You guys are AWESOME! GREAT responses to this question thread!
I'd like to take a stab at it also, from a somewhat different perspective. Here are some other REAL questions that were asked more on the details and specifics of cruise life with a KILLER article link at the end! I hope this too is of value from another brother out there in the trenches along side of ya'!.
Oh, I changed the name to protect the innocent... Hehehehehe.
How good/bad/small/large/comfortable are the amenities?
Well, that kinda' depends on how big you are... [hehehe!] I'm a BIG guy so the "amenities are kinda' cramped.
Seriously, Cruise Ships are quite nice and [on the whole] though livable, not designed for "long-term" comforts of living, but as I said, very "doable"! You get used to it... besides, your getting PAID to travel the world... how hard is THAT!?
What about food? Exercise? Privacy? Entertainment? Computer access? Ability to visit ports? Interaction with guests/other crew members?
GREAT QUESTIONS! Lets chunk these down and have a quick look at each of these, OK? And again, this is just one guys OPINION and EXPERIENCE.
FOOD: is GREAT, I mean it's a floating resort! Keeping in mind, of course that the guests are only "visiting" the ships for a short time [3 to 14 days on the whole] and the menu is specifically designed for the guest dinning experience of only that voyage. The next week it will happen all over again! Ever see ground-hog day?
You favorite food may not be by the end of your contract... hehehehe!
EXERCISE: is in plenty if that's you thing, depending on your "contract status" you even have access to the gym, with the caveat that guests ALWAYS FIRST dib on all the on-board amenities! (Remember: YOU are NOT a guest... your are a well-paid contractor.)
PRIVACY: HA! What's THAT! Yes you most likely will get your own "passenger (quality) cabin", [I always did] but you often may have to share it with your own show staff, [assistant] if that's what you brought. "IF" you are a "staff entertainer", you will likely end-up on the crew-deck sharing with the other guy staff... NOT what I recommend by the way. (I've never done it that way... though I know some that have. It's also usually LESS pay.)
The rest of the time, unless you are a hermit, your life on-board is quite public and if you want to stay employed long-term, that is to your best interest. Mingle with the guests. [appropriately]
The guests change every voyage and it's really a killer time to get to meet some awesome people! I learned more on a single cruise from "listening" to many of the guests that I EVER hope to learn in school! It really IS an eye-opening, real-life experience, (About history and life in general.) IF your willing to listen. (and listen... and listen... and listen...)
ENTERTAINMENT: There's lots of it! And just like the menu, it's reoccurring. But, you will get to see new acts and entertainment as folks come and go though-out your contract period. Plus, there's all the traditional on-board activities to enjoy "if" you have "PASSENGER STATUS", which I recommend you make sure you get! [Remember: GUEST always first! Good ol' fashioned common sense will serve you well here.]
COMPUTER ACCESS: Unless you are wireless, and near a port that has wireless access... not real good. In MOST ports, there are Cyber Cafe's that cater to the needs of the ships crew. [big business for them] You will find all kinds for local business that go out of their way to accommodate ships crews; laundries, postal outlets, American food restaurants and bars [BIG BUSINESS! hehehe!] phone houses [for internet and overseas communications... etc] and so on. Not ALWAYS, but often.
ABILITY TO VISIT PORTS: YES... that's sort of the lour of cruise ship work for the lines. "IF" you are hired as a "staff performer" [again: I do-not recommend this contract arrangement.] you may have some on-board duties to take care of before you may sojourn out to the local faire, but on the whole, you "get paid" to see the world... not bad!
INTERACTION WITH GUESTS AND CREW MEMBERS: YES! If you ever hope to enjoy long-term success in this line of work, you will absolutely learn to LOVE this kind of camaraderie for reasons more than the obvious.
The whole cruise ship experience is based largely on you ability to "relate" to the passengers, staff and the crew, each different and "appropriate" way. The passengers are a faire consideration for your time and attention since your "ongoing contract status" is due, in part, to the guest rating system on each cruise. "If the guests don't "LIKE-YOU", you will be short lived, BOTH as a "performer" and as a "social" host of sorts. Again all in perfect appropriateness!
The "staff" too will require your "pleasant attentions" to a degree as well. These are the guys and gals you will be working and "living-with" for the entire length of your contract [for the most part] and on a very tiny, NO-WAY OUT, [unless you really are a great swimmer] floating resort. At first the ship will seam very large and daunting, then, as if by magic it will start to "shrink" right before your very eyes as you become "more at home".
CREW and OFFICERS: HeHe, well, this is different to EACH SHIP, but the officers are on the whole, military folk with a professional "pecking-order", chain of command set-up. That's not bad nor good, that's just what it is. On the whole, not overly "social" outside of the rank and file.
There are exceptions to ALL the rules and you will forge-out your own experience along the way and eventually be able to write your-own book on the subject based on your experience! Basically said, get along with everyone and you will have a very-nice experience as a cruise-ship performer. [AND get PAID to see the world!]
Well, I hope that helps a "bit". Keep in mind that there are as many perspectives on this subject as there are folks who play in this arena and such will be the case for you... if that's what you want! Just GO-FO-IT!
As always, I am at your service and in His service,
Here too is a one of the very BEST articles regarding "life at Sea". Having been there many times, I couldn't have put is better myself.
Note: Jim Coston is a consummate cruise-ship performer and has probably more on-ship experience that any other person I know! Enjoy!
It's a GREAT article and well-worth the click through! Anyway, you can read the article HERE: www.jcoston.bizland.com/cruistxtfr.htm
Good Luck and smooth sailing!!