Around the world people dream of visiting the Hawaiian islands. They fantasize about filling an itinerary with white sandy beaches, lush forests, fresh pineapple, warm ocean water and enough sunshine to make their tan lines last for months.
A popular method to experience Hawaii is through a cruise ship. These days the largest company offering multi-island cruises is Norwegian Cruise Line on board the MS Pride of America which makes port in five locations on four islands. Packages start at $1,349 per person based on double-occupancy, but don’t include airfare which varies depending on where you are traveling from.
Now, there is an easier and more lucrative way to see Hawaii. Instead of booking a vacation package and spending thousands of dollars to pack as much fun and alcohol into seven days as possible it is possible to be paid to see these same islands. That is, you too can be an employee aboard the MS Pride of America, have your plane ticket paid for, set sail around paradise for a five-month contract and save a few bucks every few weeks.
Literally ANYONE can work on a cruise ship. I’ve heard stories where it was near impossible to work on board these ships, or where a separate recruiting company had to be paid to forward a person’s application. For international cruise ships there may be some legitimacy to those claims, but the Pride of America is a US-flagged ship, which means that Americans (and non-Americans) can apply for work just like any other company. And absolutely no experience is necessary, though it always helps. If you just want to see Hawaii for five months and not worry about serious professional development then go be a dishwasher in paradise! Check out their employment website which is constantly recruiting new employees, as the turnover rate for cruise ships tends to be rather high.
The application process does take a few months, and there will be some travel involved to get the appropriate certifications. But once that is all done and NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) has offered you an employment date, pack your bags!
NCL will fly you to Honolulu, usually. On occasion they’ve flown new employees into Maui but that’s not often. After a long flight you arrive in paradise, a salty and humid paradise full of wild flowers, hula dancers and Mai Tais. Work will begin soon, so take a minute to just look around and take in this exotic location.
Once settled in to your new home you will find an itinerary with fire training, ship layout, do’s and don’ts and general employment guidelines. But by this point, you realize you’re in Hawaii and can actually start enjoying the experience.