June 3, 2020

What are the requirements for onboard employment?

What is required for onboard-employment?

While specific position requirements depend on the job you are interested in, there are some essential requirements that all crew must meet to get a job onboard:

-You have to be 21 age or older
-You have to be able to pass a criminal background check
-You must hold a valid passport
-You will need a US C1/D visa “if you are not a Canadian or US citizen / resident”
-Have a “company’s-specific pre-employment medical exam certificate”
-You will have to meet the English fluency requirements relevant to your position

Also known as a seaman’s visa, many nationalities need this to work onboard a ship and travel to certain countries.
This visa normally lasts between one and five years. You will be required to make an appointment at your nearest US Embassy to get this visa, and all paperwork for the appointment will be supplied by your manning agency.
The cost of the first C1/D visa is at the crew member’s own expense but visa renewal costs are reimbursed by the company once while you’re on board.

How to get a medical certificate???

This extensive examination is at the employee’s expense and can be conducted through one of the company’s recommended medical facilities (you’ll be advised which one is closest to you). Once this is completed and approved by our corporate Medical department, you are cleared to travel and work onboard.

Which ship will you be assigned to???

Shipboard employees are scheduled to vessels based on operational needs. This means you could be assigned to any one of our vessels in the fleet depending on where a position is open at the time you are travel-ready. After your first assignment, we will be able to provide details about the next assignment after your leave period.

How do I get to and from the ship I am assigned to?

At the beginning of each contract, the Cruise line will provide flights from your designated airport to your assigned ship. At the completion of your contract, the company will arrange for your travel back home as well. It is your responsibility to get to the airport from your home, but from there we will provide any necessary accommodations and/or transportation to and from the ship.

Do you need travel insurance???

While you are covered medically onboard the vessel, it is recommended for you to purchase basic travel insurance to cover the cost of lost luggage or injuries that could result from shoreside activities…

How long will you be on board???

Contract lengths vary by position but range between 4 and 10 months. After each contract, you will receive 40-60 days of vacation before your next assignment. Your daily work schedule while onboard will depend on your particular position, but you can expect to work seven days a week and anywhere between 9-13 hours per day.

Can you get off and go home during the contract???

Time off during the contract is not permitted. In case of family emergencies, Cruise companies usually do understand that additional time at home may be needed and do accommodate these requests on a case-by-case basis…

Will you have your own room???

Accommodations may vary depending on the ship and position. Those in non-management positions generally share a cabin with 1-3 other roommates whereas those in most management positions are entitled to a single cabin (mostly). Cabins include storage space, TV, sometimes fridge and DVD player.

Can you drink alcohol onboard?

Yes, alcohol is available for purchase during time off. However, Some Cruise liners have a strict alcohol limit and at no time can a crew member be intoxicated… If they find you drunk during your work, you may get fired.

Is there a drug policy???

Companies have a zero-tolerance drug policy. All crew is subject to random and reasonable suspicion drug testing. Violation of these policies will result in termination. They can send employees to a drug test at any time they want. (Note: even some medicaments are not allowed…)

Is there a curfew?

There is no set curfew. However, a crew who are out late should be respectful of other crew members and guests nearby.

Will you have access to guest areas and amenities during your time off???

While some officer-level positions do allow restricted access to guest areas, most facilities are for guests only. However, some companies have a variety of crew-only facilities, such as a crew pool, whirlpool, gym, bar, and Crew Club, which is a communal room where you can gather to play games, watch movies, sing karaoke, and much more!

Once onboard, how do you stay in touch with your friends and family back home???

Postal mail services are available (while onboard). You will also have access to computers in the crew training areas. Wi-fi Internet is also available in the crew areas if you choose to bring your own laptop or tablet, but in most of cases you will have to pay for the internet depending on the internet plan you choose. Remember that satellite capabilities are sometimes limited while the ship is at sea.

Is there an ATM onboard to use???

There is an ATM in the guest areas; and in some crew areas, an ATM charge will apply. You can also cash checks in the Crew Office onboard to get cash.

Will I have to pay taxes???

US citizens will have federal taxes automatically deducted and may be required to pay state taxes, if applicable. All other nationalities are responsible for filing their own tax forms upon returning to their home countries (as they are self-employed).

How do you pay for items on board???

You will be provided with a bar account number, which is your personal number for the duration of your contract onboard each ship. As the entire vessel is cashless, even for guests, you will provide your account number at the bars, salon, and shops in guest areas. In the Crew Bar, you can purchase with a Crew Card and add money onto it for purchases.

How do you do laundry???

There are crew laundry facilities where the washers and dryers are free of charge, you just provide the soap (which is in some cases provided by companies as well). Some companies provide use the dry cleaning onboard, but there is a nominal cost.

What if you miss the ship in port???

Crew members who miss the ship should contact the ship’s agent who will be at the port. The Port Agent will arrange transportation to the ship’s next port of call. However, “it is the responsibility of the crew to pay these transportation costs”. The crew may be disciplined for the offense and could be terminated. Depending on the port all crew members are required to be back on board half an hour to an hour prior to sailing time.

What happens if you get sick while working onboard???

While on board, all crew are medically covered and can visit the Medical Clinic for health concerns. If you need to be medically disembarked during your contract, most ships will provide transportation to a land-based medical facility and repatriate you back home. Keep in mind that on the ship you will not be able to fake sickness and just to get days off, you will have to be sick for real to get a break.

Can you visit the ports while working onboard?

If you are not scheduled to work during the time the ship is in port, you can disembark the ship with your supervisor’s approval. Occasionally, there are crew specific activities or tours to participate in.
Safety requirements dictate that a certain number of crew members be present on each vessel at all times. As such, there may occasionally be times when, although not scheduled to work, you will be required to remain on board while the ship is in port.

How do you apply to work onboard?

Companies recruits globally through authorized hiring partners and agencies. Find the hiring agency located near you.

Once you contact the authorized hiring partner, you can get answers to questions regarding the application process and which positions are currently open in your region.
Each agency has it’s own rules, but the process is similar.


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