How many hours do cruise workers work?

How many hours do cruise workers work?

Discover the working hours of cruise ship employees and gain insights into the schedules, rest periods, and the challenges they face. This comprehensive article sheds light on the hours cruise workers work, ensuring you understand the dedication and commitment behind the scenes.

Cruise ship crew member reveals bizarre theory why all staff crave this ...


Cruise ships offer a world of luxury, entertainment, and adventure to passengers, but have you ever wondered about the hardworking crew members who make it all possible? Cruise workers play a crucial role in ensuring smooth sailing and a memorable experience for guests. However, their jobs are far from ordinary, often involving long hours and demanding schedules. In this detailed article, we will delve into the working hours of cruise ship employees, the regulations governing their work, and the challenges they encounter.

How many hours do cruise workers work?

Cruise ship employees work diligently to provide exceptional service to guests, but their hours can vary significantly based on their roles and responsibilities. It’s essential to understand that the nature of their work requires flexibility and dedication, as cruise ships operate around the clock.

Working Hours and Schedules

1. Shift-Based Employment

Many cruise ship workers are employed on a shift-based system. This means they work in rotational shifts, ensuring the ship’s operations run smoothly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2. Crew Departments

The working hours of cruise workers depend on their department and responsibilities. The crew is typically divided into various departments such as Deck, Engineering, Hotel Services, Entertainment, and Food & Beverage.

Crew Members’ Typical Working Hours

1. Deck and Navigation Department

  • Officers in the Deck Department, including the Captain, Chief Officer, and Navigation Officers, often work in shifts of 4 to 6 hours to ensure continuous navigation and safety on board.

2. Engineering Department

  • Engineers and technicians in the Engineering Department work in shifts of 8 to 12 hours, managing the ship’s mechanical and electrical systems.

3. Hotel Services Department

  • Crew members in this department, including housekeeping and guest services, often work long hours, usually ranging from 10 to 12 hours per day.

4. Entertainment Department

  • Entertainment staff, such as performers and activity coordinators, may have varying schedules based on show times and guest engagement requirements.

5. Food & Beverage Department

  • Staff in the Food & Beverage Department, including chefs, servers, and bartenders, often work long hours during meal times and busy periods, averaging 10 to 12 hours per day.

Regulations and Rest Periods

1. Maritime Labor Convention (MLC)

The Maritime Labor Convention sets international standards for working conditions and ensures the welfare of crew members. It defines regulations concerning working hours, rest periods, and crew accommodation.

2. Rest Hours

Cruise ship workers are entitled to specific rest hours between shifts to ensure they receive adequate rest and maintain their well-being.

Challenges Faced by Cruise Workers

1. Extended Working Hours

Working on a cruise ship can be demanding due to the long hours and the need to be available to guests at all times.

2. Limited Time Off

Cruise ship employees often have limited time off, especially during busy periods, which can impact work-life balance.

3. Adjusting to Different Time Zones

As cruise ships travel to various destinations, crew members must adjust to different time zones, leading to potential sleep disruptions.

4. Living and Working in Close Quarters

Cruise ship workers live and work in confined spaces, which can be challenging for some individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do cruise workers get time off? A: Yes, cruise workers receive time off between their shifts, although the duration may vary based on the department and ship’s schedule.

Q: Can cruise workers take vacations? A: Cruise workers typically have designated vacation periods during their contracts, allowing them to take time off after completing their contract.

Q: Are cruise workers paid for overtime? A: Cruise ship employees are compensated for overtime hours as per the regulations and their employment contracts.

Q: How many months do cruise workers work continuously? A: The duration of a cruise worker’s contract can vary, but it is not uncommon for contracts to last between 6 to 9 months.

Q: Do cruise workers have days off while at sea? A: Cruise workers do have days off while at sea, but the frequency may depend on the ship’s itinerary and workload.

Q: How do cruise workers cope with long working hours? A: Cruise workers develop time management skills and find support from colleagues to cope with long working hours and demanding schedules.


Cruise workers play a vital role in creating memorable and enjoyable experiences for passengers. Their dedication and commitment are evident in the long hours they work to ensure the smooth operation of the ship. Understanding the working hours of cruise ship employees sheds light on the challenges they face and the effort they put into making each cruise journey unforgettable. So, the next time you embark on a cruise, take a moment to appreciate the hardworking crew who contribute to your extraordinary voyage.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top