Working on a cruise ship may feel like the perfect opportunity for world travelers. You get to see the world, have your lodging and food paid for and get to work while you vacation. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, many workers find out there are some major occupational risks associated with working on a cruise ship.

Working where you live

Many people relish the idea of being able to walk to work every day. However, on a cruise ship, the reality is a little different.

Here are some of the biggest risks workers face:


When you live where you work, there are going to be times when you’re asked to pick up some slack. Workers on ships often put in 10-12-hour days and frequently work overtime. If you’re working on a cruise ship, you risk extra injuries from fatigue.

Working longer hours, combined with the uncertainty of being on the ocean, can be a recipe for injuries. Everything from falls to burns can happen when you’re tired and on unsteady ground.

Lingering injuries

When you’re working for eight to nine months straight, sore muscles can quickly turn into something major. Some of these injuries include:

  • Slipped vertebrae discs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Muscle tears
  • Neck contusions
  • Repetitive stress injuries

It’s not like you can simply go home, you’re stuck on a ship. If you don’t work, you can’t get paid. This leads to workers ignoring lingering injuries until they become more severe.

Miscommunication with team members

A cruise ship is like a small city, with thousands of passengers and workers all in a confined space.

Workers must adapt to unfamiliar surroundings and a fast-paced work environment. On top of all that, many coworkers will not speak your language.

This combination can lead to miscommunications that result in accidents and injuries. Working in times of high seas or storms, the additional pressure can create unforced mistakes that lead to injury.

Protecting your rights

Just because you’re on a cruise ship doesn’t mean you forfeit all employee rights. If you’re injured because of unfair labor practices or unsafe working conditions, call the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.

As a skilled injury attorney, he can help you fight for your rights.