The Truth About Working On Cruise Ships

A consultant for Invermore Shipping spreads a little truth about working on cruise ships. Invermore is an official hiring partner for Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Festival Cruises, Louis Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Olympic Cruises, Cunard / Seabourn Cruises, Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Sun Cruises, and Windstar Cruises. They review candidate resumes and shortlist strong candidates on behalf of their cruise line partners.

Interview Snippet Below!

The CruiseJobFinder staff has one goal: to help our members find job opportunities and successfully navigate the application process. Our staff regularly communicates with industry staffing experts who recruit and hire for travel and tourism related industries. They pass along their tips and advice to you.

Through these Q&A interviews you'll gain valuable information, including:

  • How to apply for jobs
  • What hiring managers are looking for
  • Interviewing tips
  • How to utilize staffing agencies and concessionaires
  • and much more!

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What types of jobs do you recruit for? Is there a particular department or role?

We fill a large variety of positions including those in the F&B Department, Hotel Department, Gift Shop, Photo Shop, Beauty Department, Housekeeping Department, Guest Staff, Casino Staff, and Shore Excursion Staff.

Do you only work with candidates who are of a certain nationality or living in certain geographic areas?

We accept applications from all over the world.

Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired, and then to succeed in the cruise industry?

All the usual traits, I'm sure you can guess - be dedicated, hard working, friendly, positive, enthusiastic, etc, but I would say that another important trait that people normally don't mention is that you have to be physically and mentally fit. This sounds weird, but you are out at sea for 6 months at a time, with no breaks and working long hours. It can be extremely exhausting and can take its toll if you are not that healthy or get depressed/worn down easily. Keeping your spirits up can be hard when you are away from home for so long, so this trait is important if you plan on working on cruise ships as a long time career move.

What are the best pieces of advice you would give someone who's starting to look for their first job on a cruise ship?

Don't give up! You will definitely get rejections and some people I know have had to wait for years before being accepted to work on a cruise ship. Keep looking out for job opportunities that cruise lines are offering and also keep an eye out for interview sessions where a cruise line will be coming to your area to do one huge sweep for candidates. Make sure that your resume is always ready and up to date and have your "game face" on at all times.

Another piece of advice would be to look at your resume and level of experience and match this against what the cruise lines expect. If you don't have enough experience or you are missing something in your resume, this could be the reason that you are just missing out on the job. What you should do is get more experience or take a course to further enhance your skill set. This may be just what you need to get that acceptance letter.

What's the real truth about working on a cruise ship? Truth vs. Reality?

Having worked on cruise ships before I try to tell people the truth about what to really expect, but I find that there are many people who still apply without researching it properly. The main thing that people have the wrong impression about is the amount of work you will actually be doing. They hear shifts, and they think, "Wow, lots of free time!" or they hear that you need to have good customer relations skills and they think, "I get to enjoy meeting and chatting to lots of interesting people." This is not true at all.

In fact, you will work harder than you have ever worked in your life, and not only this, but you will have to do it every single day, for 6 months straight. It is hectic! Yes, you will get to meet lots of people, but it will not be to socialize or chat to them. You will have to deal with lots of complaints and problems and some nasty passengers, but you have to handle it all professionally, with a pleasant attitude. Sometimes you will be expected to deal with hundreds of things at once, especially if you are in a managerial role.

Time off is restricted to a few hours where you will probably want to sleep, but there are occasions where you are allowed to go ashore and see the sights. Some will have more relaxation time than others, but all employees have limited access to certain areas of the ship. There are crew only bars and restaurants, gyms and swimming pools, and socializing with the passengers is strictly prohibited.

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