CAREER IN CRUISE
What is Cruise?
A cruise ship is a floating resort with a focus on providing fun and entertainment while traveling from place to place. Unlike in a hotel, ship passengers spend most of their time on board so while destinations are important, the entire travel experience is even more important.
A cruise is sold to holiday makers as a complete package that includes travel to the various destinations, 5 meals a day (plus free room service whenever the passenger wants something to eat!) as well as a wide variety of day and night entertainment programs on board. Cruise ships are like resort hotels at sea, and comprise many bars, restaurants, discos, nightclubs , casino and duty-free boutiques, swimming pools, gyms and spas, and many also offer sports and outdoor recreation like jogging, ice-skating, rock climbing, golfing, and tennis. The passenger has only to pay for his drinks, casino chips and local sightseeing at the various ports.
There are many cruise companies operating out of the USA alone and most of the cruises are concentrated in the Caribbean. The world’s largest cruise conglomerate is Carnival Corporation, a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Carnival Corporation is based in Miami, Florida, and owns several cruise companies, such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P & O Cruises, Seabourne Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Windstar Cruises, among others. Carnival Corporation operates a fleet of 66 ships, and employs more than 55000 employees worldwide, out of which over 90% are on-board personnel.
Cruise lines typically hire crew on short 6-9 month renewable contracts. This means that there is a very large crew movement every week comprising crew members going on vacation or signing off at the end of their contracts and other crew members joining fresh or re-joining on renewed contracts. This continuous personnel movement means that there is continuous requirement for crew, and also very good chances of getting promoted in-house to fill vacancies.
With almost 50 nationalities working side by side, cruise lines offer a challenging and fantastic work environment where crew members get to have life-changing experiences working on huge operations and with people of different cultures in closely knit teams.
Diploma in Hospitality & Cruise Ship Management
The course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in the hospitality operations part of a cruise, as well as providing an essential understanding of elements relating to life and work on a cruise ship. In addition to being introduced to the wider world of the cruise industry, its history, players, customers, regulations, concerns such as safety, security, professionalism etc., students will be studying specialist operational elements such as front office, customer service, effective communication, essential information technology skills etc.
Students who then continue to the Hospitality and Cruise Ship Management Diploma course will enhance their knowledge of the business and management of ocean cruises and operational issues involved, but also approach wider managerial issues such as personnel management, organisationalbehaviour, research methods etc. at an advanced level.
The course, headed by an experienced and accomplished professional in hospitality operations on cruise ships will also include guest lectures by cruise industry professionals and student visits to cruise ships in order to ensure an engaging delivery of the latest knowledge and issues in this exciting field.
After completing six months’ study (Semester 1) you will be given the opportunity to gain insight and confidence in the hospitality industry by completing a period of industry placement at a 5-star hotel. This placement is an important element of the course and will enable you to put the theoretical knowledge and skills you have gained during your studies into professional practice. An important part of your placement will be the written report that you must submit at the end of your placement, in which you have to identify a problem area in the hospitality operations area and recommend solutions or improvements.
The aim of the course is to prepare students for employment in the international cruise ship industry.
The necessary practical skills are developed early in the programme to ensure that students are able to operate quickly and competently within a cruise ship hospitality environment. Management competencies are developed throughout the programme to provide the tools for assuming greater unit and people responsibility over time.
Why A CRUISE JOB is better than a HOTEL JOB?
A cruise ship is a veritable floating resort so it is, in fact, like working in a hotel. But here the similarities end. The first difference is your take-home pay and how much you can save working on a cruise ship. To start with, its a job with a fantastic salary compared to what you get paid at a hotel in India. Then, unlike any other land-based job, you pay no taxes and have negligible expenses, so you can save most of it. Thirdly, there is a constant movement of personnel on cruise ships which gives anyone who is dedicated and hardworking a chance to more upwards and onwards, so growth is relatively faster than in a shore job.
