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View Full Version : How much do you make working on a cruise ship???


MikeNKim
March 15th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Not meaning this to be disrespectful in anyway, but I just recently had a acqantence (sp) tell me I shouldn't cruise because employees are treated very badly and paid terribly. Now I have only been on 2 cruises and everyone I have encountered has appreared very happy in their jobs. But I was just curious.

Also my son was considering taking a year or two off before college and was considering working for a cruise line. He hasn't looked into it at all but thought it was something he might want to do.

Does anyone know???

Kim

Wennfred
March 15th, 2006, 03:40 PM
Not meaning this to be disrespectful in anyway, but I just recently had a acqantence (sp) tell me I shouldn't cruise because employees are treated very badly and paid terribly. Now I have only been on 2 cruises and everyone I have encountered has appreared very happy in their jobs. But I was just curious.

Also my son was considering taking a year or two off before college and was considering working for a cruise line. He hasn't looked into it at all but thought it was something he might want to do.

Does anyone know???

Kim

From what a steward told me once, the Cruiseline pays them 50.00 per month, The rest is all in Tips. Now remember this cabin steward can not clean all 30+ cabins on his own, he will have to hire some help and thats where all the money goes. The 50.00 they get per month is for tolietries etc. whether thats true or not, thats what I was told.

There is a website for Crewmates etc, Im sorry I didnt save it. But someone posted on CC.

GoinCruisin
March 15th, 2006, 03:41 PM
Not many cruiselines hire American workers, but there are some that do... the pay is not great compared to the standards here which is why you won't see many Americans working on ships (along with the number of hours they have to work and very little time off, I had a friend who's son looked into it thinking it would be glamorous and fun... he quickly found out that wasn't the case). The pay for many, compared to the pay in their countries is VERY good... but it depends on the job. Depends on the length of their contract, etc. For a steward, their salary is only about $40/month, but with tips, that could work out to $2000/month (then they pay their asst approx $800/month out of their tips)... and some come from countries where they wouldn't make that in a years time. There are several sites out there that list various cruise ship positions and the approximate rates for various positions.

donnavb5
March 15th, 2006, 03:45 PM
There was a gal in the town I lived in in CA. She went to work on a cruiseline as a singer. She was ESTATIC when she first got the job. The only thing I know for sure (she wasn't a HEADLINE) was she had to work in the casino, or buffet line, or whatever when she wasn't singing. YOu don't just do ONE gig.

mrdood
March 15th, 2006, 03:46 PM
This is a common topic - here is a thread with a lot of perspectives:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=244501

serene56
March 15th, 2006, 03:51 PM
To get a job that makes tips you have to work your way up the ranks- You wont be hired outright as a cabin steward or a waiter. Even a bar waiter.
People work in the laundry room working their way to the cabins.. and kitchen working their way to the dining room.

Like goingcruisin stated-- VERY FEW americans work onboard the ships. It is hard work for very long hours.

MikeNKim
March 15th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Thank you all. I hope I didn't offend anyone by asking.

S.S.Oceanlover
March 15th, 2006, 03:57 PM
The OP is from Canada. The only canadians I have ever seen working on cruise ships were in the casino or the Camp Carnival type counselors.

Bill

wanman
March 15th, 2006, 03:58 PM
This is a common topic - here is a thread with a lot of perspectives:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=244501

One thing is for sure, you can count on mrdood to let you know that this has been asked before and tell you where to go find it!:D

One thing to remember about the pay on a cruise ship is that you do not have to pay for meals or a place to stay during the contract. If I remember correctly also is that since it is a foreign flagged ship it is US Tax free (although I believe you have to report it come tax time and then pay all your taxes).

I did not realize how little a lot of the stewards and such were paid, makes me want to give bigger tips next time.

Hebejeebe
March 15th, 2006, 05:16 PM
If your son is interested in working on a cruise ship he should consider the NCL ship that sails out of Hawaii. It is a US flagged ship and the pay level appears to be fairly good. I believe the tips are part of a mandatory service charge. According to NCL the compensation levels are attractive when you include food, lodging and health care is included.

A friend of mine worked on a cruise ship as a dive instructor for several years after college. It paid well enough for the life style that he was most interested in.

GoinCruisin
March 15th, 2006, 05:24 PM
If your son is interested in working on a cruise ship he should consider the NCL ship that sails out of Hawaii. It is a US flagged ship and the pay level appears to be fairly good. I believe the tips are part of a mandatory service charge. According to NCL the compensation levels are attractive when you include food, lodging and health care is included.

A friend of mine worked on a cruise ship as a dive instructor for several years after college. It paid well enough for the life style that he was most interested in.

That is the line my friends son was going to work on... his pay was going to be minimum wage... granted, this was for an entry level position and over the years he would have had the opportunity to earn more, but the pay really wasn't great... It really depends on what job you are looking at... it's certainly not a glamorous job by any means, LOL.

yogimax
March 15th, 2006, 06:49 PM
Does the captain work for tips?

