Click here to learn about how to get a job with a hotel
Click here to learn about how to get a job with an airline.
So you want to live in the middle of the ocean, see the world's most glamorous ports, and get paid for it? Those in with a chance will be outgoing, friendly, willing to work their fingers to the bone and live in constant proximity to other people (you'll share a tiny cabin with up to 3 people). Getting a job in the cruise industry is a bit tricky for South Africans, as the cruise liners are all based overseas, and one needs to avoid the scams that do the rounds with fake jobs, scumbags trying to take advantage of those who are desperate for work - do not use an agency which charges fees for its services - this is a sure sign of a scam.
There are two ways to get a job on a ship:
Apply to a cruise line for a job on one of their ship.
Apply to a concessioner for a job on a ship. A concessioner is a company contracted to operate a spa, retail shop or entertainment on the ship.
Contacting a Cruise Company
Most cruise companies have websites where you can search for and apply for jobs.
Click here, to search for jobs, and create a profile.
Click here to check what jobs are available and to create a profile.
These 3 cruise lines club together for job purposes. Click here to see their career page.
Click here to find available Royal Caribbean jobs, and apply for one. There is also a Royal Caribbean Careers Facebook page, a Twitter page and a LinkedIn page. Alternatively, phone +1 305 539 3920.
Click here for more info. Applications can be made through Cruise Alternatives.
Click here to see their jobs page.
Apply via Blue Ensign agency - see details below.
Virgin Voyages is launching their cruise line in 2020, to cruise in the Caribbean. They have set up a job portal, so navigate there to begin working with them from their beginning.
Recruitment agencies in South Africa
They are the agents in SA for Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Email your CV, a copy of your passport and relevant certificates as well as two references to email@example.com. For more info phone 021 556 7658. Blue Ensign are based at number 21 Blaauwberg Road in Table View, Cape Town.
Hiring agents in SA for Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Silversea Cruise Lines. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or phone 012 654 5030
For those who are members of the medical fraternity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 082 376 1175.
Specialises in hospitality job; hiring for Holland America Lines, Seabourn Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises. Click here to see the latest jobs they have available. They also have a Twitter page (in the name of Samantha Hurley, the owner) and Facebook page - these social media pages are well worth looking at, as additional jobs are listed there which are not listed elsewhere. Email them at email@example.com. Whilst they are based in South Africa; they also take applications from Namibia and Zimbabwe.
If you receive no reply after a few weeks then contact them again sending a thank you and follow-up letter. Getting hired is often a matter of persistency.
Interviews normally take place in Cape Town or Johannesburg.
Cruise related jobs cover the full monty of careers. Note that you will have to apply for a particular job, as the "I'm willing to do anything" approach doesn't work. So, start off by deciding which job you want to do (which usually comes down to what you're most qualified for).
The entertainment team hosts a variety of activities with the passengers - from trivia games and informative presentations to exercise classes and DJ'ing at the disco.
Those working at the kids' clubs (for guests up to the age of 17) may also fall into this category. This is a crucial role, as if the kids aren't happy, the parents wont be happy either. A minimum of 2 years experience would typically be required for this job.
The entertainment team reports to the Cruise Director (aka "cruise activity director" aka "cruise ship director"). The Cruise Director is expected to perform each voyage and to organise an entertainment program to ensure the guests are having fun and satisfied. The Director will be expected to interact with passengers and handle their complaints. This job suits somebody who enjoys being in the middle and leading the entertainment.
Being fluent in other languages additional to english, helps.
With so many different ports and the need to ensure that passengers are 100% satisfied with their excursions, a quality shore excursion team is required.
You may want to work as a dealer (e.g. blackjack, roulette), a slot technician or cashier.
Navigate to www.oceancasinojobs.com - they represent AIDA, Carnival Cruises, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. You'll be required to have at least a year's experience and be at least 21 years old.
Click here to see when the next interviewing cycle is in South Africa.
Food & Beverage services
Think bartenders, waitresses, chefs; as well as higher level jobs analysing the financials in an attempt to max profit. To qualify for this:
get a qualification from a hotel, chef or catering school.
get experience working in a restaurant (ideally fine dining)
Fun fact: most cruise ships have over 100 chefs on them.
Think nurses, paramedics and doctors. Yes, people on cruises get sick too!
Retail sales ("Boutiques")
Think jewelery, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, handbags, apparel, sunglasses and liquor sales. Positions include the likes of jewellery sales specialists, fragrance consultants, sales assistants, cosmetic consultants and watch sales specialists.