The other main difference is that a cruise ship offers a working environment like no other. A cruise ships passengers are all on vacation, and the cruise ship is a destination in itself, rather than a place to spend the night like the businessmen, tourists and vacationers do in any hotel. A cruise is built around the 3 key elements of enjoyment – eating and drinking and entertainment – and the success of a cruise depends on how well it delivers on these aspects. Cruise ships provide their guests (anything between 1500 and 2000 passengers on an average per cruise) upto 5 main meals per day and many snacking opportunities around the clock, which means a massive scale of operations quite unlike what you have been used to, even in your grand 5-star hotel. And since the passengers expect non-stop enjoyment from a cruise, it follows that the atmosphere on a cruise ship is always festive and each crew member is expected to participate in generating this crucial enjoyment factor.
Advantages of Cruise Jobs
• Attractive tax-free dollar earnings.
• Free stay, unlimited free meals, exciting free travel, free uniform & laundry, free medical expenses – in short, almost a free ride!
• Regular assessments, training programs and promotions.
• Short contracts ensure you are back home on vacation every 7-10 months.
• Fantastic international work environment.
• Visit exotic destinations.
• Opportunity to learn new cultures, meet new people.
Jobs in Cruise - Shipboard Hospitality & Hotel Department Jobs
Housekeeping/ Hotel Administration/ Food & Beverage/ Purser
Service and Hospitality Positions are some of the most important jobs in the working model of a cruise ship. Jobs in the service and hospitality arena have been split into four subcategories: housekeeping, hotel administration, food and beverage and pursers.
Housekeeping positions make the ship home-away-from-home for the guests onboard. Members of this team are responsible for the upkeep of the ship and guest living quarters.
Hotel Administration staff positions are very much like those in a hotel or resort on land. Members of this team usually have previous work experience in the area, with responsibilities that include ensuring the accommodation of the passengers is on par with the ship’s high standards as well as taking care of the needs of the guests.
Food and Beverage workers usually enjoy hefty tips to compensate for slightly lower salaries. It is an excellent venue to break into the industry and can be a formal, semi-formal or causal working environment depending on the events a worker is asked to staff.
Pursers, or those working in the accounting department manage the accounts of the passengers, exchange currency for guests and are responsible for basic accounting.
Below, are detailed descriptions of the jobs in these categories and the requirements of each. Also listed are basic salaries, meant to be used as a reference of the earning potential for each job. Most jobs include generous benefits and room and board is included, an important consideration when reviewing listed salaries.
The accountant’s responsibilities include: reporting directly to the hotel manager, auditing, inventory, general budgeting, supply costs and other general accounting duties.
-Degree in accounting or related field of business or economics from an accredited university/college
Compensation for an Accountant is $1,500 – $2,000 a month DOE
A position as a baker onboard a cruise ship means preparing and baking the many pastries and desserts served onboard. Other kitchen duties are included and a baker reports to supervising kitchen staff for assignments and review.
-Experience and education in baking
-Experience baking for a hospitality or travel industry
Compensation for a baker onboard a cruise ship is $1,200 – $2,500 a month DOE
A person in the position of bar back must assist the bartender in maintaining stock within the bar and is responsible for the cleanliness of the bar. Bar back positions have great potential for job advancement.
-Experience working as a Bar Back in a hotel, restaurant or bar
-Willingness to train
Compensation for a Bar Back $1,200 – $2,000 DOE and tips earned
The bar manager is responsible for bar schedules, inventories and for managing bar staff. Bar supply and costs are carefully overlooked by the bar manager and bar operations are closely managed to ensure things are running smoothly. Bar managers need to be sure all bar tenders are appropriately dressed and know an appropriate number of drinks and cocktails sufficient for the demands of cruise ship passengers.
-Previous bar management experience for a larger bar, restaurant, hotel or club
-Excellent organizational skills
-Independent thinker and problem solver
Compensation for a Bar Manager is $2,000 – $3,000 a month DOE
Cruise Ship Bartender
Bartenders onboard a cruise ship must be able to accommodate the drinking needs of a large guest list. This means having a large knowledge of popular drinks and how they are made. Bartenders must be friendly and socialize well with different groups of people. Maintaining the bar area and stock are also part of a bartender’s responsibilities.
-Previous bartending experience
-Knowledge of drinks and how they are made
-Good social skills and attentiveness to people
Compensation for bartenders is $2,000 -$3,200 a month depending on tips earned.
