Working on Cruise Ships

Working on cruise ships can be one of the most exciting experiences you’ll have during your lifetime. Not only does working on cruise ships allow the staff member to enjoy perks such as free travel to exotic places, free room and board, meals, health insurance, and of course, a nice paycheck, it can also be an excellent resume builder, no matter what career path you may find yourself following later in life.

Finding quality people to work on cruise ships has never been more demand than it is today. With literally millions of vacationers choosing to cruise each year, there is certainly no shortage of positions with some of the world’s most popular cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruises, Royal Caribbean International Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, to name a few. Because cruise lines typically have a high turnover, due to the nature of cruises, job seekers can always count on an interesting mix of job openings aboard some of the world’s most exciting cruise ships.

While working on cruise ships is in high demand today, this doesn’t mean that landing that perfect cruise job is easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a top-notch chef, an entertainer, one of the best bartenders in your city or if you’re interested in becoming a crewmember, the hiring process is still the same – somewhat complicated, fairly strict, and extremely competitive.

Before you begin your journey through the hiring process, the first thing you should ask yourself is “What kind of cruise ship job am I interested in?�

When it comes to working on cruise ships, there are literally dozens of job types and hundreds of titles in the industry today. The numerous titles typically fall under the following categories or types: Activity and Entertainment Department, Deck and Engineering Department, Service and Hospitality Department, Personal Care Department and Office Positions.

Cruise ship jobs in the Activity and Entertainment department are considered some of the most glamorous jobs aboard the ship. These positions deal with anything relating to passenger entertainment and are often synonymous with “cruise staff.� This department includes: DJ’s, 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 and 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.

Also called the “Hotel Management Department,” staff members in Service and Hospitality positions have the responsibility of managing the bars and restaurants and passenger cabins, as well as shipboard retail concessions like gift shops. Just a few Service and Hospitality positions include: Hotel Manager, Cabin Steward/Stewardess, Accountant, Executive Chef, Wine Steward, Chief Purser, Purser Staff, 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 applying for positions on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2008 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!

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