What Qualifications Do You Need to Work on a Cruise Ship?

By Michael Ferguson

Working on a cruise ship can be an incredibly exciting opportunity for anyone looking to travel the world and make a good wage. Cruise ships have a wide variety of roles available, from service staff to entertainers, and although the pay isn’t necessarily high, you get to enjoy free food, lodging and transportation as part of the job. But before you can even apply for a cruise ship job, there are certain qualifications you need to fulfill.

Minimum Age Requirements: Most cruise lines require that all employees be at least 18 years of age. However, some do hire younger individuals with parental consent or special circumstances involved. You must also have a valid passport in order to work on a cruise ship.

Previous Experience: Previous experience in the hospitality industry is always preferred by employers when it comes to working on a cruise ship.

This can include bartending or serving experience, as well as experience in housekeeping, childcare or entertainment. Depending on the position you’re applying for, certain additional skills may be required such as knowledge of another language or basic culinary skills.

Education Requirements: Most employers prefer applicants who have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent, but it’s not always necessary if you have sufficient experience in your chosen field. Additionally, many employers offer on-the-job training so that even those without prior experience can learn the necessary skills quickly.

Medical Requirements: Working on a cruise ship involves long hours and often times working in cramped conditions so it’s important that you are physically fit and able to perform your duties without any health risks involved. Depending on the position you’re applying for you may need to pass a physical examination prior to being hired that tests for any potential medical conditions that could interfere with your job performance.

Cruise ships also require employees to pass drug tests prior to hire and during their time onboard as well as background checks depending on the position they are applying for.

In order to work on a cruise ship you must meet certain criteria including minimum age requirements (18 years old), previous experience in hospitality (preferred but not always necessary), educational qualifications (high school diploma or equivalent) and medical requirements (passing physical examinations and drug tests). You must also possess valid passport documentation in order to work onboard a cruise ship.