View Full Version : Cruise Ship EMT

09-01-2007, 11:44 AM
I was recently told there were positions avaliable for EMT and above to go on cruise with guest for free if you worked half the cruise and were free the other half. Anybody heard of this or is is a line of ..... ??? Thanks

09-01-2007, 08:08 PM
Disney has a paramedic on their island, but I don't know about on the boat itself (probably). This one medic I spoke with during my honeymoon cruise (while stopping at Castaway Key) said he was there for about 4 months straight, and his time was his own when the ships aren't docked there. Might be good work if you can get it.

EMT-Basic? Don't know if it's worthwhile for a cruiseline to have any. For a few bucks more they'll get a paramedic who can run a full code & terminate efforts. Better than nothing probably, so it could be worth checking it out.

PS: Wasn't "Chris Gaines" the F*ed up persona that Garth Brooks used back when he was touring one year?

09-03-2007, 08:59 AM
No my friend, what you are hearing is bull schitt.

For several years I did contract work on the cruise lines. My job was to go aboard a week at a time and teach ACLS,PALS,BLS to the medical staff, CPR/AED to some of the regualr staff and water safety/1st Aid to the babysitters. The week culminated with us running a "morning star" somewhere on the ship and assessing their ALS skills as well as the stretcher team getting much needed practice.

There is no incentive to working on the ship as an American as the wages are low and you pay taxes. 90 percent or more of the staff are foreign nationals, including the medical staff. you will find very few Americans working on most cruise lines.

The cruise lines employ doctors and nurses. There is no need for EMTs or Medics as they are fully equipped to handle most anything for a short amount of time until they dock or a helo lands on deck. As most of these ships are flagged out of other countries, some of them have no clue as to the true nature of a medics ability, but in reality, it is like working here overseas doing the remote medicine. There is a huge difference between the types of patients we see here or on ship, versus what we see on the ambulance.
Most of the patients are routine illnesses, not requiring a medics limited assesment skills or basic knowledge. Working a code is not that big of a deal and if you know anything about survival rates, being on a ship out at sea just shot that to hell even further.

Working on a cruise ship is not as glorious as it sounds. I was very lucky as in my contract I was signed on board as guest/crew which meant I had the run of the ship. Regular employees do NOT have that luxury. Interaction with guests outside of your job gets you fired. You do not sociallize, you do not go on deck, when your shift is over you go below to your quarters. They do have employee lounge areas, bars, and a deck but it is all below and inaccessible and out of view of the guests.

There is a HUGE hierarchy on the ships. You have officers, junior offciers, staff memebers and crew depending on your job function. The employee eating areas are also seperate in regards to this fashion. FOr example, crew members eat in a caferteria style area. Staff members eat in a dining type area and are waited on by crew members. JOs have their own room and the Officers have their room that no one enters unless escorted.

All the best parties are definitely below deck however. Imagine 1200 employees all between the ages of 18-30 on a cruise ship for 6 - 9 months as is the average contract. The condom bin in the employee infirmarary emptied out on a daily basis and it held several hundred!

Employees work 7 days a week. They have split shifts, a few hours in morning, a few in the evening. The quarters are small, tight, cramped! Glamarous job, not at all. These people are all from foreign countries where the money they are making is excellent as compared to their home. Wages are horrible for us, great for them. They work on board for years, missing their families and children so they can send their dollars home.

Yes, when the ship is in dock, if your job is not needing your presence, you are free to disembark and see the sights. But again, how many times do you jump off ship in Bahamas or Jamaica before it gets old. Remember, they are there several times a month, and a few times a week for the shorter cruises.

Anyways, in all my travels, I never once ran across a medic working on board except myself or others within my company and that was an instructor capacity. there is just no need for it.

As for the Disney cruise lines, I cannot speak from personal experience, however I would presume they set an even higher standard than other cruise lines, so I would imagine same medical staffing as the others.

I do know for a fact that as far as the instructing goes, the guys at Port Canaveral FD have the exclusive teaching contract...bastards! I say that because I know several of them personally as I was from that area. They get to take their families on board when they go teach as well.

So I know I gave more info than you prbably wanted but it is all interesting...lol.

Just pay full price and go enjoy the cruise.

09-04-2007, 11:13 AM
3 of our local ED MD's work for Holland America.
Several of our local ED RN's work for them as well.
They seem to enjoy the experience, and must be getting compensated adequately, or else they wouldn't keep doing it (some have over 10 years with the same line).
But I have never heard of medics or EMT's on board.

If you really want to go to sea as a medic, try this:
Hospital Corpsman (HM)

09-04-2007, 11:36 PM
Yes, during my travels, I did meet American docs and nurses working as FILL INs. Very few Americans would do it FT as the pay is low and you pay taxes. Fills ins get higer wages, kind of like our contract travel nurses. Immediate need or temporary status illicits higher wages.

The pay is ok, especially when you are called last minute to fill in. Who would turn down a week or two long cruise and get paid for it?

As I alluded to, there is a huge hierarchy on the ships as well...Docs and nurses are high up on the chain. They usually have "officer" status, they live in nice rooms and eat well. They have very few restrictions, so of course they enjoy it.

Put them on board for 6-9 months, same route every day and see if the monotony doesnt kill ya. It all gets old..lol, especially the belly achers and nausea patients day after day.