To become a "shoppie" (this is what the retail staff on a ship are known as) you'll need to have at least 2 years experience in retail, be able to take inventory, and be good at working with customers. Being able to talk multiple languages is an advantage, as well as having a degree on your resume. If you've been at sea before and have the relevant experience, you may want to take a job as a manager or trainee manager.
Harding Retail are hired by some cruise companies to run the retail shops on their ships. They offer a service to Azmara Club Cruises, Carnival, Celestyal Cruises, Cunard, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Louis Cruises, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Saga, Seabourn, Swan Hellenic, Thomson Cruises, TUI Cruises, Viking, Voyages of Discovery and Voyages to Antiquity. They offer a wide variety of brands including Cartier, Clarins, Fossil, Gucci, Mont Blanc, Ray-Ban, Swarovski and Tissot. Click here to apply for a job with Harding Retail. Your application will be processed by their team in Bristol. On average you can expect to get off at 2 ports out of 3.
Applications for a job as a shoppie which are sent to a cruise company will usually be forwarded to their concessionaire (that's not to say you shouldn't send to them anyway, as it gives you another chance to get your name in front of everybody). If you're chosen there will probably be a short course to attend.
Salaries are target and commission based, which means that there's a lot of volatility in earnings.
Responsibilities include cleaning rooms, public areas, doing laundry and moving baggage. To get this job first get experience in the hospitality industry and ensure your communication skills are up to scratch.
Jobs vary from masseuses to personal trainers, nail technicians, barbers, receptionists and hairdressers. Passengers can enjoy facial therapies, acupuncture, massages or fitness training. Whilst not attending to passengers, expect to spend time marketing your product and taking inventories.
Navigate to www.theonboardspa.com - they represent Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Click here to find their application form. Find out when there are interview dates in South Africa. The regional managers are Nadine Brits (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 079 5285 161) and Daniella Diem (email Daniella.email@example.com or phone 071 497 3797).
The spa is usually found near the top floor of a cruise ship. The amount you'd earn is based largely on tips and commission.
Techinical & Deck Work
Even the ship's Captain falls in this category! Think safety, navigation of the ship and maintenance of equipment. This includes propulsion systems, air conditioning, power systems and entertainment support systems. For example watchkeeping officers ensure that the boat is safely navigated (and no Costa Concordia incidents!), there are plumbers, engineers and electricians.
Yes, you even get HR staff on board the ship. They'll implement the shipping line's HR policies with the onboard staff. A bachelors degree in HR will help you get this spot, as well as any relevant experience.
Think maintenance of servers, networks and computer systems (including desktop). A minimum of 2 years relevant experience would be required, together with the appropriate academic qualifications.
Photographers & videographers
Selling photographs and videos is a big money spinner for cruise lines - they're sold at high prices, but it's difficult to say no to the purchase if the Mrs has her heart set on these mementos. To get this gig you should have at least a year's experience in photography and the relevant computer skills.
Life on board
There's no space to spare on a cruise ship. Your new home will be a small cabin at the bottom of the ship with no windows, and shared with up to 3 people who might snore at night. The cabin will typically have a shower, a TV and a storage cupboard. You'll be required to keep that cabin spick and span. The people in the cabin may not be the type of people you'd normally hang out with.
There are 3 main categories of staff: "crew", "staff" and "officers". Only the officers and staff may be in guest areas when they're not on on the job, and socialise with guests. However, you will be fired if you date guests, but you may date members of the crew (who are often younger, better looking and more vivacious), although an unwritten rule is that you may not date officers with a higher ranking.
Expect to work very hard! Crew members work 7 days a week, and about 11 hours per day (usually a maximum of 14 hours) - this is not a holiday. Ships purposely fly flags of convenience, and there are few workers' rights.
You are not cruising - even the term "cruising" is used to describe somebody who is slacking on the job. Having said that, if the job has been done properly, then your manager may give you some time off.
You'll be required to attend every safety drill.
On the upside:
Meals are free, as is the accommodation. Meals are eaten in the staff dining area (better known as the "crew mess"), and are buffet style.
Ships tend to follow the sunny weather, perfect for those who want to permanently be out of the cold and rain.
Being away from it all for so long and surrounded by people from all walks of life and all over the world, gives one a chance to reflect and put life into perspective.
If you ever have some free time you can hang out at the crew bar (much more reasonably priced than for passengers)...these occassions often spill over later into somebody's cabin...
Go to the crew's special jacuzzi/pool, play table tennis, pool or pump iron at the gym.
There will probably be wireless internet (at a fee) to stay in touch. There are regular crew events such as poker nights and karaoke.
