Cruise Jobs – Five Tips for Getting Hired

How will I find my dream job on a cruise ship? Who will hire me? What do I need to know? Where will I get tips for getting hired? You will find the answers to these and other questions about working on a cruise ship if you read the following excerpts from Mary Fallon Miller’s book ‘How to Get a Job with a Cruise Line’. You’ll get to know how much they will pay you, what you’ll be doing and how long you will be doing it.

Imagine what it takes to operate a floating resort – a virtual city. That is what a cruise ship is. It employs experienced workers in over three hundred kinds of jobs to run this kind an enterprise. Here are some good tips for getting hired! Those people that are seasoned in the entertainment industry will be considered first – and then if you are proficient in such occupations as hospitality, tourism, restaurants and bars, teaching, childcare, sales, customer relations, gaming, marketing, fitness, health and beauty, medicine and healthcare, administration, banking, accounting and financial management, your skills will also be in demand.

Cruise lines hire dependable, competent people with outgoing, positive attitudes, students, career-changers, retirees – “people” people, who enjoy working with others. Your number one priority as a cruise line employee is to provide a safe, fun and memorable vacation experience.

To get hired on a cruise ship you need to: Know the players – Royal Caribbean International, Princess and Carnival are known as the ‘Big Three’, with the largest fleets in the industry. These employers should be at the top of your list. Choose jobs that interest you – Practice public speaking whenever possible, study a foreign language or get your CPR or Lifesaving Certification. Sell yourself – Apply early and often – but don’t pester the Personnel Office by phone. Send follow up letters and resume updates. Great tips for getting hired!

The cruise industry hires year-round and seasonally. Most employees work for a period of six to nine months with one to two months off. Many departments add staff for holiday cruises, and peak sailings through winter and spring. Doctors and nurses can find year round employment or assignments as brief as two to three months. Peak hiring times for youth counselors? Holidays and summer – perfect for students or teachers who love to travel. List your specific dates of availability (e.g. from May 15 to Sept. 1) so the Personnel Office knows how to schedule you.

The pay compares to good jobs ashore – plus you save a lot of money because most expenses are left behind. On board ship your room and meals are included. No more rent, grocery, electric, or gas bills! You can bank your salary and tips, or blow it all in ports of call. Sample current pay ranges: Casino Manager: $2,000-3,000 per month (revenue sharing.) Gift Shop Retail Sales: $1,000-1,500 per month (commission included.) Hairstylist / Beautician: $1,000-1,300 per month (tips included.) Shore Excursion Manager: $1,800 – $3,000 per month, plus commission.

If you really are interested in learning how to get a cruise ship job, you’ll need to know what you want to work at, find out who’s hiring, determine how to get hired, establish whether it is year-round or seasonal employment you’ll be involved with and how much they will pay you. Make a plan and stick to it!

Keith J. Valentine began his career at 16 in the Royal Air Force and has worked in the materials management and information technology industries for years. Now 52, he writes online articles about his experiences in the work force. For more on careers, tips and a free e-zine, please visit 101 Easy Articles at

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