Cruise Ship Jobs: Know EXACTLY What a Cruise Ship Employer Wants!

By Neil Maxwell Keys

This has two benefits: firstly, it will help you decide if the job is really for you and secondly, it will help you decide how to put over your own personal skills and qualities to best effect.

Let's take a look at exactly what cruise line employers are looking for in a potential candidate.

  • Experience
    Don't worry, this isn't always a necessity! There are plenty of positions onboard where you don't need any experience whatsoever. But having some kind of land-based experience in your desired job is always going to be an advantage. Cruise line employers especially like people who can show a broad range of experience. For example, if your job involves contact with the public then experience of serving the public in several ways will be an advantage
  • High Standards of Service
    All functions on board cruise ships are carried out to a high standard. So it is important that you can carry out your work to a high standard. For example, service in the Hotel, Catering and Bar Department is usually similar to that in a four or five star hotel.
  • Professionalism
    It is important to be professional about your work. That is, you need to take pride in your work and in achieving excellent results every time. This is not always easy when you are working long hours in a fast paced environment.
  • Reliability
    This is a big concern for most cruise lines. Interviewers are very wary of recruiting new crew members whom they suspect might 'jump ship' in an exotic port when the novelty wears off! They need to satisfy themselves that you will stay for the full duration of your contract (typically 6 months).
    Obviously, once you have joined a ship you cannot easily be replaced in a foreign port, and the expense and hassle involved is something they really don't want. You must give the clear IMPRESSION that you are highly reliable and have every intention of sticking out your contract. And preferably intend on making this a long-term career move. In other words, don't make them think that you are just going to 'give it a go'.
  • High Standards of Presentation
    It is very important that you are immaculately turned out when you work onboard a ship. This applies particularly to crew who have contact with the passengers but also to behind-the-scenes crew too, to a lesser extent. Again, if you consider that many cruise ships operate to the same standards of service as a top-class international hotel then you will get an idea of the sort of people the employer is looking for.
  • Enthusiasm
    You really do need to show that you are hard working and energetic. Shifts onboard can be much longer than on dry land. In particular, you certainly wouldn't want to give the impression that you are a nine-to-five type person and couldn't bear the thought of working weekends!
  • A Cheerful Personality
    You may find this a strange quality for a cruise ship employer to place much importance on, but they do. Obviously, working in the confines of a ship - and living onboard too - can be quite stressful and demanding. But since many of the passengers have paid a lot of money for their cruise, it's very important that the crew are pleasant and professional with them. It is equally important that you are fairly cheerful and easy going off-duty so that you can do your job professionally when you are on duty.

If you bear in mind what the employer is looking for at all stages of your application - then you will be doing a great deal to boost your chances of getting a cruise ship job.

Copyright 2006 Neil Maxwell Keys

Neil Maxwell-Keys is THE cruise ship jobs expert and best-selling author of "Get a Cruise Ship Job: How to Get a Job on a Luxury Cruise Ship Quickly and Easily!" You can get his FREE mini-course by visiting:

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