Grtcdnwolf
March 15th, 2006, 06:57 PM
Found on another website....

On our ship there were 34 nationalities represented. Pretty amazing. We talked candidly with several of the crew and they said that all got along wonderfully. They loved the diverse group of nationalities. With the crew living in such close quarters, the ones we talked to said that many of their preconceived notions about the other crew members were quashed. Many countries that had been taught to hate one another, found that the people of those countries were just like them and when you got the two nationalities together on the ship as crew mates, they became best friends.
Why are most of the crew members non-American? Mainly because of the work ethic that is needed for the ship. You have to understand that these individuals are away from their family and countries for 5, 8 or 9 months. They all work anywhere from 12 to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for the entire duration of their contract. For each month of service, they get a week off at the end of their contracted work period. When they get back from their vacation, they rarely return to the same ship. Their previous place had to be filled immediately to stay at the level of service that Carnival is noted for. You really have to understand that some of the countries the crew comes from are very poor, and the money that is returned home, and the good it does, is phenomenal. Terry and I were in awe of them. I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with the schedule they keep. One thing for sure is that they all must be "people" persons. That's probably the number one criteria. You must love people from all walks of life!
We were fortunate to have a session with our cruise director who gave a talk about what life aboard the ship was like for the crew. He explained that there was an apprentice program on the ship. A question was asked about the crew's accommodations. Chris Roberts, our cruise director, explained that it really depended on you level of importance and seniority. Normally, crew members are housed 4 to a cabin in a dormitory type setting with showers at the end of the hall. What about the Captain's cabin? Well, he told us it's pretty cool. Even when the Captain is not on duty on the bridge, he can monitor every function of the ship due to the extensive bank of instruments in his cabin. The more senior the staff is, the nicer the amenities. They also try to pair similar occupations together so the room mates have similar hours. In other words, the entertainers are together since they have mainly nighttime hours. If they had a waiter for a room mate, they probably wouldn't want to get up at 5:00 am to get ready for breakfast preparation.
It's interesting though that the crew's rooms are made up each day just like ours. Plus they're served meals just like us. Not quite the same foods, but in the same style. Food on the crew decks is geared more towards the regional tastes of the crew. It's all part of the training program on the ship. Stewards and waiters start training on the lower crew decks of the ship and work their way up. They prove themselves on the crew desks, then possibly move to the senior staff area, then finally to the guest desks. So the crew even gets their cabins made up just like ours. They are judged on how they do. The crew dining room gets the training waiters, as well as the head waiters and hopefully someday, they may make it to the main dining room.

llanning
March 15th, 2006, 08:44 PM
The last post was very accurate. My son worked for 5 years as an IT Manager on various Carnival ships. He was one of the few American officers on board. His pay was comparable to a land position if you take into consideration he didn't pay room or board. He did have to tip the dining room waiter and his cabin steward. He was able to eat in either the crew or the officer mess. The food wasn't quite as good as upstairs. Crew excurtions were often arranged a greatly reduced prices and many of the ports offered special crew rates on activities. Your position on the ship definately dictates your status on the ship. His fiancee was a dealer in the casino and she wasn't treated as well. He finished his last contract in September and did not intend to go back. As I speak, though, he is on his way to Mobile to bring the Sensation out of dry dock. There were a number of Canadians on board. They often worked in the purser's office or as crew staff. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to email.

semala
March 15th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Wow, this is a very neat thread. I recently was out of a job for a few months and considered taking a position on a cruise ship. One of the only reasons I didn't is that I would still have had to pay mortgage for a house I wasn't living in. (Long story as to why I couldn't just sell it) But it does sound interesting! I guess now I'll just have to satisfy myself with going on cruises instead of working them.

surfklutz
March 15th, 2006, 09:05 PM
Cruise West has almost all American Flagged ships - which require American workers. If the CSRs work hard, they can make $800 a week in tips. And Captains are paid very well - but sometimes get a share of pooled tips.

BigGag262
March 15th, 2006, 09:20 PM
85 USS HOEL DDG-13

Sorry to get off topic! I noticed you were on the USS HOEL in 1985. I was on the Hoel when it decommissioned in October of 1990.

Cholly
March 15th, 2006, 09:49 PM
I worked on a cruise ship on the Mississippi River 20 years ago. I only worked for 3 weeks, it was exhausting work! We had to clean the rooms and waitress and once a week you had to stay up all night with a small crew of people in case any of the guests needed something. As I remember we recieved a very small amount from the ship and all the tips were divided evenly among the rest of us. It ended up being about $450.00 per week which I though was good money then but it was not worth the back breaking work and missing my familt & friends. We also did not get to eat the same food that we served to the guests. We had to eat "cheap " food like hot dogs and casseroles.

Kittybork
March 15th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Cruise West has almost all American Flagged ships - which require American workers. If the CSRs work hard, they can make $800 a week in tips. And Captains are paid very well - but sometimes get a share of pooled tips.

