Onboard Employment FAQ

Are you interested in joining the thousands of worldwide employees who are proud to be part of the Princess Cruises family? We are committed to being an employer of choice and understand that our Consummate Hosts need to be supported, empowered, and recognized.

We also understand that working at sea can be a challenging new opportunity. Here are answers to some essential questions you might have when considering cruise ship employment.

What are the requirements for onboard employment?

While specific position requirements depend on the job you are interested in, there are some essential requirements that all crew must meet to work onboard:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Hold a valid passport
  • Have a US C1/D visa (if you are not a Canadian or US citizen/resident)
  • Have a Princess-specific pre-employment medical exam certificate
  • Meet the English fluency requirements relevant to your position

What is a C1/D visa?

Also known as a seaman's visa, some nationalities need this to work onboard a ship and travel to certain countries. This visa normally lasts between two and five years. You will be required to make an appointment at your nearest US Embassy to gain this visa; all paperwork for the appointment will be supplied by your manning agency. The cost of the first C1/D visa is at the crew member's own expense but visa renewal costs are reimbursed by the company.

How do I get a medical certificate?

This extensive examination is at the employee's expense and can be conducted through one of Princess's recommended medical facilities—you'll be advised which one is closest to you. Once this is completed and approved by our corporate Medical department, you are cleared to travel and work onboard.

Which ship will I be assigned to?

Shipboard employees are scheduled to vessels based on operational need. This means you could be assigned to any one of our vessels in the fleet depending on where a position is open at the time you are travel-ready. After your first assignment, we will be able to provide details about the next assignment after your leave period.

How do I get to and from the ship I am assigned to?

At the beginning of each contract Princess Cruises will provide flights from your designated airport to your assigned ship. At the completion of your contract, Princess will arrange for your travel back home as well. It is your responsibility to get to the airport from your home, but from there we will provide any necessary accommodations and/or transportation to and from the ship.

Do I need travel insurance?

While you are covered medically in Los Angeles and onboard the vessel, we suggest you purchase basic travel insurance to cover the cost of lost luggage or injuries that could result from shoreside activities.

How long will I be onboard?

Contract lengths vary by position but range between four and ten months. 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.

Can I get off and go home during the contract?

Time off during the contract is not permitted. In case of family emergencies, Princess Cruises does understand that additional time at home may be needed and does accommodate these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Will I have my own room?

Accommodations vary depending on the ship and position. Those in non-management positions generally share a cabin with one to three other roommates whereas those in most management positions are entitled to a single cabin. Cabins include a storage space, TV, and DVD player.

What is the power voltage in my cabin?

All vessels have 120v US power and some vessels also have 220v European power.

Can I drink alcohol onboard?

Yes, alcohol is available for purchase during time off. However, Princess Cruises has a strict alcohol limit and at no time can a crew member be intoxicated.

Is there a drug policy?

Princess has a zero-tolerance drug policy. All crew are subject to random and reasonable-suspicion drug testing. Violation of these policies will result in termination.

Is there a curfew?

There is no set curfew. However, crew who are out late should be respectful of other crew members and guests nearby.

Can I bring a family member or friend onboard?

Crew members who meet specific length-of-service criteria have the option of requesting "relatives travel," a benefit that allows family members to sail onboard for a limited period of time. Some restrictions may apply.

Will I have access to guest areas and amenities during my time off?

While some officer-level positions do allow restricted access to guest areas, most facilities are for guests only. However, we have a variety of crew-only facilities, such as a crew pool, whirlpool, gym, bar, and  Crew Club, which is a communal room where you can gather to watch movies, play games, sing karaoke, and much more!

Once onboard, how do I stay in touch with my friends and family back home?

Postal mail services are available while onboard. You will also have access to computers in the crew training areas. Wi-fi Internet is also available in the crew areas if you choose to bring your own laptop or tablet. Princess offers discounted rates for phone and Internet cards so you can stay in touch with those at home. But remember that satellite capabilities are sometimes limited while the ship is at sea.

Can I have mail delivered to the ship?

You will be provided with mailing addresses for ports where mail can best be delivered.

Is there an ATM onboard to use?

There is an ATM in the guest areas; an ATM charge will apply. You can also cash checks in the Crew Office onboard to get cash.

Will I have to pay taxes?

US citizens will have federal taxes automatically deducted and may be required to pay state taxes, if applicable. All other nationalities are responsible for filing their own tax forms upon returning to their home countries (as they are self-employed).

Can I send money home from onboard?

You can wire money via the Crew Purser's office. Details are available onboard and rates may vary.

How do I pay for items onboard?

You will be provided with a bar account number, which is your personal number for the duration of your contract onboard each ship. As the entire vessel is cashless, even for guests, you will provide your account number at the bars, salon, and shops in guest areas. In the Crew Bar you can purchase a CrewCard and add money onto it for purchases. At the end of every month you will be required to settle your account.

How do I do laundry?

There are crew laundry facilities where the washers and dryers are free of charge—you just provide the soap. You can also use the dry cleaning onboard, but there is a nominal cost.

What if I miss the ship in port?

Crew members who miss the ship should contact the ship's Agent who will be at the port (the address and phone number are always in the Princess Patter, a daily newsletter for our guests). The Port Agent will arrange transportation to the ship's next port of call. However, it is the responsibility of crew to pay these transportation costs. Crew may be disciplined for the offense and could be terminated. Depending on the port all crew members are required to be back onboard half an hour to an hour prior to sailing time.

What happens if I get sick while working onboard?

While onboard, all crew are medically covered and can visit the Medical Clinic for health concerns. If you need to be medically disembarked during your contract, Princess will provide transportation to a land-based medical facility and repatriate you back home.

Can I visit the ports while working onboard?

If you are not scheduled to work during the time the ship is in port, you can disembark the ship with your supervisor’s approval. Occasionally, there are crew-specific activities or tours to participate in.

Safety requirements dictate that a certain number of crew members be present on each vessel at all times. As such, there may occasionally be times when, although not scheduled to work, you will be required to remain onboard while the ship is in port.

How do I apply to work onboard?

Princess Cruises recruits globally through authorized hiring partners. Find a hiring partner located near you.

Once you contact the authorized hiring partner, you can get answers to questions regarding the application process and which positions are currently open in your region.