– Last but definitely not least- will I work long hours every day?
The short answer is “Yes”. While the various positions have different schedules and some lucky ones can even get a day off as a perk for reaching targets/ great job performance, etc, you should be prepared to work up to 10 hours every day for the duration of your contract. It is not unusual to work even longer hours, if need be, however most cruise lines are strictly scrutinized in this particular aspect of the employees time and attendance, as the International Labour organization has strict rules every cruise line has to adhere to. For example, you are not to work more than 14 hours a day, no longer than 77 hours a week, you should have at least 2 breaks in every 24 hours, where one is minimum of 6 uninterrupted hours, etc. You will be advised of your rights and you will know how to monitor your own schedule, however you will not be the one to design it, unless you are your manager:-) Most crew members manage their working hours by balancing them well with their rest hours, i.e. key is to have enough sleep, to eat and exercise regularly and watch your health by not overdoing anything.
Some cruise lines are not as religious about following the ILO rules, but it is the law and there are instances where crew members have demanded their rights and cruise lines sued for violating them.