Cruise Ship Medical Jobs - Onboard Careers for Cruise Medical Staff (2023)

Working for a cruise line as a Doctor, Nurse or Paramedic onboard a passenger cruise ship

The cruise medical staff onboard a passenger cruise ship includes Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics. All medical personnel working on cruise ships meet or exceed the recruitment standards established by the cruise lines and all have proven proficiency in emergency medicine.

Healthcare jobs on cruise ships include a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. The medical team onboard manages acute medical emergencies, trauma patients, and a diverse general practice case load for a population of up to 6000 passengers and crew from over 100 nationalities.

Cruise Ship Medical Jobs - Onboard Careers for Cruise Medical Staff (1)

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MEDICAL NURSES

Pro Sea Staff works with Princess Cruises, Holland America, P&O Australia, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Pullmantur to employ Medical Nurses for their respective fleet of vessels. All members of the on board medical team provide first class medical services to its passengers and crew.

Contracts are 4 months or 6 months on board
Flights to and from ships are paid by the cruise lines
Single cabin accommodation

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MEDICAL DOCTORS

Pro Sea Staff works with Princess Cruises, Holland America, P&O Australia, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Pullmantur to employ Medical Doctors for their respective fleet of vessels. All members of the on board medical team provide first class medical services to its passengers and crew.

Assignments are 4 months on board and 2 months off Flights to and from ships paid by the cruise lines Private Officers Single cabin accommodation

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Cruise Ship Medical Jobs - Onboard Careers for Cruise Medical Staff (5)

Cruise ship medical wards on board

The medical team onboard a cruise ship works in the ship’s medical center with facilities similar to most small hospitals on land. These facilities include Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Units and general wards, several treatment and examination rooms, a well-stocked pharmacy, a comprehensive clinical laboratory and digital radiology.

Although medical evacuation of patients to land-based hospital facilities is sometimes necessary, the onboard medical centers are designed to enable assessment, investigation, and care for relatively long periods. The medical teams onboard are able to provide treatment and diagnostic services comparable to most small hospitals and can admit acutely unwell cases if needed.

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Different types of clinical cases and emergencies

Clinical cases include non-urgent general practice pathologies, adult and pediatric emergency medicine cases such as acute coronary syndromes, cardiac and respiratory failure, infective processes, anaphylaxis, trauma, orthopedic injuries and acute surgical conditions as well as occupational health issues, public health issues. Critically ill patients may require onboard treatment for up to several days in the medical center ICU’s which are equipped with telemetry, cardiac pacing, CPAP, electronic infusion devices, and mechanical ventilators.

Working as a Doctor or a Nurse on a cruise ship

Cruise ship doctors working onboard are responsible for the overall management and day-to-day running of the medical center on the ships they are assigned to.
They are ultimately responsible for the care and well-being of all passengers and employees of the ship and have a dual reporting structure with a direct report to the ship’s Captain and the shoreside head of the medical department of the cruise line they work for. In addition to their responsibility for treating patients, cruise ship doctors are also responsible for all occupational health issues and public health issues on their respective ships.

On cruise ships, Nurses and Paramedics practice autonomously under the authority of the ship’s doctors to assess patients and provide appropriate treatments, using specific patient group protocols to ensure solid, evidence-based medical care is provided at all times. Nurses and Paramedics act as first responders, triaging emergency calls, assessing and treating at scene, and packaging and transferring patients to the vessel’s primary medical facility.

Cruise medical staff is expected to maintain comprehensive patient records and be able to expertly navigate around computer software systems including electronic health records.
A rotational on-call system provides medical services 24/7 for passengers and crew while assuring adequate rest periods for all members of the medical team.
Cruise medical staff is typically assigned to a vessel for a period of four months, followed by a two-month leave period.

High healthcare quality standards and professional development

All medical centers on ships are accredited to international healthcare quality standards and certified to ISO9001:2008. Medical facilities onboard also meet or exceed the American College of Emergency Physicians, Cruise Ships Medicine Guidelines.

