If you are looking for seasonal or short-term cruise employment, cruises routinely hire employees for summer, the holidays, and for short-term contracts. Although cruise ships hire for both seasonal and short-term contracts frequently, the need for summer employees is much more pressing than other types of employees.
During the summer months, cruises experience a dramatic increase in sailings. As a result, much like retail shops that have to increase their workforce during the holiday season, cruise lines have to double their workforce as well. Although there are many summer cruise jobs available, you still have to know where to find them.
Mary Fallon Miller, author of How to Get a Job With a Cruise Line, suggests visiting a cruise office while you are a traveling student, on vacation, or in town. Miller mentions that many cruise lines do their hiring from offices in London, Piraeus, and Greece. In the U.S., you can walk right into a cruise office in Orlando or Miami. But remember, this is a good approach for seasonal jobs and for those interested in increasing their chances of securing a permanent position after the season ends. Again, this is the best approach for the summer months only. Otherwise, you should follow standard application procedures as outlined on the cruise lines website. During other times of the year, cruise lines do not accept telephone inquiries, nor do they embrace unannounced in-person visits.
So what if you happen to be traveling overseas—where can you find the cruise line you’re interested in? If you are vacationing in England in the summer, stop by Cunard Line in Southampton England (Southwestern House, Southampton, England S09 1VA, 1.703.716.500M). In Honolulu Hawaii, try American Hawaii Cruises (2100 N. Nimtz Hwy, Honolulu, HI, 96818, 808.847.3172). In Paris, stop by Paquet Cruises at 5, Boulevard Malesherves. 75008, Paris, France. In the U.S. head over to Miami, Florida to Carnival Cruise Lines, 3655 N.W. 87th Avenue, 33178, 305.599.2600.
To find any cruise line headquarters or website, visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. If you come across a cruise line that does not list job openings, just send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is usually located at the cruise line’s headquarters. This information is will be 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.
Cruise Ship Departments
The cruise ship departments include:
Deck & Engineering Department
Service & Hospitality Department
Personal Care Department
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.
Activity/Entertainment jobs are considered the most glamorous jobs on 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.
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.
For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download a 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.