Massage Jobs on Cruise Liners & Their Salary

Updated April 17, 2017

If travelling the high seas and getting paid for it sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, think about putting your massage skills to work on a cruise liner. It won't be the same as a long vacation, but you will have many new and rewarding experiences. Jobs on cruise ships require a strong work ethic and lots of energy. Having an outgoing personality will make the experience more enjoyable because privacy is often hard to find when working on a cruise liner.


Massage therapists on cruise ships usually perform a number of treatments in addition to massage, such as reflexology and body wraps. Therapists may sell products like bath salts and skin masks and are responsible for keeping spa areas clean. Many massage therapists make a large portion of their income from selling products, in addition to tips. Socialising with passengers is important part of the job. Massage therapists must be friendly and personable through their long hours in the spa.


Contracts often last five to eight months, and after the first contract, massage therapists have more opportunities to choose the route they want to travel on, according to Massage Therapy. Many receive one and a half days off each week, and they may put in 10- to 12-hour days with almost nonstop appointments. Cruise lines typically hire certified massage therapists; they don't offer on-the-job training. Often the company pays for the employee's flights to and from the cruise liner at the beginning and end of a contract.


During contracts, the company pays for an employee's living expenses. Employees usually eat basic cafeteria-style food and sleep in small, simple rooms, often in dormitory-style living quarters that they share with other employees. They may have access to the same areas as passengers during off-duty hours, though this will depend on the rules of the ship.


Massage therapists often make £1,430 to £1,885 per month, according to Massage Certification. With tips, they might make as much as £2,340 per month, says Cruise Line Job. On cruise ships, salaries are typically low because room and board are covered, so tips and commissions have particular importance. Massage therapists who are qualified to use a number of massage techniques may have more opportunities to earn money.


On longer cruises, business often lags because fewer new passengers are coming on board to purchase services and goods. Shorter cruises typically are busier for massage therapists. During down time, massage therapists may have the chance to join onshore excursions and see the sights of the various towns where the ship stops.

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About the Author

Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.