Keep your cruise job search local if you like. For example, try working for one of the US's largest dinner and entertainment cruise companies - Hornblower Cruises & Events. A senior Manager explains how they go about recruiting and hiring seasonal and full-time staff.
Read this interview excerpt to learn ways you can launch your own cruise industry job search.
Please describe what your company does. What is your role in the staffing process?
We are a large operation with cruises out of 8 locations around the United States. Our cruises are exciting and interesting offering sightseeing, dinner and entertainment, as well as luxurious private cruises for weddings, parties and corporate functions. We have the 3 largest dining yachts on the West Coast along with smaller, cozier vessels, and we serve as the National Park Service concession ferry to Alcatraz Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument. I see to all the crew applications and make sure that the hiring process is smooth, as well as supervise the hiring in each location.
What are some of the common job titles you advertise for?
We are always on the lookout for sales staff, entertainers, photographers, marketing staff, maintenance crew, IT employees, food and beverage staff, accountants and more. Our website has a full database of jobs on offer in the various locations.
How many seasonal staff do you typically hire, and for which positions?
It is hard to say how many, but mostly for the servers, galley assistants, photographers and other customer service staff.
Do you have a lot of college kids/students working for you? If yes, then what attracts them to your jobs?
Yes we do. They normally come for the flexible hours, fun work environment and the pay.
Describe your perfect candidate. How can someone best make a great first impression with you?
We want our employees to exude positivity and enthusiasm. They should be friendly and interesting, have excellent customer service skills, and be determined and dedicated. We look for the overall package - someone with the X factor.
What is the interview and selection process like for your positions?
Once you have searched our website and found a job you want to apply for, you will have to send in an application form from the site. You must answer essay questions with this and also submit a cover letter along with your resume. Once you have gone through this process you will want to be contacted. We then set up an interview with you and take it from there. You can create a profile on the website as well, so you can always go in and update it or apply for other jobs if you were not successful the first time around.
What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?
People don't seem to realize that the hours are long and hard. Sometimes you don't really get to enjoy the scenery as much as you would like because you are busy dealing with some crisis or are stuck in the galley preparing the meal. Customer service is also ten times more important when working on a cruise ship as opposed to at a hotel, because you are in such close proximity to everyone, and you must be able to cope with people more readily and frequently.
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