A question we often get asked often is: "Which cruise line company is the best one to work for?" If you're going to commit 6+ months of your valuable life to working on cruise ships, then this is a great question! The problem is there are simply too many factors involved to say whether one cruise line is "better" than another … which means that there is no hard and faster answer to the question.
What's more, you can speak to 5 crew members who have each worked for the same 5 cruise lines … and each person you talk to will have a vastly opposing opinion of each of the companies. I know this for a fact because I speak to crew members all the time and it never ceases to amaze me how a perception of a cruise line changes from person to person.
I would tell you that Carnival is a fantastic company to work for because of the fun times and great experiences I had been working for them for over 3 years. Yet a close friend of mine had one bad experience on a Carnival ship, left after 3 months and vowed never to work for them again … and now invites telling everyone to stay clear! Just listening to ONE person's opinion, based on their own experience can be extremely damaging to your prospects. Generally, your enjoyment on board boils down to these factors:
1 / The ship you're working on. This is a personal preference but some people prefer to work on large, busy ships with thousands of passengers and crew … while others prefer the inconvenience of working on smaller, less hectic ships where everyone knows one another.
2 / The job you do on board. Every department and every position within those departments differs. One job on a Royal Caribbean ship may involve more hours, more responsibility and less pay than the exact same job on (say) an NCL ship … or vice versa.
3 / The itinerary of the ship. If you're on a ship that spends a lot of time at sea and fewer days in port then it often means more working hours. If you are employed on board a ship with a monotonous route, that can also become a drag within a few months.
4 / Lastly, YOU and the people you work with are, actually, the most important criteria. If you've got a great team around you and you're an easy going, fun, hardworking person … then you'll enjoy the experience of working on a cruise ship no matter which company you work for.
And this really is the key to a happy life working on a cruise ship, and it has nothing to do with the company you work for.