Is it that they require American workers, or workers with U.S. Coast Guard licenses?

Captains of any ship that size do get paid very well as do the engineers and mates.

zydecocruiser
March 15th, 2006, 11:26 PM
I think NCL in HI has a number of Americans as crew.

But back to the original question - I don't make nada on a cruise ship - I'm on vacation. :D

VentureMan_2000
March 16th, 2006, 01:58 AM
I heard that if you are American, there are very few positions for you.

zydecocruiser
March 16th, 2006, 02:14 AM
I think NCL in HI has a number of Americans as crew.

But back to the original question - I don't make nada on a cruise ship - I'm on vacation. :D

Seems to be 100% American (and I think required for US flag) ...

http://www.ncl.com/fleet/pam/index.htm

Kittybork
March 16th, 2006, 06:27 AM
I'm not certain, but I don't think it is required that all workers be American. I know of US flagged ships that have foreign employees. These are not cruise ships though. The licensed employees are all Americans, but I can't understand why the cooks and waiters would need to be.

dj88guy
March 16th, 2006, 08:29 AM
From what a steward told me once, the Cruiseline pays them 50.00 per month, The rest is all in Tips. Now remember this cabin steward can not clean all 30+ cabins on his own, he will have to hire some help and thats where all the money goes. The 50.00 they get per month is for tolietries etc. whether thats true or not, thats what I was told.

There is a website for Crewmates etc, Im sorry I didnt save it. But someone posted on CC.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=36
If you worked on a cruise ship present or past.

Cruisin2Sun
March 16th, 2006, 11:07 PM
I heard that if you are American, there are very few positions for you.

I live in the Chicago area, and in the 3/12/06 chicago Tribune Career section, there's a huge ad for NCL:

"Don't miss the boat! Sail Away with us to Hawaii!
Pastry & Bakery cooks
housekeepers
laundry attendants
hospitality or restaurant exp. a must
also hiring other shipboard positions - hotel/restaurant exp. required.
in order to qualify, you must be a US citizen or perm resident."

I was very surprised to see that, considering most ships have few american service workers.....

kimmy cruise
March 17th, 2006, 04:03 AM
Mikenkim
I take it from your recent posts you're not sailing on the Miracle in February 2007? Sorry to see that because we were hoping to get a group on a cruise Feb 18-25. But enjoy your cruise anyway. We cruisers always do!!
Kimmy

picruiser
March 17th, 2006, 11:32 AM
The last post was very accurate. My son worked for 5 years as an IT Manager on various Carnival ships. He was one of the few American officers on board. His pay was comparable to a land position if you take into consideration he didn't pay room or board. He did have to tip the dining room waiter and his cabin steward. He was able to eat in either the crew or the officer mess. The food wasn't quite as good as upstairs. Crew excurtions were often arranged a greatly reduced prices and many of the ports offered special crew rates on activities. Your position on the ship definately dictates your status on the ship. His fiancee was a dealer in the casino and she wasn't treated as well. He finished his last contract in September and did not intend to go back. As I speak, though, he is on his way to Mobile to bring the Sensation out of dry dock. There were a number of Canadians on board. They often worked in the purser's office or as crew staff. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to email.

My daughter is a freshman is college and studying for a hospitality management degree. She might consider employment with the cruise lines. How does one go about applying? We will be sailing on Valor in May... Should she speak to someone onboard? Thanks for your response. Picruiser

woodofpine
March 17th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Cruise line compensation is pretty competitive. There are a lot of web sites on the subject including employment agencies. For instance,

http://www.cruiseplacement.com/

As I understand it, head waiters should make $45k - $50k per year (basically per contract); asst. waiters about $35K, stewards and assts. from $20-30K. This is all tips. Given the countries most crew members come from this is astoundingly great money (often - depending on nationality - tax free).

Room and board is "free" too, depending on how you look at it. You get to share a mini-cabin with another somebody and work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for usually 9 months straight. Family life, forget it. Grueling absolutely! And you better SMILE!

Sure crew are paid well and IMHO they earn every penny!

jshawnh
March 17th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Casino Workers/Dealers:

Several Carnival Casino Dealers have told me that they do not get payed at all by Carnival. They get free room and board, and all share their pooled tips. They DO NOT have any other job on the ship, but are off duty when the ship is in port. They are free to do as they like when the casino is not open.

I always tip well in the casino. And, although I know it doesn't go directly to the dealer I may be tipping, it does help them out by increasing the pool. I also thinks it helps me win more, crazy as that may be.

Shawn

zqvol
March 17th, 2006, 04:20 PM
There is more than just salary involved in any compensation package. Cruise line workers all work very hard but when their total package is looked at they are fairly well compensated. (I know that they are away from their families, and live in small quarters but so are/do most american college students).

When room and board are factored into their wages, plus medical care they do fairly well.