Cruise Ship Security Jobs – 5 Pros & Cons

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There are a multitude of different job options on a cruise ship. While jobs in entertainment and guest services are common and popular, there are other very important jobs onboard, such as security. 

Every cruise ship has a security team that works the ship. This is one of the most critical jobs on the ship, as the security team is responsible for the overall safety of the passengers on the cruise ship. In fact, cruise ships even have jails. However, cruise ship security jobs aren’t for everyone. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about working security on a cruise ship to determine if it’s the right job for you.

What Does a Cruise Ship Security Job Involve?

Working security on a cruise ship requires a lot of responsibility and discipline. After all, you’re in charge of the safety of everyone on the ship! Depending on the cruise line, there are several possible positions within a cruise ship’s security team. Some examples include:

  • Security guards: Responsible for the control and entry of the passengers onto the ship and also screening of passengers.
  • Security officer: In charge of daily security operations. 
  • Supervisors: Overlooks all other security personnel to ensure the ship’s safety.

The job description of each of these positions differs between cruise ships. However, being part of a cruise ship’s security team involves a mix of each of these jobs. Here’s what to expect from a cruise ship security job.

Duties and Responsibilities

Cruise ship security personnel are first and foremost responsible for keeping passengers and crew safe. There are several ways that security does this.

Cruise ship security guards continuously monitor and secure areas of the ship as needed. This includes ensuring that people follow the rules in areas such as the pool and that the casinos and nightclubs are safe.

Security Staff on Cruise Ship
Security Staff on Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Michele Rinaldi / Shutterstock)

At a higher level, the security team is trained to respond to emergencies and security incidents. This ranges from controlling unruly guests to preventing and responding to piracy or terrorism threats.

Check out the International Maritime Organization (IMO) security guidelines to learn what responsibilities you may face in a cruise ship security job. 

Skills and Qualifications

Here are some skills that are expected from most cruise ship security jobs:

  • Ability to act fast
  • Work well under pressure
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail

While it isn’t usually a requirement, many security persons on cruise ships have experience in law enforcement or the military. This means they are physically fit and have developed an ability to handle stress, a major job requirement.

What’s more, to succeed as part of cruise ship security, you need to be able to collaborate with the other security personnel, as you’ll need to be coordinated and work as a team to cover the most ground on the cruise ship.

Carnival Cruise Line Getting Strict
Carnival Cruise Line Security

Finally, you should have basic knowledge of security protocols and procedures. If you’ve never worked on a cruise ship before, you may need to attend a maritime training program, undergo firearms and safety training, and obtain any other certifications your desired cruise line may require. 

Now let’s check out the pros and cons of a cruise ship security job.

Pros of Working in Cruise Ship Security

There are several benefits to working a cruise ship security job. Here are some of the top advantages. 

Good Pay and Benefits

Working cruise ship security pays relatively well. According to Indeed, the average security officer makes about $57,000 annually. While the rate would differ depending on the cruise line and position, you can potentially make more.

In addition, working on a cruise ship provides additional benefits you wouldn’t get working security on land, including free room and board, insurance, and travel.

Travel and Adventure

Speaking of travel, this is one of the biggest perks of working any position on a cruise ship. Working on a cruise ship lets you visit new and exciting destinations almost daily. You’ll also get to experience different cultures and meet new people. Plus, you get paid to do it!

Challenging and Dynamic Work Environment

What’s great about working on a cruise ship is that you never know what to expect. Guests and destinations are always changing, making working security on a cruise ship a great way to stay on your toes.

Security Crew Members on Carnival Cruise Ship
Security Crew Members on Carnival Cruise Ship

With such an ever-changing environment, there are many opportunities to learn and grow as a security professional. You’ll learn to act quickly, think fast, and respond to any situation. 

Opportunities for Advancement

One of the best parts about cruise ship security jobs is that there are always opportunities for advancement. If you enjoy working security, you can move up the ladder within the security department to obtain a management role.

Better yet, if you feel like you need a bigger change, it’s possible to transfer your skills to a different ship or even find a whole new position that isn’t in security. Cruise ship security jobs open many doors for your career!

Cons of Working in Cruise Ship Security

While there are several advantages to working cruise ship security, there are also several drawbacks that you must consider.

Cruise Security Camera
Cruise Security Camera (Photo Credit: Aleksandrkozak / Shutterstock)

Long Working Hours and Limited Time Off

Cruise ship crew work long hours and often don’t get time off for weeks or months. This is especially true for security, a job that needs coverage 24/7.

You can expect to work in shifts around the clock as a security guard. These shifts may even be as long as 12 hours. You need to remain alert during this time to respond to anything that may happen.

Being Away From Home and Family for Extended Periods

One of the downsides for anyone working on a cruise ship is how long they have to be away from home. You may be at sea for weeks or months without seeing your family and friends. This can be challenging for some, so you must ensure you’re ready for this possibility. 

Plus, with different time zones and limited time off, staying connected and finding time to contact your loved ones could be difficult.

Physical Demands of the Job

Cruise ship jobs are physically demanding, and this is especially true for cruise ship security jobs. At the very least, security guards must be used to standing for long periods. At most, they must be fit to respond to physically demanding situations, such as assisting passengers or displacing large items.

Read Also: The Top 6 Best Cruise Lines to Work For

Potentially Dangerous Working Conditions

Security is always dangerous work, whether dealing with dangerous people, handling dangerous situations, or working in dangerous weather conditions. Security on cruise ships may also have to handle hazardous materials if ever found on the ship, which can also be dangerous. 

Conclusion: Is a Cruise Ship Security Job Right for You?

Cruise ship security jobs are extremely important for the maintenance of a cruise. Both passengers and crew alike depend on security to keep them safe.

That said, working cruise ship security can be rewarding and even enjoyable. It’s essential to fully understand the job to know what it entails to decide whether it’s right for you.

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.

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