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:

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

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) Carnival UK Cadets

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) A Day In The Life Of A Cargo Ship Deck Officer | Life At Sea

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) Working on a Cruise Ship as Navigational Officer | Joining Crystal Cruises | VLOG

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 much does a deck officer get paid on a cruise ship? ›

$1800 to 2200 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line.

How do you become a cruise deck officer? ›

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 does a deck officer get paid on a Carnival cruise? ›

The salary starts at $71,333 per year and goes up to $144,396 per year for the highest level of seniority.

What qualifications do you 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.

Are deck officers in demand? ›

Some officer categories are already in especially short supply and therefore in high demand; in the tanker and offshore sectors there is a reported shortage of management level deck officers, for example.

Who gets paid the most on a cruise ship? ›

It comes as no surprise that the ship's captain has the biggest salary from working on a cruise ship. The master of the vessel has a huge responsibility for ship safety for crew and passengers along with navigation. The captain can earn almost $100,000 manually depending on the cruise line and experience.

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 ...

How much does a 2nd Officer get paid on a cruise ship? ›

2nd Officer - Navigation Salary Range:

$4700 to 7000 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line.

What is the lowest position on a cruise ship? ›

Primary Duties: An ordinary seaman (OS) is an entry-level member of the deck department crew in cruise ships. Primary responsibilities of an ordinary seaman include general maintenance, repair and sanitation of material, equipment and areas that fall under their responsibility.

Do deck hands get paid? ›

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 much do Royal Caribbean deck crew get paid? ›

Average annual salary in Royal Caribbean International is INR 9.7 lakhs .

How much does Royal Caribbean pay 2nd officers? ›

The estimated total pay for a Second Officer at Royal Caribbean Group is $6,545 per month.

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 154 latest salaries received from various Deck Cadets across industries.

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 salary of deck officer? ›

Merchant Navy Salary in India:
Job ProfileEducational QualificationMerchant Navy Salary
Deck CadetThe candidate must have done Class 12th along with pre-sea Nautical DiplomaRs.25,000-Rs.85,000
Chief OfficerThe candidate must have a 1st Mate (FG) Certificate of CompetencyRs.4,00,000-6,00,000 per month
4 more rows
Feb 20, 2023

What makes a good deck officer? ›

to be able to show initiative and self-reliance. good problem-solving skills. to be a confident person so that your instructions are respected and followed. good teamworking skills, as you'll often be working with large groups of people.

How do I become a successful deck officer? ›

Finding Sea Legs

The faster they learn to adapt themselves to these conditions the better it is for them. For deck cadets, the first step towards a successful career is being disciplined and obedient towards their seniors. They must also learn from all the experienced seafarers onboard irrespective of their ranks.

Is being an officer stressful? ›

Stress takes an emotional and physical toll on police officers, sometimes leading to PTSD, which is estimated to be higher among police officers than among those in the general population.

How many hours a day do cruise ship workers work? ›

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.

Do cruise ship employees 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.

Is it worth it to work on a cruise ship? ›

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.

What is age limit for deck cadet? ›

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

What is the lowest rank in deck department? ›

Ordinary seaman

The lowest ranking personnel in the deck department. An ordinary seaman (OS) generally helps out with work that able seamen do. Other tasks include standing lookout, and generally cleaning duties.

Can a girl become a deck officer? ›

However, the majority of female candidates for the merchant navy prefer the deck division over the engine division. The main justification for this choice is because ladies think becoming a deck officer is simpler than being an engineer.

How much does a room cleaner make on a cruise ship? ›

Average salary

Does this salary seem accurate? The average salary for Housekeeper at American Cruise Lines in the United States is $11.08 per hour, which is 13% below the national average.

How much does a 3rd Officer get paid on a cruise ship? ›

3rd Officer - Navigation Salary Range:

$4500 to 6200 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line.

What is the highest ranking position on a cruise ship? ›

Captain / Master

The Captain is the highest ranking officer and the Master of the cruise ship.

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.

Is getting a job on a cruise ship easy? ›

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.

What is the best side to be on a cruise ship? ›

starboard side of the ship is best to stay on. Your decision will depend on a variety of factors, from your stateroom type to your cruise itinerary. Here are helpful tips for choosing which side of the ship will suit you best.

How many hours a week does a deckhand work? ›

During a busy period, between twelve to eighteen hour days are quite common. While guests are on-board a seven day week with no days off is worked, even if on-board for months. Our crew worked a twelve to fourteen hour shift system.

How long is deckhand training? ›

Course Duration: 3 Days

This entry level Deckhand course is a great introduction to working as a deckhand on a yacht. It is designed for those interested in becoming a Deckhand on a private or charter yacht but are not sure how to best prepare or apply for a position.

