As far as fun and exotic jobs go, it doesn’t get much better than working on a cruise ship. After all, crew members get paid to spend their days and nights on luxury liners while traveling around the world on one exciting journey after another. If this sounds like the perfect job for you, you’re not alone. Thousands of people find employment on cruise ships every year, and so can you. If you’re ready to satisfy your thirst for adventure on the high seas, here are some tips on how to find a cruise ship job.
- Contact a cruise line directly. Many cruise ship operators, including Carnival, Princess, Cunard, Norwegian, and Disney, post employment opportunities and job descriptions right on their websites. In some instances, you will be able to create an electronic resume on the site and submit it instantly. In others, you will be given an e-mail address or a physical mailing address to which you can send your resume at a later date. Contacting the cruise lines directly is the safest, most dependable way to find — and perhaps land — a shipboard job.
- Use a recruiting agency. Since many people working on cruise ships view their jobs as temporary adventures rather than permanent careers, the turnover ratio in the industry is quite high. As a result, cruise lines are always in need of personnel and must often rely on recruiting agencies to fulfill these needs. When going through an agency, you must first pass their screening process, which will typically involve one or more interviews and, possibly, a background check.
If you successfully complete this process, the agency will try to place you with one of the many different cruise lines they serve. Once you are placed with a particular line, you’ll most likely have to pay the recruiting agency a processing or administrative fee to cover their expenses. Be sure to check out all the costs involved so that you don’t get hit with a surprisingly large bill.
- Get hired through a concessionaire. Cruise ships have a lot of retail space on board for gift shops, spas, salons, boutiques, and the like. Some of these stores are operated by the cruise line itself, but many are rented out to concessionaires, or independent retailers. Each concessionaire is responsible for its own staffing needs, so this could be a good way to get your foot in the door and gain some valuable shipboard experience. Obviously, the job selection would be much more limited than if you were to work directly for a cruise line, but if it gets you a start in the industry, then it will have been worth your time.
- Purchase guides and other resources. Many current and former cruise ship employees have written guides to help newcomers like you navigate the job-seeking process. These guides often contain contact information for cruise lines and recruiting agencies, resume-writing tips, advice on how to prepare for your interviews, and stories about what it’s really like to work and live onboard a ship for extended periods of time. The quality of these job guides varies significantly, so try to buy one that has received favorable customer reviews or testimonials.