No matter what cruise line you are employed by or your current position, you will always have some time off in port. However, some cruise jobs offer more time off in port than others. For example, cruise ship captains never have time off in port. They have complete authority over all aspects and areas of the ship as well as employees and passengers. This means, they must remain on the ship at all times. On the other side of the spectrum are positions such as cruise ship entertainer and port lecturer. These individuals typically complete a performance or lecture and they are free to do as they please until the next lecture or performance.
If you are interested in a cruise job, but you also want to enjoy time off in port, consider the following top ten positions for time off in port.
- Featured Entertainer
- Casino Staff Manager
- Gift Shop Assistant
- Disc Jockey
- Sports/Fitness Instructor
- Cruise Staff Member
- Cruise Sales Manager
- Port Lecturer
Please continue reading to learn which departments hire for these positions and how 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
If you think you have what it takes to apply for a position on a cruise ship, you should start by jotting down several cruise lines you might be interested in. Next, visit the cruise line’s website. Locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website by visiting Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located several cruise line sites, 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).