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How safe are workers aboard cruise ships?

Working aboard a cruise ship may at first glance appear to be a young person’s dream job. After all, even as a crew member, you are still working aboard a luxury ship sailing the seas from port to port.

But lower-echelon workers could find themselves earning as little as $500 per month while living among many others in incredibly cramped conditions. Is it worth it? For some, it might be. But that depends upon many disparate factors.

According to data supplied by Business Insider, almost 40% of crew members earn less than $2,000 each month. The position you work, or course, as well as the ocean liner, determine earnings. For instance, a first officer on the Royal Caribbean International will fare far better than a lowly galley worker aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship.

Workers coming from developing countries with unstable economies and lower median incomes might earn what seems to be good money back home in their countries. But for an American worker used to 40-hour work weeks and overtime, the payoff can be quite skimpy.

Cruise ship workers toil hard while living in cramped conditions with almost no privacy. They can share cabins with intoxicated members of the opposite sex and even be subject to sexual abuse and other physical attacks from co-workers. When you are in the middle of an ocean and trying to put distance between yourself and another crew member, you can discover how difficult it can truly be.

So, how safe are these cruise workers? Again, it depends. On poorly run ships where the employees are poorly vetted, you might find yourself in jeopardy from an unsavory crew member with few options for relief until the ship is docked in the home port.

Workers who face assault and/or abuse on the high seas or who have a maritime accident should learn all that they can about seeking financial compensation for their damages.