How do I become a deckhand with no experience? ›

Is there a way to get started in this career with no experience? The answer is you can — by applying for entry-level Deckhand positions or by attending a maritime training school, such as the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS).

Do Royal Caribbean employees get free cruises? ›

Employee Benefits at Royal Caribbean Group

Some additional benefits include 12 weeks of paid parental leave, employee discounts on cruises, and a complimentary seven-day cruise for employees and a guest after their first year of work.

Do cruise ships carry guns? ›

Cruise Ship Travel

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.

Does Royal Caribbean pay well? ›

RCL pays the highest-paid employees over $90,000 a year, while the lowest-paid employees are paid less than $24,000. RCL employees in different jobs earn different salaries. In engineering jobs, employees earn an average salary of $94,289.

Do Royal Caribbean employees get days off? ›

Paid Time Off is Royal Caribbean International's most important benefit besides Healthcare when ranked by employees, with 50% of employees saying it is the most important benefit. Royal Caribbean International's benefits and PTO Package averages to represent a $1500 - $2500 cash value per month.

Does Royal Caribbean treat their employees well? ›

they take care of their employees and very family oriented

great company to work for, very flexible with schedules, benefits are great, they really care and do a lot for their employees on every level. i would highly recommend working for Royal.

How long are Royal Caribbean contracts? ›

A contract ranges anywhere from three to approximately eight months, depending on the position. Most senior management roles have 4-month contracts while most of the rest of the positions have 6-8 month contracts. Employees live onboard for the total length of their contracts. Do I get time off while onboard?

What is the highest paying officer? ›

What is the highest paying job in law enforcement? The Chief of Police is the top position in civilian law enforcement. The Chief of Police has the highest paying job in law enforcement for the civilian sector, making between $96,000 and $160,000 a year (In Salary).

What is the salary of first deck officer? ›

Deck Officer Salary in India is up to Rs. 1,50,000 per month.

What is a deck crew officer called? ›

According to the vessel's hierarchy, the deck officers are as follows: Master, Chief Officer, Second Officer, Third Officer and Deck Cadet (deck officer to be). The supreme authority on board a merchant vessel is the Master. The entire crew is under his command.

What is the career path of a deck officer? ›

Deck Officers can ultimately progress to become a ship's Captain (or Master), while Marine Engineer Officers will advance towards a Chief Engineer position and METOs towards a Chief Electro-Technical Officer rank.

Is being an officer hard? ›

Every rank and position of authority comes with a commensurate responsibility to lead, develop and achieve through moral character, affirmative presence and exemplary intellect. Being an officer is a demanding profession and becoming one can be even more challenging.

What is it like to be a deck officer? ›

As a Deck Officer, you'll develop valuable transferable skills. You're essentially part Manager, Leader, Firefighter, First Aider, problem solver and negotiator all wrapped into one. These all stand out during future interviews, showing your character and trust worthiness.

What is deck officer Class 3? ›

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) Certificate of Competency Deck Officer Class 3 entitles the holder to serve as the officer in charge of a watch on ships, irrespective of gross tonnage and trade area; and chief mate on ships of up to 3,000 gross tonnage in an unrestricted trade area.

How much does a cruise ship deck cadet make? ›

$1500 to 2200 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line.

How much does a cruise officer get paid? ›

Carnival Cruise Lines Security Officer salary in India ranges between ₹ 1.1 Lakhs to ₹ 13.1 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 7.4 Lakhs.

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

1st Officer - Navigation Salary Range:

$5500 to 8000 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line. Possibilities for promotion to a Staff Captain position.

What is the salary of a Deck Officer? ›

Deck Cadet salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.2 Lakhs to ₹ 6.5 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 2.2 Lakhs.

Do cruise ship workers get days off? ›

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.

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.

Do cruise ship employees get free room and board? ›

Most cruise lines offer their staff free room and board throughout the duration of their contracts. They often cover the costs of basic living expenses, such as water and electricity bills. This allows employees to travel wherever the ship goes, frequently visiting new countries during their free time.

Do I have to pay tax if I work on a cruise ship? ›

Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) is a piece of tax legislation that exempts Seafarers from paying income tax on overseas earnings. Basically, the Seafarer can claim 100% tax relief on the amount you earn.

How much does a 2nd officer get paid on a cruise ship? ›

Second Officer salaries at Princess Cruise Lines can range from $36,901-$39,577.

How much does a 3rd officer get paid on a cruise ship? ›

3rd Officer - Navigation Salary Range:

$4500 to 6200 U.S. per month depending on the cruise line.


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