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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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Post Employment questions not typically answered

Hello everybody!

I've been trying to find as much information on ship employment as possible and have found some useful notes but no particulars.

I know the hours, bunking, mess details but not much on salary, which cruise lines are most desirable to work for, etc..

I am currently living in Oklahoma, enrolling in a local community college to further my skills in photography, writing and hospitality. I will also be researching information for massage therapy.

I have plenty of retail experience and would be quite comfortable working retail while aboard the ship but wouldn't pay be higher in the other areas mentioned above? Well, not writing, that's more of a personal study, but I figure the pay rate must be a bit higher as a masseuse or photographer... am I correct in assuming so?

This is something I am very interested in but I would like to know about how much I would be making before I dedicate a bunch of time to something that will not pay my mortgage and utilities, you know? And so far I cannot find any numbers.


I was also wondering how slack time was in the two mentioned areas of employment. Same down time during port or is there still a high level of activity needed for them?

I want to work, and travel, but I completely understand the lack of free time I will have, was just curious about it.


Another thing I was wondering about was the policy on facial piercings (a monroe and labret to be exact), is it a no-go or have any of you seen fellow employees with 'em? Or clear retainers even?


And then of course, which cruise line to choose? I want to make an informed decision based on good employee referrals, salary, life on board, destinations maybe... Do you have a better chance at a bit of down time (if your specific job doesn't keep you too busy during port) if you choose a line that travels farther and longer than others?

And do you have any say on how long your contract will be? I would prefer to not be out on assignment for more than 6-8 months. Six is really ideal for me, but I would consider longer if pay is right. There are a lot of areas in my life I would like to and could improve on if I could just save up a nice chunk of change...


Any info is appreciated and thanks in advance for putting up with my long post, here...
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:10 PM
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The facial piercings will have to come out. The only people I've ever seen been allowed to keep those are guest entertainers.
Photogs and shoppies earn about the same basic pay (not great) and then can earn more money based on commission. Steiner's (massuser) only get paid on commission. The companies that run these (as well as the shops) are outside contractors. The companies run the concessions over several cruiselines. So you don't actually work for the cruiseline per se. This means you don't really have a choice over which line they send you to. I seem to remember that with the Steiner's they'd get something like $1 from every $10 they made. Although any tips (which could be substantial) on top they (the massuser) got all of. Tips and commission will vary from cruise to cruise, and itinerary to itinerary.
To work for Steiner you also have to attend their school over here in the UK. I think it's something like a 6 week course.
Steiner's usually got 1 day off a cruise (at least on RCCL), but the spa would stay open in ports, so often they would have to work during those times.
On port days, photogs would often be busy early mornings (photos as people leave the ship), late afternoons (photos as people come back), and evenings. There would also be the poor photog who had to dress up as a pirate etc to be in the photo with the pax.
Both Steiners and photogs would be very busy on sea days. A fortunate shoppie (they have commission too) could probably make as much or more than a photog. A fortunate Steiner would make more. The Steiner would really have to work for that money though, and the amount of Steiners that I saw having to sign-off early because they had RSI in the hands and wrists was quite high.
Contracts would be 6-8 months.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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You also need to know about passports.
Since you are posting from Oklahoma, I must assume (hope I'm not wrong) that you have an American passport.

Cruise lines do not generally like to hire Americans.
Many of our fellow countrymen and women have performed and behaved so badly over the years on ships that all the major cruise lines do not want to be burned again.

Since I have an American passport and have worked on cruise ships for over 3 decades, I am proof that it is possible.
However I would not hire an American to work for me on a ship. I have also been burned too many times in the past.

Your biggest challenge in finding a job on a ship is convincing the hiring agent that you are "not like all the others" from the USA.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 12:10 AM
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Facial piercings? Hah...good luck with that. Those will be the first thing to go on guest areas (and in an interview), but you can wear them in crew areas.

The areas you want to work in (photo/retail/spa) aren't usually even run by the cruise lines...you're working for contractors, and you're not technically employees of the cruise line...even though you have to do all the safety stuff and you're crew. Image Photo is usually the concession for photography, Starboard does the gift shops, and Steiner does a lot of the spas.

