“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.”




The decision to work at sea is easy but the process involves many emails and a lot of paperwork!

I am grateful to have gotten in touch with Dr Russell Thomson (my Recruiting Agent) who made this whole process seem very easy. He has a very good understanding of the whole system and he was always available for consultation as I was totally clueless of what to expect at sea.

He was very honest in all the areas I needed clarity. I have been at sea for a few months and am glad Dr Russell helped me mentally prepare for most of the challenges people face in their early days at sea.

I felt very respected each time I spoke to Russ as he never treated me like a job seeker at all. I have seen so many different places in the world and have met many people from different parts of the world. I would never have been able to afford to visit all the places I have seen in such a short space of time. I feel very honoured to be working with people from diverse cultures, and all in harmony. I have found inner peace and Atlantic Medical Recruitment made all this possible, I am truly grateful.




I just completed my first contract on Royal Caribbean Cruise Cruises. It was a great opportunity to travel to different countries of the world within a short period of time and meeting people from across the globe.
This wonderful opportunity couldn't have been possible without the support and guardian received from Dr Russell Thomson. He gave me the needed assistance from the beginning of the application process till the end. He encouraged me to hold on when it was looking impossible. He literally took my burden as his own. He was always available for discussions and clarifications. While at sea, he was always in touch.
While life at sea is completely different from that on land, the wisdom received from Russell was more than adequate to cope with some the challenges.
I count it a great honour to have been associated with Russell and the team at Atlantic Medical Recruitment. I hold your professionalism and kind attributes in high esteem.

“Encourage, lift and Strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For
we are connected, one an all…” Deborah Day.
This statement described your attributes Russell. Your positive acts have been felt by many indeed. I was opportune to meet other staff on board that spoke so high about your professionalism and great assistance on getting them to working on the ships.
I will also always recommend AMR to my colleagues with an interest to work on cruise ships.





I’ve just completed my first contract aboard the Royal Princess. The experience was one I’ll never forget.

Maritime medicine is dynamic and exciting. Every day is a new adventure & challenge! It will keep you on your feet but never make you feel overwhelmed due to the amazing support of your medical team.

Socially, I’ve met so many wonderful people from different counties whom have helped me grow in so many ways!

Russell has been fantastic throughout this process- from start to end. Thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity and for helping me with the preparations to get “ship ready”.

I would recommend Maritime Medicine to anyone who’s seeking adventure and whom loves to travel- you will not be disappointed!




While it is huge  and busy I find it to be a great educational and introductory opportunity to working at sea . I have however learnt a lot in the last few months from the time I joined in the Solstice but there is a whole lot more to learn.

I would like to express my gratitude to you for all the assistance in seeing me through this amazing opportunity and what an amazing experience I had to be in two different itineraries in one contract. More importantly I still am so impressed by your efficiency and commitment that you showed me . You made the whole application process up to joining the ship easy sailing

I can never thank enough 




Growing up in a small town in South Africa, my opportunities were very limited.  As I finished my studies I grew more and more interested in travelling around the world. With limited funds my dreams of travelling looked bleak.

A friend of mine recommended Dr Russell as he had helped him find a job on ships, not sure what to expect I took the leap and I emailed him.  I was amazed at his quick response and passion for what he did.  At that time I had never left South Africa and was terrified but excited, Dr Russell made the whole process as painless as possible. Prepping me for interviews, guiding me step by step on what to expect and assisting me with all applications including my visas. I could call or message at any time and Dr Russell would be there to assist.

4 Months later I was off to Washington DC, shocked and amazed at the same time, Dr Russell kept in touch, making sure I arrived safe and that I had settled in to my new position. What an incredible journey it has been.  He was my constant support and back up for any questions I had, I never felt alone or neglected. I remember in our first conversation he was talking about walking the streets of Rome and how incredible it was. My mind could not grasp the beauty that he was trying to explain to me.  It wasn’t until I physically walked in those streets that I just stood in the middle of the road and reflected on how incredibly thankful I was for the opportunity to travel the world.