Bellman typically act as a valet and aid passengers with moving and arranging their luggage. They often need to have a large knowledge of the cruise ship in order to answer questions and give appropriate directions.
-Sociable and friendly personality
-Willingness to train or previous experience
Compensation for a bellman is $1,000 -$1,500 plus tips.
Buffet Servers set-up, stock and attend buffet lines on cruise ships. They also breakdown and help clean when meals change over.
-Experience in the food industry
-Willingness to train
Compensation for a Buffet Server is $1,200 -$1,400 a month.
Butchers onboard a cruise ship must make meat orders to comply for large meals. They are responsible for following sanitation codes and for ensuring the quality of meat is of high standard. Meat preparation is also included under the responsibilities of the Butcher.
-Experience as a butcher for large parties
Compensation for a butcher on a cruise ship is $1,200 – $2,000 a month DOE.
Busboy positions require an attentive person who is responsible for clearing tables and assisting waiters and waitresses with drinks, bread and other aspects of table waiting. Busboy positions have great potential for job advancement.
-Willingness to train
Compensation for a bus boy is $1,200 – $1,800 depending on tips earned.
The Cabin Steward is responsible for cleaning a certain number of rooms onboard the ship. This includes changing sheets, windows, bathrooms, floors etc. In some cases the Cabin Steward is responsible for cleaning public areas, which can include conference rooms and banquet halls.
-Willingness to train
-Previous work in the hotel or hospitality industry
Compensation for a Cabin Steward is $1,000 – $1,5000 a month plus tips.
Chef de Partie
The Chef de Partie must have a strong knowledge of fine cuisines and exotic foods. This person must also be able to organize menus for themed events and is also responsible for cooking and preparing these meals. The Chef de Partie has a cooking staff to aid him/her in these responsibilities. Food displays and presentation are also the responsibilities of the Chef de Partie.
-Two years experience preparing cuisine in an International venueRequirements:
-Certified diploma from a culinary school/college
-Experience working in a five-star establishment
-Organizational and leadership skills are a must
Compensation for a Chef de Partie is $1,900 – $2,500 a month DOE.
Chief Cabin Steward
The Chief Cabin Steward is responsible for the work of the other Cabin Stewards; evaluating the quality of their work and maintaining a high standard among his/her workers. The Chief Cabin Steward is a leadership role and works directly with the Head House Keeper as well as maintaining the cleaning responsibilities of certain cabins onboard.
-Experience working in a hotel or cruise ship
-Administrative and managerial skills
-Organizational skills and leadership qualities
Compensation for a Chief Cabin Steward is $2,000 – $2,5000 a month plus tips earned.
The Chief Purser is an important role onboard a cruise ship. A person in this role acts as an onboard accountant, managing members of his/her staff and delegating responsibility. All revenues made onboard, as well as payroll, staff visas and passports, passenger safety boxes, currency change, details involving immigrations and customs and passenger credit accounts all fall under the responsibility of the Chief Purser.
-A college degree in accounting, finance, hospitality or extensive managerial experience
-Administrative and communication skills
-Work experience as a purser prior to application
Compensation for a Chief Purser is $3,000 – $5,000 a month DOE.
The Chief Steward or Housekeeper concerns him/herself with the state of cleanliness onboard the ship. Overseeing cleaning staff, maintenance equipment, supplies and the quality of work completed are all responsibilities of the Chief Steward/Housekeeper. Room services, bell service and cabin service also fall under the responsibilities of the Chief Steward/Housekeeper. A person in this role reports to a supervisor, typically the Hotel Manager.
-Experience delegating and overseeing staff
-Willingness to learn the position
-Communication and leadership skills
Compensation for a Chief Steward/Housekeeper is $1,600-$2,400 a month DOE
Takes orders and delivers cocktails to the bar and lounge areas.
-Experience as a cocktail server
-Knowledge of popular alcoholic drinks
Compensation for a Cocktail Server is $1,600 – $2,400 a month depending on tips earned.
