Getting paid to travel around the world sounds too good to be true. But with a job on a cruise ship, it could be your reality. Ship life is a completely different adventure to life on land and gives you the opportunity to see places you would never otherwise see. Here’s how to go about getting a job on a cruise ship.
Consider Your Experience And Skills
Working on a cruise ship, especially a large cruise liner, can be a bit like working in a miniature city. There are restaurants, boutiques, gyms and theatres just like there would be in a metropolitan area. This means that there are job opportunities in a range of different fields from hospitality staff, deck crew, fitness instructors and entertainers to engineers, youth counselors and guest lecturers.
Before applying to work on a cruise ship, think about what area is most suited to you or what skills you could offer. Working is infinitely more enjoyable if you’re doing something that you find fun and stimulating. Some positions require more experience than others or particular qualifications that you may not have. In order to maximise your chances of getting a job on a cruise ship, it’s important to consider where you would best fit on board.
Do Your Research
Cruising is a growing business that is only getting bigger. Know the players of the game, which cruises liners go to which ports, what routes they do, the kind of services and entertainment they offer and potentially most importantly, what the passengers are like. By doing a little investigating into this, you’ll have a better idea of what company is suited to you and the type of people you’re likely to be serving. This means you can tailor your applications to the companies that you’d most like to work for.
Apply In The Right Places
There are lots of different ways to find a position on board a cruise ship. You can apply through an agency, you can contact a cruise liner’s personnel office directly or check their website, or you can use sites such as Gumtree that show local job listings. An agency can be an expensive way to search for a job on a cruise ship as it means paying a third party with no guarantee of work. However for some positions, particularly in the entertainment industry, it can be necessary to through an agency.
Make sure your resume is up-to-date, concise and informative, and make sure that you have highlighted experience relevant to the position your applying for. For example, if you’re applying to work in the hospitality sector, it may not be vital to focus on your previous experience working in IT.
Know What To Expect
While working on a cruise ship may sound like a dream job, at the end of the day, it is still a job. It’s not always glamorous and you can’t spend all your days sunbaking on deck and island-hopping. Working on a cruise ships means being prepared to work long hours (sometimes 14 hours a day or 7 days in a row!) with few days off at sea. It also means being prepared to start whenever the cruise company says they want you.
Often accommodation is quite modest and the pay can be considered relatively low by western standards. However keep in mind that the cost of your accommodation, food and insurance are covered so you have very little expenses. There is little privacy and employees often share a cabin. Also, as a representative of the company, there are some expectations of how you should behave in public spaces, regardless of whether you are on or off duty. If you’re trying to get a job on a cruise ship, you should be someone who is flexible, dependable and hardworking. Be aware of what to expect from life on board, there are lots of pros (adventure, travel and great friendships) but also some cons.
Don’t be disheartened if the first response you receive is a no. The employee situation on board cruise ships is constantly changing due to the fact employees in different departments will have contracts of different lengths. It may just be a matter of vacancy that you are knocked back so keep on applying! With a little bit of perseverance, forward planning and open-mindedness, you could be sailing the high seas and living your dream in no time.