How to Be a Personal Trainer on a Cruise Ship | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

How to Be a Personal Trainer on a Cruise Ship

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Cruise lines have extensive training facilities on ships and need personal trainers.
  • You can apply directly to a cruise line or through a recruiter.
  • Having experience and certifications can assist in landing that initial interview.

You may have big dreams of seeing the world as a personal trainer, but perhaps you don’t have as deep of pockets. It can be costly to get out there and see all of the continents and islands. One of the beauties of being a personal trainer, though, is that you can indeed work from anywhere. That “anywhere” can even include a cruise ship!

It can be a great way to see the world, while also making a stable income at the same time.

How do you become a personal trainer on a cruise ship? If you have ever been on a cruise ship before, you know that the major cruise lines usually offer reasonably extensive fitness programs. They have gyms that are more advanced than many you may enroll in at home, classes that you can attend, and personal trainers for guests to sign on with.

As a personal trainer, there are a lot of opportunities here. It is just about knowing how to tap into the industry and get involved!

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Types of Hiring on Cruise Ships

Cruise ships usually hire personal trainers in one of two ways: seasonal and permanent. The seasonal hires are personal trainers that are going to be brought in for a set period. They may be hired during winter cruises for example, or perhaps during the summer, depending on the needs. Permanent staff are personal trainers who work for the cruise line full-time.

It is essential to understand as a trainer that once you are full-time with a cruise ship, your home for months at a time is that very ship. Most trainers on cruise ships will work for several months before getting a break for a month or two to return home, only to start back up again with another set period on the boat.

Contact the Cruise Line Directly

One of the best ways to initially gauge interest from a cruise line as a personal trainer is to reach out directly. Many of the big cruise lines, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival, all have large human resource departments that are hiring all of the time.

You can hop right onto the corporate site of any of these cruise lines and scan the job postings. See what they have to offer you regarding employment and if those offerings would potentially meet your needs as a personal trainer.

If you see something that interests you, do not hesitate to apply on your own. If no job postings are there, you could even call the company or drop them an e-mail to offer your services.

Before you reach out to the cruise line directly, try to put some work into your resume and cover letter. Talk exclusively about the cruise line you are applying to. Showing knowledge of the ships and the itinerary can speak volumes for how much interest your application garners.

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Using a Recruiter

The other option that many personal trainers will turn to is using a recruiter. Employment service companies are great as they work with the cruise lines to understand who the corporations need and then match up the most qualified candidates with them.

A recruiter can help you in many ways. They can work with you on your resume, help you with a cover letter, and help navigate the entire application process.

Before you sign on with a recruitment company, though, do your homework! Be sure that they have multiple cruise lines that they work with. The bigger the pool of jobs the recruitment company has their hands on, the better the chance for you to get hired through them.

Cruise Line Considerations

There are a few pieces of criteria that cruise lines are going to be on the lookout for with applicants. First, they are going to seek applicants from the United States, as well as Canada, who are certified personal trainers. Having a certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) is typically a prerequisite.

Work experience is another area that cruise lines usually look for as well. These are high-end fitness facilities on the ships, so the cruise lines are looking for the best trainers available. Having at least six months of work experience before applying is required.

If you have unique skills, make those known on your application as well.

A cruise line can be a great company to work for. As a trainer, it gives you the opportunity to train clients, build up experience, and see the world, all while making an income! Knowing how to navigate the waters of the cruise line industry can be a challenge, but with the tips we have detailed above, you should be on the right track to landing that cruise line dream job as a personal trainer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which personal training certification is the best one?

All of the various personal training certifications have different requirements, costs, study materials, exam details, recertification requirements, and continuing education credits (CECs) or units (CEUs). It’s important to do your homework and review all of the details before deciding on which one is best for you. The certifications that have been NCCA-accredited are more reputable than others that are not accredited because they have met a certain level of standards for the certification.

How much money do personal trainers make?

This varies depending on location, experience, and how many clients you are training.

Where can I train my personal training clients?

There are a number of places where you could train your clients like a gym, a park, your home, their home, your own studio, or as seen above, a cruise ship.

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