How to Apply for a Cruise Ship Job

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In spite of cruise ship disasters like those that befell the Costa Concordia, cruise lines remain inundated with hundreds of applications every week. Your chances of getting hired depend a lot on when and how you apply, your qualifications, current openings and good old-fashioned persistence.

Most people applying for cruise ship jobs ask for any job on board. Hiring managers will likely “round file” such applications, concluding that the job seeker is merely interested in cruising, not working a real job. So make sure you apply for specific positions and send your cover letter and resume to the specific department you’re interested in. Detailed company profiles can usually be found online, or you can simply call the corporate office for a list of departments. Find out as much as you can about the department—whose in charge, what they do, how many people they employ and so on.

Play up any experience you’ve had in the hospitality industry. Especially, any work you’ve done that involves contact with people. Cruise lines want candidates with people skills, a positive attitude, and individuals who aren’t afraid of hard work.

On smaller cruise lines, hiring managers look for people who have the self-discipline to work on their own without constant supervision. Many smaller cruise lines are moving toward eco-tourism and adventure cruising. That means, you may have to get off the boat and take guests hiking or kayaking. If you already have such skills, be sure to mention them.

Working on a cruise ship can be rewarding. But it can also be challenging because you may have to put in 12- to 14-hour days working a split shift. The standard for the industry is six weeks on and two weeks off. So be sure you're comfortable with this seagoing lifestyle.

For an added perspective, check out this video:
Got any tips on landing a cruise ship job? Share your comments in the section below.

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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