Education and Training Requirements for Jobs on Cruise Ships

The type of education and training requirements for any given job on a cruise ship will depend on the job you are interested in. There are literally hundreds of different types of jobs on cruise ships ranging from deckhand to doctor. Each position will fall under a specific department within the cruise line company. Cruise line departments are as follows:

-Activity/Entertainment Department
-Deck & Engineering Department
-Service & Hospitality Department
-Personal Care Department
-Office Positions

The Activity/Entertainment department jobs deal with anything related to passenger entertainment. This department includes: DJs, Production Managers, Photographers, Managers, Casino Staff, Host/Hostess and Cruise Consultant, to name a few. Those best suited for jobs in this department are typically enthusiastic and extroverted.

The Deck & Engineering Department is one of the most important departments on the vessel –without it the ship would never set sail. This department is responsible for maintaining and running the vessel. Please note that the positions in this department are not typically entry-level positions, especially on large ships. The department consists of deckhands, maintenance workers, engineers, and officers. These positions help to motor or sail the ship, attend to the physical maintenance needs of the ship, and keep it in accordance with fleet regulations and international maritime laws. Officers are in charge of passenger safety as well.

The Service/Hospitality Department or Hotel Management Department is responsible for managing the bars & restaurants and passenger cabins, as well as shipboard retail concessions like gift shops. Just a few Service/Hospitality positions include: Hotel Manager, Cabin Stewards/Stewardesses, Accountant, Executive Chef, Wine Steward, Chief Purser, Purser Staff, Chief Purser, Bellman, Pastry Chef and the list goes on and on. Most service positions such as bartenders, waiters and cocktail servers can earn a good amount of extra money from tips.

The Personal Care Department includes spa, fitness, beauty and medical services. It helps manage hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists, fitness instructors, beauty therapists, spa attendants, nurses and physicians all dedicated to the well-being of passengers.

Most office positions are onshore. Employees typically work in the main office performing administrative tasks, arranging cruises or performing general office tasks. Office positions generally fall under the following categories: Accounting, Administrative/Clerical, Air Operations, Marketing/PR and Reservations/Sales.

If you are interested in a job on a cruise ship or at the cruise lines headquarters, you can find out about the requirements for each job along with salary by visiting By visiting Cruise Ship Jobs, you can download the most recent cruise ship employment guide; you can read through cruise line profiles; you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions, and you can even apply for a cruise ship job right online.

If you prefer to look for a job directly through the cruise line website (if you have one in mind), it is important to read the job requirements carefully and follow the application procedures to the letter. Your application may be discarded if you fail to follow directions or apply for a position you are qualified for.

This is very rare, but if you come across a cruise line that does not list job openings on its site, send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is located at the cruise lines headquarters. Contact information for the cruise lines headquarters is usually listed on the cruise line website. Please note that it is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager

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