Paid Work on a Cruise Ship: How to Get Hired
|Paid cruise ship work is available worldwide, here in Scandinavia.
If you are looking to change careers or just for a change of lifestyle, now is a good time to get a job on a cruise ship. According to the most recent statistics, over 25 million people have taken cruise vacations during the past year (2016), supplying over 480,000 jobs. Getting hired by a cruise line requires making sure that the right person sees your carefully put together employment package.
Crew agencies are generally a waste of money. Even if the agency tells you it will guarantee you a job or your money back, it will require rejection letters from the cruise companies to prove that you haven't been hired. But
cruise companies don't send rejection letters.
To get hired, you first need to know what positions or jobs are available that fit your qualifications. Then, you need to know the right places to send your resume.
Americans and Canadians are generally hired for jobs that require passenger contact such as jobs at the front desk, boutiques, casinos, salons or spas, and work in entertainment, photography, or as youth counselors.
Positions in the galley, restaurants, bars, and technical departments are usually filled through agencies outside of North America.
Major Cruise Ship Employers
The following websites have excellent information about their shipboard jobs:
Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise vacation company in the world, operating many different companies or "brands." Carnival Corporation hires all casino positions for all of its cruise ship brands. Go to Ocean Casino Jobs for listings of job
descriptions and contact information.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd operates two major brands: Royal Caribbean International Shipboard Careersl and Celebrity Cruises Shipboard Careers.
Windstar Cruises and Holland America Line restricted who they hire for because of labor agreements in their unions. Go to their websites for employment addresses for photographers,
gift shop clerics, hair dressers, and entertainers: Windstar Cruises Open Positions, Holland America Shipboard Employment.
Employment Application Process
You should send your employment package directly to the cruise line, using the addresses and contact names that you find on their employment websites. Do not send your resume via email; instead, put together a professional
package that will guarantee their attention. It should include a resume, a cover letter, two letters of reference, any diplomas or awards, and a picture of yourself. Send your folder either priority mail or courier.
Tailor your resume to highlight experience of interest to the cruising industry. For example, if you are applying for a junior purser position, you should highlight hotel (front desk), banking, receptionist, or customer
service experience. If you are applying for a youth counselor position, you should highlight your childcare, teaching, coaching, or nursing experiences.
The cover letter needs to be individually-targeted. Do your homework. Refer to current company information such as a new itinerary or the debut of a new ship. Also in the cover letter, say that you have a valid passport
and when it will expire.
Ships cruise 12 months a year, so there is no set time to apply for a job.
One major advantage for those looking for a job is that the turnover in the industry is quite high since people generally only want to work at these positions for a short period of time for a variety of reasons.