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A to Z Manning is a recruitment agency partnered with cruise ships and river cruise companies. They interview and select the top candidates to attend face to face interviews with representatives from Carnival Cruises, Scylla AG, and Victoria Cruises.. A to Z assists the candidates, right from their first contact, with interview technique, visa and medical documentation, and more, all the way until they board the ship if they are accepted.
What types of jobs do you recruit for?
Mainly Hotel positions. Entry level positions include Assistant Waiters, Bar Waiters, Steak House Servers, Assistant Stateroom Stewards and Hotel Stewards, Assistant Cooks, and Assistant Storekeepers. These are the positions we recruit for, however, they could be approved for less common positions such as Sommeliers, Hostess, and even Management Positions.
For River Ships we recruit for the following positions: Hotel Managers, Bar Managers, Maitre'D Hotel, Waiters, Bartenders, Chambermaids / Boys, Cooks & Head Cooks, and Utility staff.
Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others?
Housekeeping positions are usually more difficult as it is much harder to find people who meet the right criteria and have the necessary experience.
What services do you offer the people who apply through your company? Do you give them training?
We do not personally take care of training, however, have acquaintances which we recommend in case the person would like to gain additional knowledge. For people who do not have the satisfactory level in the foreign language required we also recommend language trainer.
What are the best pieces of advice you would give someone who's starting to look for their first job on a cruise ship?
Working on board a cruise liner is demanding and while you have certain perks, you will have to make sure that you can handle the disadvantages. For example, you must understand that you will spend 90 % of the time working and only have very limited times to go on shore at the ports. So, be realistic and also learn to compromise as you will be sharing a cabin, and work very closely with the other crew members.
What advice would you give people to help them prepare for interviews with your company and with cruise lines?
Most important is hospitality, a positive attitude and language skills! Smile (and the whole world smiles with you). We work only with foreign partners, but English is always a must. German is a plus and Spanish or any other language is also useful. Then, coming prepared with necessary documentation for application is also another plus.
Does your company provide any pre-hire training?
We do not, but the cruise lines will provide training in the form of a safety, first aid, and hygiene course.
What contact do you have with your candidates after they accept work with a cruise line?
We like to keep in contact with those who we have recruited to find out how things are going on board and to sort out their next contract. Our objective is to identify highly skilled people who aspire to bigger and better careers on board cruise ships, so we like to help them get there.
What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?
There are all kinds of different misconceptions. Some think they are not allowed off the ship at all, and others think that they have weekends off or full days off, which they don't. Some people think they are going to have a party, but any fraternization with the guests is strictly forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal from the vessel. There are also parts of the ship that crew are not allowed to use, but you will get specific restaurants, gyms, pools, and other areas of the ship that are for crew members only. It is also quite common for people to think that they don't stand a chance to apply, even when they might be the ideal candidate. You won't know for sure until you try!
Other topics included in this extensive interview include: