A charter cruise is basically a theme cruise, but in most cases a large company or organization has organized the charter cruise. On charter cruises, the entire cruise is organized around the theme. Themes run the gamut from bingo and gourmet cooking to wine tastings and self help. Some cruise charters are partial charters, meaning, the charter will take over part of the ship and regular passengers will end up mingling with the group.
A full charter is simple. The company or organization takes over the entire ship. Charter cruises can last for several days or 2 weeks or more. Shorter charter crusies can cost up to $900,000 and longer charter cruises can cost several million dollars.
Charter cruises on all ships are open to all crew and staff members. So, if you work on the cruise ship, chances are you will help out with the charter. If funds allow, most companies and organizations will opt for a full charter, mainly because the charter will have the undivided attention of the onboard staff and crewmembers. On a partial charter, staff and crewmembers must divide their time between charter guests and regular guests.
So, if you want to work a charter, you have to get a job on a cruise ship first! Continue reading to learn about jobs on cruise ships and what you have to do to apply.
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.
Applying for a Job on Cruise Ships
To get started, select several of your favorite cruise lines. Locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website by visiting Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the site, 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, remember 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 (it is totally up to you if you want to pay for it); you can read through cruise line profiles (for free); you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions (for free) — and you can apply for a cruise ship job right online (for a fee, not recommended).