Cruise Ship Jobs - Deck Officers (2023)

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Cruise Ship Jobs - Deck Officers (1)

The Deck Department on a cruise ship is a part of the Marine Operations division. The primary responsibilities of the Deck Officers and Ratings are the safe navigation of the vessel plus all safety and security aspects of the ship's operations, including guests, officers, crew and staff members. Although the actual head of the department is the Staff Captain, the highest ranking person aboard - the Captain/Master of the ship (at least due to the nature of his profession - a Deck Officer) is considered a member of the Deck department. There are in general two different types of positions - Deck Officers (Captain; Staff Captain; 1st, 2nd, 3rd Officers; Safety Officer; Security Officer; Deck Cadet) and Deck Ratings - Boatswain/Bosun, Carpenter, Able Seaman Unlimited, Ordinary Seaman Entry Level and Deckhand.

Please, click on each position in order to review job description, duties, responsibilities and salary range:


Captain / Master

The Captain is the highest ranking officer and the Master of the cruise ship. He/she has a full authority to make executive decisions in order to preserve the life and safety of the ship's personnel and guest and must apply extreme care and proper judgement according to...

Staff Captain

The Staff Captain is the second in command aboard the cruise ship and Head of the Deck Department. Must be familiar with all duties and responsibilities of the Master and should be able to assume command of the vessel at...

Safety Officer

The Safety Officer is responsible for passenger and crew safety drills, abandon ship procedures, crew safety training, supervision of ships tenders, instructions on safety of all shipboard personnel, with particular reference to emergency procedures, fire fighting and...

Environmental Compliance Officer

The ECO (or just EO) is a three-stripe, non-watch standing officer responsible for oversight and verification of the cruise line environmental policies, the training, implementation, and verification of regulatory compliance as it relates to applicable environmental laws. The EO reports directly to...

1st Officer - Navigation

The Officer of the Watch (OOW) is a designated navigation officer and on behalf of the Master is responsible for all navigational and watch keeping issues. Reports ot the Staff Captain and...

Cruise Ship Jobs - Deck Officers (2)

2nd Officer

The 2nd Officer is a two-stripe Navigation and Watch Keeping Officer and Bridge Team Member. During his/her watch the OOW is representing the Master and is in command on...

3rd Officer

The Third Officer is an assistant to the OOW or the Junior Watch Keeping Officer on the ship. Reports to the Officer of the Watch (either 1st or 2nd Officer) for navigation and watch keeping aspects and to the Staff Captain for all other...

Apprentice Deck Officer

This position should not be mixed up with a Deck Cadet Program. The candidates for Apprentice Deck Officer must be Nautical School students or graduates who are seeking practical experience or young Navigation Officers working aboard merchant or...

(Video) Day In The Life of a Cruise Ship Deck Officer

Deck Cadet

Some cruise lines offer fantastic Deck Cadet training programs for young people who wish to pursue a career as a Deck (Navigation) Officer aboard cruise ships. The best thing about these programs is that they are fully sponsored by the companies - once a candidate is selected, the company is paying the tuition fees and even pays a salary during the training. Upon...

Chief Security Officer

The Chief Security Officer is a three-stripe officer who is in charge of implementing the company security policies and all security operations on board the cruise ship both at sea and while in port. He/she must be professionally trained security expert, familiar with illegal drugs trafficking and anti-terrorist countermeasures...

Deputy Security Officer

The Deputy Security Officer is a two-stripe officer. His/her main responsibility is to control and supervise all points of entry to the cruise ship - gangways and tender docking stations...

Security Guard

The Security Guard controls points of entry to the ship and the screening process of guests, crew and their luggage. While the ship is in port the Security Guard operates at the Gangway, while on anchor...

Cruise Ship Jobs - Deck Officers (3)

Bosun (Boatswain)

The Bosun or also named Boatswain is an experienced sailor and the head of the unlicensed deck crew (ratings) aboard the cruise ship. In conjunction with the Staff Captain the Bosun plans and schedules all activities in regards to ...

Quartermaster (Helmsman) - QM

The Quartermaster (QM), also named Helmsman is an unlicensed member of the deck crew, an Able Seaman who is performing also Bridge Watch Keeping duties. The main duties and...

