Credit: Shutterstock

Alex Murphy: Dancing on Ice pro skater & ex cruise worker dishes the dirt on crew life

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Alex Murphy shot to fame as a professional skater on hit TV show Dancing on Ice 2020. The star also used to work on cruise ships - and she's now spilt the truth on what being a crew member is really like.

Cruise crew are a source of fascination to many holidaymakers. These employees are all smiles and politeness when intreating with guests - but what is life really like behind the scenes?

Alex Murphy, the famous professional figure skater from Dancing on Ice, used to work onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

We caught up with the star to find out what crew life entailed during her stint at sea.

The main perk of the job, she explained, is the travel. "One day you would be in the Mediterranean and then the next day you were in India. It was just incredible," Alex enthused.

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Of course, the job didn't come without its downsides - and being away at sea for extended periods of time can get tough.

The "worst thing" about working on cruise ships is "definitely missing family members," said the skater.

- READ MORE: Can I live on a cruise ship? -

"Sometimes you’d be on a contract for six to nine months, and not being able to get off and see family is really tough."

Unsurprisingly crew form strong bonds and almost become their own family while at sea - and sometimes romance flourishes.

Cruise crew: Not all romances are based on the physical and real love is often found on ships. Credit: Shutterstock

When asked if as many crew have relations with one another as one might think, Alex remained coy but admitted: "Well I think if you’re stuck on a ship for six to nine months you can imagine you might get a little bit bored!"

That said, not all romances are based on the physical and real love is often found on ships.

"I actually know a lot of successful marriages that have come from cruise ships!" shared Alex.

- READ MORE: Jane McDonald reveals 'shocking' behaviour of cruise crew -

The pro skater said passengers often have a limited understanding of what crew quarters are like.

"There is a whole city within a city on cruise ships!" She explained. "There are so many crew members that we have our own bars and shops and places to hang out that passengers can’t go to!"

Alex Murphy: The main perk of the job, she explained, is the travel. Credit: Shutterstock

All in all, Alex relished her experience of cruising. "I absolutely loved it!" She said.

"I spent almost five years on Royal Caribbean cruises and it was the time of my life! I loved the fact that I was able to travel without ever having to pack a suitcase!"

Travelling on cruise ships took the pro to some pretty amazing destinations. "I’ve been very fortunate to have skated in so many places," she shared.

- READ MORE: How I became a high-flying cruise ship acrobat on Celebrity -

"We performed a show whilst in Jordan which I thought was really cool! The ship was in Jordan for the day and we performed a show that night."

She is still yet to visit Antarctica, however. "I think I would love to skate somewhere in Antarctica! It’s the only continent I’ve not been to!"

Antarctica has some of the finest scenery on earth as well as intriguing wildlife. Credit: Shutterstock

Alex is also keen to cruise Alaska. "I would love to see the glaciers and to do dog sledding!" she enthused.

As for her top tips for passengers going cruising, she recommends not pushing yourself too much.

- READ MORE: Jane McDonald's colleagues reveal 'nasty' relationships between cruise crew -

"Don’t feel like you have to do everything," Alex advised. "I think sometimes people feel like they have to do everything that is on the entertainment list for cruising, but there are so many options for so many people- you don’t need to do them all!"

She also advocates using the gym if you're worried about piling on the pounds while travelling.

"Most cruise ships have unbelievable gyms! Usually because they are so beautiful you are motivated to use them!" Alex said.

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