Hi, Arabella!!! New employee, huh? For which department do you work? From my experiences working for 4 years on ships, some departments work longer hours than others and get minimal break time. I work for the entertainment department as a karaoke host. I can think of many advantages. However, mine might be different than yours. For example, being in the entertainment department, I'm able to disembark the ship at the ports of call and do some shopping, or do an excursion. There are some staff members who don't have any time to get off the ship, so they spend their entire contract not being able to visit the ports of call. Other advantages include being able to save a lot of money. You don't have to pay rent, or pay bills or pay for food. You meet lots of new friends. If you shop onboard, you get discounts. There are crew parties all the time. Those are a few of the advantages.
I think being away from your family for several months is one of the biggest disadvantages. You can stay in touch, of course, through the internet or cell phones, but if you have children like me, it's very hard. Other disadvantages could include not liking the department you work for. Whether or not you're getting paid enough for the amount of work you do or if you like your boss or not. That, however, goes with any job.
My advise to you, Arabella, is have a positive attitude. Some people are made to work on ships, others not so much. Give it a chance and see what comes of it. I'll be heading out in Sept. for my 5th contract. I love my job! I just don't like being away from my daughter that long. Anyway, good luck, Arabella and keep smiling! Ciao for now! Boston Bobby