Cruise Ship Jobs Anyone Can Apply for…

Getting paid to travel the world? Waking up in a different port every day? Making friends from around the world? All of this whilst living on board luxury cruise ships?

I could only ever have dreamed of it, until it became my life for 4 years.

I started my cruise ship career back in 2014 as a Shop Assistant or ‘shoppie’ (as known onboard) with Thomson Cruises, now Marella/TUI. I also started work in this role with Cunard but decided for a change of areas and departments to work in the Art Gallery. I carried on in this position with companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean, travelling around the Mediterranean, Europe, USA, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and Australia with a total of 7 crossings, including the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

Can Anyone apply to work on a Cruise Ship?

Yes! - Some cruise ship jobs require specialised experience / education, however many do not. All positions do have one key element that is required - excellent customer service skills!

All you need to do is look at your past experiences and/or education that would best suit a department on board and then go for it. Once you get your foot in the door, or up the gangway…you can move around departments, utilising training and development on board. Cruise lines are keen for you to progress with their training and promotion programmes which they offer to all crew.

An extensive background of work experience and higher education is not what cruise lines are predominantly interested in. They want to ensure that they are hiring someone who can give the best holiday experience to passengers, someone who is polite and courteous at all times and someone that can adapt to change and new environments. They look for adventurous individuals that understand they will be away from home for up to 9 months at a time. As a crew member, you need to be positive and eager to throw yourself into this lifestyle that is like no other.

So, what are some of the positions anyone can apply for?

Do you have a customer service background? Experience in sales? A second Language? Tour guide experience? Experience in working with children?

Below are some of the different jobs available onboard. Some with specialist experience, but most require just a little customer service based background…

  • Cruise Activity Staff – have any experience in entertainment? Organising activities? Hosting shows? Background in Performing Arts?
  • Gift Shop Assistant, also known onboard as a ‘Shoppie’ – Have any experience in Retail, Sales? Customer Service background?
  • Art Gallery Associate – Sales/Target Background in any industry? Have education/ Passion in Art?
  • Shore Excursions staff – Sales Background? Well-travelled? Worked in Travel and Tourism Industry? Been a Tour Guide?
  • Social and Welfare Host – Worked in Customer Care?
  • Guest Services – Worked in Hospitality and Service? As a receptionist? In a Hotel?
  • Youth Host – Worked with Children? Have Childcare background?
  • Entertainer – Experienced singer/ Dancer / Actor?

For every department and every rank, those especially in passenger areas, the focus is to provide a vacation experience of a lifetime to every guest who walks onboard.

Ship Life…

The Ship will become your home, crew members become your family, you name your days after ports, you’re constantly changing time zones and always visit restaurants ashore only crew members know about!

You work hard, but you are able to play hard! You learn to enjoy and appreciate your time and utilise every minute whether it be on a white sandy beach in Bermuda, touring iconic cities like Rome, jumping out of a plane in Hawaii or eating your favourite food in Mexico or Greece.

It’s not always $1 drinks and sandy beaches, its hard work too . . . . .

You are always on duty even when you are off duty. Be prepared for long days, learn how to enjoy hours off rather than days off.

There are many rules to understand and respect, you are constantly training on board especially with safety and security duties including weekly Boat Drills to attend.

You will miss your home comforts, miss your family and friends but your ‘Ship Family’ will see you through. Your new experiences will override your home comforts and life at sea will completely change your view of the world, opening your mind to new adventures. After your contracts you will go home, see your friends and family and count down the days until you get to return to ship life that you so miss!

Working on board ships will become one of the best experiences of your life!