With his help, my biggest dreams have become a reality.

My roots will forever be SA but for now I will go wherever the next ship takes me.




If you’re thinking about it, then you probably should do it. You can read through all the testimonials and you can ask everyone who’s done it, but still you will have questions unanswered. We all have different motivations pushing us here, and whatever yours may be, whatever’s got you reading this, is worth pursuing. It just takes a bit of time, and like we say to all our new crew members struggling with motion sickness, “It gets better.”

I already made the decision to come and “take a break” with maritime medicine during my internship. So as soon as my community service contract expired I was looking for the first ship that will take me. Of course Russell helped a lot during this process, without him I would’ve had no idea where to start and even less of an idea about where I will end up. 

When you first start thinking about it, the decision you make is (in retrospect) essentially an uninformed one. All you know is that you want to come and “work on the ships.” Which, for most of your friends and family, strikes up images of scrubbing the deck and hoisting the sails; while many of your colleagues fear the job might be “too comfortable” and that you will suffer a decline in your clinical abilities. And to be honest, working here is not like working on the front-line in a South African emergency department (not many things are), but comfortable is not the right word. Given enough time you’ll eventually get comfortable in Tygerberg’s trauma unit as well. 

What my brief exposure (so far) with maritime medicine has given me, is diversity of experience. It gives you the opportunity to work with, and for, a vast variety of people with different cultures, languages and expectations from you as a doctor. It also teaches you to help not only those who have to see you, but also people who want to see you. And it teaches you how to make those same people feel satisfied and content even when walking out the door without the antibiotic they were asking for. It teaches you to think. Diagnosing the acuity of illness we are used to at home is easy. Picking up a pneumothorax is (mostly) not difficult, nor is picking up a widow-maker ECG. Managing them is what forges you, and you will get the opportunity to keep those adrenaline pathways sharp, but what you learn here is that it’s not just the P1’s and 2’s who are sick – you’ve got to pick up the subtleties on the rest before they get there. 

Besides all that, perhaps the single greatest thing about working onboard a contained environment, is the patient follow-up. All the smiles and thank-you’s in the hallway from the crew members who are better and seeing someone enjoying a walk on the beach when you treated them a few days ago with a peak expiratory flow of 150L/min gives you a little bit of faith in what you’re doing. However, that’s just my opinion and that’s just one part of it. Seeing the world and places you might otherwise never have known has never done anyone’s character or instagram feed any harm.

It is not just easy, and it is not just comfortable. You will learn a lot about management and leadership, and during the first week or two or three, even though you’re on a ship, you will feel like you’re swimming just to stay afloat. On top of that, at times you’ll be home-sick, sea-sick and still a little bit jet-lagged. You’ll start reading up on Ebola on Medscape and think it’s just a matter of hours before the haemorrhagic phase starts. But, it get’s better. 

There will be a time when you emerge from all the training workshops and lists of unread emails, and find a time to go up to the open deck. It’s then when you see why they call it the Pacific. Wind-still and flat, it’s in almost completely undisturbed, except for the ship’s ceaseless forward motion breaking the water into an ever-cresting wake, seemingly frozen around the bow. You look back and see the sun setting over an increasingly distant New Caledonian isle as the ship gathers speed towards tomorrow’s port, and you think to yourself, “It can’t get any better than this.”




I have always dreamt about what next to do with my career and looked for things to challenge myself with ……..then I saw a advert about working on a cruise ship as a Paramedic I thought about it and told myself that I’m not qualified for this but took the chance and behold somebody was listening.

That somebody was Dr Russell Thomson from Atlantic Medical Recruitment who helped me and guided me step by step of the way –  from the paperwork to everything else. In 2 months i received my candidate approval and joined Princess cruises.

Hard work paid off and all I can say is WOW!

Thank you, Russell and AMR.




