See Part II of the interview here, which highlights Royal Caribbean spa job opportunities and more.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am from South Africa and have a BCom degree in management studies degree. I am also a Qualified Personal Trainer, Spinning Instructor, Kettlebells trainer, TRX strap trainer, Yoga & Pilates, and Group Functional Trainer. I am currently a Gym Manager & Fitness Coordinator for Royal Caribbean.
What made you want to work in the cruise industry?
I felt like traveling, seeing the world, and I was promised to make lots of money. I am passionate about fitness and I was drawn to the fact that I would be able to do this every day whilst seeing the world.
What related experience did you have prior to being hired?
I had worked in travel and tourism for an online travel company, where I was their reservations manager for 3 years.
What's your job title?
Gym Manager and Fitness Instructor - there was only me on the ship. Some ships have 2 people in the gym.
What were the job requirements set forth by the employer?
You need to have a qualification in personal training.
Describe your work schedule?
Up at 5 am to get the gym ready for opening at 6 am.
7.30 am - Free vitality stretch class
8 am - Yoga/Pilates/Spinning class
9 am - Free Class
10 am - Free Seminar
11am - 1 pm Consultations
1 Hour Lunch Break
2 pm - Free Seminar
3 pm - Consultations
4 pm Yoga/Pilates/Spinning class
5 pm - Bootcamp
6 pm -7 pm Consultations
What are your day to day responsibilities?
My main responsibility was to manage the gym, and sort out everything that had to be done in the gym every day, as well as sell and take classes.
What are the terms of your employment?
It was a 9 month full time contract.
Is it possible to land this type of job without any direct experience?
No, you have to have a qualification in personal fitness training.
Besides actual 'on the job' experience, are there any personal qualities you would need in order to get into this department?
You need to have good communication skills for your seminars and you need to be good at sales. You will be making the majority of your money selling gym classes and packages as well as products.
What are the best pieces of advice you would give a friend who's about to start applying for cruise line jobs?
Make sure you have all the facts and everything in writing. It's not all glitz and glam, as it is made out to be. A lot is promised and not a lot is received. You need to be willing to work hard every day. You need to be strong to put up with all the criticism and very little or no encouragement and motivation.
What would be your number one tip to give to anyone who is trying to get a job on a cruise ship right now?
Know what your aim is... Money or travel.
Thinking back on your job search, would you have done anything differently?
No, except that I think I should have spoken to others who had been in my position.
Can you remember any of the questions they asked you?
No specifics, but they basically want to see your communications skills, and how you can think on your feet.
What kinds of answers do you think the interviewers are looking to hear from a successful candidate?
The interviewers are looking for people who talk and respond with confidence to their questions.
What tips can you give to other job seekers for passing this interview?
Dress smartly and ready to be judged by your appearance - this is a very important part of the interview. Be confident and smile.
Why do you think you were hired?
I dressed to impress and I was confident. I sold myself and showed that I was passionate.
Other tips and advice given in this exclusive interview: