How to Become a Bar Manager on Cruise Ships

This is by no means an advertisement for alcohol, but doesn’t it seem like everyone seems to be having a better time when the beer is flowing and the food and wine are abundant? This might be the reason why everybody loves the bartender! Oh, and the chef too. Bartender and bar manager jobs are among the most sought after jobs on the ship. Not only are bartenders a part of the most festive environment on the ship, they make a handsome salary plus tips. With tips, bartenders can earn anywhere from $1,700-$2,400+ per month. Bar managers, on the other hand, earn anywhere from $3,000 per month on the low end up to an i mpressive $3,800+ per month on the high end. In addition to competitive salaries, bar managers receive free air travel to and from the ship, free accommodations, health insurance, and retirement benefits.

Bar managers must know all there is to know about bartending, but they must also have a background in management, accounting skills, and computer skills. Bar managers are responsible for all bar operations including scheduling, ordering supplies and beverages, meeting with vendors, accounting, scheduling, and supervising staff. It is not uncommon for top earning bar managers to have a degree in hospitality or related field, or even business management. It is entirely possible to work your way up from bartender to bar manager, but this route typically takes years to navigate.

Bartenders and bar managers belong to the Service and Hospitality Department on ships. Also called the Hotel Management Department, the Service and Hospitality Department is also home to Hotel Managers, Cabin Stewards/Stewardesses, Accountants, Executive Chefs, Wine Stewards, Chief Pursers, Purser Staff, Bellman, and Pastry Chefs. Outside of the bar manager, most service positions earn a significant amount of extra income from tips.

If you are interested in becoming a bar manager on cruise ships, you should begin your search for a position by picking a cruise line (or two). Once you have a specific cruise line in mind, locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website. Visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Visit the cruise lines’ website and search around for job postings. Most cruise line websites have a career center or job postings page. If the cruise line lists job openings, be sure to follow the application procedure to the letter. Applicants that do not follow directions are typically passed over in favor of those that do.

If the cruise line does not have job openings on its site (which is unlikely), send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines’ Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is typically located at the cruise lines headquarters. This information is usually listed on the cruise line website. It is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager.

For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2010 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. Please note that this website charges a fee. You can apply for a job on your own, free of charge, sign up with a placement agency, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.

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