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‘Ship Life’: What It’s Really Like Working And Living On A Cruise Ship

Everyone assumes that working on a cruise ship is glamorous. But I have some news for you. It’s not really.

Life at sea is a whole breed of its own. It destroys your soul one second and leaves you flying as high as a kite with happiness the next.

It’s a whirlwind for sure, and it’s easy to see why so many people dedicate their lives to working at sea. You learn a lot about yourself and make so many wonderful friends. But ship life is totally different to life on dry land.

If you’re about to embark on a career on a cruise ship, then here are some home truths you will come to learn. And if you’ve already been there, then I’m sure you’ll understand all of these things already.

Here are some home truths about ‘ship life’…

You complain that you wanted to save more money this contract but you go out for brunch every time you port in Key West and you drink $5 coffees every day from the guest coffee bar.

You’ve never been so skinny. News flash: it’s because you’re malnourished from the lack of quality food.

You’ve never had to poop so many times in one day. Are they honestly putting laxatives in the food?

You have never felt more passive aggressive than when cruisers give you attitude. “No ma’am, you may not see Mickey Mouse right now. He has a 15 hour day and he kinda needs a dinner break at some point.”

You have so many friends from all over the world who you talk to all the time in the crew mess. But lord help you if you get asked their name when they’re not wearing their name badge.

On that note, you’ve probably lost your name badge at least twice this contract.

There’s nothing more exciting than when you get your years of service pins.

Everyone hates the entertainment crew.

The crew bar has the cheapest drinks you will ever get.

Although you’ll probably spend the majority of your evenings drinking wine from the crew store in the corridors.

Your time off in port involves running to Target to stock up on essentials (ya know, like ‘illegal’ avocados and soy milk) and stuffing your face with fried chicken so that you don’t die of starvation.

When there is ‘spicy chicken’ in the crew mess, it’s every man for himself.

Until you realise that the chicken is burning a hole in your butt and you leave half of it on your plate.

Safety drills are the worst. No matter how much you try to stay positive.

You’ve also never been so happy to see broccoli before.

Your friends are your family.

And while you love it when your actual family come to visit…

You also can’t wait for them to leave so that you can sleep again.

And you’re mainly excited for them to visit so that you can eat that sweet, sweet guest food.

Sorry, not sorry…

Have you ever worked on a cruise ship? Feel free to leave your home truths about ship life in the comments below.



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