IT Manager/Computer Systems Manager
A person in this role has different responsibilities each day. With the use of technology and computer systems increasing on a cruise ship, people with extensive knowledge of how they work and the ability to troubleshoot problems are in higher demand. The role of Computer Systems Manager is one that ensures all computer systems and hardware onboard are functioning properly. They would be in charge of managing an IT staff and would help implement new systems onboard. Extensive knowledge and experience with computer systems is a must.
-Extensive professional experience in the field
-A degree in Computer Science or related field
-Managerial experience and leadership skills
-Ability to work well with layman’s terms
Compensation for an IT Manager is $6,000 – $7,000 a month.
Dining Room/Head Waiter
The Head Waiter oversees the wait staff and assists them with their responsibilities. He/She leads by example and typically serves larger or VIP sections during dining hours and special events.
-Administrative or managerial experience in a hotel or restaurant
-Experience waiting tables in a five-star establishment
Compensation for the Head Waiter is $2,400 – $3,800 a month depending on tips earned.
Dining Room Manager
The Dining Room Manager oversees the service of the dining room. He/She is responsible for delegating and assessing the quality of work of the wait staff.
-Administrative or managerial experience in a hotel or restaurant
-Previous work experience as a Maitre d’ in a cruise ship
Compensation for a Dining Room Manager is $2,600 – $4,000 a month DOE.
The Executive Chef is responsible for nearly every aspect of food onboard the ship. Ordering, quality control, disease and code regulations, some cooking and food preparation as well as overseeing kitchen staff are all responsibilities of the Executive Chef.
-Degree from an accredited culinary school
-Professional working experience and experience in kitchen management
-Knowledge of ordering and cost calculations on a large scale
Compensation for an Executive Chef is $3,000 – $4,000 a month.
Food and Beverage Manager
A Food and Beverage Manager oversees the areas of the ship where food and beverages are served. Ordering in bulk, the food budget, calculations and costs on a large scale, working closely with other members of the kitchen staff and the quality of food onboard are all the responsibility of the Food and Beverage Manager.
-Administrative and managerial experience
-Food Handlers Health Certificate
-Experience in culinary arts
-Knowledge of up to day food and beverage laws and codes
Compensation for a Food and Beverage Manager is $3,000 -$4,000 a month.
A person in this role prepares and handles food for the cooking needs of the ship. The General Cook reports to his/her superior.
-Applicants with a degree from a culinary school are encouraged to apply
-Experience in the hospitality industry, work on a cruise ship is preferred
-Experience serving and prepping food on a large scale
Compensation for a General Cook is $1,800 – $2,000 a month.
Gift Shop Manager
The Gift Shop Manager staffs and schedules the gift shop. Inventory, ordering, stocking, displays, retail and good customer service are all responsibilities of the Gift Shop Manager.
-Administrative skills and experience
-Managerial experience in a retail setting
-Customer service skills and sociable personality
Compensation for a Gift Shop Manager is $2,500 – $3,100 a month.
Gift Shop Sales Assistant
This person assists the retail manager in his/her responsibilities. Staffing the gift shop, offering customer service, inventory, stock and retail are all included.
-Experience in retail
Compensation for a Gift Shop Sales Assistant is $1,600 – $2,000 a month.
The responsibilities of the Hotel Manager are many. This person works closely and reports to the Captain about the state of the ship. Training and supervising hotel staff, working directly with guests to field questions and concerns all fall under the role of Hotel Manager. Most importantly the Hotel Manager works hard to ensure the quality of the ships environment is on par with the standards of the cruise line.
-Applicants with a degree in hospitality or management are encouraged to apply
-Working experience in a lesser role with similar responsibilities in a hotel
-Administrative and managerial experience with two years of work experience
-Organizational and communication skills
Compensation for a Hotel Manager is $4,000 – $5,000 a month DOE.
Members of the IT staff are required to have a large knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. Implementing new systems and assisting the Computer Systems Manager are also the responsibility of members of the IT staff.
-A degree in Computer Science or related field
-Work experience in a similar role
-Communication and people skills
-Ability to work with Laymen
Compensation for IT staff is $4,000 – $6,000 a month DOE.
