Keen on working with teenagers? Want a life that lets you travel? If both of these things interest you, you might want to consider being a teen counselor aboard a cruise ship. Be prepared though, the days, weeks, and months are long, with often no days off, but the experience itself can be incredibly rewarding. Still interested? This is what it’s like to work as a teen counselor on a cruise ship; a day in the life.
A typical sea day looks like this:
10:15 AM Wake up, get ready
10:45 AM Arrive to work, check emails, plan for day ahead
11:00 AM Open Teens Club, and take teens to brunch in buffet restaurant
12:00 PM Return to Teens Club, run various types of programming for the next few hours
3:00 PM Close Teens Club, Have your mid afternoon break
5:30 PM Take teens to dinner in passenger restaurant, try to make them behave, fail
7:00 PM Take teens to a recreational activity, like basketball or bowling
8:00 PM Close for your evening break
10:00 PM Run your nightly program – a game show, a truth or dare competition, etc.
11:00 PM Host your nightly party; Traffic Light, Toga, ABC, whatever you like
1:00 AM Kick the remaining teens out, and head to the Crew Bar
Differences between Teen Counselor and Youth Counselor
The Teen Counselor position has a lot more autonomy than the Youth Counselor position. Since teenagers aboard the ship vary greatly in age ranges and maturity, there is no sign-in, sign-out program available for them, absolving you of the worries of having to keep track of them all the time. You simply host activities, and if the teens want to show up, they’ll show up, very much like the cruise staff and passengers above 18.
While as a Youth Counselor you work in a team, Teen Counselors are often solitary. On larger ships, there will be multiple teen counselors, but on smaller ones you’ll be spending most of your days alone. This can cause some troubles socializing as your schedule can often be the polar opposite of those of your colleagues. Keep your head high, throw a smile around, and introduce yourself to other departments, and you’ll be well on your way to having a great social life despite the late hours.
One of the added benefits of being a Teen Counselor aboard, is that on port days, you’ll most likely have the day off. Few parents leave their teenagers aboard the ship, and if they do, there’s no drop in service, hence no working time for you.
So, if you’re interested in an avant-garde lifestyle, and can stand being around hormonal teenagers finding drama in the littlest of situations, you might want to consider becoming a teen counselor.