A job onboard a large, luxury cruise liner is usually the goal of most people interested in cruise line jobs. The cruise line industry is exploding, building more mega-sized cruise ships, and sailing for exotic destinations. The outlook for people seeking jobs in the industry has never been better. In fact, according to the American Association of Port Authorities, the impact of cruise lines on the American economy reached $37.85 billion in 2010, and employed more than 329,000 people. More than 14 million passengers traveled on these vast, luxurious floating hotels. Today's megaships carry an average of 2,000 to 3,500 passengers, and some of the newest, largest ships, carry more than 5,000 and require a crew of 1,000 people. Your chances of landing a luxury cruise ship job have never been better. Here is a list of the top cruise line employers whose jobs are available in our job center.
In addition to the travel you'll be able to do while working for a cruise line, there are other benefits you will enjoy. Most jobs require a lot of hard work. If you serve passengers, though, you can receive tips and earn good money. You will also meet new people on every cruise, and learn a great deal about the hospitality industry that you can use for future work. If you want to advance in the industry, experience on a luxury liner is a sure way to differentiate yourself from others that may not have that experience.
The megaship cruise lines sailing today are more like small cities. They include many stores for shopping, several restaurants, onboard kids' clubs and activities, spas, and exercise classes, to name a few. All of these amenities require employees with varying degrees of skills and experience. In addition, there are the behind-the-scenes jobs - the cooks, housekeepers, hosts, stewards, mates, and many others. While you may have to have specific experience or education for some jobs, you may easily qualify for others with fewer skills or less experience. Here's a list of some of the most common jobs you'll find on the leading cruise lines, and there are many more.
Skills and Education You Need to Get a Megaship Job
The skills and experience you'll need to get work on a megaship depends on the position you're interested in. Most cruise ships market themselves as leaders in hospitality and guest services. For most jobs that include direct service to passengers, you will need at least 18 months of experience on a passenger cruise ship of some kind, or three or more years of experience in the hospitality industry. Some jobs, such as ship nurse or accountant, may require you to have a bachelor's degree in addition to experience.
Which Cruises Look Good To You?
If you're looking for exciting places to travel to and amazing sights, cruises are sure to deliver. Despite the fact that you'll work long hours, you will be given time to explore the cruise's ports of call. Here are just a few of the hundreds of cruise ship itineraries available on luxury cruise lines.
Cruise to Alaska with Land-Based Side Trips: Jasper, Alberta; Juneau; Anchorage; Seward; Denali; Fairbanks; Hubbard Glacier; Icy Strait Point; Skagway; and Victoria, British Columbia
Hawaii Cruises: Hilo, Hawaii; Honolulu; Oahu; Kahului, Maui, Kona, and Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Mexico - Central America Cruises: Acapulco, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Panama Canal; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatan, Honduras
Middle East Cruises: Cairo Egypt; Nazareth and Galilee, Israel; Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel
South Africa: East London
This is just a small sample of the hundreds of itineraries offered by the major cruise lines in the world. Keep in mind that it's likely that you'll travel on more than one of these itineraries. Most cruise line companies shift their cruises to different parts of the world, depending on the season and type of cruise. So chances are you'll get to see many ports of call.
Sign up and get instant access to begin your job search.
Access to our exclusive list of Featured Jobs. The latest job postings from around the world.
Get noticed by cruise line hiring managers! Post your resume and profile information in our Job Seekers Database, which is accessed by company representatives.
Get the inside scoop on the whole industry. We provide you with detailed information about jobs at sea and on land with cruise lines. Plus, additional coverage of the tour industry, beach resorts and spas, and luxury yacht crewing.
Extensive profiles of every cruise line (large and small), beach resorts, mega yachts, and tour operators worldwide.
Direct links to job application pages as well as employer job email addresses.
Exclusive interviews with dozens of current and former cruise ship staff, cruise line hiring partners, and other 'insiders.'