In less than 24 hours I will be signing off after almost 5 months aboard the beautiful Carnival Horizon, one of carnival cruise lines newest and biggest ship.  My experience on board has been nothing short of amazing. Practicing medicine on board a cruise ship is different to practicing on land in many ways. One has to rely on a smaller team to render medical services and this teaches one or at least improves ones ability to work efficiently as a committed team member. Contrary to the common belief that cruise ship medicine involves attending to patients with only colds and flu, I must say this has not been my experience. I have seen multiple emergencies and attended to patient from all over the world with different medical conditions and this has not only improved my clinical skills, but has also increased my knowledge and exposure to a number of interesting pathologies.

While I have enjoyed practicing state of the art medicine aboard a beautiful vessel my most memorable experience will be that of the people I have met on this journey. This is a rare opportunity that I have been afforded to live and work with people from at least 70 different nationalities. Not only have I seen many and beautiful parts of the world, I have also seen the world through them. The people you meet while on board do not only make life interesting, they give it meaning.

I became interested in a life at sea in 2016, and had enquired about this before, but it was in April of this year that I finally made a decision to give it a try. A friend suggested I contact Dr Russel Thomson again. That was easy as I had previously made contact with him. He processed my application and within 2 weeks I had an interview and got my job offer in less than a month. Working on board a cruise ship as a doctor requires one to be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared. There is no better man than Dr Russel Thomson to help you with that. He makes everything easy, from the interview process to life at sea preparedness. If anyone is interested in experiencing this incredible opportunity, look no further, Dr Thomson is your best guide.

I will forever be grateful for your assistance Russel. This has been by far the most exciting and adventurous experience of my Life.




I’ve tried many times to think of a way to describe my time at sea with none having the effect I’ve wanted to convey, however the word discovery seems to fill these shoes.

Before joining the Sapphire Princess I prepared diligently, asking anyone with experience of ship life what it will be like and how to go about adjusting. The truth is, you will never know what it is like until you experience it; and it’s so worth it!

The part I have enjoyed most about ship life is discovering people. It won’t take you long to discover the plethora of personalities and cultures aboard. I have made friends from all walks of life from 20+ different countries each bringing their own unique flair to your time onboard.

The thing most people are excited about is discovering places. I have relished the opportunity to experience and to be a part of different nations at every port. From the rush of Italy to the subtle beauty of the Norwegian Fjords, time ashore has been special. If for nothing else, I would gladly take up a position for this privilege.

Finally, ship life is an opportunity to discover yourself, your goals and your plans for the future. With unlimited access to the world, there’s no career quite like working aboard a cruise ship. 




I have always wanted to work on Cruise ships and a colleague recommended that I contact Dr Russell from Atlantic Medical Recruitment, the colleague had just secured a position on a Cruise Ship.  So when I first contacted Dr Russell I was worried that I would not exactly meet the criteria for Ships as I had heard many stories of other colleagues who were turned down but he was extremely friendly and helpful.   He gave me plenty of advice and took me through each step of the application.  He was just an email away and always replied within the day.  I am very grateful to him and Atlantic Medical Recruitment.  I recommend all my friends to contact him.



Dr Sthembele Malgas

“I don’t know where to begin…

Firstly thank you for EVERYTHING!!! This is truly my dream job.
I made it on time and I had a full day to explore miami before I had to travel to Port Canavarel.
There are a lot of systems I need to learn and ship medicine is different in terms of processes than land medicine but that’s what I wanted, I wanted exposure to something new. Something I could add to my resume’. I’m slowly getting introduced to the ship socially although at this moment my focus is to be a safe and functional clinician.
I’m very happy here to sum it up and there is no one I owe it to than you so thank you again, I truly can’t say it enough!”




“It was a great pleasure working with Atlantic Medical Recruitment and the help from Dr Russell. The first email I sent him regarding any vacancies for paramedic and his response was very quick. Out of all the recruitment agencies Atlantic Medical recruitment was far the best and Dr Russell  assisted me from day one with my application up and till I got my first contract and put my first step onto the ship. It was a big adjustment for me the first month especially when it comes to maritime medicine. I learned so much on my first contract and all because of Dr Russell and the Atlantic Medical recruitment team. Thx guy’s you all rock and I can’t wait to join my second contract on the 10 July in Southampton on the ROYAL PRINCESSES. Thank you again AMR for this opportunity God bless you all. ”




“I’ve “doctored” all over the world, both on- and off-shore, and have had my fair share of locum agencies and recruitment companies.

