How much do you get paid on a cruise ship?

How Much Do You Get Paid on a Cruise Ship?

Meta-description: Curious about cruise ship salaries? Find out how much you can earn while working on a cruise ship. This comprehensive article covers everything you need to know about cruise ship wages, from various positions to factors affecting your income.

What are Passenger Ships? (with pictures)


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work on a cruise ship? One of the most common questions potential crew members have is, “How much do you get paid on a cruise ship?” It’s a valid inquiry, as working on a cruise ship offers a unique lifestyle and exciting opportunities, but it’s essential to understand the financial aspect before embarking on this adventure.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of cruise ship wages and explore the various positions that are available. Whether you’re considering a career on a cruise ship or merely curious about the salaries, we’ve got you covered. Let’s set sail and discover how much you can earn while working on a cruise ship.

How Much Do You Get Paid on a Cruise Ship?

Working on a cruise ship can be financially rewarding, but the actual income varies depending on several factors. The following are some of the key elements that influence cruise ship salaries:

1. Position on the Ship

The salary you receive on a cruise ship is heavily determined by your job position. Cruise ships employ a diverse range of professionals, from entry-level crew members to highly skilled specialists. Here are some common positions on a cruise ship and their corresponding salaries:

  • Entry-level Positions: These positions, such as housekeeping staff or waiters, usually receive a base salary along with tips from passengers. The average monthly salary for entry-level roles ranges from $1,200 to $2,500.
  • Skilled Positions: Jobs like bartenders, chefs, and technicians require specific skills and experience. Salaries for these positions are typically higher, ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.
  • Management Roles: Senior officers and department heads, such as the captain, chief engineer, and hotel manager, earn the highest salaries on a cruise ship. Their monthly earnings can exceed $10,000.

2. Cruise Line and Ship Size

The cruise line you work for also plays a significant role in determining your salary. High-end luxury cruise lines tend to offer higher pay rates compared to budget-friendly ones. Additionally, the size of the ship can influence the number of available positions and potential earnings.

3. Experience and Seniority

As with any job, experience and seniority can lead to salary increases. Cruise ship employees who have been with a specific company for an extended period often receive better pay and benefits.

4. Gratuities and Tips

Many cruise lines operate on a tipping system, allowing passengers to provide gratuities to crew members for exceptional service. These tips can significantly boost a crew member’s income, especially for positions that heavily rely on gratuities.

Cruise Ship Positions and Salaries

Let’s explore some of the most common positions on a cruise ship and their associated salaries:

1. Cruise Ship Entertainers

Cruise ship entertainers are responsible for providing guests with memorable performances and activities. Positions in this category include musicians, dancers, magicians, and other performers. Salaries for entertainers can range from $1,500 to $4,000 per month, depending on experience and the cruise line’s entertainment budget.

2. Food and Beverage Staff

Food and beverage staff, including waiters, bartenders, and sommeliers, play a crucial role in ensuring guests have a delightful dining experience. On average, they earn between $1,800 and $3,000 per month, inclusive of tips.

3. Housekeeping and Cabin Crew

Housekeeping and cabin crew are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and comfort of the ship’s accommodations. Their salaries range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month, with tips accounting for a significant portion of their earnings.

4. Cruise Ship Medical Staff

Medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are essential for the well-being of both crew members and passengers. They earn higher salaries due to their specialized skills, ranging from $4,500 to $9,000 per month.

5. Shore Excursion Staff

Shore excursion staff organize and oversee onshore activities for cruise guests. Their salaries typically range from $2,000 to $3,500 per month.

6. Cruise Ship Officers

Cruise ship officers, including the captain, chief engineer, and other department heads, hold high-ranking positions with salaries exceeding $10,000 per month.

7. Youth Counselors

Youth counselors and childcare staff cater to young passengers, organizing engaging activities and ensuring their safety. Their salaries range from $1,800 to $3,200 per month.

8. Casino Staff

Casino staff, such as dealers and supervisors, have the potential to earn substantial income through a combination of salary and tips. Total earnings can reach $2,500 to $4,000 per month.


Q: Do cruise ship employees get free meals and accommodation? A: Yes, most cruise lines provide free meals and accommodation for their employees.

Q: Can I save money while working on a cruise ship? A: Absolutely! Since you don’t have expenses like rent and utilities, you have the opportunity to save a significant portion of your salary.

Q: What are the working hours like on a cruise ship? A: Working hours can be long and challenging, with many crew members working 10-12 hours a day.

Q: Are there opportunities for career advancement on a cruise ship? A: Yes, many cruise lines offer opportunities for career growth and promotion within their organization.

Q: Are there any additional perks for cruise ship employees? A: Yes, cruise ship employees often enjoy benefits such as discounted travel for themselves and their families.

Q: How do I apply for a job on a cruise ship? A: To apply for a cruise ship job, visit the official websites of various cruise lines and check their career sections for job openings.


Working on a cruise ship can be a rewarding and exciting experience, offering a chance to travel the world while earning a living. Salaries on a cruise ship can vary widely depending on the position, cruise line, and your experience. Whether you’re passionate about hospitality, entertainment, or maritime professions, there’s a role for you in the fascinating world of cruise ships.

Keep in mind that life on a cruise ship isn’t all smooth sailing; it requires hard work, dedication, and adaptability. However, for those seeking adventure and an opportunity to explore different cultures, a career on a cruise ship can be immensely fulfilling.

Next time you find yourself daydreaming about life at sea, consider the wide array of opportunities available and how much you can get paid on a cruise ship. So, set sail on your journey and discover the wonders that await you in the maritime world.

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