Ex-Cruise Line workers reveal their 11 best hacks for living on a cruise ship



Slide 1 of 12: 
 Eight former cruise-ship employees told Business Insider what
 advice you would need to know if you're going to spend months
 working on a ship. 
 Their former employers include cruise lines owned by
 Carnival
 Corp., Royal
 Caribbean Cruises, and 
 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. 
 Their advice included packing light, savoring your free time,
 and bringing your own bed sheets. 
 Sign
 up for Business Insider's transportation newsletter, Shifting
 Gears, to get more stories like this in your inbox. 
 Visit
 Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 
 Cruise-ship jobs have numerous factors that separate them from
 land-based jobs, like the fact that your "office" doubles as your
 home and is often moving.
 Eight former cruise-ship employees told Business Insider what
 advice they would give anyone planning to spend months working on
 a ship. Their former employers include cruise lines owned by
 Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise
 Line Holdings. Five requested anonymity because of a fear of
 reprisal from their former employer.
 Here's what they said.
 Have you worked on a cruise ship? Do you have a story to
 share? Email this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.
Slide 2 of 12: 
 Luis Jamarillo, a former restaurant supervisor for Royal
 Caribbean International, said living in a cabin with three other
 people taught him to be prepared for anything, including his
 roommates having a party in his room while he was sleeping.
Slide 3 of 12: 
 A former chef for Oceania Cruises said it's important for
 cruise-ship workers to save some of the money they made.
 "When you leave, you will leave with nothing if you didn't save,"
 he said.
Slide 4 of 12: 
 A former retail employee for Princess Cruises, which is owned by
 Carnival Corp., said workers should bring clothing for multiple
 seasons, but not too much, since they might not have a lot of
 space in their cabin.

Slide 5 of 12: 
 If you don't leave extra space in your suitcase for the things
 you buy during your contract, "you'll have to end up doing what I
 did and buy a whole new suitcase," a former photographer for
 Norwegian Cruise Line said.
Slide 6 of 12: 
 Bringing your own sheets can help you feel more at home, the
 former Norwegian photographer said.
Slide 7 of 12: 
 Decorating your cabin with photos, for example, can also help you
 feel more comfortable, the former Norwegian photographer said.
Slide 8 of 12: 
 "Bring your own hand soap," said Abigail Segner, a former
 regional training manager for American Cruise Lines. "Don't rely
 on the soap on the boat. It's gross."
 Segner also said workers should bring their own towels and
 washcloths.
Slide 9 of 12: 
 "I was sleeping above one of our engine rooms for about a week
 and a half and I didn't get any sleep," Segner said.

Slide 10 of 12: 
 "Definitely take advantage of your time off the ship and
 explore," a former Norwegian bar server said. "Don't go to the
 places where the crew hangs out. Go to where the guests go or the
 locals go and hang out."
Slide 11 of 12: 
 "The rooms are very small," said Kristy Berlin, a former event
 manager for Holland America, which is owned by Carnival Corp.
 "Definitely pack light. Don't pack heavy. If you need anything
 else, you can definitely buy it while you're there when you go
 off into port."
Slide 12 of 12: 
 You don't get to leave the ship often, so make sure you do when
 you can, a former waiter on Disney Cruise Line said.
 "Enjoy all the time off you have," he said. "You don't have too
 much."
 Read more: 
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 into each other in Mexico 
 This is what it takes to be a cruise ship performer 
 Royal Caribbean uses this psychological trick to get you to
 spend more money 
 The 10 nastiest cruise ships that have sailed in the US

Cruise-ship jobs have numerous factors that separate them from
land-based jobs, like the fact that your “office” doubles as your
home and is often moving.

Eight former cruise-ship employees told Business Insider what
advice they would give anyone planning to spend months working on
a ship. Their former employers include cruise lines owned by
Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise
Line Holdings. Five requested anonymity because of a fear of
reprisal from their former employer.

Here’s what they said.

Have you worked on a cruise ship? Do you have a story to
share? Email this reporter at [email protected]

Be prepared for anything

Luis Jamarillo, a former restaurant supervisor for Royal
Caribbean International, said living in a cabin with three other
people taught him to be prepared for anything, including his
roommates having a party in his room while he was sleeping.

Save some of the money you make

A former chef for Oceania Cruises said it’s important for
cruise-ship workers to save some of the money they made.

“When you leave, you will leave with nothing if you didn’t save,”
he said.

Bring clothes for multiple seasons

A former retail employee for Princess Cruises, which is owned by
Carnival Corp., said workers should bring clothing for multiple
seasons, but not too much, since they might not have a lot of
space in their cabin.

Don’t completely fill your suitcase

If you don’t leave extra space in your suitcase for the things
you buy during your contract, “you’ll have to end up doing what I
did and buy a whole new suitcase,” a former photographer for
Norwegian Cruise Line said.

Bring your own bed sheets

Bringing your own sheets can help you feel more at home, the
former Norwegian photographer said.

Decorate your cabin

Decorating your cabin with photos, for example, can also help you
feel more comfortable, the former Norwegian photographer said.

Bring your own soap, towels, and washcloths

“Bring your own hand soap,” said Abigail Segner, a former
regional training manager for American Cruise Lines. “Don’t rely
on the soap on the boat. It’s gross.”

Segner also said workers should bring their own towels and
washcloths.

Bring earplugs

“I was sleeping above one of our engine rooms for about a week
and a half and I didn’t get any sleep,” Segner said.

Explore the ports where your ship stops

“Definitely take advantage of your time off the ship and
explore,” a former Norwegian bar server said. “Don’t go to the
places where the crew hangs out. Go to where the guests go or the
locals go and hang out.”

Pack light

“The rooms are very small,” said Kristy Berlin, a former event
manager for Holland America, which is owned by Carnival Corp.
“Definitely pack light. Don’t pack heavy. If you need anything
else, you can definitely buy it while you’re there when you go
off into port.”

Savor the little free time you have

You don’t get to leave the ship often, so make sure you do when
you can, a former waiter on Disney Cruise Line said.

“Enjoy all the time off you have,” he said. “You don’t have too
much.” 

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