I'm very new, in fact I haven't sailed yet for a cruiseline yet but I can give you some advice as a merchant mariner working the lowest of low paying jobs and under the worst conditions. Don't worry about the rate of pay! There's overtime!
On another note(3rd party information), I have worked with MATSON, AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES AND PATRIOT and I sincerely believe that most marriage between mariners work because they do not ship out together.
Good luck and don't worry so much! You will love it and you'll make a fair bit of coing no matter what the hourly/per diem is....
And, Paul, I'm a huge fan of your posts...been reading all week!