Cruise lines are a really clever business. They do a lot of things that no other businesses do.
They seem like Typical American Corporations, but they're actually not. In fact, they're not American at all. They're offshore and they register their boats offshore, to avoid taxes. Before you go shedding a tear for Uncle Sam, realize that they fuel a whole industry that DOES get taxed (cruise agents) and that passengers pay port fees for US ports.
I just had an interesting conversation with an employee here who told me that they receive no income other than tips. Don't jump to the conclusion that she's spinning a story to get a tip from me-- she's a waitress at a different table, so my tips don't go to her.
It's a win-win-win situation.
Employees have a place to stay and three square meals a day, and have the opportunity earn money from the thousands of passengers onboard. The money they earn from passengers can be saved or spent as they please. It doesn't have to cover rent or bills.
Cruise guests get great service (because employees have incentive to be good), and can pay a fair price. On the off chance an employee provides poor service, they don't have to pay them. If an employee provides great service, they can reward it.
And last, the cruise lines have their megaships staffed by free and motivated employees. They can offer really good deals and still make a profit.
Doing something differently doesn't mean you're doing it better, but often doing something better means that you're doing it differently.
I went on a cruise ship once with the family when I was a kid. This post reminded me how I've thought about taking a job on one for a while. Just a nice way to disappear... 3 months off the grid is a nice chunk of time to clear your head.
Actually, having $22,000 in spending money (food and rent are covered, along with medical care) per year isn't that bad for someone who might not even have a college degree, and/or is not a professional (doctor/lawyer).
There're probably ways around domestic income tax as well, depending on where you're saving your money, how it gets reported, etc.
I was listening to a afternoon drive show and they read out 10 jobs cooler than yours. So simply a list of cool jobs.
Cruise Ship Entertainment directors average salary is an abysmal $22,000. Which was a surprise to the hosts
cruise ships season is about 6 months, after that you should take a break for about 3 months and then go on again, some people stay on longer.
you live in such a small space with people, if you have a problem with someone and dont sort it out there and then it can lead to some serious problems, sort of cabin fever.
You can make a lot of money as you don't really have any place to spend it, unless you go out when the ship docks.
I know a girl who bought a house.
the hospitality industry is long and stressful hours, I was tired of people taking their frustrations out on me, dont think i could have handled another year.
In the last post, where I wrote about how much I like working from cruise ships, I mentioned that I could share my method for booking really cheap cruises. I'm going to do that here, and share some other relevant cruise tips.
Getting Cheap Cruises
First, start at Cruise Sheet. There used to be a site called Cruise Hot Sheet that had similar information, but it stopped working, so I built Cruise Sheet.
The best cruises to look for are repositioning cruises. They are the most interesting, have the most sea days, and tend to be very inexpensive. In the fall there are a lot of repositioning cruises from Europe to the US, and in the spring those same ships reposition back to Europe.
I have a very specific way I compensate employees, which I'd like to share. I've found that this method does a great job of aligning an employee's interests with the company's, which is a "nirvana" of sorts considering how misaligned an employees interests can often be with a company's.
I'm going to give you an example based on hourly pay, but this can just as easily be applied to annual salaries.
So let's say that I'm interviewing someone who wants to make $20/hour (roughly equivalent to $40,000/year).
First, I'll explain to them that one of my main goals is to align their interests with the interests of the company, and to do that I have a somewhat unconventional way of compensating employees.
Then, I ask them to tell me what percentage of their compensation they're willing to make "performance based." (Don't call it a "bonus" because it's not - this is different.) Let's say that a potential employee is willing to make $5/hr performance based, and wants the other $15/hr to be fixed (obviously the more an employee is willing to make performance based, the better it is for the company, and ultimately, the employee).