- Current and former cruise ship employees earn monthly between $500 and $10,000 and 40% of the worker’s monthly earnings were equal to or less than $2,000.
- Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings reported a median annual earnings of $16,622, $19,396 and $20,101 respectively.
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported the annual median income in the United States was $31,099 in 2016, making a median monthly earnings of around $2,592.
According to an article published in Business Insider, 40% of the monthly earnings of the cruise ship workers were equal to or less than $2,000.
Data on 35 cruise ship employees
The data collected was pertaining to 35 current and former cruise ship employees, who reported monthly earnings between $500 and $10,000.
A former Carnival Cruise Line galley worker had the lowest monthly earnings, while a Royal Caribbean International first officer had the highest.
Workers from lower median income regions
Majority of the cruise ship workers in lower-paid positions, come from regions with lower median incomes than the United States, like the Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia.
A former bartender for Royal Caribbean who made between $1,600 and $1,800 per month claimed it was better than what he got in his home country, Chile.
Lesser living expenditures
The expenses of a cruise-ship worker can be much lower than those of land-based workers, since they don’t have to pay rent or buy food.
Anyways, demanding and unconventional schedules can lead them to work more hours than the regular schedule.
Lower salary in terms of American standards
A former Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line employee, who worked as a casino dealer and manager, said that by American standards, the salary they make is only $5-$10 an hour at times.
This was not stable financially which made the worker quit the job.
Monthly wages at $3,233
The 35 cruise ship employees who were interviewed by Business Insider had average monthly earnings of around $3,233 and median monthly earnings of around $2,600.
Median annual earnings for 2018
The three largest cruise companies – Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – reported in regulatory filings the following median annual earnings for 2018:
- Carnival Corporation: $16,622
- Royal Caribbean Cruises: $19,396
- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings: $20,101
Each company said its median employee worked on one of its ships.
Carnival said many of its ship-based employees work between 6 and 11 months each year, while Norwegian said six to 10 months is common for its ship-based employees.
Median monthly earnings of $2,592
The annual median income in the United States was $31,099 in 2016 (the latest year for which data is available), according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. That would translate to median monthly earnings of around $2,592.
Beneficial Perks apart from monthly wages
A representative for the Cruise Lines International Association, a trade association for the cruise industry, said that crew members get free medical care, room and board, meals, and many other benefits, apart from their monthly wages.
He added that the crew members are very satisfied with their jobs and the opportunities for career advancement, which would explain the 80% employee retention rates in the cruise industry.
Carnival, Norwegian, and Holland America did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
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Source: Business Insider