The Digital Nomad Lifestyle on a Cruise Ship – Is it Possible?


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The digital nomad lifestyle is a new way of working, using technology to create the opportunity to work abroad from any location in the world. Many people are following their dreams of being location independent and working in this manner – several of them writing blogs about the experience and sharing their stories with the online community.

There are many different careers that lend themselves to this lifestyle, including freelance writing, web design, social media, SEO and blogging. Essentially, any work that can be done remotely from a laptop with internet access can be done from anywhere in the world. Many digital nomads take advantage of this so that they can travel to their heart’s content and move freely around the world. They work from short-stay apartments, hostels, hotel rooms, cafes and anywhere else where they can find WiFi.


So if you are part of this growing trend of digital nomads, is a cruise ship a good place to work? Is it a practical idea to use a cruise ship as a mobile work retreat, getting work done while at the same time enjoying a great adventure on the high seas? There are advantages and disadvantages to working as a digital nomad on a cruise. Here are some of the factors to consider:


  • One of the main advantages is that on a cruise ship all of your meals are taken care of, so you don’t have to waste any valuable working time cooking for yourself. This can make you more productive, so that you can take a quick break in the day, eat some lunch and then get right back to work. Also, you don’t have to think about cleaning or maintaining your room, someone else will do it for you which gives you more time to work.
  • There are plenty of different places to work on your laptop on a cruise ship, such as the library, the lounge or even next to the pool, so you don’t have to stay cooped up in your room.
  • If you are taking a long transatlantic cruise, it will likely have a high ratio of sea days to port days, which will give you nice long blocks of time in which you can get work done. Also, these cruises are usually the cheapest.
  • While you are at sea you can work hard, but when the ship comes into port you can take a break and go exploring in a new and different travel destination. What a great way to keep your work-life balance healthy!


  • Finding an internet connection on a cruise ship can be a struggle and WiFi is often expensive and unreliable. Often you can buy an internet package aboard the ship – but the cost is usually very high.
  • Using a satellite connection at sea can be very slow – so if most of your work is web-based this can be extremely frustrating.
  • Sometimes working on a cruise ship can be distracting because there are so many fun activities happening all the time – such as games and entertainment. It’s easy to want to close your laptop and go have fun!
  • Other cruise ship passengers are in holiday mode, so they will be friendly and chat to you and perhaps even invite you to join them for a fun activity. It will take some discipline to decline and explain that you have work to do.


If you are a digital nomad, you might want to consider taking a long cruise and getting some work done while enjoying the journey. Perhaps if most of your work is done offline and you want to be able to live in luxury while you focus on getting plenty done, a cruise ship can be an ideal floating working environment. Look for other digital nomads on the social media pages of the bigger booking sites, search for Carnival cruise ships & packages or similar and learn from their experiences.

However, if you need to have reliable access to the internet to complete your work or you need to make frequent calls or Skype chats with clients; a cruise ship will not be the best location for that. If this is the case, take some time off from work and enjoy a cruise as a pure holiday instead – it will help you to return to work relaxed and recharged!

Ryan Posa used to work for Carnival Australia before he set up Cruise Republic. He loves to blog about his travel adventures and offer advice for other travellers. You can follow Ryan on Twitter.