Special guests on cruise ships such as lecturers and speakers are hired to give everything from talks and slide shows to shopping tips on various ports of call. Special guests usually work under the direction and supervision of the cruise director and excursion staff. What’s unique about special guests on cruise ships is most guests are under contract with an independent company. In addition, special guests, particularly guests that work with the excursions staff, have the potential to earn $1,000 or more per week in commissions. The commissions are earned from the retail outlets they recommend to guests. Some special guest jobs pay a salary plus commission, while most are commission only. The downside for commission-only earners is, there will be times when you hardly make anything at all.
Special guest jobs on cruise ships are the perfect fit for individuals experienced in the retail sector, someone with extensive knowledge of ports of call, and someone who can think fast when questions get tough. To sign up with an booking agency for special guests of all kinds, lecturers and speakers try the following:
Page & Moy Cruises
Phone: 0116 217 8005
Phone: 954 377 7777
Fax: 954 377 7000
4517 NW 31st Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL
About Working on Cruise Ships
So what’s it like working on cruise ships? For starters, it’s fun. Next, there’s lots of freedom. And finally, just about everything is free. Now, just how much fun, freedom, and free stuff you will enjoy will depend on where you fall in the ship hierarchy. Let us explain. Ship employees fall into one of three main categories: officer, staff, and crew. Officers are at the top of the hierarchy. They wear the stripes and enjoy superior accommodations. They also have free access to all ship facilities, and they enjoy the highest salaries. Captains average anywhere from $6,000-$10,000+ per month, staff captains typically earn $5,000-$7,000 per month, and first officers earn around $4,000-$5,000 per month. Can you imagine earning this amount of money plus paid expenses?
Staff members (not staff captains) are second in the hierarchy. These individuals work in retail shops, casinos, and spas. They are also photographers, entertainers, lecturers and speakers, cruise staff, and concession staff. These individuals enjoy unlimited access to passenger areas and they are allowed more time off in port than officers. Most officers have to remain onboard in order to “man” the ship while docked. Staff member salaries vary greatly depending on the position. For example, hospitality managers may earn anywhere from $4,000-$4,800 per month, while retail salespersons may earn $1,400-$2,000 per month.
Crewmembers are last in the hierarchy. These individuals make up the largest population of workers on the ship. Crewmembers are non-managerial bar and restaurant personnel, cleaning staff, cabin stewards, galley and laundry personnel, and deck hands. Crewmembers do not have as many privileges as officers and staff members. They have access to the “crew bar,” and they must share accommodations with one or more co-workers. That said, there are several advantages to being a crewmember.
Crewmembers make a significant amount of income in tips, they have lots of room to grow, and they can spend more time having fun at various ports of call rather than remaining on the ship. It is not uncommon for crewmembers to turn down a promotion if it means losing his freedom and his tips! Crewmembers salaries vary greatly depending on the position. For example, a cocktail waiter may earn around $1,600-$2,400 per month, while laundry staff may earn anywhere from $1,000-$1,400 per month.
Now that you know how things work on board, your place, and how much you can expect to make, it’s time to gather your belongings and head out to sea. Most new ship employees end up packing everything but the kitchen sink on their first working trip. Fortunately, you don’t have to bring much. Remember, ships are like little cities at sea. You will have access to grocery stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, salons, health clubs, bookstores, libraries, cyber cafes, and more, so the most important things to remember are: all of your identifying information (passport, driver’s license, state ID, Insurance cards, etc.), and any medications (or prescriptions). If you’re an entertainer, don’t forget your costume, accessories, and any necessary equipment. For all workers, check with the ship ahead of time to inquire about dress codes, but more than likely, you will have to wear a uniform while working. So, that’s it – you’re ready to go!
For more information about cruise ship jobs, pick up a copy of Working on Cruise Ships by Sandra Bow (Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Connecticut).
For more information about guest lecturer openings on specific cruise lines (if you have a specific cruise line in mind), locate the cruise lines OFFICIAL website by visiting the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings at www.shipsandcruises.com.
For more information about all types of 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.