If you are searching for your first cruise jobs, you might find that some jobs are easier to obtain than others. Not only this, but these jobs also offer opportunities to move up on cruise ships, they offer an opportunity to learn more about ship operations and other positions on the ship, and they offer a fair amount of time off in port. These jobs include:
- Air Sea Ticketing Agent
- Gift Shop Staff
- Purser’s Staff
- Youth Counselor
Air Sea Ticketing Agents coordinate flight schedules with cruise itineraries and issue boarding passes. These positions require previous travel agency or airline experience in air reservations and ticketing.
Gift Shop Staff members perform a number of duties in cruise ship gift shops. They take inventory, create eye-catching displays, manage storage areas, code gifts, price gifts, and perform sales duties. These positions require at least three years of full-time experience in a department store of specialty shop.
Purser’s Staff serve as liaisons between passenger, crew, and headquarters. Duties are 50% administrative and 50% passenger relations. These individuals represent cruise line policies and procedures. These positions require a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hotel management, hospitality experience, and finance experience would be helpful as well. Customer relation’s skills are required as well as computer skills.
Reservationists are the cruise industry’s front line of sales. These professionals assist travel agents and provide clients with efficient and fast service. In a nutshell, reservationists provide travel agents with information about rates, sailing dates, itineraries, availability of cabins, and special arrangements. These facts and figures will help the travel agent close the deal. Reservationists must have sales experience as well as customer service experience and advanced computer skills. They must also have a degree from a travel or tourism program or school.
Youth Counselors coordinate youth and children’s activities and programs. These programs are divided into age groups. These positions require a background (education and experience) in child education, physical education, or child psychology. Cruise lines also prefer supervisory experience as an instructor or counselor. Cruise lines may also require water safety certification as well.
Applying for First Time Cruise Jobs
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.
To get started with the application process, pick a cruise line (or two or three) that you’re interested in. Visit the cruise lines’ official website first. You may locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website by visiting the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the website – whether it’s Royal Caribbean Cruise Line or Carnival Cruises, visit the OFFICIAL 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, search for a position that matches your skill set. This is very important. Top cruise lines only hire the best, so don’t waste your time or theirs by applying for a cruise director position if your skill set is better suited to a deckhand position (see departments and jobs at the end of this article). Next, 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).
Cruise Ship Job Perks
Cruise ship employees will enjoy more than free travel to exciting destinations. Cruise ship employees receive free accommodations and meals. They also receive a competitive salary and health insurance.