Many young aspiring chefs often contemplate about working on a cruise ship. The cruise industry offers various jobs for hospitality professionals and an opportunity to see the world at the same time. Travel is a big part of the allure for cruise line employees and it offers invaluable educational experiences. So, when young aspiring chefs ask me about working at sea, I tell them that they must be ready to eat, sleep, and live in a fast-paced working environment for months at a time with no days off. If knowing the working conditions, you still have the ambition to work for a cruise line, by all means, do it and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime that goes far beyond cooking. And who knows, you just might get to meet one of your favorite chefs while cooking on the high seas!
Men and women have turned to the sea for centuries in search of a better life, adventure, and money. Whatever the case may be, the sea has provided a door to an opportunity somewhere over the horizon. However, this change comes at a high price along with tremendous sacrifice. Quite simply sea life is hard, consisting of very long hours, no days off, and working in an environment that is in constant motion. Let us not forget the occasional rough sea days which, for some, may include seasickness that can be very severe for some people. For many men and women that have the courage to work at sea and leave their homes, the sea offers hope and a way to eventually better their lives on land. With a deep desire to forgo all the difficulties that working at sea may bring, they still see it as an opportunity and an adventure of a lifetime that can make a better life for themselves and their loved ones back home.
Not everyone that works at sea is looking for a betterment of life by making the sacrifice. There are plenty of people who decide to work at sea as a career; most are trying. The ability to make a decent amount of money at sea with little time to spend any of it is a huge incentive. Saving money is quite easy, and sending money back home can easily be done from the ship or from the various ports of call. Therefore, the personal choice to take up employment at sea is absolutely an honest and admirable way to make a living and it gives a big sense of accomplishment for those that successfully do.
The cruise lines I have worked for in my career were always full of men and women who were all trying hard to overlook the sacrifices of ship life and do their best to obtain their financial or personal goals while at sea. There is a true sense of camaraderie and pride that comes with working at sea, and completing cruise line contracts brings with it an air of dignity to all men and women that hold a Merchant Marine Seafarer’s Book.