Three years ago, I ran away to sea without the slightest idea of how my life would play out next. Like so many others out there, I had just finished University and came to a stand still. What now? Do I start my ‘career’, or do I do what I really long for; pack up my bags and get globe trotting? The overwhelming urge to run away and travel the world ran deep within me. I can now quite happily say that I look back with no regrets; it was the best experience of my life to date and it could be yours too. I’m here to tell you why I think you should run away to sea, and I promise you it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made.
1. You will get to travel the world
This one goes without question – Cruise Ships travel the world, and so working on board one offers you the chance to globe trot – for FREE. It may not be as luxurious as the passengers who pay for it, and yes you might be sharing a bunk bed with a cabin mate who snores, but that’s a small price to pay for seeing the world. You’ll see places your friends and relatives only dream of going, and they could too if only they were brave like you.
2. You will meet incredible people
You live with the people that you work with, and so your team becomes your on board family. Some passengers may come and go, but you’ll meet ones that will stand out from the rest and who may even return every once in a while. When ashore, seeing how the locals go about their every day lives makes you realise just how big this world is, and how similar yet different we all are from one another.
3. You will have the best parties
Rule no.1 on board Cruise Ships is work hard, play harder. While most passengers are enduring the fox trot upstairs, crew are known for throwing the craziest of parties on the decks below. The Crew Bar and the Wardroom (Aka the “Wardie”) are where you’ll be headed. Be sure to take some fancy dress with you in your suit case.. If you didn’t like dressing up before, you will now!
4. You will take incredible photographs
While your friends back home will be taking toilet selfies in the local club, you’ll be mastering the arts of travel photography (throwing some selfies in there just for good measure). Your cabin walls will become filled with memories, and by the time you go home you’ll have thousands to show. Best go and invest in a good camera and a hard drive asap!
5. You will have great experiences
Walking around and taking in the views is one way to explore your port destinations, but experiencing something new while you’re there makes for a much better memory. Take the toboggan ride down the hills in Madeira. Swim with turtles and stingrays in the Caribbean. Rent Jeeps for the day and race around the islands in the Canaries. You’ll go home with so many stories to tell that your friends and family will wish they were there!
6. You will eat like you’ve never eaten before*
*Although the rules are different for certain Crew members, as a front of house member you’ll be granted permission to eat all of the glorious food above decks that is made especially for passengers. On the occasional night off work, for an extra fee you can book into the fancy on board restaurants and enjoy five star cuisine. Not to mention all of the fabulous food you can try when you’re out and about in port. Five words: Madeira – Steak on a stone.
7. You will learn to really appreciate time off
By time off, I mean time ashore. Those precious moments when you’re in port (and therefore not working) are crucial for your sanity. Take a stroll on the beach, kick back with a beer, and take it nice and slow. You might miss home from time to time, but if the choice is between drinking a cocktail on a sun lounger as you’re sat in the sunshine, or drinking a glass of squash on the sofa while it pours down with rain outside, I know where I’d rather be.
8. You will learn to really appreciate your family
Living on board will force you to become totally independent and look after yourself. You will learn to organise your time, watch your cash flow and so much more. Although your family are only a phone call away, if you can cope on your own they’ll be so proud of the person that ship life turns you into; a resemblance of their child with adult responsibilities. The time away from your family will make you realise just how much they do for you. Be sure to show them your appreciation by picking them up some souvenirs.
9. You will become super employable
Working on board a Cruise Ship looks great on a CV, and is always a talking point in any future interview. People who have not worked on one themselves will be fascinated by this change from the norm (i.e. land based jobs), so they are bound to have some questions lined up for you just on that experience alone. Working on board for 6-9 months at a time is a long stint, therefore your customer service skills will become extraordinary. The time you spend on board is also a positive in their eyes, as it shows your dedication and commitment to your work.
10. You will make enough memories to last a lifetime
Whether you choose to turn it into a long term career or simply do a couple of contracts, you will create enough memories to last a lifetime. Not only this, but you will have photos to look back at, stories to tell, and great friends to visit across the globe. The whole experience will change you for the better; your outlook on life will be so different to what it once was, as you open your eyes to the world around you and how much more of it you have yet to see. Don’t let the experiences stop there – let this be just the beginning of your great adventure.
So there you have it – 10 reasons why you should work at sea; and why Cruise Ships offer the best jobs. Does anyone else have any reasons and recommendations for running away to sea? It might help other future travellers out there. Drop a comment below!
If you liked this article, then you might also like my ’10 things every Cruise Ship worker needs to pack before their first adventure’ article. I’ve also linked a few of my social media accounts below. I appreciate your follow and friendship! 🙂