The cruise business is on the up and up, with new routes, ships and style concepts constantly appearing. The growth of specialist cruises and trend for in-house spas are two reasons for the rise in popularity. And then there's the more sobering point that in an increasingly unpredictable world ship routes are easier and cheaper to change than airborne ones.
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Speaking of unpredictable worlds, safety precautions have always been part of shipping lore. Never more so than now. New cruise crew will have to know all about safety before they step on a ship, so be prepared to take on this training if you are considering a job on the high seas.
Whether you're interested in catering, entertainment or the actual sailing of the ship, the internet is a good place to start researching. There are sites devoted specifically to cruise ship job vacancies where cruise lines will post staff requirements. It's also worth looking at the sites of specific lines to see what openings they have. GA_googleFillSlot("Indigo_Cruises_Bottomcenter_400x415_YouTube");
Consider, also, contacting the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITWF) for information. It's important to bear in mind that it's not all jolly, Roger.
A study in 2002 by War on Want and the ITWF, called 'What it's Really Like to Work On Board Cruise Ships', reported many instances of bad conditions for workers - cramped living quarters, questionable sanitation, overlong hours, bad pay, autocratic management.
Of course, it can be argued that in an industry employing more than 100,000 there will always be some unlucky people. Nonetheless, if you are considering a job on a particular ship, it is well worth talking to people who are already working on board if you can. Don't assume that because a line is big and well-known that it will treat its employees well.
If you want to witness the working life at sea before you bite, there's always a cargo cruise. On these trips - which can work out much cheaper than an ordinary cruise trip -you are second fiddle to the cargo (hence the name) but still travel in comfort.
There are many freighters which will take passengers - contact an agent such as Strand Voyages or Freighter World Cruises for more information.