Crew parties, with free booze if you're lucky.
If you get free time, then sometimes the shore excursions are offered free to staff.
Cruise ship staff are male dominated (client-facing roles have more females), with about half the staff being younger than 30.
It can take up to 3 weeks to get used to life onboard. If, after 3 weeks, you're not enjoying it yet, then this probably is not the life for you. If you leave early then you'll have to pay for your own way back (if you finish your contract, usually the cruise line will then pay for your plane ticket back).
What is required will vary immensely by the job; but to give you an idea, here's some of the information which you'll typically be asked for:
Are you 21 or more years old?
Do you have any tattoos or piercings which are publicly visible?
Do you have a criminal record?
You'll have to pass a medical examination.
You must have a valid passport.
Working as a Couple
Would you like to go work on a cruise ship together with your partner? The bad news is that this is difficult to get right; as for one thing each applicant is considered on her/his own merits.
A typical contract on a ship lasts for 6 to 8 months, depending on the operational requirement. During the contract you'd usually be on one specific ship (which you may well find visits the same destinations again and again during that period...so much for seeing the world!). You'd then get a couple of months leave, and if you've been up to standard you'll get invited back for another 6 to 8 month contract.
In early 2017, Michelle Linger from PE, was scammed out of R14,000; by a company purporting to be representing Princess Cruises Australia, in SA. She received an email informing her about the job, applied, and a while later received a contract which she signed and returned. She was then sent an AU Visa 187 application; and then was told that she had to pay R4000 for an Australian Foreign Intelligence Certificate. She was later told she had to pay another R10,000 for a residence visa. Their next step was to tell her that R20,000 was required to be deposited for living expenses, telling her that her travel documents would be cancelled if she didn't pay.
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Can South Africans work on cruise ships? ›
Cruise Line Job Opportunities for South Africans. Working on a luxurious cruise ship means that you can do it from anywhere in the world, even in South Africa, where top recruiters and concessionaires on constantly on the lookout for hard working, dedicated South African cruise ship workers.How much do cruise ship workers make in South Africa? ›
Average MSC Cruises Flight Attendant monthly pay in South Africa is approximately R 35 777, which is 203% above the national average.Do you have to be a US citizen to work on a cruise ship? ›
What if I require Visa sponsorship? Per U.S. Coast Guard regulations, you must be a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder to work with American Cruise Lines.What qualifications do I need to work on a cruise ship? ›
There are no formal requirements, but experience of working in a hotel, restaurant or bar can be useful. GCSEs in English and maths will be helpful. Customer service is an important part of the role, so most cruise liners will expect you to have worked in a customer service job before.Can South Africans work overseas? ›
Whether you are a South African looking for work opportunities abroad, or a foreign national wanting to work in South Africa, you still need a work permit or a visa to make the transition.How much is a visa to work on a cruise ship? ›
Generally all staff need a C1D Crew Visa. This can be obtained from the US embassy in London, or the Consulate in Belfast. It costs $160 USD (£100) and this will be reimbursed by the cruise line once you are on board. Other Visas such as Chinese and Australian may also be required.How to apply for a job on the cruise ship? ›
You can apply directly to a cruise line on their website or to their official hiring partners throughout the world. This is often the best way to see real time jobs. You can apply through a concessionaire - a company contracted to operate spa, retail, photography or entertainment on the ship.How many hours a week do cruise ship workers work? ›
Your daily work schedule while onboard will depend on your particular position, but you can expect to work seven days a week and anywhere between 10-13 hours per day.What is the lowest paying job on a cruise ship? ›
Entry-level kitchen positions usually have the lowest wages found on cruise ships.How long does it take to get a visa to work on a cruise ship? ›
The processing time can take up to three months.
