One of the most important things an individual can do for themselves during a relaxing cruise vacation is treat themselves to a professional massage. While some consider massages a luxury, others consider it a necessity. Services such as massages are offered on luxury cruises of all kinds as well as mainstream cruises big and small. Due to the nature of services such as this, the “Personal Care Department” is one of the most important departments on a cruise ship.
When guests travel with luxury cruise lines such as Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, and Cunard Cruises they expect the highest levels of service and the utmost in pampering from the personnel in the Personal Care Department. Not only this, but the cruise industry overall has a strong focus on health, relaxation, and wellness today. Because of this, luxury cruise lines will hire the cream of the crop to staff the lines spas, fitness centers, salons, and beauty centers. This includes the cruise ships massage therapy department.
There are many opportunities for massage therapists on cruise lines, but the requirements are strict. That said, once you have made it through the hiring process, the rewards are truly great. The requirements for massage therapist positions on cruise lines begin with certification. The vast majority of cruise lines, luxury and otherwise, require national certification. It would be in your best interest to complete an accredited massage therapy program and obtain the proper certification as this will lead to the best opportunities.
Next, cruise line massage therapists should also do their best to obtain a state license. This will strengthen your application, and it will also ensure the best opportunities as well. Cruise line massage therapists with at least one year of experience with a reputable spa, salon, fitness center, chiropractor, medical center, etc., will find themselves higher on the list of prospects than a massage therapist with only a few months experience under his or her belt.
While these three criteria are extremely important, the requirements don’t stop there. Cruise lines also prefer massage therapists that are proficient in a wide variety of massage techniques. Cruise lines travel the world, meaning that the passenger make-up can be quite diverse. Cruise lines are eager to hire massage therapists that will appeal to a diverse group of passengers. It’s best to have as much experience as possible in all or at least half of the top 10 massage techniques. According to New Choices in Natural Healing by Editor-in-Chief of Prevention Magazine Health Books, the top 10 massage techniques include: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Neuromuscular, Rolfing, Hellerwork, Craniosacral, Aston-Pattering, Feldenkrais, and Trager. Thai massage is popular as well.
There are several additional specialties and skills that massage therapists can acquire to make themselves even more marketable to cruise lines. If the massage therapist has a specialty such as Reiki, hot rock massage or Aromatherapy or if the massage therapist has sales presentation experience, cruise lines will definitely take notice. Not only will this almost guarantee a position on one of the top luxury cruise lines, but the more experience, specialties, and extras a massage therapist has, the more he or she can command when it comes to negotiating a salary.
In addition to a sizable salary, cruise line massage therapists will also enjoy other benefits such as paid cruise travel around the world, paid accommodations and meals, medical care, paid airline tickets, and stability as the cruise industry is the fastest growing area of travel in the world today!