What Are the Best Cruise Lines to Work For? - Cruise with Leo

What Are the Best Cruise Lines to Work For?

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cruise crew

Cruise lines have tens of thousands of employees worldwide.

To operate a large ship, many people are needed, from engineers to officers, from cabin stewards to workers in the food and beverage sector.

Do cruise companies treat workers all the same way? Obviously not, each company has its own characteristics, benefits, and positive and negative aspects.

Below, we will look at the best cruise lines to work for and the reasons that make them so.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean ship

Royal Caribbean is definitely one of the best cruise lines to work for.

This is due to several factors that make this company perfect for both those who want to start a career, and those who already have experience in the industry.

First, Royal Caribbean is one of the largest cruise lines in the world, and also the one with the greatest variety of itineraries.

This means that there are always many opportunities available, and you can work on an itinerary that is close to your home whether in America, Europe, Asia, or Australia.

In addition, they stand out for their staff development programs that have already helped many people who have started from the bottom and reached senior positions on ships.

Based on the information we have, Royal Caribbean is also among those that offer the most interesting benefits, they include:

  • Numerous activities, spaces, and services specifically for staff (on-board gyms, fitness classes, and stress management workshops).
  • Great health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Huge travel discounts for both the worker and their family members (for example, the buddy pass, which in some cases can save thousands of dollars).

Moreover, the company is known for a good work-life balance, they guarantee flexible schedules and work shifts that allow employees to enjoy time off and relaxation.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival ship

The second-best cruise line to work for is Carnival Cruise Line.

As you probably know, its ships are mainly focused on the United States and the Caribbean, so they are perfect for those who want to work in those areas.

The work on board is described as “intense,” however, just as Royal Caribbean, Carnival also offers some rather attractive benefits.

The salaries they offer are among the highest in the market, there is then in significant retirement plan and a plan to allow you to buy Carnival shares at a discounted price.

The company also recognizes the hardest-working and best-performing workers by offering rewards to the top employees.

One interesting thing to note about Carnival is that the atmosphere on board is less formal and fancy than on other companies.

Therefore, it might appeal especially to people who do not like elegance and prefer a casual environment.

If you wanna know more about these differences, I suggest you take a look at the article on the 10 biggest differences between Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

Norwegian Cruise Line

norwegian getaway vs norwegian viva
NCL ships

In third place is Norwegian Cruise Line, which is a great company to work for and offers a slightly different experience than the previous two.

NCL has smaller ships and a more relaxed atmosphere than Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and this is obviously reflected in the workplace.

Basically, there is a “Freestyle” approach on board and passengers can freely choose their schedules, so there are more flexible schedules and variable shifts for staff as well.

It is also considered a fairly premium company, so guests expect equally high service (although this applies to all cruise lines).

On board some ships, there is also “The Heaven” area, which is designed for passengers seeking exclusive service and space.
In this “sector,” there is often a demand for workers such as butlers, experienced waiters, experienced bartenders, as well as people who are already accustomed to working in luxury hotels.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney ship

As you probably expect, the experience on Disney ships is completely different.

First, Disney has few ships, and therefore it is quite difficult to find a job on board.

The positive side is that the environment is always festive, magical, and the passengers are always happy to enjoy a journey through the fantastic world of Disney.

Disney cruise prices are quite high, and from what we know, the salaries offered to workers are high as well.

There is only one crucial thing that needs to be considered, and that is not for everyone: you will always work with families and young kids.

Given the target audience of Disney cruises, workers must be very patient, attentive toward the needs of children, and strictly follow the rules.

MSC Cruises

msc seascape ship pic outside
MSC ship

The last of the best companies you could work for is MSC Cruises.

After careful analysis, I decided to include MSC for a few key reasons.

First of all, it is a company that is greatly expanding and launching many ships, so it often seeks employees, and it is easy to get a job.

Secondly, it has many ships in the Mediterranean and is perhaps the best choice for those living in Europe or nearby countries who want to work closer to home.

MSC is considered a mid-level cruise line and since it was founded in Italy it has a large number of Italian and European passengers.

One interesting thing is that MSC has a very international cruise staff, just think that people from more than 100 different nations work on their ships.

Salaries for the different positions

Now that we have seen which companies are the best to work with, you are probably wondering what salaries they offer.

As you can imagine, wages can change a lot depending on several factors:

  • The company you work for
  • The type of position and duties
  • The level of experience
  • The country in which you are hired

For more detailed numbers, you can look at the article on how much do cruise ship workers make.
You will find figures for all the most common jobs, from waiters to chefs to cabin attendants.


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