May
31
2011

Cool Jobs : Get Paid to Travel! Work on a Cruise Ship

Dive the clear, warm Caribbean Seas. Go up to the Ship’s Bridge in your PJs to watch the Northern Lights in Alaska. Get up at the crack of dawn to watch the ship docking next to the impressive Opera House in Sydney. Waterski in Acapulco – and then dance until 6am – shower and start work! Go through the Panama Canal.

You can do all of this and more – and get paid for it. Why not? I did.

I ‘ran away to sea’ at 22, and went to work with Princess Cruises. The Royal Princess, the flag ship at the time, was my home base for the first 4 years, and I did 4 month contract followed by 6 – 8 weeks leave (paid vacation!). After that, I did trips on the Sun, Island and Crown Princess. It can be hard work – our standard day was 10 hours per day 7 days, but we often got time off in ports to have some fun. If you are willing to work hard and play hard – it’s a fantastic experience, even if you only do it for a year or two to see the world!

I had the travel bug from an early age, and working on a cruise ship was the perfect solution. The cruise ship industry is always expanding, better and bigger ships are being built every year and they all need staff! Jobs range from Bartenders, Cabin Stewards, to Purser’s Office (Customer Service, Secretarial, Front Desk, Shop staff, Electricians, Engineers, etc). My first ship, the Royal, maxed out at 1200 passengers (small by today’s standards), 600 crew and about 60 officers. Most of the crew members are in their 20s – and from everywhere. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world. You can imagine the parties!

Officers are usually permanently employed, crew members are contracted – and contract lengths can vary. Most of the crew are paid in US$ and if you are out of your home country for long enough, generally you don’t pay tax. Accommodation and food is covered, and of course you are flown out to join the ship and home at the end of your contract.

Many of the cruiseships go to Alaska in the summer, and the Caribbean in the winter – but cruise ships also go to the Mediterranean, and round the world trips over to China, Australia, via Fiji, the Polynesian Islands etc. Beautiful!!

Here are a few of the biggest cruiselines to check out:

Princess Cruises
Holland American
Royal Caribbean
Carnival

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About the Author: Katie Idle

About our business, Study and Go Abroad is the 'go to' site for Canadians looking to study abroad, travel, intern or volunteer. We organize fairs twice a year in various cities in Canada, and I'd recommend getting down to one of them to check out all the exciting options. As for me, I'm a business woman and a travel junkie! I have always had a passion for travel and for experiencing new cultures. Brought up in England, I traveled Europe in my teens and early 20s. I have lived and worked on 3 continents; Europe, Africa and North America. I have traveled extensively worldwide both for work and for fun - and still can't believe how much of the world there is still to see!

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