As a young student studying Hotel Management, I came across a variety of job profiles either during the regular class lectures or via student discussions. During such times, some of the jobs I heard the most about were those related to cruise ships.
The popularity and the general favorable consensus regarding working on a cruise ship is something I still remember years later, which eventually prompted me to look more into it.
Delving deeper into what makes working on a cruise ship so fun and satisfying is what led me to write this article, hoping it would help those who, like me, are interested and want to know more.
This article includes everything basic you might need to consider and apply for a cruise ship job, starting with…
Why Choose to Work on a Cruise Ship?
Working on a cruise ship is no doubt a difficult job, with all the hectic shifts and crazy hours. But the benefits far outweigh any hardships you might face!
I mean who can ignore the allure of traveling across the continents free of cost? Treading foreign waters, seeing new sights, and meeting new people, all the while getting paid… it’s like a dream come true for most.
Another benefit is the high pay and the relatively straightforward and flexible contract terms. You can choose to work either just a few months per year or to be on the go year-round.
Even when it comes to career advancement, most of the cruise liner companies promote employees based on their yearly performance, in contrast to normal workplaces that might put more emphasis on seniority at work.
And finally… working on a cruise ship saves a lot of money that you would have had to spend on things like food, commute, and paying different bills since the job at a liner covers it all.
Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it?
But is it for you?
How to Know if a Job at a Cruise Ship Is Right For You?
Working on a Cruise Ship is different in many aspects from the more mainstream workplaces, even in the Hospitality Industry. Some of the qualities that such companies look for while hiring are:
- Flexibility and adaptability to adjust to an ever-changing environment.
- Open-mindedness and getting well with people of all ages from different cultures and places.
- Passion for what you do, or want to do (as things can, and will get hectic most of the times)
- Love for travel and learning and being open to new experiences.
- Ability to provide great customer service.
- Being able to cover crazy shift hours in cases of emergency and keeping up your energy throughout.
- Good communication skills and command over English, as it is the most common language. As such, being good with two or more languages can work in your favor.
This is just a comprehensive list and almost every company has its own set of values while looking for potential employees. So even if you find yourself lacking in some way, it’s never too late to start working on it now, if you believe this might be the best career choice for you.
Once you have made up your mind, it’s time to know more about different kinds of jobs you can apply for in a Cruise ship, to help you take a step closer to your dream job!
Type of Jobs on a Cruise Ship
There are broadly two categories when it comes to working on a Cruise liner- the Technical jobs and the Hospitality ones.
Technical Jobs include all the people required to keep the ship afloat and the guests and staff safe. These include the different engineers, the Captain, and Assistant Captain and Doctors, etc.
Hospitality Jobs include the people dedicated to taking care of the people on board, the ‘luxury’ part of a Luxury Cruise comes from them. They take care of food, living conditions, recreational activities and also manage the different shops and areas in a cruise ship.
For the technical aspect of jobs, one requires years of studying and training, but for the hospitality side… a couple of years of relevant experience might do the trick.
Since we have covered all the basics, for now, it’s time to come to the main point of this article, which is…
5 Things You Must do to Get That Cruise Ship Job
Now that you are sure what you are signing up for, here are the 5 things you must do first and foremost, to get to your destination:
1. Looking up to Fill Any Information Gaps
This is the age of information and we have so many tools at our disposal that it seems a bit sad not to make full use of them. So research, gather information and find out as much as you can about different companies, the positions and terms they offer, the average pay, contract lengths, and any requirements they might have.
Knowing all this will not only help you decide as to the direction you want to take but also impress the interviewers with how well-prepared you are and thus how serious you are about this.
Learning all about the challenges and the different aspects of working on a Cruise is the first step you must take.
2. Choosing the Company Best Suited to You
Once you are clear about what the different companies offer, it’s time to choose the ones best suited for you. Of course, it’s good to apply to more places, but at the same time, keeping your eyes on one target and focusing all your efforts on it can boost your chances of success.
Another point to remember is that different companies have different expectations, consumer focus, and the benefits they provide to their workers. So looking for the one place you think might be perfect for you might ensure relatively smoother sailing in the future when there are fewer chances for a conflict of interest.
3. Getting Necessary Training or Experience
If you haven’t already, it’s always good to get the necessary training or experience that your chosen company requires, generally as well. While most companies don’t require a degree for you to join their ranks, they do ask for some relevant experience, like a couple of years in customer service, or retail.
Of course, you can choose to get certified training from an institute as well. They vary from 6 months of specific training to full-fledged degrees of 3 years that cover a little of everything, including industrial training. But in the end, it depends on your future goal and requirements for the job.
4. Tailor Your Resume and Prepare For Interview
As already stated, different companies have different requirements for their employees. While researching these companies and picking the one best suited for you, you will come across this information often. What the company is looking for, what their area of focus is, what kind of qualities do they look for in a new hire?
Once you have the answers to these questions, tailor your resume to highlight the key points. Your goal is to get noticed and eventually hired, so make sure you pay attention to what is required and integrate it into your application. Once your resume goes through, it’s time for the Interview, which can be face-to-face, or via services like Skype, Zoom, etc.
In the interview, the information you gathered might give you an upper hand. If you have good communication skills, your chances increase that much more. The key point is to show them how well-prepared and passionate you are for this job… do it right and it’s yours.
5. Have Your Documents Ready
The last thing that completes your preparation is having all the relevant documents ready from the get-go. Of course, some documents like your medical certificate and the different visas only come in the picture after you have your offer letter in hand, but there are others that you can prepare beforehand.
So make sure you have all your important documents like passport and recommendation letters ready to be used at short notice, it speeds up the process and you have one less thing to worry about before you start your new job.
If you want to work on a cruise ship, make sure to know which job type and company will be best suited to you. Read up a lot and gather as much information as you can on the ones you are interested in. After you are affirmative that you have the necessary training or experience requirement, apply without further ado!
Also, don’t forget to tailor your resume according to the company you are applying to and prepare any documents you might need beforehand- it eases up the entire process. Be confident during the interview and show them you are prepared to take on any challenges, that you are someone who will make an excellent addition to their company.
So that was it for our Cruise Ship-centric article! Do tell us your thoughts in the comments and anything you might like to add to this write-up. And if you liked it, don’t forget to share, after all… all good things should be.