In addition to being recognized as leaders in quality maritime healthcare, the cruise lines also invest in cruise ship staff development by facilitating access to Continuing Professional Development programs designed to educate staff about the unique specialization of cruise ship medicine. Comprehensive onboard training is available to assist in transferring professional skills into the maritime environment. The medical team onboard is given the opportunity to progress through a competency program that provides familiarity with emergency equipment and develops new abilities ranging from laboratory work to x-ray acquisition.

(Video) medical jobs in cruise ship, Doctor, Nurse apply in cruise Careers

Cruise line medical recruitment

General Requirements for cruise line medical jobs

All cruise ship medical jobs involve a high level of very specific skills, appropriate education, professional experience, current governmental licensing and certifications, computer literacy. See more details below:

  • A minimum of three years post graduate experience in adult Emergency medicine or acute care, and currently working in a clinical setting
  • Current registration and licensing with appropriate governmental regulatory body
  • A current ACLS certification
  • Highly computer literate and able to use electronic health records
  • Outstanding interpersonal, customer service and communication skills
  • A valid passport and eligibility for a USA C1D visa
  • Fluency in English (written, grammar and spoken language)
  • All medical personnel are required to pass a statutory medical fitness exam prior to joining a ship

Job requirements for cruise line doctors

Cruise ship doctor jobs demand professional degrees and experience in specific medical areas and additional fields. Please see below:

  • MBChB, MBBCh (or equivalent) Medical degree
  • Current, unrestricted license to practice medicine with at least three years post-graduation experience
  • Majority of experience in one or more of the following areas: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Critical / Intensive Care, Cardiology, Anesthetics, Remote Medicine. Additional qualifications such as Diploma in Primary Emergency Care, Diploma in Anesthetics or FCEM are preferred
  • Additional skills such as Ultrasound are advisable and certificates such as Advanced Trauma and Pediatric Life Support are also required by some cruise lines

Job requirements for cruise line nurses

Cruise ship nurse jobs entail professional registration, post-graduate experience and ACLS certification. Please see the list below:

  • Registered Nurse with Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
  • Current, unrestricted license to practice with at least three years post-graduation experience in Emergency Medicine, ICU or other acute care settings
  • A current ACLS certification

Cruise ship medical careers and job benefits for employees

Along with a challenging career and worldwide travel opportunities, cruise medical jobs offer many other benefits. Medical professionals onboard passenger ships are afforded officer status, which ensures comfortable, individual accommodations (at no cost), and access to most passenger facilities. Competitive remuneration packages are augmented by a commitment to continuing medical education. Travel to and from the ships to the nearest international airport is paid in addition to a uniform set. Once medical staff members are eligible, their spouse or partner and relatives may travel with them at certain times.

Cruise ship jobs salary for medical staff

The salary offered to medical personnel working onboard a cruise ship varies between cruise lines. In addition to the monthly salary paid by the cruise lines, all other expenses such as flights to and from the ship, single Officer status accommodations, uniforms are provided by the cruise lines at no cost.

Cruise doctors salary

Most cruise ship Doctors working on passenger cruise ships can expect a salary between $8000 and $12000 monthly. Cruise ship physician’s salary may vary in the beginning of their career, in function of different parameters: factors such as previous ship experience, years of practice and certifications may be taken into consideration when determining the starting salary.

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Cruise nurse salary

Most cruise ship nurses working on passenger cruise ships can expect a salary between $4500 and $4800 monthly. Cruise ship RN (registered nurses) pay can vary slightly: factors such as previous ship experience, years of practice and certifications may be taken into consideration when determining the starting salary.

Apply to work on board a cruise ship as part of a cruise medical staff!

