6 Fun Cruise Ship Jobs (That Help You Travel For Free)

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Picture of passengers on a cruise ship jumping in a pool. A large crowd of beautiful people stand around the pool, cheering.

If the thought of lounging on a deckchair, being served in choice restaurants, and enjoying all the perks of a luxury cruise is enticing, why not visit exotic ports aboard a ship at no cost to you? There are tons of fun cruise ship jobs that allow you to travel the world for cheap.

If you can dance, teach computer programs, play bridge, or lecture on a topic you are passionate about, you have a good chance of bartering your skills for a free cruise.

Handing out free cruises is a win-win situation for the cruise line, the passengers, and for you.

Cruise lines want to keep passengers entertained, and passengers often jump at the chance to learn a new skill and find out about the destinations they are about to visit. Unlike most work on board, these fun cruise ship jobs allow you to enjoy all the rewards of cruising for as little as an hour of work a day.

Do Your Homework

Even if you are fortunate enough to land a job on a cruise ship, you may have some expenses. Every cruise line works differently, so it’s a good idea to find out about their guidelines before you sign on so there are no surprises. Cruise lines will likely pick up most or all of your costs, but may not include tax, port charges, and government fees.

Man relaxing in a hammock on a beautiful beach. A large cruise ship can be seen in the distant lagoon.
Fun cruise ship jobs allow you to socialize and teach what you know best, all the while enjoying off-time in exotic locales.

Sometimes you may have expenses traveling to and from the departure point, and some expenses like bar bills may not be included. Also, be aware that the berth provided to you is for a double occupancy room, so if you are traveling with someone, that person will have to pay.

Snag One of These Fun Cruise Ship Jobs

Assess your skills and talents to see if there is a fit with positions the cruise lines seek. Here are six fun cruise ship jobs I recommend that will get you traveling for free:

Art Instructor

If you can teach arts and crafts, you have a good chance at securing a position as an Art Instructor aboard a ship. Watercolor painting, scrapbooking, and making collages using photos from the trip are popular favorites. If you can teach a folk art associated with one of the ports of call, like straw basket weaving, you have a home run.

Enrichment Lecturer

Experts who can present an entertaining and informative talk on a variety of topics are in demand on cruise ships. For European trips, speakers well versed in history and art in destinations on the itinerary have a good chance of getting hired as an enrichment instructor or lecturer.

A financial advisor working one of the fun cruise ship jobs, mentoring a class. Although the class looks half-asleep.
What some may find boring are actually in high demand on cruise ships! These include financial planners, botanists, and historians. Hopefully, your class won’t end up looking like this one.

For cruises to scenic destinations, like Alaska and the Galapagos islands, biologists, wildlife experts and botanists can add to the passenger’s experience. Cruise lines may also hire experts in their field, like diplomats, ship historians, and financial planners.

Bridge Player

For bridge players, nothing is more frustrating than searching for opponents to play a friendly game. Thankfully, one of the fun cruise ship jobs in demand are experienced bridge players. If you are a decent at it, you may be able to land a job as a bridge player on call. In effect, you will be “paid” for playing. But you must be available to join a game when you are summoned.

Computer Teacher

Those who are fairly competent at teaching computer programs and how to use the latest electronic gadgets have a good chance of landing a job as a computer instructor. Chances are that many passengers aboard ship will appreciate a series of informative computer classes.

Computer geek gawking in awe and excitement at a laptop screen.
If cruise ships excite you as much as computers do, there’s a job for you!

Topics will range from dealing with computer issues, such as installing and using well-liked apps, to making the best use of the latest computer programs. Managing photos and storing information in the cloud are other popular topics.

Dance / Yoga Instructor

If you love to dance or practice yoga, and you have a few years of experience under your belt, you may be able to land a position as a Dance  or Yoga Instructor. Cruise ship dance and yoga instructors are considered part of the personal care department, along with other health and beauty services. You may be asked to audition before being hired. Dancers who can teach a class related to a destination on the itinerary may also have an edge, like Samba instructors on a trip to Brazil and Tarantella instructors on a trip to Italy. It also helps to have an outgoing personality and the ability to get people up on the dance/yoga floor.

Gentleman Host

A cruise ship position that is in some ways similar to a dance instructor is the legendary Gentleman Host job. This is one of the quirkiest, yet fun cruise ship jobs available. Typically, you must be male, at least 40 years old, and single to land this job title.

Picture of a gentleman host in a suit, one of the fun cruise ship jobs. We only see his neck as a woman's fingers adjusts his bowtie.
A Gentleman Host may be your shot at trying your 007 lines, without the romance. Relationships are prohibited on the job.

Your responsibilities include ballroom dancing with unescorted, often mature women, and chatting them up with polite conversation. You must possess impeccable manners, and keep in mind that romance is a definite no-no.

As amazing as it may seem, cruising for free is a real possibility. Just keep in mind that these fun cruise ship jobs come with expected professionalism, even if they entail doing what comes naturally to you for a limited time and having fun in the process.

As an added bonus, you may achieve celebrity status among your fellow passengers on your off-time when you relax on a deck chair or have dinner with your new friends!

Have you traveled for free by working a fun cruise ship job before? What is the best job you’ve had aboard a cruise liner? How long were you at sea?


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7 comments on “6 Fun Cruise Ship Jobs (That Help You Travel For Free)

  1. I’m an Artist & Tutor, currently running Workshops and Demonstrations around the North West of England. I never advertise, but I am always busy through word of mouth between the art clubs and societies. I work in Acrylic, Watercolour and Pastel.
    As a member of the Manchester Aviation Art Society, I’ve painted many aircraft, which have been used for postage stamp designs and postcards for Bletchley Park.
    I’m interested in tutoring art on Cruise Ships.

  2. I taught computer classes in the 80’s! It was great! I only taught classes when we were at sea! And yes you are treated like a celebrity! I often heard….there is my computer instructor!!

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