Cruise liners are very similar to 4/5 star international hotels, so the employees they hire have to have these 6 vital qualities for cruise ship employment. They need to fit into the environment of a luxury cruise ship. They have to provide a high level of service regardless of how they feel at any given moment and they have to be able to do it day in and day out. Because that is what potential cruise ship employers are looking for.
Now that we have that short overview on cruise ship employment, let’s go into a bit more detail.
A Bright & Cheerful Personality
Living and working in the confined quarters of a cruise ship, with all sorts of people, personalities and nationalities – passengers and crew – can be challenging, to say the least! Giving cruise ship passengers, who may have spent quite a lot of money to be there, real value for money and the service they expect, can be very demanding. And, if they get a bit ratty, it can get rather stressful too.
So it’s really important that the people chosen to fill cruise ship vacancies can maintain a cheerful, pleasant and professional manner with everyone onboard. A person working on a cruise ship has to have an easy-going personality so they can take things in their stride and not get rattled when life gets more challenging.
Particularly during the interview, but all through the process of getting jobs on a cruise ship, you need to show yourself as someone who can remain cheerful regardless of what is going on. Your aim should be to show that you can – “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs” …and blaming it on you!
Cruise line jobs must be filled with people who are reliable. After all, how will they replace a crew member if that person decides the job isn’t for them and “jumps ship” in some port a 1000 miles from home? Not only is it much harder to replace someone mid-cruise but it is an expensive hassle. Therefore cruise ship companies try hard to weed out those who they feel are not likely to stick it out for their full contract of usually 4-6 months.
During the interview you will need to make it crystal clear that you are a very reliable person and that you will fulfill the terms of your contract. And, if you can do it realistically, show that you intend this to be a long-term career move, avoid giving the impression that it’s just a “trial run” for you.
Although bringing some similar, or at least relevant land-based experience to the cruise ship employment you’re applying for is an advantage, you don’t always need experience. There are a number of cruise jobs where experience isn’t absolutely necessary.
Having a wide range of experience, particularly in dealing with the public, is something cruise lines value and this will always be an advantage in terms of getting cruise ship jobs.
Because working on a cruise ship is very different from land-based jobs, you need real enthusiasm for what you do. The shifts are longer and there isn’t anywhere to run if something or someone really gets to you. Your energy and enthusiasm for your cruise ship career will see you through most of these times and that is what you need to put across to any potential cruise line employer or recruiter.
Avoid any indication that you start at 9am, quit at 5pm and don’t do weekends. If you show that attitude, you certainly won’t get the job!
High Standards of Service & Presentation
Because the cruise ship clientele are people who expect excellent service, everyone employed by a cruise line is expected to provide a standard of service similar to a 4/5 star international hotel.
How you present yourself is also critical, particularly if you will have contact with the passengers. Therefore you must be immaculately turned out whenever you are onboard ship (even in your off-duty time). You represent the cruise line, their standards are high, so yours must be too.
What exactly is professionalism? One suggestion is that professionalism means “no matter what the situation you present the best possible appearance, commitment and respect. You must be committed to a certain standard of behavior and this commitment should supersede your personal opinions and should ensure you will always rise above a difficult day or a difficult customer and remain focused on the job at hand”.
This may not always be easy to accomplish, especially when working long hours in a fast paced environment, but however you define professionalism, one thing is for sure, cruise ship employers know it when they see it, and when they don’t!
To give your chances of landing one of the many cruise lines job opportunities a real boost, do your research and find out exactly what the cruise line you are applying to is looking for in potential employees. This exercise will help you decide if you can meet their expectations, and knowing what they are looking for will help you develop the best ways in which to present your personality, knowledge, skills and experience so it is you who will be filling one of the current openings for world cruise ship jobs.