Many people interested in working on a cruise ship, or in the travel industry, would be well-served to consider resort jobs. Experience in the hospitality industry translates very well to the cruise industry!
Picture yourself leading SCUBA dives in the Caribbean, or assisting happy tourists in the open-air lobbies of Grand Cayman Island...Or how about a job mixing drinks at a beach resort in Maui?
Wouldn't it be great if you could live and work at some of the most scenic and happiest places in the world? Well, that's what people who work at beach resorts do almost every day, and you can be part of it by learning about employment in the resort industry.
Working at beach resorts is a great option for college students, recent graduates or just about anyone looking for a change of lifestyle. A major advantage is that finding an entry-level position is easier at a resort than at almost any other kind of business.
Resorts are always looking for energetic people with good people skills to attend to their customers.
In this section of CruiseJobFinder, we will tell you all about what it's like to work at a beach resort, offer you tips on developing your qualifications and getting hired, describe the various jobs that are available, and give you other helpful insights. You will also find here some very in-depth information on the following job positions: SCUBA instructor, windsurfing instructor, tennis instructor, massage therapist, and gourmet chef.
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Beach resort employees keep these fantasy lands running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Often working behind the scenes, staff members - housekeepers, waiters, dishwashers, front desk personnel - are an integral part of a hotel's operation. Often requiring little or no previous experience, resort support jobs are the easiest way to break in to the hospitality/service job market. Hotel jobs are in many ways similar to jobs on ships: they include front desk staff, room attendants or housekeepers, wait staff, bartenders, kitchen staff, and concierges. There will be small differences between the day-to-day duties of shipboard workers and land-based employees, but the general job descriptions are essentially the same.
Entry-level hotel jobs aren't always the most glamorous, but they will give you a chance to work in a resort setting and provide experience for other positions. In addition, as a resort support staff member you'll meet people from all over the world with interests similar to your own. As a former resort worker says:
"There's a great sense of camaraderie. It's like one big family. There are a lot of people there to help you and support you. It's a great escape from reality."
Once you've spent a season on the staff - in any capacity - you'll be better prepared to go after the job of your dreams. The contacts you make and the skills you learn your first time out will be invaluable when you apply for a transfer, return for a second season, or pursue a position with a cruise line or tour company.
Some cruise lines have begun to operate hotels in the cities they serve by ship. Their intention is obviously to increase their profits, but the hotels create benefits for you as well, since they provide additional jobs.
Hotel jobs are generally far easier to get than cruise line jobs, so working in a cruise-owned hotel may be a good way to get your foot in the door of the company that interests you. Contact the cruise companies you like to find out if they have land hotel divisions.
Working at a resort will give you the chance to see the world, meet people from all over, live in a spectacular setting, and learn new skills. Your summer or winter spent working at a resort could be a fantastic break from school or the "real" job hunt, or it could even turn into a career of its own.
While most of your time will be spent working, you will have opportunities to enjoy your surroundings. Better yet, most employers allow employees free use of resort facilities while on their time off. An insider who spent a summer working at a resort in Mexico sums up the perks of the job:
"They provide you with awesome food - the chefs are amazing! - with big huge buffets. But you never gain weight because you're always so busy. There is also plenty of fun stuff to do, such as windsurfing, SCUBA diving, land sports like volleyball, and meeting people. And you'll be given a place to live."
Another former resort worker sums up the rewards of the job for him:
"It was an incredible experience to work in the beauty of the Caribbean, with the clean air and the nice facilities."
Meeting people is one of the biggest rewards of working at a resort, say many who have done it. As one former resort worker in Hawaii reports:
"The guests come from all over the country, and I made friends and connections that I still keep in touch with. There was an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world that I otherwise wouldn't have met."
Another resort worker agrees:
"Because of working at a resort I have a book full of names and addresses of people I can go visit - in Europe, Japan, all over!"