(Video) Cruise ship rank and salery || Deck and engine department

Able Seaman - AB

The Able Seaman (AB) is a non-officer member of the deck crew (deck rating position) responsible for routine maintenance of the deck and hull of the ship, operation of tenders, lifeboats and rescue boats and...

Ordinary Seaman - OS

The Ordinary Seaman (OS) is is an unlicensed member of the deck department of the cruise ship. This is the entry level non-watch standing position in the department and the OS acts as an apprentice of...


The Carpenter is a member of the Deck Department and is responsible for all carpentry work and various woodwork and general repairs aboard the cruise ship during the voyage. One of...

Fireman - Firefighting Team Leader

The Fireman (Firefighter Team Leader) aboard a cruise ship is one and a half or two-stripe petty officer responsible for leading and coordinating the the onboard Firefighting Team activities in regards to fire hazards prevention and effective fire fighting in case of...

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(Video) Cruise Ship Jobs For Deck Department | Bosun Work On Ship | Carpenter Work On Cruise Liner

Click on the links below to review the various cruise lines profiles, cruise ships details and photos:
Carnival Cruise Line Celebrity Cruises Costa Cruise Line Disney Cruise Line
Holland America Line MSC Cruises Princess Cruises P & O Cruises
Royal Caribbean Norwegian Cruise Line/NCL Jobs Star Cruises Fred Olsen Cruise Line
Crystal Cruises Cunard Line Hapag Lloyd Cruises The World of Residensea
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seabourn Cruise Line Silversea Cruises SeaDream Yacht Club
Oceania Cruises Peter Deilmann Cruises Abercrombie&Kent Cruises Swan Hellenic Cruises
Louis Cruise Line Lindblad Expeditions Blount Small Ships Adventures African Safari Club Cruises
Star Clippers Kristina Cruises Club Med Cruises Windstar Cruises
Hurtigruten Silja Line Grandi Navi Veloci/GNV Cruises Pullmantur Cruises
Discovery World Cruises P&O Cruises Australia Sea Cloud Cruises

* Seamax International ( is not associated with any particular cruise line or recruiter.
Being an independent consultant allows us to promote candidates objectively and equally to all employers
and recruiters within the cruise industry with the sole purpose of benefiting the job seekers' best interest.

Copyright © 1998-2019Seamax International Cruise Ship Employment Services - All rights reserved


How do you become a deck officer on a cruise ship? ›

Earning a License

With the appropriate amount of sea time and after an examination, you become an able seaman. After six months working in a ship's wheelhouse, followed by successful completion of the third mate examination, you reach the most junior deck officer rank.

How much do cruise ship officers make? ›

A cruise ship crew member for Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian Cruise Line can earn an annual average between $16,000 to $20,000. For leadership staff onboard cruise ships, the annual salary can be much higher from $30,000 to $100,000.

How much do cruise ship deckhands make? ›

Salaries typically range from $47,000 to $57,000.

How much does a 1st officer on a cruise ship make? ›

$60,561. How accurate does $60,561 look to you?

Is it hard to become a deck officer? ›

Becoming an officer in the deck department requires either gaining sufficient experience and sea time as an able seaman and passing the proper examinations; or earning a bachelor's degree from a merchant marine academy in the U.S. or college diploma from a maritime college in Canada and passing examinations to be ...

What is the lowest position on a cruise ship? ›

At the bottom are crew members, who are generally responsible for serving guests. They include servers, bartenders, and cleaning staff.

Is cruise ship jobs permanent? ›

The contract with a cruise line will be automatically terminated at the date stated on the contract as an end date. It could be renewed by mutual agreement between employee (contractor) and the cruise line.

What cruise ship pays the best? ›

  • #1. Virgin Voyages. #1 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #2. Carnival Cruise Line. #2 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #3. Celebrity Cruises. #3 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #4. MSC Cruises. ...
  • #5. Princess Cruises. ...
  • #6. Royal Caribbean International. ...
  • #7. Holland America Line. ...
  • #8. Norwegian Cruise Line.