Is it hard to work on a cruise ship? ›
Cruise ship crew life can be intense: long hours, no days off for months, lots of rules, demanding guests, small living quarters and little to no privacy. But working on ships also allows you to travel to places some only dream of while making some amazing connections with fellow seafarers from all over the world.How many hours do you work on a cruise ship? ›
Staff members often expect to work around 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Some employees may work early in the morning, like those who prepare food, while others work late into the night, like bartenders and entertainers. Your work schedule might depend on the specific cruise line and your position.What is the easiest job on a cruise ship? ›
Deckhand. Entry-level position no with experience required. Responsible for different tasks on deck areas, such as giving directions to parts of the ship, running errands for the passengers, keeping chairs and deckchairs in good condition and cleanness, and general cleaning on deck areas.Do you get free cruises if you work for a cruise line? ›
Carnival offers comprehensive benefits including health and wellness, paid time off, financial benefits, and employee perks based on your position at Carnival. The top perks of working at Carnival include free company cruises along with discounts to better understand the business.What is the high paying job in cruise? ›
For those with a degree in hospitality, among the highest-paying cruise ship jobs are executive chef, cruise director, chief purser, hotel director, and human resources manager. While the positions of captain and safety officer pay more, they require graduation from an accredited maritime training institution.What is the easiest country for South Africans to move to? ›
Below you can find some of the easiest countries to move to from South Africa: Portugal. United Kingdom. Namibia.Can a South African get a job in USA? ›
First, the employee must have a job offer from a U.S. entity. Second, the employer must demonstrate a need for someone in a speciality occupation that typically requires a degree. Third, the foreign national must have the required degree, or its equivalent, in a subject closely related to the position.What is the easiest country to immigrate to from South Africa? ›
Below we have collated our pick of top countries with easy immigration requirements 2022. Canada is known for its all-inclusive policy of welcoming immigrants from around the globe. As a result, South Africans applying for permanent residency on Canadian soil will find their visa programs quite simple and helpful.Is working on a cruise ship worth it? ›
On cruise lines, the answer is: A LOT! The pay on cruise ships is actually one of its best benefits. You might think you could be earning around the same amount in a similar job on land, but as all of your needs for your life at sea are catered to by the cruise line, there are next to no expenses for you.Do cruise ship workers get paid well? ›
As of Feb 4, 2023, the average annual pay for a Cruise Ship Worker in the United States is $48,970 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $23.54 an hour. This is the equivalent of $941/week or $4,080/month.
What kind of visa do you need to work on a cruise ship? ›
Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days.Which cruise is best for job? ›
- Royal Caribbean. As one of the biggest cruise lines in the industry, Royal Caribbean offers a great package to those seeking to join their team. ...
- Cunard. ...
- MSC Cruises. ...
- Disney Cruise Line. ...
- AIDA Cruises.
Average Carnival Cruise Lines Commie salary in India is ₹ 4.1 Lakhs for experience between 2 years to 8 years. Commie salary at Carnival Cruise Lines India ranges between ₹ 0.6 Lakhs to ₹ 8.0 Lakhs. According to our estimates it is 9% less than the average Commie Salary in Sports & Recreation Companies.How much do you get paid to work on a Carnival cruise ship? ›
The average Carnival Cruise Line salary ranges from approximately $19,442 per year for Assistant Manager to $117,474 per year for Senior Manager. The average Carnival Cruise Line monthly salary ranges from approximately $1,300 per month for Mesero/a to $10,270 per month for Data Entry Clerk.Why don t cruise workers get days off? ›
People that work at hotels get days off – so why don't people on a ship? That mostly comes down to cabin space. Cabin space is at a premium. If crew were to have days off you would still need other crew to cover those responsibilities – this means more crew onboard taking up more cabin space.Do cruise ships pay overtime? ›
Overtime pay does exist on cruise ships depending on the contract. It could be given based on working over a certain number of hours in a day (e.g. 10) or in a week (e.g. 70). The amount that overtime pay is depends greatly on the job and base wage of that crew members position.Can you bring family if you work on a cruise ship? ›
Yes, you can work onboard a cruise ship if you have a child. A huge percentage of people working on cruise ships have kids. Most of those kids are not onboard though. The majority of crew member that have children have family members at home taking care of them while the crew member works onboard.Can you permanently live on a cruise ship? ›
Can you live on a cruise ship? Yes, and here's how much it costs. Buying into a ship like the MV Narrative is a way to travel the world with fewer hassles, one buyer told CNBC Travel.Do cruise ship employees get free room and board? ›
Most cruise lines offer their staff free room and board throughout the duration of their contracts. They often cover the costs of basic living expenses, such as water and electricity bills. This allows employees to travel wherever the ship goes, frequently visiting new countries during their free time.Can you live on a cruise ship year round? ›
Sure, you could book a room on a round-the-world sailing, but even then, you're not really living on a cruise ship. One residential cruising company, however, is working toward making a permanent seafaring life a viable option.
