Bartending on a cruise ship is probably one of the most lucrative positions in the Service and Hospitality Department. Also called the Hotel Management Department, staff members in this department have the responsibility of managing the bars & restaurants and passenger cabins, as well as shipboard retail concessions like gift shops. In addition to bartenders, the Service and Hospitality positions include: Hotel Manager, Cabin Stewards/Stewardesses, Accountant, Executive Chef, Wine Steward, Chief Purser, Purser Staff, Chief Purser, Bellman, and Pastry Chef. Most service positions earn a significant amount of extra income from tips.
Bartenders on cruise ships typically have several years (or more) of experience in the field. Some may hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in hospitality while others may hold a certificate in bartending from any one of the country’s accredited bartending schools. If you want to become a bartender on cruise ships you will have to have bartending experience, good communication skills, and a friendly personality. Although a degree is not required to become a bartender, some cruise ships prefer at least some college experience.
In addition to a handsome salary range of $1,700-$2,400 per month, including tips, cruise ship bartenders receive free travel to exciting destinations, free air fare to and from the cruise ship, free accommodations, and meals. Cruise ship bartenders also have access to health insurance.
So if you think you have what it takes to become a bartender on cruise ships, you can begin your job hunt by checking the job boards on cruise line websites. If you have a specific cruise line in mind, visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the web address, visit the 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 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 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.
There are several associations and organizations that may be useful during your job hunt and throughout your career. Just a few include The International Bartenders Association (IBA) and The National Bartenders Association. The International Bartenders Association has been a resource for bartenders since 1951 and The National Bartenders Association has been serving the bartending community since 1986.
Other Jobs on Cruise Ships
Jobs on cruise ships in the engineering department or jobs such as master chef will require an extensive amount of education and experience. Engineering departments typically hire individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited maritime program. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as well as a number of traditional universities offer accredited degree programs in this area. In addition, licensure and certification may be required. Chefs must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in culinary art, and positions such as restaurant manager should have an associate degree or higher in hospitality management.
While many positions on cruise ships require a degree, some do not. A few examples include retail salesperson, bartender, crewmember, and housekeeping. Aerobics instructors, gaming managers, massage therapists, and spa personnel are not required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, but these positions do require training and certification. That said, fitness personnel typically have a degree in nutrition, physical fitness, or other related area and gaming managers usually hold an associate’s degree or higher in hospitality management or related field.
Jobs on cruise ships will fall under several categories: Activity/Entertainment Department, Deck & Engineering Department, Service & Hospitality Department, Personal Care Department and Office Positions.
Jobs on cruise ships in the Activity/Entertainment department are considered some of the most glamorous jobs aboard the ship. These positions deal with anything relating 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.
Staff members in the Service/Hospitality Department or Hotel Management Department have the responsibility of 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.
No cruise would be complete without a department devoted to helping passengers pamper themselves. 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.