Russ’s Atlantic Medical Recruitment is a breath of fresh air and quickly got me sorted.

If you qualify and follow his guidance then, before you know it, you’ll be a cruise doc / nurse too!”




“Ship Board Medicine encompasses an interesting and exciting aspect of Emergency- and Family Medicine which creates an environment for leadership development and growth with added benefits and incentives unlike any other positions within healthcare.

In my first contract I have come into contact with a wide variety of pathologies, have conversed and engaged with people from a vast number of Nationalities and have had the opportunities to see some of the most beautiful sights in the world – areas I would have unlikely ventured to in my own capacity.

I can truly attest to the absolutely professional, efficient and welcoming service provided by Russell Thomson of Atlantic Medical Recruitment through the entire process of application and preparation for life at sea as a doctor.

If you are looking for exposure in healthcare in a new environment with interesting and challenging medical cases with great support and excellent team dynamics, while seeing the world and being remunerated well – try life at sea!”




“I was doing community service at Khayelitsha District Hospital and have wanted to work on the ships for a while. If not sure what to do after Commserve or if travelling and meeting lots of people around the world interests you then Ship life is for you, and there are lots of other perks too

Russell Thomson, through Atlantic Recruitment, has been a pleasure to work with. The approach on how to start applications, what paper work is needed, and what ship life is like, Russell will have all the answers. He is willing to go the extra mile to ensure you are prepped for interviews, ready for your trip, enjoying ship life and is willing to provide any extra information that is needed 

Anyone considering a career at sea or wanting to experience life at sea travelling, practicing medicine and earning a great salary, I have no hesitation recommending Russell and Atlantic Recruitment as your recruitment agency.”




“It was great working with Atlantic Medical Recruitment and Russell in finding employment on board a cruise ship and getting all the preparation done. Russell answered my many questions patiently and made sure I didn’t miss any important communication or pre-departure organisation. He was very efficient in responding to any queries from me and organised an interview with my now current employer very quickly – an employer with whom I am very content. Thanks Atlantic Medical Recruitment for the guidance.”




“Since I finished medical school in 2012 I have wanted to work on cruise ships as a cruise ship doctor, however, the timing just never seemed right as I was always involved in academic or work related ventures in order to improve my career. I got in touch with Dr Russel Thomson in early 2016 to begin discussing a potential career at sea. He was very helpful in answering all of my questions and addressing my concerns. Every step of the process was explained and he did a great job of communicating with me via email, text and phone. He always answered my calls! It took about 9 months for me to prepare myself emotionally, mentally and academically for the task ahead but Dr Thomson was very supportive along the way and did not push me until I felt I was ready to take the leap – after completing my academic goals at home.

I am now 2 months on board the Pacific Eden (P&O Australia) and enjoying every moment. It is an amazing opportunity to travel, meet new people and experience new adventures. It is also interesting to witness how medicine is practiced and perceived in other parts of the world. I am growing as a clinician and as an individual and this experience has guaranteed lifelong learning opportunities I could never forget. Dr Thomson still keeps in touch as available if any problems occur or if advice is needed. I highly recommend Atlantic Medical Recruitment for new to sea joiners – they provide a professional service second to none.”




“… Picking up a pamphlet with Atlantic Medical Recruitment contact details just over a year ago at a ACLS course …

Who knew it would be life changing!

I did an online application and on the same day, they got back to me. I was privileged enough to have worked with Dr R Thomson. From the start Dr R Thomson has been so professional, friendly, helpful and supportive throughout the recruitment process. I was constantly kept up to date on the progress of my application. Atlantic Medical Recruitment went the extra mile to assist me Today I can proudly say that I am an employee of Princess Cruise and it’s all thanks to Atlantic Medical Recruitment and the team and a special thank you to Dr R Thomson for making it possible.

Thank you so much for the opportunity. I would definitely recommend Atlantic Medical Recruitment to any person that is interested in a new opportunity.”



“Words can hardly express just how amazing Dr Thomson (AMR) is. He helped me to get onto a cruise ship within 2 months, start to finish. His excellent guidance and advice was invaluable in the application process. He is always available, every step of the way, and I always knew what to expect. We all know time is of paramount importance and Dr Thomson is so efficient and friendly that you feel as though you have an advisor guiding you at all times. I would recommend him and AMR to anyone looking to become a cruise ship doctor!”