There are many different types of people who find themselves craving a bit of adventure, yet don't have the funds to just go off into the wild blue yonder. Some go backpacking - working along the way picking fruit or doing bar jobs. Others choose to set sail on the many different cruise ship operators around the world. The major difference I guess would be that you are being paid to travel around the globe instead of going from place to place earning enough money to move on to the next destination.
The impression that most people have of working on a cruise ship is that for the length of the contract (which is usually around 6 - 8 months) they live a life full of adventure, fun and allot of alcohol and sex. For the most part I can tell you that it is true. Life on a cruise ship is full of those things on a daily basis.
Being part of a cruise ship crew is an adventure where you sleep, eat and breathe the life of being on the seas. The advantages of being part of the crew is for the most part, you get free travel and get to go to some of the most exotic locations in the world and get paid for it, copious amounts of alcohol are consumed and is very cheap (as little as 1 dollar a drink), and you are travelling with allot of like minded individuals who more or less want the same thing fun and great times. Not to mention that there is a hell of allot of room swapping and sleep overís with crew and passengers alike.
Another advantage of working on a cruise ship is that you are paid in cash and depending on what you are doing on the ship as part of your job you can return home at the end of a contract with quite a fair bit of money in your pocket. People who have been doing it for a number of years quite often have bought and paid off houses outright and if you choose to make a career out of it which quite a number of people do, well most cruise directors are often quite wealthy and live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
It must be said that life on the seas is not for everyone and there are cases where people have signed on for a contract and have found themselves wanting to catch the next plane home. However, those that do stick it out and are more relaxed have the time of their lives. Not only do you get an adventure, but also you make friends with people all over the world and come home with enough memories to write a book. The other thing to remember is that life on a cruise ship can often be intense including the fun. Cruise ships often work 7 days a week and so you can find yourself having time off rather than whole days off, yet most find their work on a cruise ship a totally enjoyable experience that it is not that much of an issue.
Another important thing to remember when looking at which cruise company to work for is that different cruise companies allow their workers different privileges or freedom when working on their ships. For instance Disney as they are mostly a Christian Family values type company can be quite restrictive when allowing their crew to do certain things on the ship. For instance I believe that you must be a non-smoker to be employed by Disney and the consumption of alcohol by crewmembers might be very restrictive. As far as Iím aware, the cruise ship that allows the most freedom and privileges as well as the best pay rates for crewmembers are Princess Cruises.
If you are considering working on cruise ships for an adventure or simply for the money. It is not a decision that one should just jump into. You must consider that there are things such as an initial expense to get on the cruise ship that might include a full medical, training in sea safety as well as travelling expenses to meet up with the cruise ship, all of which thereafter is generally paid for by the company. You must be committed to the lifestyle for the next 6-8 months and you will be separated from current friends and family only being able to communicate via email and letters or phone calls when in port. (Although most cruise ship companies offer very cheap deals for family members to visit). If you do decide to take on the challenge and embrace the culture then you will surely come away with an experience of a lifetime.