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Cruise ship nursing


Just trying to gather some general information about cruise ship nursing.

What cruise line? How long were assignments? Salary compensation? Crew relations? Destinations? What was your experience prior to cruise position? Would you do it again? Why or whynot?

Thanks for any and all responses!!!


I spoke with a hemodialysis nurse who does cruises. She told me that basically her pay is the cruise..Maybe a small salary but I don't think it was much.. And she has to get herself where ever the ship leaves from.

She keeps enough vacation time so that she still gets a pay check from her full time job. She goes about 4-6 per year.

That's all I know.


Thaaat sounds like it might be a fun little break....

Pretty competitive I think.. I applied and received no response.


I am travel nurse doing well so not a big deal


Just read an article on line about substandard care on cruise ships and how they are all registered in countries like Liberia so they don't have to conform to US regs. The cruise doc said he made 50K a year, I'd be afraid to see what the RN's earn. Sorry, don't have a link for it.

I use to work at a hosptial that got patients who were transferred off of cruise ships and I had the opportunity to talk with many cruise ship doctors and nurses. Most all of the cruise ship docs and nurses I encountered were from foreign countries. I don't remember what they were paid but it wasn't very much. I do remember that the working conditions weren't good. They had to work long hours and many days in a row without a day off. Also the equipment they had to work with was substandard and they were always short of supplies. They were always busy since the majority of the passengers were geriatric.

I worked with an agency nurse who worked on a cruise line for a couple of years. She was at sea 6-9 months at a time, like most crew members. They rotated time off in ports of call.

The pay wasn't great, but she said it really was challenging. When you're at sea and hundreds of mile from land, and maybe a storm at the closest port that keeps helicopters grounded, and you've got someone with an MI going on...

It's a busier job than I would have thought. More than just sunburns and tourist stomach for sure.

I was just offered a position on a Cruise Ship with Royal Caribbean. It was simply me calling the Medical Recruitment office at their HQ in Miami and speaker to the recruiter herself. (DON'T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU GET HER/HIM) I had told her that I had been on cruise the week before, spoke with the RN's on board, and was told to call her specifically. It was a very nice conversation, she asked about my QUALS (RN/Paramedic with ER, ICU, and Flight Experience) we went through a basic scenario and was told " I think you would be a great fit with us"....They verified all the necessary stuff (employment, Criminal checks, certs, etc....) and poof...here I go. Pay is $5000 per month, with single OFFICER cabin, all perks that come with being an officer, access to all paying customer things..bars, clubs, shows, excursions when off (usually 2-3 days a week)...plus I'm going to Europe for 6 months....Not a bad deal......Hope this helps.....BON VOYAGE.....

Congrats LZ-RN-EMTP! Please post updates of your cruise adventure!

Although I have never been a cruise RN, I worked aboard cruise ships for 5 years prior to pursuing nursing. The nurses on my line seemed to have a great life (4-month contracts, lots of swimming pool time :)), and a single cabin which is a major perk because most of the crew w/my former company share a room. The nurses' husbands were also allowed to live onboard with them. I hope to one day get back to the "seas" as a nurse! Please let us know what you experience w/Royal Caribbean.

Please share the cruise line that allowed spouse on board..thanks

My company was Disney Cruise Line--however, the medical staff actually are employees of Vanter Cruise Health Services which provides staff for Disney and Crystal Cruise Line.

Since the nurses have single cabins, they are allowed to have guests sail with them and live in their cabin (as of 2008 when I left the company). Guests are not limited to spouses--they can be boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, sibling, parent, etc. Some simple paperwork was required prior to the guest boarding the ship.

This might be a crazy question, but is there internet aboard cruises? My husband travels with me, but to do his job he needs a reliable internet question.

All of the cruise ships that I've sailed on either as a crewmember or guest in the past 5 years either had an internet lounge or wireless connections in certain areas. However, it is more expensive than on land. You usually have to buy some type of internet card or internet plan. On the other hand, a lot of the ports the cruises visit have cheaper internet cafes or coffee shops w/wi-fi.


Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

LZ RN, I have some questions for you regarding your flight experience and your recent cruise ship job. I am brand new to this site and tried to message you but couldnt figure out how to. If you know how, please drop me a message. Thanks

where can i specifically apply for this position?

Dang. I never even thought about taking along my ole lady. Sign me up.

Of course, I better get that RN first. I've been a medic, but I never flew in a whirly bird like LZ did.

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