Everyone onboard usually works about 10 hours a day, on average, everyday. You legally get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and then the rest of the day is basically theirs. You can work up to 14 hour days in most jobs...except bridge officers, who somehow manage to not really do anything all that difficult, sit around, eat pastries all day, and only have to work 8 hour shifts...oh, and they also get 10 weeks on/10 weeks off...paid. Everyone else basically works 6 months on, 6 weeks off (no pay). I can't figure that one out. Where else are they going to work? It's not like they have transferrable job skills. I think the officers should be paid the least, and have contracts like the rest of us. They claim it's safety, but the computers do all the work. They look through binoculars, make sexist jokes all day, and tell some Filipino to actually drive the ship (Quartermaster). As far as I'm concerned, he's the only one who should be getting the cushy hours and contract...but he's not.

Anyways...haha...that wasn't jaded at all...but it's true. I know it sounds a bit dark and racist, but it kind of is. Not going to lie. It's an old (white) boys club, and it's always been that way.

But, it's still a great lifestyle, if you can swallow the old school ethic. If you want to work as a photog, it's about 6 months. If you want to be in the shops, it's about 6 months as well. The spa contracts are longer. They can be up to 9 months sometimes...that seemed about average.

If you want to be home, and get paid to sit on ass...become an officer. It's easy...they have less schooling than almost anyone onboard, and they get everything handed to them. Gotta love a modern day class system in action!
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Old May 16th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thathappened View Post
Hello everybody!

I've been trying to find as much information on ship employment as possible and have found some useful notes but no particulars.

I know the hours, bunking, mess details but not much on salary, which cruise lines are most desirable to work for, etc..

I am currently living in Oklahoma, enrolling in a local community college to further my skills in photography, writing and hospitality. I will also be researching information for massage therapy.

I have plenty of retail experience and would be quite comfortable working retail while aboard the ship but wouldn't pay be higher in the other areas mentioned above? Well, not writing, that's more of a personal study, but I figure the pay rate must be a bit higher as a masseuse or photographer... am I correct in assuming so?

This is something I am very interested in but I would like to know about how much I would be making before I dedicate a bunch of time to something that will not pay my mortgage and utilities, you know? And so far I cannot find any numbers.


I was also wondering how slack time was in the two mentioned areas of employment. Same down time during port or is there still a high level of activity needed for them?

I want to work, and travel, but I completely understand the lack of free time I will have, was just curious about it.


Another thing I was wondering about was the policy on facial piercings (a monroe and labret to be exact), is it a no-go or have any of you seen fellow employees with 'em? Or clear retainers even?


And then of course, which cruise line to choose? I want to make an informed decision based on good employee referrals, salary, life on board, destinations maybe... Do you have a better chance at a bit of down time (if your specific job doesn't keep you too busy during port) if you choose a line that travels farther and longer than others?

And do you have any say on how long your contract will be? I would prefer to not be out on assignment for more than 6-8 months. Six is really ideal for me, but I would consider longer if pay is right. There are a lot of areas in my life I would like to and could improve on if I could just save up a nice chunk of change...


Any info is appreciated and thanks in advance for putting up with my long post, here...
You sound just like me!! I've been looking into info about working as a massage therapist on a cruise ship, and which is the best one. I've gotten the typical info as well, but not so much salary wise, and the piecing thing, well i have my Monroe done, and I;m still not sure if those are aloud. But I will let you know what info I find out! My dream is to work on a cruise ship and travel, and I know as well that its not all fun and leisure, but hard work, and I'm ok with that.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 11:31 PM
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just seeing this post makes me a bit sad . . . RIP to "sissymaryuk" - aka David, a light tech I used to work with. He passed away about a year ago - I really miss his dry wit and . . . love all his posts in cruise chat forums . . . we'd always dish about postings 'outside' the forums :-D
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Old June 13th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Location: Miami Beach
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Photographer= I don't think they need any special training...just get on and go. Good ammount of downtime but sometime have to wear a stupid costume when it's hot. haha...usually really chill funny people.

Shop Staff= Usually work late into the evening but have a good ammount of time off. Seems a little boring though.

Spa= Very little time off but good money on busy cruising. High amount of money necessary to put in before starting work and must travel to UK.
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