If your dream of traveling the world as a cruise ship dental officer is sincere, there are positions available. These positions are not advertised and will require a significant effort to locate . Your efforts may be rewarded with a true adventure in your dental career.  All cruise lines need medical personnel in order to provide emergency care to passengers and crew.  A few of the more remote and lengthy cruises do have the need for dental personal to treat urgent dental care needs.   These positions are severely limited and will require considerable effort just to locate.

Since the positions available are in very remote areas and likely will be WORLD cruises of significant length, you will need to be very flexible.   You will need to conform to the needs of the cruise line and follow with their itinerary specifically. The cruises will allow you to travel extensively, but you will need to be prepared for long months at sea.   This is a true full-time commitment and you will be required to sign legally binding contracts that will require you commit to specific employment terms.  Consider signing up with a placement agency. There may be fees involved but continuously searching for openings is advantageous.

These opportunities are very limited, and your first step will be contacting the cruise lines directly.   Getting through the layers of bureaucracy will be trying, but be persistent.  These are highly coveted positions.   Don’t get the perception that a dentist is on every cruise, especially those week-long island cruises.  The cruise lines that offer lengthy cruises lasting months will be your target.  You can try looking on the cruise ship websites. This is unlikely to get you anywhere.   The most effective way to find an opportunity is personally  contact the medical department of the cruise line in person.  Research the location of the corporate headquarters and arrange to meet will the appropriate department representatives.  This will be difficult.  The Human resources Department of each line will have the information you need.

Dentist will need to be available 24/7 during their time of service. Prospective patients will include passengers as well as staff/crew.  Previous experience as a licensed dentist is required as well as a clean criminal and disciplinary record.  Proper licensing in a state  with appropriate certification is manditory.  Your malpractice insurance will likely be covered by the cruise line but this is not guaranteed. These may be paid or unpaid positions, and will include your accommodations, meals, health insurance, and air transportation.  You may include your spouse on the cruise, and a reduced fare may be available.

Get you resume together now and get a good photo taken. Make sure you are physically and emotionally prepared for months at sea.  Be prepared for a challenging interview and understand the cruise line will fully evaluate your commitment, Your performance will be evaluated and procedures performed are usually billed by the cruise line directly to the passenger/crew. You will need to perform to the accepted standard of care and be fully responsible for all care rendered.  Send in your formal application immediately if an opening is found.  They do not last.  Follow up with the hiring staff/human resources  director regularly.

If you are disabled, providing care on a cruise as a ship’s officer may be a great opportunity for you.  Understand that you will need to provide dental care to the highest standard in a moving ship at sea with limited resources.  You will have a stateroom sized office and may or may not have a trained assistant.  You will likely have help from the ship’s nurse and can seek aid from the medical officer for consultation. Our experience with dentists who have completed tours as cruise ship dentists has been positive and we hope that you are successful in your quest to travel the world as a ship’s officer.                                                         GOOD LUCK AND SMOOTH SAILING.

Carnival Breeze, St. Thomas