FAQs

What medical staff are on a cruise ship? ›

Typically, a cruise ship will have two doctors on board, or at least one doctor and one nurse. A senior doctor will be primarily responsible for the passengers, while a junior doctor or nurse will care for the staff, and cover the senior doctor when needed.

Do you need a medical to work on a cruise ship? ›

Seafarer's Medical Examinations. Maritime Authorities have standard that requires all employees to be medically fit for service on board cruise ships.

How do I apply to work on a cruise ship? ›

The requirements to work on a cruise ship
  1. Be at least 18 or 21 years old.
  2. Meet the language fluency requirements.
  3. Have a valid passport.
  4. Have the required visa or work permit.
  5. Have a basic safety training certificate.
  6. Pass a medical examination.
  7. Pass a criminal background check.
  8. Have no visible tattoos or piercings.
8 Aug 2021

How much does a cruise ship doctor make? ›

Salary Ranges for Cruise Ship Doctors

The salaries of Cruise Ship Doctors in the US range from $17,246 to $462,480 , with a median salary of $83,456 . The middle 57% of Cruise Ship Doctors makes between $83,456 and $209,093, with the top 86% making $462,480.

How much does a medical assistant make on a cruise ship? ›

Average Carnival Cruise Line Medical Assistant hourly pay in the United States is approximately $12.24, which is 25% below the national average.

What are the pre-employment medical exam? ›

The pre-employment medical examination is often part of the employment process and can include a drug test as well as a complete physical examination. This is usually the last hurdle a worker must pass before officially being hired in a job. The examination is primarily used for safety in the workplace.

Is there a hospital on cruise ships? ›

Cruise ship hospitals don't exist, but each ship does have an infirmary, generally on one of the lowest decks, where passengers can go to receive treatment for minor injuries, seasickness, norovirus and other non-life-threatening ailments.

What is the age limit for cruise ship jobs? ›

While specific position requirements and experience depend on the job you are interested in, there are some other essential requirements that all employees must meet to be able to work onboard a cruise ship. Be at least 21 years old.

Which cruise ship pays best? ›

  • #1. Celebrity Cruises. #1 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #2. Holland America Line. #2 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #3. Royal Caribbean International. #3 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money. ...
  • #4. Norwegian Cruise Line. ...
  • #5. Carnival Cruise Line. ...
  • #6. Princess Cruises. ...
  • #7. Costa Cruises. ...
  • #8. MSC Cruises.

Do cruise ship workers get days off? ›

There are no days off

On ships, weekends and holidays don't exist. You work every day of your entire contract and just have hours off between shifts each day. On land, you can go hard on a Friday night and have a couple of days to recover. On ships, you still have to get up and go to work the next day.

What rank is a doctor on a cruise ship? ›

Each ship has two doctors and at least two nurses. The doctors take turns carrying the beeper for 24 hours at a time. The senior ranking doctor is in charge of the passengers and the junior ranking doctor cares for the crew.

What is a doctor on a ship called? ›

A naval surgeon, or less commonly ship's doctor, is the person responsible for the health of the ship's company aboard a warship.

How many medical staff are on a cruise ship? ›

Medical staff varies by ship size, but typically ships have a doctor and at least two nurses. The world's largest cruise ships may have two doctors and five or six nurses.

How much does Royal Caribbean pay healthcare workers? ›

Average Royal Caribbean group Public Health Nurse yearly pay in the United States is approximately $66,613, which is 8% above the national average. Salary information comes from 1 data point collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 24 months.

What is a shipboard medical assistant? ›

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and healthcare providers at medical treatment facilities. Specifically, may be called upon to: Perform emergency medical treatment on personnel injured in the field, as well as on aboard ships or aircraft.

How much do nurses make on a cruise ship? ›

The average salary of those working as a cruise ship nurse is $36.67 an hour which is $76,283 a year. Keep in mind your experience level will affect your salary. As an entry-level employee, you can expect to be earning $18.99 an hour which would give you an annual salary of $39,500 per year.

