Cruise Ship Workers


Cruise Ship Workers


Cruise ship workers provide services to passengers on cruise ships. Besides assisting in the operation of the ship, they may serve food and drinks, maintain cabins and public areas, lead shipboard activities, and provide entertainment. There are 83,400 water transportation workers, and 408,300 recreation workers, including cruise ship workers, employed in the United States. Member cruise lines of Cruise Lines International Association serve about 28.5 million passengers annually.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Prior experience in service industry



Business Management


Personality Traits



There are so many variables that it is hard to gauge the salary average for this industry. First, many employees are hired on a contractual basis—anywhere from four to six months for housekeeping, wait staff, and the concessionaires. The size of the cruise line and the region it sails may also affect wages. According to the Cruise Ship Jobs Guide, salaries can range from as low as $500 per mont...

Work Environment

Workers in the cruise line industry should not expect to have a lot of free time. Most cruise ship workers work long hours—eight- to 14-hour days, seven days a week are not uncommon. Many employees spend a number of weeks, usually five or more, working at sea, followed by an extended leave ashore.

Being a people person is important in this industry. Cruise ship workers not only are expe...


The health of the cruise line industry is intrinsically tied to the state of our nation's economy. During economic slowdowns, luxury travel decreases as people tend to watch their money more carefully. Also, during times of political unrest and security risks, cruise lines upgrade their safety measures to ensure passenger and crew safety. Bookings may decline during these times, but the cruise ...