Skip to main content
Choose a Role – Apply Now

How can I apply for a medical position?

You should complete and submit your application online at must spell your full name and email address correctly, which will be essential to track your application later. In some instances, you might also receive a unique application ID number.

What documents do I need to apply for a medical position?

You will be asked to provide document files as listed below when applying online. Please ensure that the files have enough resolution to be easily read on screen but also meet the size limitation of the application system. We prefer pdf format and files named according to their content. Multi-documents aggregated in single files will be declined.

You need to present the following elements to complete your application:

  • Copy of your most recent résumé in English.
  • Certificate copies of your professional registration and license to practice.
  • Copies of your medical qualification(s) (diploma, bachelor’s, master’s).
  • Copies of relevant professional certifications, for example, ACLS/ALS, PALS, ITLS, ATLS, PHTLS, or others relevant to the position. These are optional. ACLS/ALS is mandatory before joining a vessel but not to apply.
  • A procedural skills list form that you will download or complete online during your application process. You should fill it to the best of your knowledge or the most accurate guess-estimates.

Please use a computer instead of a small-screen mobile device for the best results during the application process. Also, be prepared to upload pictures of any visible tattoos or piercings while wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts or skirt.

What are the application steps?

The application process is multi-staged, and you will only progress to the next step if succeeding in the previous one. Please use the applicant tracking system (ATS) to follow up with your recruiter if you have questions about your application status.

The various stages of recruitment decisions are the following:

  1. After you submit your documents online, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions to complete an asynchronous online test about Information Technologies and Computer Literacy. When you log in to the system (HireVue) and before you start the test, you will receive instructions about the process and watch a video with details about our medical job positions, the shipboard resources, procedures and responsibilities, lifestyle, and other details about the cruise ship environment.
  2. One of our recruiters will review your application details, including your answers to the previous test, experience, qualifications, background, and skill set. We will confirm your documents (including a valid license to practice and qualification diplomas). A recruitment decision will be made regarding your progression to the following stages.
  3. Passing that step, you will be enrolled on HireVue, an online interviewing platform, for your first meeting. In an asynchronous interaction, you will answer the questions you read on-screen by talking to the webcam or typing them using the computer keyboard. Later, one of our recruiters will review your answers and overall performance during the interview and make a recruitment decision. Treat asynchronous interviews like you would any other employment interview. Alternatively, you might also sit for a live interview with one of our recruiters via videoconference, answering similar questions. Make sure you have access to the internet and a fully functional computer with a webcam and microphone.
  4. If you succeed, you will be instructed to sit for a second interview via videoconference with one of our doctors or nurses. They will challenge your medical skills and knowledge with clinical scenarios and questions. Healthcare Assistant applicants will have a single interview comprising character and technical questions.
  5. Finally, if you succeed in all the earlier steps, we will need to obtain three professional references. Your application will be reviewed by the hiring manager for an outcome after all the elements are available.

How long does the application process take?

We will review your application within 72 hours of placing it online. The outcome announcement of your application might vary depending on the number of applicants or the availability of assignments for newly hired staff. We highly recommend that you do not resign from your current job or make any plans until advised by one of our team members. Please coordinate a personal timeline for your application with your recruiter.

What happens if my application gets denied?

If your application fails, you must wait at least 12 months after such an outcome to reapply. We reserve the discretion to reconsider candidates and do not provide feedback on denied applications. Reapplying too early or redundantly will cause your applications to be marked as duplicates.

What happens if my application is successful?

If you have a successful outcome, you will receive a provisional job offer, subject to a satisfactory review of professional references and completing all the requirements to join a vessel. A joining date will be planned according to your availability, completing the necessary onboarding requirements and fulfilling our various itinerary staffing operational needs.

I received a job offer. What are the next steps?

If you accept the offer and once you return the signed offer letter, one of our onboarding teams will provide you with instructions on various steps you will need to complete to be ready to join onboard. These include:

  • Obtaining an American C1D visa (if you’re not an American or Canadian citizen)
  • Obtaining a Seafarers Medical Fitness Certificate (SMFC)
  • Getting a Criminal Record Background Check (CRBC)
  • Supplying a set of evidence of Vaccination and Disease Screenings (VDS)
  • Fulfilling other steps that might be necessary depending on the country you are coming from.