Can you fail pre-employment medical? ›

Yes, it is certainly possible to fail a pre-employment medical but it is highly unlikely. Doctors will have to find something worrying in your evaluation for them to fail you on a pre-employment medical.

What should I avoid before medical exam? ›

Avoid salty and fatty foods

Salt and fat will affect your cholesterol and blood pressure. Keep off such foods within the three days prior to your evaluation. Preferably, those who can manage should do it for a week, but the bare minimum is 24 hours.

Are cruise ship doctors officers? ›

A typical shipboard medical team consists of two doctors and two to four nurses. Larger ships also have paramedics. All medical staff have officer ranks. Medical Centers consist of reception and triage areas, doctors' consultation rooms, and fully stocked pharmacies.

What happens if there is a medical emergency on a cruise ship? ›

The condition of the patient and where the ship is located will both be considered. A ship may be diverted so a patient can be transferred to a shore medical facility. That transfer can take the form of a speed boat or helicopter, although not all cruise ships have helipads.

Can you get antibiotics on a cruise ship? ›

The location makes it easier to transport patients off the ship quietly and privately if it becomes necessary. The doctors on board can diagnose your illness and prescribe basic medications, including antibiotics. They carry a plentiful supply of motion-sickness remedies as well as mild pain medication and antacids.

Is there a jail on a cruise ship? ›

If you wonder whether cruise ships have jails, the answer is yes. Jails are called brigs on a cruise ship and tend only to be used in serious circumstances when no other options are available. Cabin arrest is typically used before the brig is needed.

Do cruise ships have doctors carnival? ›

The doctors on board are independent contractors. Shipboard medical facilities are set up to provide reasonable emergency medical care for guests and crew. In cases of extreme emergency where more comprehensive facilities are required, patients are referred to shoreside facilities.

Do cruise ships have nurses? ›

Cruise lines employ a team of nurses, so someone will be available to provide healthcare at all times. When serious problems do occur, your team of nurses and other physicians will work to keep the patient healthy until they can be transferred to the nearest healthcare facility on land.

How long is a cruise ship workers contract? ›

Contract lengths vary by position but range between four and ten months. After each contract you will receive approximately 60 days of vacation before your next assignment.

How many hours do cruise workers work? ›

Staff members often expect to work around 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Some employees may work early in the morning, like those who prepare food, while others work late into the night, like bartenders and entertainers. Your work schedule might depend on the specific cruise line and your position.

What is the starting salary in cruise? ›

According to Business Insider, a cruise ship crew member for Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line can earn an annual average between $16,000 to $20,000. For leadership staff on board cruise ships, the annual salary can be much higher from $30,000 to $100,000.

Do cruise ship employees get free room and board? ›

Cruise ship workers receive additional benefits apart from their salary, including room and board, medical care and meals. This reduces living expenses while employees are on board a scheduled cruise.

Where do cruise ship employees sleep? ›

Unlike guest staterooms, crew cabins are pretty small and usually located on deck 0, or below the sea level – deck A and B. Most of the crew cabins don't have portholes (windows) – this luxury is reserved for some staff and officers – so for first-time crew members this might be a little confusing.

Do cruise ship employees get free food? ›

Yes, crew members receive free food for working onboard a ship, along with a cabin to sleep in (more on that later). Similar to the guests, crew members have their own buffet style restaurant to get their meals from throughout the day.

Do cruise ship employees get their own room? ›

Crew members in higher positions have better cabins

Based on my experience, managers and officers typically have cabins with a porthole and full-size bed, plus an additional fold-down bed for guests. They also typically receive daily housekeeping while most crew members are responsible for cleaning their own cabins.

Can married couples work on cruise ships together? ›

Cruise lines know that happy crew members will stay longer with the company, and give married couples the opportunity to apply for contracts working on the same ship and to share a cabin.