How do you become a cruise ship officer? ›

Qualifications for the First Officer include graduation from a recognized maritime school. Candidates will also need to have a minimum of three to five-years' experience in subordinate positions, and much experience in navigations systems and computerized equipment.

Which company pays deckhands most? ›

Top companies for Deckhands in United States
  • Kitsap Transit. 3.6 $38.47per hour. 20 reviews5 salaries reported.
  • Shaver Transportation. 2.4 $30.88per hour. ...
  • Lewis Environmental. 2.8 $24.59per hour. ...
  • Vulcan Materials Company. 3.6 $23.28per hour. ...
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough. 4.0 $20.82per hour. ...
  • Show more companies.
6 days ago

What qualifications do I need to be a deckhand? ›

Deckhands do not have to have boating qualifications but having them is an asset. General seafaring skills are expected. Deckhands should ideally have some knowledge and experience of navigation, boat handling, engines and radio equipment.

Do cruise ships carry guns? ›

All weapons are prohibited on cruises due to cruise ship security regulations. Guns are not allowed, with or without a concealed carry permit. Mace, pepper sprays and knives of any type are prohibited. The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc.

What is the highest position in the cruise industry? ›

Captain / Master

The Captain is the highest ranking officer and the Master of the cruise ship. He/she has a full authority to make executive decisions in order to preserve the life and safety of the ship's personnel and guest and must apply extreme care and proper judgement according to...

Is it worth it to work on a cruise? ›

Cruise ship crew life can be intense: long hours, no days off for months, lots of rules, demanding guests, small living quarters and little to no privacy. But working on ships also allows you to travel to places some only dream of while making some amazing connections with fellow seafarers from all over the world.

Do cruise ship workers get free food? ›

Do cruise ship employees get free food? A majority of cruise ship lines offer their employees free food throughout the duration of their contracts. There's typically a special kitchen on the boat that prepares food for staff members. Employees may eat in separate dining areas, depending on their classifications.

What is monthly salary of deck officer? ›

Frequently Asked Questions about Deck Cadet Salaries

Average salary for a Deck Cadet in India is 2.2 Lakhs per year (₹18.3k per month). Salary estimates are based on 139 latest salaries received from various Deck Cadets across industries.

Are Deck Officers in demand? ›

Unlimited certification

The ability to progress to Master Mariner (Unlimited) is the pinnacle of maritime education and training. Many recruitment agencies are reporting that deck officers with unlimited certification AND yacht experience are in very high demand.

Is deck officer a good job? ›

No matter how attractive it may sound, the career path as a deck officer in merchant navy requires long periods of stay away from home and a rigorous work environment. Life on board ships is not all hunky-dory, for the sea is a mighty force and extremely unpredictable, making the life of seafarers challenging.

What is the roughest part of a cruise ship? ›

The front of a ship can be the most uncomfortable place to be in big waves. This is because the front of a ship pitches a lot more in waves than the center of a ship or even the back.

How many days off do cruise ship workers get? ›

After each contract you will receive approximately 60 days of vacation before your next assignment. Your daily work schedule while onboard will depend on your particular position, but you can expect to work seven days a week and anywhere between 10-13 hours per day.

What deck level is best on a cruise ship? ›

The higher the deck, the better and, often, more panoramic the view. Cabins on top decks aren't always the best on the ship, but many suites and specialty cabin categories are typically located on upper decks.

Can couples work on cruise ships? ›

Cruise lines know that happy crew members will stay longer with the company, and give married couples the opportunity to apply for contracts working on the same ship and to share a cabin.

Do people retire on cruise ships? ›

Certain cruise lines have special programs for retirees. Oceania Cruises offer “around the world in 180 day” cruises for around $41,600 per person and their cruises for 2023 were sold out in a single day. The average cost of retirement facilities ranges from $3,500 to $10,500 a month, with an average of around $3,700.

Do cruise ship employees get their own room? ›

All officers have their own cabins while the rest of the crew used to share a cabin (two per room). It seems like as of now, all crew members will have a single cabin. Cabins are, I would say, ok … There are three cabinets, bed, sofa, working desk and chair, tv, porthole, bathroom including shower cabin,” they said.

