The Flip Side
However, in spite of all the above mentioned benefits, there is a flip side to working on cruise ships. A job on a cruise ship is both difficult and demanding, and requires an extreme amount of hard work and discipline. The irony is that working on cruise ship demands a level of hard work, which surpasses even the greatest difficulty one has to face while getting a cruise job. Moreover, the accommodation of cruise staff on ship is very often modest and has two to three crew members cramped in a single room. Mostly located in lower decks, these cabins usually don’t have any windows and often get a bit congested. As you go down the levels, the accommodation facilities keep getting inferior. The lower most level, below the water line, is reserved for the lower ranked crew members and is often uncomfortable.
Another main drawback of working on a cruise ship is that you are bound by a contract. This means that you will be away from your home and loved ones for a period of 6-9 months at a stretch or even longer. Moreover, often you would be needed to work twelve to fourteen hours a day and seven days a week with very few rest periods.
Also, in spite of several facilities such as fitness centers, bars, gyms, and swimming pools, an employee or crew member cannot use any of the facilities that are meant for the guests. Moreover, it is preferred that the employees do not socialize with the guests. The crew has its own recreational facilities which are strictly separated from those of the guests. Apart from this, as all the sailing ships fall under the maritime international regulations, the crew has to follow certain norms for the safety of both themselves and the passengers. The laws are very stringent and demand regular emergency drills and carrying out of safety procedures and guidelines.
It is also very essential that the person selecting a cruise job loves the sea to the fullest. The continuous sailing is bound to generate sea sickness and loneliness, and it for this reason that the he or she should be able to tolerate the sea. Moreover, working gets extremely difficult on ships during storms and rough weather, leading to dizziness and nausea. The person should be able to maintain his mental and physical composure in such circumstances, along with his job responsibilities.
It is a must for a crew member to maintain his calm, politeness, and cheerfulness all the time. This might sometime become a stress factor, especially for those who need their amount of time and space. Thus the cruise job is mainly meant for those people who are extremely extroverted and who are people’s people. Moreover, the crew is also required to wear uniform all the time, except for special occasions. On special occasions the crew members might have to work round the clock, doing duties apart from the routine work.
Thus, working on ship has its own pros and cons. It is up to the person opting for the job to decide if he is fit to be on the ship or not. Though provided with loads of perks and benefits, a ship’s job is definitely not every ones “cup of tea."