10 Facts You Might Not Know About Working On Cruise Ship

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Working on a cruise ship might seem like a dream job to every individual who is not aware of what working on a cruise ship is really like behind the scenes. After all, what could be more fascinating than getting paid enormously to travel the world by sea without having to pay for accommodation and food.

As with any other dream job, working on a cruise ship poses its own set of challenges. All the aspiring seafarers may get amazed by a few interesting facts when it comes to what working on a cruise ship is really like behind the scenes.

Through this blog, we will familiarize you with 10 interesting facts you might not know about working on a cruise ship.

10 Facts You Might Not Know About Working on Cruise Ship

We now bring forth the list of 10 interesting facts you might not know about working on a cruise ship:

1. The Crew is Trained for Pirate Attacks: Cruise ships are excellent targets for pirates since they can grab enormous money and valuables instantly from hundreds of unarmed tourists and become rich at the spur of a moment. The pirates usually ransom the passengers and the ships back after seizing whatever goods they desire and the results can be fatal. While the ships are not equipped with the arsenal to fight the pirate attacks, they are not helpless either.

The crew members are extensively trained to tackle pirate attacks and the ships are equipped with high-pressure water hoses and long-range acoustic devices that emit loud, painful sounds to deter attacks.

2. There is a Strict Drinking Limit: You may be expecting an access to copious amounts of liquor when working on a cruise ship, however, the reality is a bit different. Due to a crash several moons ago, a legal drinking limit exists for all crew members on a ship. The crew faces routine threats of the possibility of random breathalyzer tests – so technically you can never be drunk on a ship. The facts are obviously a bit different and the cruise ships feature an intense drinking culture with the majority of the crew being drunk most of the time. However, breathalyzer served as a useful tool to sack someone since crew members can be caught drunk at some point.

3. Hooking Up with the Guests is Strictly Forbidden: So you spot a cute passenger and think about chatting with them. You may be surprised to know that hooking up and chatting with the passengers is strictly forbidden and having sexual relations with a guest is one of the quickest ways of getting sacked. Ship security consistently keeps a close eye on crew members day and night and crew members get fired in case they are caught in the act/ with the guests. This is mainly done to safeguard the cruise line from reputation-damaging accusations of abuse.

4. There’s a Morgue on Board: You may be surprised to know that cruise ships have a morgue on board. This is because cruise trips last for long durations and like any other contingency, the ship’s personnel is prepared to handle deaths. The ship has a morgue on board that has the capacity to hold five to six bodies. Since the cruise ship attracts senior citizens, they remain prepared for the inevitable so as to store the bodies safely until they get back to the shore.

5. New Crew Members undergo months of training: Freshly hired crew members will embark on a residential training course that will equip them with all the skills and tools essential for a successful career at sea. The training usually lasts for a span of 13 weeks and includes practical and classroom-based sessions to impart job-oriented training. As a part of the course, the newly hired members have to participate in individual exercises, group activities, role-play and group discussions.

6. The Staff Is not Paid Equally: You may be amazed to know that people serving at equal ranks are not paid equally on a cruise ship. Pay structure varies not according to skills or seniority but as per ethnicity. Pay structures vary according to nationalities since Westerners are usually paid high while others are paid low.

7. The Crew does not eat the same food as the passengers: Cruises provide unlimited top-grade food for guests and aspiring seafarers have the misconception that the food for staff must also be great. Staff meals are prepared in a separate galley and the space where the crew members can enjoy their meals varies according to their ranks. The officers have the option to eat wherever they like, the leading hands have a private dining mess while crew members at low ranks dine in the main mess. The crew members are served dishes from their native countries along with fast food and healthy options.

8. Contracts are Long/There are no days off: The contract durations for newly hired crew members are generally long ranging from two to nine months. Further, there are no holiday entitlements for the crew members, however, they have the option to decide when they can take a 6-8 weeks break that automatically accompanies long contracts. Theoretically, they can work for 4 months and then take a 2-month break post which they can return to the ship for the second segment of the contract, however, they must choose to work it all in one go.

9. There are Ranking Systems like the Navy: Majority of the aspiring seafarers may be shocked to know that cruise ship jobs have a hierarchical ranking system likewise the Navy. Your number of gold and silver stars decides the place where you can eat and drink and where you can walk and sit on the ship.

10. They Communicate in Code Language: You may get astonished to know that crew members have shorthand codes for communicating everything from fires to medical emergencies that they use to make announcements over the loudspeakers without alarming the passengers.

We hope that going through this blog will definitely familiarize you with 10 facts you might not know about working on a cruise ship.