Which cruise ships are best to work? ›

a large one, what types of positions are advertised, and how cruise ships operate.
You'll get the scoop on jobs with the best companies, including:
  • Carnival Cruise Line Jobs.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Jobs.
  • Holland America Jobs.
  • Costa Cruises Jobs.
  • Cunard Line Jobs.
  • P&O Cruises Jobs.
  • Disney Cruise Line Jobs.
  • Royal Caribbean Jobs.

Do you get paid overtime on a cruise ship? ›

Overtime pay does exist on cruise ships depending on the contract. It could be given based on working over a certain number of hours in a day (e.g. 10) or in a week (e.g. 70). The amount that overtime pay is depends greatly on the job and base wage of that crew members position.

Do you tip waiters on a cruise? ›

Cruise lines are very upfront about their tipping policies. Unless you are on an all-inclusive ship that covers gratuities in the cruise fare, such as luxury cruise lines Azamara, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Virgin Voyages, it is recommended that you tip the crew.

Do cruises pay well? ›

The majority of positions are based on an hourly wage and most employment opportunities on a cruise ship earn $1,200-$1,500 a month. There are though, a large number of positions that can make as much as $2,500 a month equating to $13 an hour.

How long does it take to become a ship officer? ›

The process may take anywhere from a few months to a year. You have up to one year to submit your application after taking your test.

How do I start a career on a cruise ship? ›

You can apply directly to a cruise line on their website or to their official hiring partners throughout the world. You can apply through a concessionaire - a company contracted to operate spa, retail, photography or entertainment on the ship. You can apply online via a dedicated job board such as All Cruise Jobs.

How many hours can a deckhand work? ›

46 USC 8104(d) states that a licensed individual or seaman in the deck or engine department may not be required (but can consent) to work more than 8 hours in one day (on a vessel of more than 100 gross tons when at sea).

Can you be a deckhand with no experience? ›

You can become a deckhand on a large ship or boat with no experience. However, anyone looking to secure a higher ranking job in the maritime industry may need to attend a naval training school or apply for entry-level positions.

How many hours a week does a deckhand work? ›

Common questions about for a Deckhand

While on the job, most crews work on a six hours on, six hours off schedule while at sea. They will live in close quarters with their fellow crew members and all other crew members live, eat and work aboard the vessel.

How long is deckhand training? ›

Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of 1-3 months of job training to become a deckhand.

Do deckhands make good money? ›

Starting out as a junior, a yacht deckhand salary can be anywhere from $3,000 to $3,5000 per month, with very rare cases reporting to earn over $4,000 per month. However, after a few years working as a deckhand you might expect to take home anything from $3,500 to $4,500 per month.

How long does a deckhand course take? ›

Our 3.5 week Basic Yacht Deckhand Course takes place in Cape Town and provides candidates with the international requirements & fundamental basics required to find work as a professional Superyacht Deckhand in the Mediterranean & Caribbean.

Do cruise ships provide condoms? ›

Some cruise lines do understand that the salt sea air and ocean waves can lead to romantic encounters. Royal Caribbean and MSC passengers do have access to condoms, pregnancy kits and lubrication, while P&O, Cunard and Princess have the morning after pill.

Do cruise ships have jails? ›

Are there jails on cruise ships? Yes, cruise ships have brigs, which is the nautical term for a jail on a vessel, including a cruise ship. The term comes from the word "brigantine," which is a type of two-masted sailing ship formerly used to house criminals.

What does CODE RED mean on a cruise ship? ›

Code Red: Outbreak of norovirus or other illness. It means the ship must undergo deep cleaning and sick passengers should stay in their rooms. Code Green and Code Yellow indicate less severe problems.

What are 5 Strange jobs onboard a cruise ship? ›

5 Unusual Job Positions on Cruise Ship
  • Job positon: Lawnkeeper Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises.
  • Job Position: Ice captain Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International.
  • Job Position: Dog Butler Cruise Line: Cunard Line.
  • Job Position: Brewmaster Cruise Line: AIDA.
  • Job Position: High Diver Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean.

What is the minimum salary in cruise? ›

The average CRUISE LINE monthly salary ranges from approximately ₹ 60,000 per month for Assistant Cook to ₹ 75,000 per month for Security Officer. Salary information comes from 16 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.