While you complete these requirements, our scheduling team will coordinate your first assignment onboard, taking into consideration your availability, the completion of all the steps mentioned above, and the availability of a vacancy for a newly hired medical employee onboard our fleet.

When should I resign from my current job?

We advise against making any personal plans or resigning from your current job until a member of our onboarding or scheduling teams precisely instructs you to do so. We want to avoid unnecessary periods of unemployment and coordinate your availability with that of our vacancies onboard.

What brand will I be assigned to?

We recruit medical staff for the North American brands of Carnival Corporation, which are the Holland America Group (made up of Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia) and Carnival Cruise Line. Depending on our operational needs, we assign new hires to any of these brands.


I am ready to join. What’s next?

Once our team confirms that you have completed all the onboarding steps and an assignment is available, you will receive a contract for that specific assignment, which you should read carefully and sign before returning via email. You will also receive joining instructions, including the date you should leave your home heading to the international airport, itinerary details and tickets, and other instructions to guide you safely to the ship’s gangway. Your employment becomes effective when you join a vessel for the first time, and never before that.

What are my first duties once I join a vessel?

When you join a vessel for the first time, you will go through a probationary 90-day period. The medical team onboard will guide you through the orientation process to become acquainted with the specifics of being a medical professional in your role on a cruise ship. This will include specific protocols and procedures existing onboard regulating your practice, performing your skills in emergency scenarios and general emergency ship drills, becoming familiar with the ship’s features and physical layouts, learning the rank structure and general daily life routines, and many other tasks and processes. You will also be directed to complete required online courses related to medical topics.

Overall, you will be assisted in adapting to the shipboard environment as a seafarer and a medical professional.

What’s the schedule for my role onboard?

We supply 24/7 medical care onboard between open clinic hours and on-call services. All our staff works 12-hour shifts, and the rotations vary depending on the number of staff in each role. There is always one doctor, nurse, and paramedic (when available) on-call, and every team member works daily. If not 12 hours on call or on-site, you will work, on average, at least 6 hours daily. Whenever there’s a medical emergency onboard, every medical team member must attend, regardless of their schedule for the day.

How many medical staff are onboard?

Clinical staffing ratios consider the size of the vessel, the total population onboard at any given time, and the logistical complexity of some itineraries. Our smallest teams include one doctor and two nurses. The largest teams have three doctors, four nurses, two paramedics, and two healthcare assistants. Only our largest vessels are staffed with paramedics, which represents a small proportion compared to the size of our fleet.

What kind of medical care is provided onboard?

Our teams provide a full spectrum of care, including first response, outpatient treatment, and in-hospital treatment (including admissions and ICU care), for any medical case from the time of presentation until recovery or transfer to shoreside facilities. It is a private practice where guests pay for medical services, but they are free for the crew. Severely ill patients are cared for to the best of our capacity until handed over to shoreside definitive treatment facilities, which sometimes might take up to 10 days. Nurses or paramedics (when available in the team) provide first-response medical care 24 hours a day for any medical presentation.

What are the most common illnesses presenting onboard?

For crew members, health and wellness are emphasized. All crew must pass a Seafarer Medical Examination every two years, so they are primarily healthy or have chronic medical problems that are well controlled. Guests can be of all ages, although predominantly middle-aged and elderly. Cases range from minor trauma, forgotten medications, and chronic disease exacerbations to acute life-threatening emergencies and death.

A typical daily clinic can mix primary healthcare and some emergencies. Due to the contained environment, there is always a risk of spreading infectious diseases such as Covid 19, acute gastrointestinal infections, and other types of transmissible illnesses.

What medical resources are onboard?

All ships are equipped with a medical facility comprised of observation and treatment rooms, admission beds in separate rooms, a laboratory, a pharmacy or dispensary, and an x-ray room. Cardiac monitoring with telemetry is available, as ultrasound equipment, infusion pumps, 12-Lead ECG, ventilators, CPAP, and defibrillators with pacing capability. Laboratory tests include CBC, ESR, INR, blood grouping, electrolytes (excluding CMP), LFTs (including amylase), troponin, BNP, D-dimer, myoglobin, CK, urinalysis, u-bHCG, malaria, legionella, Strep A, Influenza A&B, Hepatitis B, HIV, Norovirus, Covid19, and blood gases. All ships are stocked with medication and supplies from comprehensive common drugs and supplies formulary.

