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Practicing acupuncture on cruise ships


I’m wondering if you could give me some advice as you seem to have navigated this experience well. I’m graduating from acupuncture school in 2 months and working on a transition plan until I can get licensed. I found an ad for cruise ship jobs and it seemed all they were requiring was a Master’s Degree for Acupuncturist’s. Is licensing optional when out at sea? If so, I was thinking this may be a good option for me while I study for board exams and get my feet wet, so-to-speak, in learning how to build and run a practice, while saving money to get my practice on land started and to start chipping away at student loans. I’m 48 and single with no kids and thought this might be a good option if I can start practicing while I prepare for boards instead of taking a corporate job in another field to pay bills.

Any other tips you could provide about how to make life easier for myself should I head down this path would be much a ppreciated as well. Your “intentional incompetence” plan was genius! I just want to be able to move forward in this new career with as few hiccups as possible.

Also, any recommendations on which lines are better and which to avoid? I live in Orlando, so any ships going out of Cape Canaveral would be ideal for me. Bigger ships or smaller? Do they give you creative license for marketing? Are you able to design what type of treatments you do, or do you have to treat anything the client asks for?

Hopefully you’ll get this message since you posted so many years ago. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

My experience as an Acupuncturist on a Cruise Ships

You should do Disney, Crystal, Royal Caribbean, Princess
Based on my opinion and experience

Good Luck


I worked for 1 contract and you won’t have time to study or do anything personal. You need to be licensed or you won’t have any malpractice to protect you. These guests complain about everything.

The management on these ships are uneducated people from poor countries that only have their looks going for them. Imagine how difficult they are to work with since this job is all they have. Unless you are very thick skinned and like painting on a ton of makeup, I would not recommend this job. The acupuncture management is spread out too thin to do anything for you when you are out on your own.


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