Working on a cruise ship sounds glamorous in theory—you get to travel the world on a luxurious ocean liner, visiting exotic destinations that you might not otherwise have seen. However, as anyone who has ever worked as a crew member on a cruise ship can attest, it’s not as glamorous as it seems. Crew members typically work long hours for low pay and live in cramped quarters at or below sea level in the ship’s berth. In some cases, those who work below deck barely see the light of day.
Specific work conditions will depend on the job (for example, staff members such as the entertainment director will receive higher pay and typically experience better work conditions than below deck crew members), but all cruise ship employees have basic rights that their cruise line employer needs to honor.