Do you really have what it takes to work on a cruise ship? Before you start fantasising about steel drums, crystal clear seas and endless sunshine, it might be worth reading the below. A job on board a cruise ship, is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle… and one that not everybody’s cut out for. In fact, most people aren’t!

If you love your 9-5 routine and your home comforts, you may as well tear up your application right now. However, if you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will open your mind, invigorate your soul, and prepare you for anything life should throw at you, apply away! Be warned though…you’ll work harder than you’ve ever worked, be tested beyond your limits, and you’ll never quite see the world in the same way again.

Fact is, cruise ship life will make or break you, so if you are considering this career path, make sure you have 5 out of 5 of the below qualities, otherwise, even if you do manage to scrape through the interview stage, you’ll be wishing you’d never bothered!

1. Adaptability

A week onboard a cruise ship consists of 36 hours a day, 8 days a week. Everything happens at sonic speed and can change in an instant. If you love to plan and ensure everything is organised, that’s fantastic…but if you’re reluctant to divert from that plan, struggle to think on your feet, and get palpitations everytime everything goes to ship, this job is not for you!

2. Stamina

The average contract duration is 6 months. You’ll work around 10 hours a day, any time of the day, for those 8 days a week! You won’t be able to potter around in your nightclothes until noon on a Saturday, or pop round to your mum’s for a Sunday roast. You’ll get up and go to work, every single day…regardless of whether you’re tired, sick, or just not feeling it.

3. Flexibility

Welcome to continent Cruise! One hundred nationalities, living and working together in harmony. Who’da thunk it?! You’ll be exposed to languages you’ve never heard of, food you’ve never seen, and customs and rituals you didn’t know existed. Cruise ships celebrate individuality and don’t tolerate racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, or any other superiority complex or ignorant behaviour. You’re all equal in this magical land.

4. Positivity

Nobody wants to work with a negative nelly! Negativity is more contagious than the ebola virus and working on board is tough enough without having somebody moaning in your ear 36/8! If you’re the type of person who wakes up every morning, full of energy and enthusiasm (after coffee is ok!), loves to uplift and empower your fellow humans, and believes nobody has the power to ruin your day (except you) – you may sign up here! On the other hand, if you spend your waking moments crying about having to go to work, and can’t help gossiping about your colleagues and blaming everybody else for everything that happens to you – you need not apply!

5. Responsibility

A cruise ship is a floating city – the operation never sleeps, and maintenance is also carried out around the clock. When accidents happen, you don’t have the luxury of being able to call the emergency services to come to your rescue. You are the emergency services…and you’re emergency services with limited resources! While you may have ‘Guest Services Associate’ printed on your name badge, you could have ‘Lifeboat Driver’ on your other hat! Taking responsibility for yourself and others is key to maintaining a safe operation. If you don’t take safety seriously…again…don’t apply!