How to apply for Cruise Ships? | Guide to become an Officer on Cruise Ships

What is a Cruise Ship?

A cruise ship is like a floating hotel and vacation resort on the water. It’s a massive ship designed for people to have a relaxing and enjoyable time while travelling to various destinations. 

On a cruise ship, you’ll find comfortable rooms, restaurants, entertainment like shows and games, pools, and even shops. You can think of it as a fun and convenient way to explore different places while having all the amenities you need on board. If you want to be a part of this amazing career then you are in for a treat as we discuss how to join the Cruise Ship as an Officer.

Cruise Ship

What are the departments on a cruise ship?

Organizational Structure on a Cruise Ship

Salary and Rank In Cruise Ship

Deck Department

Captain 15000$-20000$
Staff Captain8000$-12000$
Chief Officer (SAFETY)6000$-8000$
Chief Officer (OVERALL)6000$-8000$
Environmental Officer6000$-8000$
1st Officer7500$
2nd Officer7000$
3rd Officer6200$

The salary figures mentioned above have been recommended by industry experts and are typically paid to officers and crew members who work onboard cruise ships.

Engine Department 

Rank Salary
Chief Engineer12000$+
Staff Chief Engineer8000$+
2nd Engineer7000$+
3rd Engineer5500$+
4th Engineer4000$+
Engine Cadet2500$+

The salary figures mentioned above have been recommended by industry experts and are typically paid to officers and crew members who work onboard cruise ships.

How to Join the Cruise Ship as an Officer?

Joining a cruise ship can be an exciting career choice, and there are two common routes to get started. 

  1. Applying Offline 

Firstly, you can apply offline through certified agencies approved by cruise companies. These agencies specialize in connecting aspiring crew members with the right opportunities. 

  1. Applying Online

Secondly, many cruise lines offer the convenience of online applications directly through their websites. You can also explore job listings and connect with recruiters on platforms like LinkedIn to find your perfect cruise ship job.

Deck of a Cruise Ship

Steps to Join Cruise Ship

  • Step 2: Gain practical experience by completing a cadetship program.
  • Step 3: Successfully clear the MEO examination which is in itself a tough nut to crack that’s why we have MEO Class packages so that you can clear your exams in one go.
  • Step 4: Begin your job search by applying online through cruise companies’ websites or via LinkedIn.
  • Step 5: Prepare for a HireVue or video-based interview as part of the initial screening process.
  • Step 6: Undergo a Vienna Testing Scheme assessment to evaluate your skills and compatibility with the role.
  • Step 7: Attend an HR interview to discuss your qualifications and aspirations.
  • Step 8: Proceed to a final interview with a fleet engineer or a higher-ranking officer.
  • Step 9: Successfully pass the medical examination as the final step in the recruitment process.

Why Should ETO Join Cruise Ships? 

An Electrical Technical Officer (ETO) should consider joining a cruise ship because the salary offered in this role is often equivalent to what one might earn on an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carrier. 

Furthermore, Senior ETOs can earn upto the salary of a Chief Engineer on board. This competitive compensation, coupled with the opportunity to work in a vibrant and dynamic environment, makes a career on a cruise ship an appealing choice for skilled ETOs seeking both financial stability and professional growth.

Ranks of ETO on Cruise ship 

Ranks Salary
Junior ETO1500$-2500$
3rd ETO4000$-6000$
2nd ETO6000$-8000$
Senior ETO9000$+

What Does an Electrical Engineer Officer Do on a Ship? Refer to this

Documents Required to Join Cruise Ship

  1. Passport 
  2. VISA
  3. Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
  4. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
  5. Medical Certificate

Benefits of Joining Cruise 

Party on a Cruise Ship

Joining a cruise ship as part of the crew offers a range of unique benefits that go beyond just a paycheck. Here are some compelling advantages:

1. Higher Salary and Contract Flexibility: Cruise ship crew often enjoy a higher salary than their land-based counterparts. The typical 4-month contract, followed by 2-3 months off, allows for extended vacation time and personal pursuits.

2. Flexibility in Sign-Off: Crew members can delay their sign-off with a valid reason or even make a request to join a specific ship or sign off earlier, providing a level of flexibility not often found in other careers.

3. Port Visits and Travel Opportunities: More port visits mean more shore leave and the chance to explore diverse destinations. It’s a dream come true for those who love to travel, although it’s balanced with watch duty responsibilities.

4. Multicultural Environment: Working on a cruise ship means interacting with people from all over the world. It’s a great opportunity to learn about different cultures and forge lifelong friendships.

5. Vibrant Social Life: Cruise ships are like floating communities, with lots of crew members and tourists onboard. This lively atmosphere means parties, gatherings, and a happening social scene. There’s even a dedicated crew bar and lounge for unwinding.

6. Culinary Delights: The food on board is often of a high standard, with options ranging from continental to Indian cuisine. Officers may enjoy complimentary meals in the officer mess, while crew members may have access to special crew mess restaurants.

7. Medical and Insurance Benefits: Cruise ship companies typically offer robust medical benefits and insurance policies to ensure the well-being of their crew members.

8. Varied Work Environment: Crew members get to work with a variety of machinery and technology, providing valuable skills and experience.

9. Connectivity and Internet: While internet usage may incur a charge, the availability of social media and good internet speed helps crew members stay connected with loved ones.

10. Work Hours and Interactions: The working hours can be demanding, often involving 10-hour shifts with no Sundays or traditional holidays off. Crew members also need to maintain a professional demeanour when interacting with guests.

In sum, joining a cruise ship offers not just a job but a lifestyle rich in unique experiences, personal growth, and opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life. It’s a career choice that promises adventure, camaraderie, and the chance to see the world while earning a living.

Cruise Ship Sailing

Drawbacks of Joining Cruise Ship

Limited Opportunities for Indian Officers: The cruise ship industry historically had fewer opportunities for Indian officers, which could limit career advancement.

Dominance of Italian Influence: Some cruise lines may have a strong Italian influence in their management, potentially affecting the diversity of the workforce.

Slower Promotion and Savings: Advancement and savings potential can be slower in the cruise ship industry compared to other maritime careers, affecting financial growth.

Officer of Cruise Ship

Few Cruise Lines

  1. Carnival Cruise Lines
  2. Royal Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruise
  4. Disney Cruise Lines
  5. Costa
  6. AIDA
  7. Princess
  8. Norwegian Cruise Lines
  9. P&O Cruise
  10. Holland America Lines

Merchant Navy Life On Ship | Can Merchant Navy Officer Becomes Billionaire | CE Praneet Mehta

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Shankar pd singh

I sail in tankers

Om Kumar yadav


Om Kumar yadav

Join for deck department


Sir aapko chief engineer banne me kitna time laga or aapne kis age me ship join kiya please reply me
Because i have interest in engine cadet

Aman Manwal

Hi Sachin, normally it takes around 10 year to become a Chief Engineer considering you don’t delay your exams. If you have any personal query that you need to ask from C/E Praneet Sir then you can check out our Expert Counselling section.