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‘I work on a cruise ship – here’s what it’s really like behind the scenes’

Simon Calder’s Travel

A man ditched his “dull” nine-to-five as a plumber to work as a musician on a cruise ship – travelling to 40 countries earning £40k a year.

Jack Nolan, 33, says being a plumber was “boring” and “unfulfilling”.

He started working on cruises in 2016 and earns £3,315 a month and has travelled to countries like Australia, Iceland and Canada.

He revealed what it’s like living and working on a boat.

While he has to work most nights as a singer and guitarists he gets all day off – and gets to explore each destination at his own leisure.

And living on a boat means he doesn’t pay and rent or bills – and all his food is also included.

Jack’s ‘bucket list’ destinations so far have visiting the Acropolis in Greece, Colosseum in Rome, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Hobbiton in New Zealand, and Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

The singer from Exeter, Devon, said: “Not many jobs will let you see so many countries and experience so much culture.

“We also don’t pay for rent or food which is great – as they are two of life’s biggest expenses.

“I had finished university and I had worked in plumbing shops before ships.

“Plumbing doesn’t feed my soul the same way that music does and it doesn’t fulfil me. I wanted to travel the world and I hadn’t travelled by that time.”

Jack soaks up the scenery on a beach in the Pacific
Jack soaks up the scenery on a beach in the Pacific (Jack Nolan / SWNS)

His dad, Trevor, 67, recommended he become qualified in a trade, and Jack’s previous life saw him installing bathrooms for three years and working in a plumbing shop.

He said: “I was living for the weekend.

“I still often worked Saturdays too.

“I was burned out and ultimately knew I didn’t want to do that job for the rest of my life.”

In 2016, Jack got a call from a friend who he had previously worked with at a wedding.

He was a drummer and asked Jack if he knew any guitarists for a band he was putting together.

Jack said: “I told him I’d love to do it, and from there we recorded a promo video in sent it to agents, and we landed our first gig on a ferry in 2016.

“We then found another agent who found us a real cruise contract.

“After that, we were offered more jobs on different ships and I was so excited. The ships went to places like the Caribbean and I had never been.”

Jack says some cruise-workers can also run their own “side-hustles” – like hairdressing and barbers.

He makes an extra £20 an hour…

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