Can you live on cruise ships? ›

There are several cruise lines that allow travelers to purchase an apartment or condo onboard, with food and other amenities included. However, this could also be a much more expensive option depending on what type of cabin you're purchasing.

How many medical staff are on a cruise ship? ›

Medical staff varies by ship size, but typically ships have a doctor and at least two nurses. The world's largest cruise ships may have two doctors and five or six nurses.

Do cruise ships have paramedics? ›

The contracts for paramedics on the ship include four months on the ship, and two months off. Davis says the salary depends on education and previous experience, but can range anywhere from about $3,000 per month to $3,900 per month. Paramedics are paid monthly while on the ship, but are not paid while off the ship.

How much do nurses make on a cruise ship? ›

The average salary of those working as a cruise ship nurse is $36.67 an hour which is $76,283 a year. Keep in mind your experience level will affect your salary. As an entry-level employee, you can expect to be earning $18.99 an hour which would give you an annual salary of $39,500 per year.

Are doctors on board cruise ships? ›

Depending on the size of the ship and number of passengers and Crew members, each RCL ship has one to three doctors and three-to-five Nurses, available to passengers and Crew members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What is a ship's doctor called? ›

A naval surgeon, or less commonly ship's doctor, is the person responsible for the health of the ship's company aboard a warship. The term appears often in reference to Royal Navy's medical personnel during the Age of Sail.

What rank is a cruise ship doctor? ›

Cruise Ship Doctor

Chief Medical is the highest ranking medical officer and head of the Department of Medicine, on the ship. It acts, oversees and supervises the activities of cases on board, both passenger and passengers. Is 24 hours available for any emergency.

Are cruise ship doctors real doctors? ›

So, do cruise ships have doctors onboard? Yes, they do. Nurses, too. All oceangoing cruise vessels have at least one doctor and two nurses who live onboard and are on call 24/7.

How do you become an EMT on a cruise ship? ›

Paramedic or EMT - Cruise Ship

Applicants must have at least three years of post-graduate clinical experience in paramedicine, emergency medicine, or other acute care settings, including remote medicine, and most recent work ...

Do cruise lines hire nurses? ›

Work Alongside a Team of Healthcare Professionals

Fortunately, you won't be alone. Cruise lines employ a team of nurses, so someone will be available to provide healthcare at all times.

How much does a nurse on Royal Caribbean make? ›

Average Total Cash Compensation

The base salary for Senior RN - Occupational Health in companies like ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP range from $88,120 to $108,490 with the average base salary of $98,680.

How long do employees work on a cruise ship? ›

Rather than working traditional five-day weeks, cruise-ship employees often work seven days a week for the duration of their contracts, which can range from about two months to 11 months. The hours can also be intense, from eight to nearly 20 hours a day.

What RN job pays the most? ›

Highest Paid Nursing Jobs:
  • Family Nurse – $113,000.
  • Urgent Care Nurse – $113,000.
  • Oncology Nurse – $113,000.
  • Orthopedic Nurse – $115,000.
  • Cardiac Nurse – $116,000.
  • Emergency Room Nurse – $116,000.
  • Neonatal Nurse – $127,000.
  • Nurse Anesthetist – $189,000.
11 May 2022

What is the basic medical care on a cruise ship? ›

Our medical facilities are stocked with a variety of equipment, including cardiac monitors, automated external defibrillators, ventilators, x-ray machines and processors, laboratory equipment, a formulary of acute care medications and a variety of minor surgical and orthopedic supplies.

Do cruise ships have a dentist on board? ›

All cruise lines need medical staff on board and ready to provide emergency care. This includes dentists, as dental care emergencies can happen unexpectedly. However, dental positions are not advertised to the same extent as other medical jobs. They're also limited compared to other cruise ship medical jobs.

Are there doctors on Norwegian cruise ships? ›

Onboard Medical Services

Each of our ships has a state-of-the-art onboard medical center, staffed with highly qualified doctors and nurses, to provide care for both guests and crew while at sea.

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