fish boats.

I never sailed with any young men who didn’t have a very close interest in the galley and its output. In fact most of their thinking was around an area south of their belt buckle in more ways than one.


Having been on about a dozen cruises, I have talked with numerous crew. (not officers)

The entire crew works 12 hour days. With generally one day off per week. You work while the ship is in port (when the passengers are off). Your jobs are multiple, and overlapping. You get NO time to ‘visit’ as you think it will entail. You are working your asprin off. It is not like being a passenger.

As you get older you realize that the places you ‘vacation’ are not the same when you live there. Cruise ships (as a member of the crew) are no different.

Besides… 4500 a month may seem like good money. But you will be working there constantly, and not going home after the trip is over. You stay and stay and stay and stay. for months and months. The deckhand on my tug makes more than that for 6 months work a year. It is all dependent on what you expect and accept in life.


When the crewing guy from princess came to my school to give a presentation and interviews I asked him a real softball question: can you tell me about the safety culture? I was thinking about the recent deaths the had had involving lifeboat exercises. His answer: we try to make sure everyone speaks english. Not impressed.

I attended an interview, just to practice interviewing. He asked 3 questions: are you diabetic? no. do you have colour vision? yes. do you have any tattoos? yes. I’m sorry, the interview is over. So not impressed. Virgin explicitly recruits people with tattoos, which is also weird. What kind of hiring criteria is skin pigment? I’m not a display item in a shop window. Making a brand look ‘clean’ or ‘hip’ is not what I trained for, and not faintly interesting. My skin is mine.


If I could remember, I would have an issue with this post. . . . . but yeah, to that last line. . . them was the days. . . and no one would believe me or understand if I told them, so quiet I keep. . . .


Some of us in the maritime industry are wondering if cruise lines will survive the crisis they are in. They have all taken on massive debt. Now that they have finally gotten their crews home, countries like India, the Philippines, and Indonesia are seeing big spikes in the virus. It will be no easy task to recrew ships once cruising resumes. In order to pay back debt, they will be charging more for cocktails and whatever else they can squeeze, and likely less for crew that are anxious to be working again. They have already refined the art of squeezing people in every possible manner. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

But you won’t get to get off the ship so why does it matter?

Here’s my advice: go to an academy, stay single, get a real job that pays well, travel the world as a tourist in your off time. You’ll still bank more money than you would on a cruise ship and see much more of the world as well. Even something as simple as, when you crew your commercial vessel of in a foreign port have your company book your flight home for a week later. That lets you sight see more than being on a cruise ship would.


You won’t be seeing the world. You’ll be working daily, and your time off will be limited, even after the pandemic ends. Seafarers don’t get to hit the beach and party much like in the old days. Many times they can’t even leave the terminal. If you are lucky enough for a few hours off, you may be facing a breathalyzer on the gangway awaiting you.

Oh. and because your interest is in cruise ships, be advised that many cruise terminals tend to be in B.F.E. (middle of nowhere) and you will need to cab it to get around.


I get BFE catherder, a chuckle I can share. If I were still sailing, would help you with your seabag while boarding. But then again, you would tell me fuck off, I got this. All good madam, wish I could have sailed with you. Your style would have fit in quite well with my fellow pirates.

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I guess I’m confused, I ate at the buffet every day on every non-cruiseship I was on after MSC (where they served us off a menu on china and white linens)

Also, you mentioned you saw great placed on the 8+ cruises you’ve been on. But you won’t be working on 8+ cruise ships at once. You’ll be working on one cruise ship at once, visiting the same two or three ports over and over again, week after week, month after month. And for the few hours you are there you’ll be tending lines, lowering lifeboats, inspecting safety gear, doing Mate sh*t, and generally not seeing great places.

But, follow your dreams. At the end of the day its probably better to find out as a Cadet that you do or do not want to work on a cruise ship (if you even can) than finding out after you’re stuck in the job full time.

(edit: not meant to be a reply to Catherder…)


Taking a leisurely trip home is not an option in the US for us foreigners.
I got permission to do it once when I delivered a vessel to Jacksonville.
After visiting family in LA I came under fire with immigration on leaving because I hadn’t left immediately.
When I mentioned that I had no desire to live in the USA and neither did my wife and children who all had US citizenship, I thought I might have to call the paramedics. I had the correct visas a visitors and crew visas in my passport, 3 photos all different.
A young German engineering superintendent after visiting a vessel in the US went to Mexico for a couple of days and then returned to the US on his visitors visa with the intention of hiring a Harley and doing some touring. After 24 hours in a cell he vowed never to visit the USA again and was assigned to vessels in the Far East.