Best Jobs on Cruise Ships With No Experience

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There are many perks to working on a cruise ship. You become part of a community and get to travel the world. But if you have little experience, it may seem hard to land a first job on a cruise ship.

Luckily, there are many jobs on cruise ships with no experience necessary, so it may be possible to start your career at sea sooner rather than later! The question is, what exactly are those jobs? 

It’s important to find the right position to ensure that you have a great first experience and take advantage of opportunities for advancement. Keep reading to learn which jobs on cruise ships need little to no experience and how to apply for these jobs.

Aspects Behind the Scenes That Don’t Require Experience

There are many moving parts to the operation of a cruise ship, which is why a large crew is needed. It’s important to understand the behind-the-scenes aspects on a cruise ship that give way to jobs that don’t require experience. Some of these aspects include:

  • Garbage and recycling
  • Laundry service
  • Dish and pot washing
  • Deck maintenance
  • Cleaning of machinery

Every aspect of a cruise ship needs crew to ensure that a specific level of service and safety is maintained on the ship. Let’s take a closer look at the types of no experience jobs you can find on a cruise ship.

Types of Jobs on Cruise Ships

There are many different types of jobs on cruise ships in several different fields, including food and beverage, housekeeping, retail and guest services, entertainment, adventure and water sports, and photography.

Each of these fields includes jobs on cruise ships with no experience necessary. Let’s explore these jobs to help you find the right position for your skills and interests.

Food and Beverage Jobs

Food is one of the most important aspects of any cruise, and the crew ensures that the food is tasty, available, and always served right.

Crew Member Preparing Food

That’s why several different food and beverage jobs are available on cruise ships, many of which need little to no experience. Entry-level food and beverage cruise ship jobs include dining room staff, bar staff, kitchen steward, room service attendant.

You can gain additional on-the-job skills from these positions to move up to positions such as servers, bartenders, or cooks.

Housekeeping Jobs

Cruise ships need an abundance of housekeepers, and most housekeeping jobs require no experience to start, making it a great way to make your way onto the ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

Cabin stewards are typically responsible for cleaning and maintaining guests’ rooms during their stay. They perform tasks such as making the bed and cleaning the bathroom daily.

After some time, you can work your way up to housekeeping supervisor, which has you oversee the cabin stewards and take on more responsibility.

Retail and Guest Services Jobs

Retail and guest services offer some of the best jobs on cruise ships without experience. This is because you get to interact with guests every day, helping them with their needs and solving problems.

Guest Services Desk
Guest Services Desk (Photo Credit: balipadma / Shutterstock)

You can work as a sales associate in one of the onboard shops or as a guest service agent to be the go-to person for guests to depend on. There is also an abundance of jobs in concierge services. Either way, be ready to become popular among guests, so make sure you’re a people person before considering this job!

Entertainment Jobs

Entertainment is one of the top reasons people go on a cruise, so these jobs are crucial. There are many positions in entertainment on a cruise ship, some of which require little or no experience.

Cruise Director on Stage
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock

If you have a special skill, such as musical training, you can secure a position as a singer, musician, or DJ. However, if you still want to work in entertainment without performing, there are a variety of staff jobs available to ensure that operations go smoothly.

Adventure and Water Sports Jobs

Many cruise ships have pools or even entire waterparks. This is another area where, if you have training but no cruise ship experience, you may be able to secure a job. Adventure and water sport jobs on cruise ships include lifeguards, swimming instructors, and diving instructors.

Royal Caribbean Lifeguards
Photo Credit: Phuong D. Nguyen /

What’s more, if you don’t have any experience saving people’s lives in the water but have management experience, you may be able to secure a job as a waterpark manager or a similar position.

Photography Jobs

You may not know it, but photographers are vital to every cruise ship. They take photos of passengers embarking and disembarking, capture key moments during parties and events, and offer guests a way to digitize the memories they make on their cruise.

How to get a job on a cruise ship
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Photographers are also hired for marketing purposes and may be part of the cruise line’s marketing team, as well as photo editors. If this sounds like a career for you, get started on your portfolio now!

Now that you know your options, let’s look at how to apply for jobs on cruise ships with no experience needed. 

How to Apply and Tips for Success

The first thing to figure out when applying for jobs on cruise ships with no experience is what type of job you’re looking for. You’ll also want to narrow your choice of cruise lines to the one you want to work for. 

Applying for a job on a cruise ship starts similarly to applying for any other job, with most cruise lines advertising open positions online on job boards. Many cruise lines also have a careers page right on their website, such as:

You also want to ensure that you meet all of the basic requirements, including:

  • Minimum age (usually 18 or 21)
  • Language requirements
  • All medical requirements

If you need any initial training or qualifications, fulfill those steps before applying. From there, you must prepare your resume. If all goes well, you should be called for an interview and be one step closer to your dream job!


What are the most common entry-level jobs on cruise ships?

Some of the most common entry-level cruise ship jobs include cabin steward, bell staff, galley cleaner, and dishwasher. With all of these positions, there is an opportunity for advancement!

How can I increase my chances of getting hired?

You can increase your chances of getting hired on a cruise ship by ensuring you check off all the specific boxes of the cruise line you’re interested in. A good way to know what a cruise line is looking for is by contacting past crew members who have gone through the process. They will provide great tips and tricks to make it through the interview. 

Do I need prior experience to work on a cruise ship?

There are several jobs on cruise ships with no experience necessary! However, if you’re interested in a particular job, you may need to meet specific requirements and undergo some training before you apply. What’s more, once you have a job on a cruise ship there are many opportunities to increase your skills. These typically happen in onboard crew training centers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to working on a cruise ship!

Recap: Top Jobs on Cruise Ships With No Experience

To recap, the best jobs on cruise ships requiring little experience are:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Housekeeping
  • Retail and Guest Services
  • Entertainment
  • Adventure and Water Sports
  • Photography

These are all great entry-level jobs that will kickstart your career at sea with opportunities for advancement. You may even become captain one day! Just be sure to research to find the right job 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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