Work on a small cruise ship in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago or in other cities around the US. Read this detailed interview with the HR director for Entertainment Cruises, which operates 20 ships out of 8 locations. They provide dinner cruises, champagne brunch cruises, breakfast cruises and more, with full-on live entertainment including Jazz and popular renditions by the staff.
The company also offers cruises for groups of up to 20 and then over 20 where the ship can be hired out for conferences, corporate events and office parties, and even weddings.
Read this interview excerpt to learn ways you can launch your own cruise industry job search.
How many vessels does your company operate?
We have 20 ships that operate out of 8 locations, namely Baltimore, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Norfolk. Our most popular products include the Odyssey, Seadog, Mystic Blue, and Spirit Cruises.
What are some of the common job titles you advertise for?
We look for staff that are confident and outgoing to entertain the guests, so those with a musical or performance background will be given preference. However, we do need administrators, back of house staff which include cooks, dishwashers and runners, corporate support staff, entertainers including DJ's, emcee's lead vocalists and more, front of house servers and bartenders, as well as singing waitstaff, deckhands, first mates, captains, sales and marketing professionals as well as ticket booth staff.
What are some of the selling points you use to get people onboard to work with your company?
You get to entertain and perform to cozy groups against a magical backdrop. This is the ideal job for college performers, or those wanting to get into the entertainment industry. It is a stepping stone.
Do you have a 'season' or 'seasons' where you're busiest? Describe the seasonality aspect of your business.
We offer exciting cruises all year round including moonlight cruises, themed cruises, holiday cruises and much more, so we are busy pretty much all the time. I would say though that summer is the busiest.
How many seasonal staff do you typically hire, and for which positions?
This depends on the season, but we tend to hire waitstaff and servers, as well as runners and dishwashers on a seasonal basis. Some entertainers are also seasonal workers.
Do you have a lot of college students working for you? If yes, then what attracts them to your jobs?
Yes, they love the type of work, the friendly environment, the performance side of things, and the fact that they have flexible hours.
What are the typical terms of employment offered?
This differs greatly between positions, but there are full time positions and part time positions available. You can choose how many hours you want to work per week and whether you want to work evenings or day, or both.
Are there any benefits or perks that your employees enjoy?
Our full time staff receive the following benefits:
Does your company provide any training?
Yes, we have specific rules and regulations that need to be adhered to and we will train staff on how we run each vessel, as well as on health and safety procedures.
What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?
A lot of people don't realize that it is a lot of hard work, and although you are working fairly short shifts, the day (or night) can be very tiring.
What type of person gravitates towards companies like yours?
People who enjoy meeting others, people who enjoy performing, people who are naturally customer service orientated.