How to Get a Job on a Cruise Ship

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If you are an American, your chances of getting a bartender job on a cruise ship are slim to none. The reason is because of the currency exchange. Cruise lines typically hire crew from places like Thailand, for example, because one American dollar is equivalent to $25 in their country. That means that the cruise line doesn't have to pay them as much. It's normal for cruise ships to have more than 60 nationalities aboard.

There are the exceptions, however. America owns two cruise/boat lines. The American Hawaiian Cruise Line and the Delta Queen riverboat that goes up and down the Mississippi. These two hire Americans. The Hawaii ship just goes round & round the islands over & over again. The Mississippi Delta Queen boat just goes up and down and up and down the uh...well you get the idea.

*TGIFridays has something worked out with Carnival, I think, where they hire only TGIFriday bartenders.


There are several jobs for an American on a ship, like a Pursor, gift shop attendent, photographer, crews staff, etc. but lemme tell ya, they don't make much money and there's NO WAY I personally would ever work that hard in that lifestyle unless the money was worth my while. It's a hard long work-sleep-eat-do your laundry and nothing else lifestyle for several months straight. My first contract was for nine months.

The ads in the newspapers are a scam. They only send you a packet of info about job descriptions aboard and addresses of the cruise lines. Nothing you couldn't research yourself on the internet.

By now you're probably wondering how I got a job on a cruiseship. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time, that's all. Here's my story--I saw an ad in the paper about cruise ships hiring, sent them money for the info, sent out 40 resumes and recieved two answers. One was the Delta Queen Riverboat that goes up & down the muddy Mississippi, and the other was Commodore Cruise Lines that sails the beautiful blue Caribbean. Guess which one I chose?

The Norweigan Vice President of the cruise line wanted to have something that other ships didn't have. American female bartenders. So I was part of an experiment.

I loved it. I hated it. It was exciting, boring, tiring, cool, cramped, exhausting, and fun. I met a ton of people that gave me their addresses and told me to come visit them. It took me one year of traveling around the states, but I did it...that's another story.


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