Staffing the Cruise Ship Hotel Department

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Interview Excerpt

CruiseJobFinder interviewed a representative for Odyssey International, which screens candidates on behalf of many major cruise lines. Odyssey recruits for Apollo Ship Chandlers, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruises, and Island Escape.

Please describe what your company does for cruise lines?

We are prescreening candidates for Hotel Operations on board the ships of our Clients (Culinary, Food & Beverage Service, Bar Service, and Housekeeping).job interview photo

What is your role in the staffing process?

Our recruitment specialists personally interview and evaluate the candidates before presenting them for interview with our Clients.

For which cruise lines does your company recruit and provide staff?

Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruises, and Island Escape.

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

We recruit candidates for all positions in Culinary or Food Production, Food & Beverage Service, Bar Service, and Housekeeping departments on board.

Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others?

Some positions are harder to fill than others because of the level of qualification, skills and experience required.

Do you charge a fee to job seekers?

No. We do not charge fees to our candidates. We are paid for our services by our Clients.

What services do you offer the people who apply through your company?

We provide complete administration for candidates and crew members. We have several training programs in that we conduct in association with various Culinary Schools and Hotel Management Institutes. Whether the contract of crew member will be renewed depends only on his / her performance on board. 

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

The candidate has to be honest with himself /herself and should have clear motivation in order to work in this business.

What are the typical terms of employment offered?

Cruise lines have different terms and conditions of employment that strictly depend on department and position.

What is the interview and selection process like for your positions?

Our selection process includes theoretical evaluation, English Language tests and preliminary interviews.

How long does it take from the time someone contacts your organization to getting a job?

We interview candidates who apply only for positions that we have currently advertised and are recruiting for. If the candidate applies for position that is not available, it might take longer before the position is open.

What percentage of employees on cruise ships were hired through staffing agencies?

I do not have exact figure but I would say that more or less 90% of the employees on board get recruited by hiring Partners or Agents.

What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?

That they will get very rich very quickly. This business requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and while salaries are good, will not make you rich overnight while you have a holiday. It does not work like that.

Other tips and advice given in this exclusive interview:

  • Differences between the world's leading cruise lines
  • The candidate placement process
  • How to prepare for job interviews
  • Where to send applications
  • CV Dos and Don'ts
  • And a lot more...

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