What is the number 1 cruise ship? ›

Wonder of the Seas

What is the average age to work on a cruise ship? ›

In general, the minimum age to work on cruise ships is 21 years old. Although there are some exceptions where the minimum age to work onboard is 18 years old. The average crew member at Carnival is between 25 and 45 years old.

Is it easy to get a job on a cruise ship? ›

It's always been hard to get a job on a cruise ship. The global pause in cruising made it so much harder for a while, as there were thousands of experienced cruise ship workers that became out of work. However, some of those people took jobs in other areas and decided that they actually quite liked working on land.

How much do you tip a 7 day cruise waiter? ›

Most cruise lines suggest tipping $10 to $12 per day per passenger (not per couple), regardless of age. For a seven-day cruise, this means each cruiser should budget at least $70 for gratuities, or $140 per cabin for two people.

Do cruise employees pay rent? ›

Employment found on ships is not typically glamourous, as one might expect. Additionally, some of the salaries aren't that high. Members can expect to work 10-12-hour days, and up to seven days a week. However, your room and board are completely covered.

Why don t cruise workers get days off? ›

People that work at hotels get days off – so why don't people on a ship? That mostly comes down to cabin space. Cabin space is at a premium. If crew were to have days off you would still need other crew to cover those responsibilities – this means more crew onboard taking up more cabin space.

What qualifications do I need to be a deck officer? ›

You can start your career as a Merchant Navy officer-cadet (deck) on an industry sponsored foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree, at a maritime college or university. Courses usually include onboard practical training. Subjects offered include: nautical science.

How long does it take to become a deck officer? ›

The four-year curriculum awards a Bachelor of Science Degree in Maritime Technology. For those entering with a bachelor's degree, an accelerated three-year program also awards the bachelor's degree.

What is the salary of deck officer? ›

Average Merchant Navy Deck Cadet salary in India is ₹ 2.0 Lakhs for less than 1 year of experience to 4 years. Deck Cadet salary at Merchant Navy India ranges between ₹ 0.4 Lakhs to ₹ 3.3 Lakhs. According to our estimates it is 20% less than the average Deck Cadet Salary in India.

Is deck officer a captain? ›

Deck officers on merchant vessels typically start as able seamen and then are promoted to higher positions, such as bosun, mate, and finally, captain.

What rank is officer of the deck? ›

There are in general two different types of positions - Deck Officers (Captain; Staff Captain; 1st, 2nd, 3rd Officers; Safety Officer; Security Officer; Deck Cadet) and Deck Ratings - Boatswain/Bosun, Carpenter, Able Seaman Unlimited, Ordinary Seaman Entry Level and Deckhand.

What is Class 1 deck officer? ›

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) Certificate of Competency Deck Officer Class 1 entitles the holder to serve on ships, irrespective of gross tonnage and trade area, as Officer in charge of a Watch; Chief Mate; and Master.

What is age limit for deck cadet? ›

Age At least 18 years old Medical Certified medically fit, particularly regarding good eyesight and hearing.

Is working on a cruise ship hard? ›

Cruise ship crew life can be intense: long hours, no days off for months, lots of rules, demanding guests, small living quarters and little to no privacy. But working on ships also allows you to travel to places some only dream of while making some amazing connections with fellow seafarers from all over the world.

Which course is best for deck officer? ›

On completion of training the candidate is awarded a BSc in Nautical Science from IMU and also a 2nd Mates Certificate of Competency from the Govt of India, Ministry of Shipping which qualifies him/her to sail as an officer on board ships.

Which shipping company pays highest salary? ›

Salaries By Shipping Company Competitors
RankCompany NameAverage Salary
1Schenker Inc$40,295
2Performance Team$40,005
3Yusen Logistics$39,394
4Keller Logistics Group$39,198
16 more rows

Who is the highest ranking deck officer in the deck department? ›

The chief mate is the head of the deck department on a merchant's vessel, second-in-command after the ship's master. The chief mate's primary responsibilities are the vessel's cargo operations, its stability, and supervising the deck crew.


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