What challenges or requirements exist to working onboard as a medical professional?

We use electronic health records and IT platforms across our fleet, requiring high literacy and competency in computer and typing skills.

Allied healthcare workers and support staff might only be available on some vessels, and there are no lab or radiology technicians. All medical staff has to multitask and be flexible beyond clinical duties. Clinical responsibilities include all medical staff performing X-rays and laboratory tests. Administrative tasks include shore-side referral and disembarkation coordination (mainly for doctors), inventory management, equipment maintenance, and checklists for nurses and paramedics.

Participation in emergency drills is mandatory, both medical team emergency response and ship’s general emergency drills. In-port staffing obligations of all vessels require one doctor, one nurse, and one paramedic, when available, to always be onboard.

There is a significant focus on customer service and the guest experience overall. Medical staff should present professionally in appearance and always portray the corporation's image and core values.

What do the medical facilities look like?

We have modern fully-equipped medical centers – click here to view a short video of what the facilities look like.


Where in the world will I be assigned? Can I request a specific itinerary?

Your assignment is based on our fleet’s operational needs, and you can be deployed to any itinerary around the globe, including Antarctica, Africa, the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Our fleet sails to over 500 destinations globally. With discretionary exceptions, itinerary requests are not an operational priority and cannot be granted.

Will I have to pay for travel to join a vessel, food, or utilities while living onboard?

Travels to join a vessel and return home are provided by the company, as well as overnight accommodation and meals when necessary. Shipboard utilities, except internet access and phone calls, are included in your benefits. Meals are likewise included, and some specialty restaurants in guest areas might require additional fees from the crew.

Do I need to share my room with other people?

Doctors, nurses, and paramedics do not share their living quarters, which comprise a bedroom equipped with a wardrobe, a desk, a TV set, a phone line, and a private bathroom. Healthcare assistants share the room with one other team member.

Can I smoke and consume alcohol while onboard?

Smoking is not encouraged but is currently allowed in designated areas only. Alcohol consumption is permitted up to the legal driving limit established by local laws. Please consider that medical staff are constantly alert to attend to any medical emergencies and must consistently perform at peak capacity. There is zero tolerance for the consumption of recreational drugs. Disrespecting these rules will result in immediate dismissal.

About tattoos and grooming details.

Tattoos and piercings should be declared during recruitment to assess compliance with our grooming policies, and failing to conform will cause your application to be denied. No modifications of approved tattoos are allowed during employment. Hair and nails should always be tidy and well-groomed. Short-trimmed facial hair is permitted. The company supplies laundry services, and uniforms should always be spotless.

What is the assignment length? Is it flexible?

Medical staff is assigned for approximately four months working at sea, followed by up to 8 weeks of vacation. Exceptions are possible but rather difficult to accommodate, and you should always discuss them with your supervisor and planning team with plenty of notice. In the case of justified personal emergencies or circumstances, team members will be repatriated as soon as possible.

How do I get paid my monthly salary?

You get a prorated salary for the onboard time and no wage while on holiday from the ship. Except in the USA and UK, no tax deductions are withheld by the company, and you are liable to abide by your country’s income taxation laws. Salary payments can be made in cash, through a company-sponsored cash card, or via wire transfer to your bank account. Most team members get paid in USD, but the currency of your wages might vary depending on our company's legal obligations in your country.

What if I get sick or injured while onboard?

Total health and life insurance are provided as part of your benefits while onboard, including any treatments, recovery, or repatriation. You are entitled to a limited time of sick leave pay. Special considerations might apply to your liability when voluntarily engaging in extreme sports or other physically endangering activities.

Are there any travel benefits?

Your marital partner and, at times, the immediate family may travel onboard for a limited number of yearly days. They must cover their self-transportation and immigration clearance to join and leave the vessel, subject to terms and conditions. You can access discounts for your leisure cruise travels and offer access to family and friends.

What if my question is not listed?

Please contact your onboarding team directly or email your recruiter if you do not have one assigned yet.

Opportunities in your Inbox

Interested in learning more? Add your information here and we’ll send you updates on positions that would be of interest to you, shore side and shipboard networking events, industry updates, open days and more!

Interested InSearch for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

**Mandatory field | By uploading your resume, you are not submitting an application for employment