Book Review – “Crash Course: Getting a Job on a Cruise Ship”

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As a regular reader of the Amateur Traveler website and listener of the Amateur Traveler podcast, as well as an avid cruiser, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Crash Course: Getting a Job on a Cruise Ship, written by Derek Baron and Liz Aceves, Oh, how I wish I had read this before I embarked on my non-travel-related career!!! The book does, however, give me insight into what it took for those individuals, who serve passengers like me every day of a sailing, to get to that point in his or her career. It takes a special person to meet the daily demand we place on them.

The authors give a concise, but fact-filled, primer on what it takes to get one’s foot in the door to become part of “ship life”. The book contains only 5 sections and, in a fashion similar to that of the “Idiot’s Guides,” sidebars are used to facilitate the reader’s locating a particular topic of interest. The specific sections are:

  1. Introduction to Ship Life.
  2. Pre-Application Preparation.
  3. It’s Time to Apply!
  4. The Job Offer.
  5. Charts & Guides.

The “Charts & Guides” section is especially helpful as it includes detailed job descriptions and average salary expectations for those various jobs on a cruise ship – information indispensable to making the decision of whether to apply and for what specific position(s). This section further provides critical contact information to the applicant for submitting an application and follow-up thereafter.

The book is a very “easy-read.” As I was reading, I was able to actually visualize each step of the application process, understand each pro or con of working on a cruise ship (without the “cons“ seeming too onerous), and feel the exhilaration of being offered a job on a cruise ship!! It made me want to go back to my pre-career days, and start over in the cruise industry.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone thinking of joining the cruise industry. It may just be the key to getting that first cruise job.

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Shelly Scinto

by Shelly Scinto

One Response to “Book Review – “Crash Course: Getting a Job on a Cruise Ship””

Vago Damitio


I’ve heard that the pay for cruise staff has gone down significantly because of the glut of applicants the recession (depression) produced.

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