How to get a job on a cruise ship

Getting a job on the ship is relatively easier than keeping it. Many times, people who have the right qualifications for the positions advertised/ vacant are interviewed over the telephone. This brings us to one of the most important aspects of the preliminaries of landing a job with ships. You need to know how to express yourself well over the telephone, because the majority of the qualifying interviews are held over the phone.

Let us see what type of jobs you can choose from. The jobs aboard a ship are usually divided into different categories based upon their function. Hence, you will find:

The service department usually the customer relations team, such as hosts, hostesses, guides, beauticians, gym staff, bar staff, gift sales people and managers, etc. These jobs involve direct service/ interaction with the passengers. These are the most demanding jobs of all because it requires that you are always on duty, always with a smile on your lips, always ready to help or as they say, with an at your service attitude. These jobs are paid well, but not the best. You get to interact with the passengers and you also get to be tipped pretty often which sometimes provides you with a second salary. There are times when service staff made US -400 per day on a luxury liner thing which is unheard of on any land-based job.

The accommodation department includes the house-keeping and related functions. Here the staff is required to work on shifts and they are available round the clock. Here too you will find that the salary is complemented by tips, though these will not be as large as those offered in the service department. However, on high-end ships a cabin steward can make US -100 per day which is not a small amount either.

The entertainment department this will include the singers, magicians, actors, those who run the movies, event managers, event directors, swimming instructors, disc jockeys, casino staff, cruise directors, performers, shore excursion staff, etc. These jobs are usually the best paid and the most glamorous as well. The salaries attached to these jobs are the highest. So is the competitiveness for getting these jobs. Many times there are 4-5 applicants from the same ship applying for this job, which is mostly filled through promotions from lower ranks staff. Only when the company does not have any promotable staff, do they go for direct recruitment for this job.

The maintenance department the purses (who is actually the ships treasurer or accountant equivalent), general ship maintenance staff, the cleaning staff, etc. You do not get many entry-level jobs (for the lower ranks positions) here if you are an US citizen. This department hardly ever interacts with the passengers directly; they are those whose work is invisible from outside, but highly essential to keep the ship in tip-top condition. The jobs here vary widely from the supervisory, highly skilled staff to the semi-skilled, to the totally unskilled staff. The higher you go in this department, the steeper will be the selection process and the qualifications as well as experience required. Most ships have very stringent rules for employment of their engineers and officer level staff

The engine department officers who run the ship, engineers, those who run and look after the engines and generally see that the ship and its crew behaves as per the international maritime laws. The Captain and his immediate crew come under this head. The Captain of the ship is recruited through a very grueling process. The pay is high, the perks almost unlimited, but so are the responsibilities. The luxury cruise Captains are maybe the most experienced and careful Captains that you will ever find. This is why there are extremely rare occasions that any life-threatening mishap ever happens on a luxury liner. The immediate below crew, such as Second and Third Mate, the Bosun, the Purser, etc too go through the same grueling process. These people are not only excellent at their job, but also highly accomplished people who can socialize and entertain effortlessly any dignitary or VIP passenger who board their ship.

The safety department specially qualified people who are responsible for the safety of the crew and passengers during a trip. These include doctors and medical staff. All ships have a number of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff well qualified and equipped for any emergency that can happen at sea. There is definitely a mini hospital aboard the ship which can take care of any minor to medium surgery or ICU intervention if need be. There is staff on the ship who is specifically in charge of the safety measures in the kitchen, on the deck, in the rooms, and all the rest of the ship. They are highly specialized staff, trained in international safety rules and regulations as well as methods to prevent and manage and safety crisis aboard a ship. These jobs too are well paid.

Office staff this part usually include people who are connected to the ship work, but do not work on the ship; rather they work in the corporate offices. These people can, at a later stage, opt for jobs on the ship if they wish to. These jobs include usually the secretaries, the sales and/or marketing staff, the booking agents, the promotional agents, the clerks, accountants, and so on. They are well paid too, and many times their perks will include heavy discounts for cruises on the ship they work for both for themselves and their family members. The bonus is that, they too can opt for on-the ship job after at least 2-3 years of working in the office.

The choice is vast and he pay is good. In order to get a job aboard a good liner, you will first have to identify your major strengths and aptitudes. Once you have that prioritized you can identify where you can fit in the ship jobs. This is the most crucial part of the decision-making process. Once you know what you are good at, you will need to find an agency which recruits for these liners, and apply highlighting your strengths and the positions you are seeking. If your match is good, you will find yourself facing an interview or two within seven days from the submission of the application. One more thing you should keep in mind your timing should be good. Find out when are the contracts of a particular cruise ending, the when is the next starting. Your application should reach just in the middle of that period of time.