Members of the laundry staff wash, dry, and dry-clean the laundry they gather from different areas on the ship.
-Willingness to train
Compensation for a Laundry Staff member is $700 – $900 a month.
Maitre d’ Hotel
The Maitre d’ on a cruise ship is a very important position onboard. The Maitre d’ offers the best quality dining service to passengers as is possible. Thus, the Maitre d’ trains the staff in correct serving techniques and high serving standards. He/She supervises the quality of the food and beverages to ensure they are up to standard.
-Applicants with a culinary degree or background are encouraged to apply
-Two to three years work experience as a Maitre d’ or as a server
-Hotel and hospitality experience
-Food Handlers Certificate
-Sociable personality and enthusiasm for working
-Managerial and Administrative skills
Compensation for a Maitre d’ is $3,000 – $3,500 a month DOE.
The Pastry Chef is responsible for baking and preparing the many pastries onboard a cruise ship. In the case that the Pastry Chef has a staff, he/she would delegate and supervise responsibilities of those members and all would be responsible for presentation and display.
-A background in culinary arts
-Previous work on a cruise ship or hotel
-Previous experience working with large scale operations
Compensation for a Pastry Chef is $1,900 – $2,400 a month DOE.
The Program Coordinator works with members of the performing staff on scheduling. He/She also writes the daily newsletter and makes updates to the ship’s intranet.
-Excellent written and verbal skills
Compensation for a Program Coordinator is $1,800 – $2,400 a month.
Members of the Purser Staff are trained and well versed in immigration and customs laws, and are responsible for the ships documentation when traveling. They also handle passenger accounts, ship revenues and other financial matters onboard. They must be excellent with customers because they are often dealing in customer service, fielding questions and complaints with sensitive financial issues.
-Degrees in finance or accounting is preferred
-Previous work experience in the hospitality industry
-Excellent communication and working skills
Compensation for a member of the Purser Staff is $1,000 – $2,000 a month.
Receptionists check passengers in and out during arrival and departure. They settle accounts at the end of the cruise and field questions and complaints.
-Good customer service skills
-Organizational and communication skills
-Previous work in the hospitality industry
-Knowledge of the functions of the cruise ship from an administrative standpoint
Compensation for a Receptionist is $1,800 – $2,400 a month.
A Sous Chef is an integral part of any functioning kitchen. A Sous Chef on a cruise ship works closely with the Executive Chef and prepares the food and the kitchen for the respective meals onboard.
-Work experience in a kitchen onboard a cruise ship or in a hotel
-Degree from a culinary school
-Managerial or Administrative service
Compensation for Sous Chef is $2,500 – $3,500 a month DOE.
The Wine Steward is the wine professional onboard the cruise ship. He/She often answers questions about wine history, making, products and vineyards. He/She also makes suggestions about wines for the menu and can make personal suggestions based on the needs of the passengers. The Wine Steward is highly knowledgeable and must work well with passengers.
-Proven experience in a four or five star establishment as a Sommelier
-Education experience in wine
Compensation for a Wine Steward is $2,500 – $3,500 a month DOE.
ELIGIBILITY FOR CRUISE JOBS
The very basic qualification is a diploma from a catering college and 1-2 years experience in the hotel industry (preferably in a 5-star hotel). For kitchen positions, you need to have experience in a continental kitchen (hot or cold). Most cruise line jobs, especially in the hotel department, are for those below 30 years of age. You also need to be fluent in English and able to communicate effectively. Other basic requirements are that you need to be healthy and fit to manage the long hours on your feet.
You also need to have a strong sense of personal hygiene and grooming – long hair is discouraged due to strict hygiene standards maintained on cruise ships, and so are visible tattoos and piercings (excepting ear lobes).
To help you succeed in your job, remember –
• Attitude is everything!
• You need to be hardworking and motivated to succeed.
• You need to enjoy working with people as you will be interacting round the clock with people of many nationalities and personalities.
• You need to be a team player – you will realize that the enormous cruise ship operations run like a smooth machine only through discipline and cooperation.
• You need to be accommodating and adaptable to the new experiences that come with working in such a different environment than the one you are used to.