How To Get Ready For A Cruise Job

The time has come to gather the ugly and burn them alive while they are screaming for mercy. The fire will pave the path and the screams will keep you in the right direction – Sean Abraham


The things you will need to have a successful application will be the basics. These include having a current passport with long validity. I would suggest more than one year at least.

Medical Certificate & Vaccinations

The majority of the cruise ship companies will want you to have vaccinations like Yellow Fever, Varicella, and Measles Mumps Rubella aka MMRII. Also, fit for service with or without restrictions, medical certificate, depending on the flagship that you will be joining which will consist of blood work, chest X-ray, vision, hearing, color vision, STDs, and possibly other things that may be required. The types of medical I have done are the Norwegian Maritime Authority, ENG1 in Canada & Mexico, and Transport Canada.


Medicals are extremely strict, with more people failing each week. To ensure this doesn’t happen, please consider the three main areas where candidates fail:

1.            DRUG TEST. If you believe there is a remote chance you may have any illegal drugs in your system, please wait until there would not be traceable before booking your medical. If you are on any prescription drugs, please speak with the physician first to discuss ingredients and what my show up.

2.            BMI- Body Mass Index. BMI must be 30 or lower to work onboard a cruise ship. To test your own BMI before getting your medical, please refer to If your BMI is above 30 you will fail your medical, so you may want to lower your BMI before getting your medical done.

3.            ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. If you are currently on anti-depressants, you will also fail your medical. If you and your doctor believe you are safe to go off these meds, you will need to do so prior to obtaining your medical.

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is required to join a foreign going vessel as you will be travelling to different countries.

Required Visas

Depending on the itinerary you will need to apply for a C1/D visa with the US Embassy in your country of residence. Optionally other visas must be obtained to join in different itineraries.  (appointed partner agencies might be able to assist you with the application process)

If you are Canadian or USA nationality you will get your C1/D stamped at the exit airport by a Customs Officer.

If you are travelling to Australia by vessel you will need to apply for the Maritime Crew Visa (MCV) which has a validity of 3 years. If you are flying to Australia directly and then joining you will need the Electronic Travel Authority Visa (eTA) which has a validity of one year.

Seaman’s Book or Discharge Book

Every country has its respective discharge book and can be obtained with proof of a letter that you will be joining a vessel and require the book. The book is a record of your time at sea. This is also required to debark the ship in certain countries that you visit. Also, some airlines will consider luggage allowance for seafarers holding a seafarer flight ticket.

Airline Tickets & Hotels

The company is usually in charge of issuing airline tickets to the ship you will be joining. Some will not pay the first flight out due to high turnover or no shows. Once you have completed your first contract the flights will be covered both ways. Hotel costs will be covered by the company depending on how many nights they need you to wait. Usually one night or depending on how far you have travelled you may possibly just join directly instead.

Safety Certificates

You will need to obtain the following safety certificates: Basic Training, Crisis Management & Human Behaviour, Crowd Management Training and Proficiency in Security Awareness.

You will need to get these certificates through Independent IMO approved facilities (appointed partner agencies might be able to assist you with the process)

Letter Of Employment (LOE)

The company will give you a letter of employment that you may be required to present at the airport. This paper is pretty important as the border usually likes to ask for this.

Lastly – Bon Voyage

The company that you join usually will give you most of the above information in order for you to bring all the documents. If you do forget a certificate you may be on the hook to go back home and retrieve this in order to join as some of these are required to sail as a crew member.

Apply through these websites Cast-A-WayCruise Job Fair – yaCrew and possibly land an offer for a cruise job depending on what you like to do. If you have a musical talent you can apply through Landau Music.

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