Are There Any Fees to Be Paid to Portside Consulting?

There are No Application Fees, Portside Consulting does not charge any application, recruitment, or placement fees in compliance with (MLC) International Maritime Law.

How Long Does the Process Take?

It can take anywhere from 4 – 6 months depending on the documentation required before you can be cleared to join a ship. It also takes time for the cruise line to schedule an available ship that is in line with your readiness to board.

Do I Require a Passport before Applying Through Portside?

As soon as you have made the decision to work abroad, and you have been contacted by one of our Recruiters we would advise that you apply for a Passport.

How Long Are the Contracts?

Most contracts are 5 to 8 months long with 4-8 weeks’ vacation. Most contracts are renewable based on performance. Performance Appraisals will be held on board with your line Manager. 

Do I have to wear a uniform?

This will depend on your position; uniforms are supplied by the Cruise Line at no cost.

What Are the Working Hours Like?

Expect to work 7 days a week up to 70 hours per week. Shore-leave is limited to a few hours a day when the ship is in port. 

What is the Earning Potential Onboard?

Your salary is dependent on the cruise line and the position you are applying for. Most positions offer a basic plus gratuities or if you are in sales basic plus commission. This will be discussed with you on a one-to-one basis.

How Will I Get Paid?

You could either be paid bi-weekly or monthly, depending on the cruise line. In most cases you will be paid in U.S. dollars. Certain cruise lines offer a debit card provided by the company alternatively you can have your salary wired to your bank account.

Will I be Paying Tax?

Taxes are only withheld for American Citizens; your earnings onboard will be tax free which may be subject to change dependent on your home country.

What Are My Living Arrangements Like Onboard?

In most cases you will be sharing a cabin. Only senior positions will have single cabins.

Would I have Access to Internet on the Ship?

Yes, most cruise lines have crew packages at reduced rates however Internet is rather costly so when in Port this would be the best time to catch up on social media – Starbucks is a crew favorite.

Would I need to Cover My Flight to the Ship?

This will be discussed in your interview. Once you’ve completed your contract your flight home will be paid for by the company and when you return for your next contract this too will be covered by the company. For more senior positions, the company will cover the flights this will be discussed on your screening call with one of our Agents.

What am I responsible for as far as living expenses?

Food and accommodation are at no cost to you, your living expenses on a cruise ship is minimal. Your medical is also covered while you are onboard.

What Facilities Are Available for Crew on Ships?

Most vessels have great facilities for crew to enjoy during their down time like crew bar, restaurants, gym, crew training centers to learn a new skill or language, laundry facilities, computer center, you can make use of the Spa at certain hours or days when they have crew specials, gift shops.

Do I have to get a medical examination before I board a ship?

Yes, you will need to undergo a full medical examination. The Medical would be at your expense to show the cruise line that you are medically fit to work onboard. A Fit for Duty will need to be obtained from a pre-approved medical facility.

Do I need a Visa to work on ships?

Yes, and there are many types of visas, depending on the ship you get assigned and it’s itinerary. Portside Consulting will guide you through this process.

Will I need an STCW (The Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping for Seafarers)?

Some Cruise Lines will require that you take it on land prior to joining your ship. This should be discussed with you during your interview. Some exceptions apply for cruise lines that will offer the training onboard at no cost.

What is the age limit to apply?

You have to be 21 years old to work onboard any International Cruise Line.

What are the visa requirements?

Crew visas (American C1/D) can only be arranged once a job offer has been made, and a “Letter of Employment” has been issued. A clear criminal record is required for all visas.

Where do the vessels travel to?

The vessels travel all over the world and have year-round itineraries to some of the world’s most exotic destinations.

Can my family or friends come to visit?

Of course, they can!

Every cruise line has its own policies about visitors. There are discounts and it is usually based on availability.

Will I enjoy working for the cruise industry?

If you are a committed, hard-working fun-loving team player, then you will have the time of your life! There is no other job that can give you so much experience and knowledge of the travel industry. The things you’ll see, do and learn along with the many new friends you’ll meet from all over the world will stay with you forever. It is truly an unforgettable experience. At Portside Consulting we encourage our crew to develop their existing skills and learn new ones whilst onboard.

Good luck and have fun!