Working as a doctor on a cruise ship has been a dream of mine for a few years now, it combines the two things I love the most – medicine and travel. Thanks to Russell’s assistance this has now become a reality. I have just finished my first contract on board the Island Princess.  This was an incredible experience and an opportunity to learn, meet new people and travel the world. I was lucky enough to work within an exceptional medical team and form friendships which I hope will last for many years to come. Russell was very helpful and knowledgeable and guided me through the application process and helped me to get ship ready. I am very grateful to him for helping me to achieve my goals. I would highly recommend Russell and Atlantic Medical Recruitment for medical professionals interested in working at sea.




I am currently coming to the end of my first contract aboard the Caribbean Princess and all I can say is that this has been an extraordinary journey!
I have come across the most amazing people and I have developed incredible friendships. From a medical point of view I have learnt and experienced things I would never have without coming on this journey. Living and working aboard this ship has honestly been an experience of a lifetime. I am eternally grateful for Russell and his assistance in helping me achieve this dream job. He was excellent from the beginning and throughout!




Hi all, my name is Vanessa Scheepers and I have been a RN for 20 years and have worked in ICU, NICU and Trauma and was very burned out and needed a break from working in hospitals.
So I decided to give the “Ships” ago. After some internet searches I decided on Royal Caribbean and was forwarded Atlantic Medical Recruitment details……
I have never looked back. Russell answered my email almost immediately by phoning me and encouraging me to apply for the job. Russell was with me every step of the way, He knows all the ins and outs of the application process and I never felt lost or anxious. Russell was always available for any questions. He was the first person to phone me after my interview to find out how it went. I got the job so fast it made my head spin.

I am just finishing my first contract in RCCL and I’m Loving the ship life. I can’t imagine doing any other job, and I can’t wait to see more of the world!

I highly recommend Russell and Atlantic Medical Recruitment…..he will change your life!

Thank you so much for your hard work Russell




Just finished my first contract at sea as “ships doctor” on the Holland America line- it has been an amazing experience with lots to learn! Russell really helped in getting me “sea ready” and was always happy to help.
Getting to see so many different places and working with people from all over the world has been the best part about the job.
I would recommend this to any doctor who is potentially unsure about which career path they would like to take or anyone who loves to travel.




I have always toyed with the idea of nursing at Sea as most of my friends have been doing it. I was referred to Dr Russell by a colleague and from the start he was supportive and guided me through all the steps and was always available throughout the whole process.

He prepared me for what to expect, but I was never prepared for the adventures and experiences I had. I have travelled to so many countries that I never dreamt I would. I have met  and worked with so many wonderful people from all over the world and my life has been enriched for it.

The whole experience is wonderful and the rewards have been mind- blowing.  I feel grateful to Dr Russell for helping me achieve my dreams and guiding me through it all.




I really don’t know where to start, working as a Trauma nurse my entire career I knew for sure that my destiny was far beyond bed side nursing. I was introduced to AMR (DR Russell Thomson) by a friend whom is now working in Ireland. With his experience he guided me through the process of what to expect.

At first, it seemed impossible for an ordinary nurse like me to work on the cruise ships, but he believed
in me as if he knew yet was just a stranger. Very humble, professional and I felt that I was never alone. May God grand him strength and life in abundance so he can continue creating more opportunities for South African nurses.




Life on the ship is a whole new experience, you did your best to prepare me and I thank you for it but above all, it is up to the individual to keep an open mindedness while on the job. First few weeks up to a month and half were the hardest with all the training, password set ups, mastering new terminologies and locating areas on the ship as well as figuring out how best to work with some “difficult” colleagues.
Like every other work environment, the newbee has to prove himself and once that is done, you earn the approbation and trust of the team. I am glad I have come to that point. its all a joy ride from here, I love my team, I make extra sacrifices for the team to win and I’m glad they recognize it in my mid-term appraisal and it could get better by the end of my contract.  I have traveled the world in 3 months, had great moments with my second family on board, we have made real friends and experienced diverse cultures and accents while developing my professional skills, I think its safe to say that I am living my dream. We deal with challenges as they arise, good thing is that the company has structures and resources to make things easier.
I strongly recommend anyone hoping to take a career on he ship to contact Atlantic Medical Recruitment. the guidance from Dr Russ and his team will make your transition a smooth one.




