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What makes cruise ship employment so exclusive?

Working on a ship means you live and work onboard. This also means it is a 7-day work week with approximate 10 combined hours per day.

Employment on a cruise ship is certainly a full time position. However, due to the intensity of shipboard work & life, it is on an assignment rotation basis.

How long is the assignment?

Assignments vary depending on the position and ship. For most of the jobs on ocean line, it can be anywhere between 4 months thru 6 months depending on the position, with 2 month vacation time.

For river line it can be anywhere between 15 weeks work with 4 weeks vacation, depending on the position.

What happens at the end of my assignment?

Each assignment concludes with a performance review. Based on the evaluation, you will be asked to return. In some cases, we can even provide a return assignment before you even leave the ship.

What about time off?

That's the best part. Although you work 7-days a week while on assignment, crew members get a BULK time off upon completion of the assignment period. It's like banking your days off and taking it all at once, or monthly, depending on the position.

Which ship do I work for?

All crew members are assigned to a position, not necessarily a ship. Although our preference is to bring back returning assignments on the same vessel, there's a chance that you'll be moved to where the role is needed.

How do I get my salary?

Each crew member will receive a life time, free of charge, an OceanPay Visa debit card in US currency. You will receive, for free, your pay in your OceanPay card account each month while you’re working on board and while on vacation (for those with paid vacation time). You can transfer the money from your OceanPay account to any bank account worldwide, make purchases or pay bills, or just leave the money in the OceanPay account.

Am I allowed to receive tips?

For positions that are tip related, you don’t have to worry of how many guests you are assisting, as a flat tip incentive is already considered in your wage.

What if I have commitments during my assignment?

When you're interviewing, it's important that you share any pending commitment information. We can look into an assignment that works for both our new hire and the department.

How do I get to the ship?

For most assignments, the partners will provide full transportation from your home to the ship and back for the full assignment period. In some locations, we'll even have someone meet you!

Do I need travel documents?

Overall, valid passports are needed for all our new crew members. New hires that are not US citizens, US Permanent Residents or Canadian will need to obtain a C1/D visa.

What is a C1/D visa?

It is a special visa for non US & Canadian nationals to work onboard a cruise ship. This can be obtained at the US Embassy in your respective countries.

If you do not have one, we will be happy to assist you obtaining one in convenient time.

What sort of training do I need to complete in order to be a US Merchant Mariner?

All of crewmembers working on the ocean line must successfully complete Standards for Training Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) training. The STCW training is approximately one week course held in either Constanta or Budapest or any other certified organisations.

A&C Global will coordinate and assist your STCW Training prior to your first shipboard assignment.

Where do I sleep and what will it look like?

Living space can vary based on ship and the position. While the management level position will have a single room, non-management will be sharing with roommates. Although the room is small, you will have a comfy bed, a shared TV, personal closet space and full bathroom. You'll have clean sheets and fresh towels!

Is there a place to relax?

Yes. There is a common room where the employees can gather to play games, share experiences and even to watch a movie. Internet is available at cost for crew to check in with what's going on back at home.

Can you drink alcohol onboard or use drugs?

Yes, when you're not scheduled to work and off duty. Just remember that we have a zero tolerance policy for certain positions and alcohol limitations. And no matter what, YOU are RESPONSIBLE for being on time for your shift and SOBER! Reporting to work under the influence or hung over is cause for immediate termination. That's definitely NOT what you want to happen!

Our partners’ vessels are operated safely and with maximum concern for the environment. To this end, the use, sale or possession of illegal drugs; the misuse of legal drugs; and the immoderate or unauthorized use of alcohol are specifically forbidden. Accordingly, we will not employ persons known to use drugs. All new crew members will have to take a drug test within the first 72 hours of joining the ship. All crew members are subject to random drug & alcohol testing

Can I bring a friend, family, maybe a pet?

Space onboard is very limited. Any offer is for employee only.

What should I pack?

We recommend that you pack for a 1-week trip and consider bringing items that are on the suggested packing list. We'll set you up with the proper uniforms so you need off-duty clothes. There are times when you may be called on to participate in a formal event, so one dressy outfit is worth packing. There are shops onboard that our employees can shop from, at a discounted rate. And some of the best bargains can be found at some of the ports you'll visit.

What about medical care?

While you're onboard, the medical doctor onboard will provide you medical care.

When a candidate has agreed to work, he/she will be required to take a Pre-Employment Medical Exam. Guidance and all necessary documents, together with complete instructions will be transmitted prior to the approval by the Medical Advisors.


In order to try and minimize the spread of illness among passengers and crew, all joining crew will be vaccinated for influenza upon boarding a ship.

The vaccination is free of charge and all crew are required to be vaccinated onboard, unless they have a valid medical reason duly documented from a doctor.

If you were vaccinated before joining your Crystal Cruises ship, please bring proof of vaccination with you.

Note that you will not be reimbursed for an influenza vaccination that you took prior to joining.

Can I use the guest pool and the gym?

Guest facilities are for guests only. Employees are provided with employee only facilities. There is a well-equipped gym onboard for you to keep in shape! However, we just don't have the space for an employee only pool on all vessels. But, many itineraries offer a port of call with some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts that you can visit if you're off duty and headed a shore.

Do I receive uniforms?

The uniform is provided for free by the company and will be handed out onboard.

Kindly note that NO VISIBLE TATOOES / PIERCINGS are allowed.

In accordance with International Maritime Law, approximately twenty-five per cent of the crew must remain on board while the vessel is in port for responding to fires and other emergencies. These duties are rotational and assigned by the department heads.

What's the chain of command?

The ultimate final word is the Captain, Master of the vessel. There is a clear chain of command that should be followed in seeking advice, assistance, resolutions, etc.