How long is training to work on a cruise ship? ›
Courses typically last 13 weeks and are filled with practical and classroom-based sessions, a full overview of the department in which they'll be working and job-specific training.What is the salary of housekeeping in cruise ship jobs? ›
The average salary of a Housekeeping Attendant at Carnival Cruise Lines is ₹ 4.3 Lakhs per year which is 187% more than average salary of a Housekeeping Attendant in India which receives a salary of ₹ 1.5 Lakhs per year.Is there an age limit for cruise ship jobs? ›
Q: Is there age limit? A: NO! There is no strict age limit; however there are certain guide lines related to recommended age of applicants for shipboard employment. All applicants with no exception must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application.Do cruise ships pay minimum wage? ›
Average U.S. Cruise Ship Wages
Cruise ship wages vary according to the qualifications needed for the job. Skilled workers can expect to earn more than the U.S. minimum hourly wage. For example, cruise ship captain salary ranges from $65,250 to $114,517 per year based on Salary Expert salary survey data.
Staffers typically live with a roommate in tiny cabins that have bunk beds and small closets. We usually eat at our own buffet and hang out after work at the crew bar.Do cruise waiters get paid? ›
The salary range for a Cruise Waiter job is from $28,846 to $38,010 per year in the United States. Click on the filter to check out Cruise Waiter job salaries by hourly, weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, monthly, and yearly.What is the salary on Royal Caribbean cruise ship? ›
The average Royal Caribbean group salary ranges from approximately $25,708 per year for Cruise Agent to $167,973 per year for Assistant Vice President. Average Royal Caribbean group hourly pay ranges from approximately $8.00 per hour for Inventory Control Specialist to $70.00 per hour for Product Owner.Can I work on cruise with no experience? ›
If you're interested in working on a cruise ship, there are a variety of positions you can pursue—even with no experience. Whether you want to work in human resources or as part of the crew, you can find a position that suits your skills.Does Carnival cruise pay weekly? ›
1 answer. Biweekly pay stub. May get an annual performance bonus.Can you live and work on a cruise? ›
While working onboard, you can enjoy the following living essentials provided by the company: Furnished living accommodations. Crew-specific cafeterias (also known as the Crew Mess) with a variety of menu items from around the world. Laundry facilities and services.
How much do cruise workers make in tips? ›
What are the cruise industry tipping standards? For a seven-night cruise on the major lines, the "auto-gratuity" currently has a wide range starting under $20 a day, per person, up to over $100 a day, per person. Passengers staying in suites will usually pay a bit extra per day, per person.Do I need a visa to work on a ship? ›
A crew member serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States needs a crew visa. Crew members of an aircraft or ship that will be transiting through the United States or its waters generally use a combination transit/crew visa (C-1/D).Are South African ports open to cruise ships? ›
South African ports to welcome 20 cruise ships this season.
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The Norwegian Jade, a 2400-passenger ship, arrived on our shores this weekend and will begin cruising from Cape Town on Wednesday. Having had two false starts, this addition to the South African cruising market is long-awaited.What nationality are most cruise ship workers? ›
Most cruise ship workers come from a variety of different nationalities. The majority are typically from the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia. Cruise lines often recruit crew members who speak multiple languages to accommodate passengers from all over the world.Can I work on a ship with no experience? ›
If you're interested in working on a cruise ship, there are a variety of positions you can pursue—even with no experience. Whether you want to work in human resources or as part of the crew, you can find a position that suits your skills.Are South African ports closed? ›
No South African sea port has been closed in its entirety and commercial cargo operations will continue at all ports.How many cruise ships are there in South Africa? ›
Cape Town looks set for a busy 2022/23 cruise season, with seven cruise ships homeporting in the city for all or part of the cruise season, which runs from October, 2022 to March, 2023.Does Royal Caribbean go to South Africa? ›
Royal Caribbean International offers cruises all over the world (Mediterranean, Caribbean, South America,...), centred around fun for the family. We specialise in booking cruises for South Africans.Which cruise lines sail from South Africa? ›
- Cunard 64.
- Oceania Cruises 23.
- Silversea Cruises 18.
- Azamara Cruises 14.
- Regent Seven Seas 11.
- MSC Cruises 10.
- Norwegian Cruise Line 10.
- Seabourn 10.
Does South Africa have a shipping company? ›
The South African Shipping Company (SASCO) falls under the government's ambitious plans to reform the maritime sector enshrined in the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy.Who is the highest paid person on a cruise ship? ›
It comes as no surprise that the ship's captain has the biggest salary from working on a cruise ship. The master of the vessel has a huge responsibility for ship safety for crew and passengers along with navigation. The captain can earn almost $100,000 manually depending on the cruise line and experience.Why do cruise lines hire foreigners? ›
Well, the major factor is that cruise lines do not have to abide by United States labor laws for their foreign flagged ships that also sail to international ports of call. This means that the cruise lines are free to hire people from just about any country in the world.