I woke up one morning from a dream and couldn’t sleep after and decided to browse the internet for nurses’ job and I came across Atlantic Medical Recruitment and I decided to sent an email with the no intention of getting anywhere with my application because I didn’t see myself travelling the world….. Impossible… But Dr Russell changed that for me because today I’m travelling the world and meeting different nationals. That morning I woke up from a dream, but today I’m living the dream, all thanks to Dr Russell and his team at Atlantic Medical Recruitment.. Thank you thank you thank you thank you




I became interested in life at the sea in August 2018. Within two weeks after consulting Dr Russell Thomson my application was processed. I recieved a wonderful job offer from Princess Cruise line Ltd in October 2018.

Dr Russell prepared me every step of the way with all the necessary information. I never felt left in the dark or uncertain. Dr Russell made the application process for me effertless. He prepared me for each interview emotionally, physically and mentally.

I fully recomend Dr Russell Thomson at Atlantic medical recruitment to anyone who is intersted at working on Cruise lines.

Thank you Dr Russell Thomson for this wonderful opportunity and for making this exciting new chapter in my life possible.




“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page” St Augustine.

I have never truly understood the value of this statement until I started working on ships. I always loved to travel and to visit new and exciting places but my destinations were limited to places I’ve read about. Working on ships has opened my world to places I didn’t know existed. I realized how much there is to discover when I entered a world where the people around me have spent years traveling and working at sea, discovering new horizons.

The dream to work at sea has been one of mine since around my 4th year of medical school when I first heard about it from a friend. Getting myself to a point where I qualified to apply was not an easy task but with the help of Russel Thomson from AMR the whole process seemed less daunting and more manageable.

I contacted Russel during my Comserve year and he advised me on the requirements (which at that stage I did not yet meet) He proceeded to stay in touch with me throughout the time it took me to get the necessary diploma and then helped to make my interview process quick and smooth. He went above and beyond assisting me with any other questions and concerns I had regarding life at sea and what I should expect. He was easy to reach and always willing to advise. I would not have known where to start if it was not for his guidance.

Being a doctor at sea is definitely challenging and familiarizing yourself with the protocols and administrative challenges is daunting but I have learned allot about myself as a person and as a doctor. I truly love being a ship doctor and I am very grateful for all the guidance and assistance Russel gave me.   




I have just returned from my first contract on board the Diamond Princess and it exceeded all my expectations! Cruise ship medicine affords you the opportunity to see the world and enrich yourself culturally while still being able to grow and learn, and improve your skills and knowledge as a doctor. I have gained far more experience and independence than I ever thought possible. I have met people and formed special friendships with people from all walks of life, I visited places I would probably never have seen otherwise.
The application process and preparation for ship life was very smooth and easy thanks to Russell. You can never be fully prepared because the lifestyle is so completely foreign, but Russell was there every step of the way, always available to answer every question and eager to help, providing constant guidance and support. I would highly recommend applying to become a cruise ship medic if you are in search of a challenging, fun and enriching experience! I feel exceptionally lucky.




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.




“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.”




“… 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!”



Russell, you have opened so many doors for me. I love working on the ship and I enjoy every moment. You have opened my eyes to the world out there and all the possibilities and to fall in love with medicine again. What a wonderful team on board whom I have had the privilege to work with – and you recruited them all –  Dr Richards, Dr Breytenbach and Paramedic Steven Alberts. Today in Peru, we disembarked/air-lifted a patient with multi-organ failure – what a wonder experience to be able to provide such remarkable medical care – and in this case there was a positive outcome. 

Russell, I will never be able to show you my true gratitude for making this new journey possible……