Sunday, May 31, 2009

When the Cruise Lines Call...NEVER EVER SAY NO!!!!!

Yep, she said no, and it will be a long time before the cruiseline calls her again...if ever! I hooked my friend up with a major cruise line in Europe for a job as a Youth Coordinator. Now, you need to know that ship jobs are never really sitting vacant. A position becomes available when a crew member either gets promoted, gets fired or quits. That's it! And, this generally happens without notice or at best, very, very short notice. Of course, when they roll out a "new build", this will require staffing as well. This is where the help of a reputable agent comes in handy. They can monitor opportunities with various cruise lines. If the agent is well respected, the cruise lines will keep them abreast of job openings.

So, listen up people, when a cruiseline or agent calls you and asks if you can leave on very short notice, you give them a resounding YES!!! They will advise you about your ship, pre-employment requirements, travel plans etc. Then you say thank you, thank you, thank you...hang up the phone, and can PANIC!!! But, never let them see you sweat! Now, do whatever you got to do, to be where-ever they've asked you to be!!!
But be ready and........

Never say NO!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cruise Ship Entertainment Jobs

Well, you can't have a great cruise vacation without fabulous cruise ship entertainment. Now, for singers, dancers, acrobats, solo pianists, showband musicians, top 40 bands and duos, the process for getting cruise ship jobs is quite simple. Please re-read what I just wrote..."the process" is quite simple. Most cruise lines hire directly for cruise ship entertainment. For this information, you can simply visit any cruiseline website. Somewhere on the homepage will be a link entitled, careers, jobs, employment or contact. If they use an outside hiring company for entertainment, the contact information is usually posted for you. A good example is the Crystal Cruises website; Click at the bottom of their homepage under employment.

It is common for many cruise lines to hire production companies to put their cruise ship shows together for them. For example, many of the big production shows on NCL's ships, are produced by Jean Ann Ryan Productions out of Fort Lauderdale - . Other cruise lines have their own in-house production companies. Holland America uses a company called Stiletto Entertainment -
You will find casting information for singers, dancers etc, cruise ship production jobs on most cruise line websites. You just have to snoop around their site a bit. Usually easiest to click "site map" on any website for contact information.

For musicians, bands, duos and pianists, yes, you can contact the cruise lines directly. However, because cruise lines deal with so many musicians, they prefer to use the services of a small handful of agencies. But keep in mind that if you deal directly with the cruise lilnes, you DO NOT pay an agent commission fee. If you choose to use the services of an agency, you will pay them between 10 and 20 % of your cruise ship salary forever!!! So, if you are going to commit to an agency, make sure they can keep you working at the top of the pay scale. Two agencies for musicians, used by many cruise lines are and They are by no means the only ones, but their history and reputation with cruise ships is solid. This is a good place for musicians, bands, duos, soloists, technicians etc to start.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cruise Ship Hiring Agents or DIY

Some people have asked me about "hiring agencies" , where they can send their info; or contact regarding onboard employment. Personally, I am not a big fan of this process because if you know how to hustle and research, you can find the information - it is all out there people - for free!

Please beware of cruise ship “employment agencies” and similar entities which require you to PAY A FEE to list your profile in an employment database and/or forward your employment application to employers. These entities may charge you for doing something you can do at no cost, and if you are a motivated individual and really want to get a ship job, we recommend that you avoid dealing with such entities. No one can guranteee you a job! We recommend that you direct your inquiries and applications directly to cruse lines, such as those listed below, which offer free information on applying for shipboard employment and do not charge employment application fees.
All inquiries about shipboard jobs should be directed to the following cruise lines:
I repeat, don't be afraid to call their Human Resources Department directly and in your most professional and enthusiastic manner, ask to whom you contact for the position you are seeking.
IE "Hello, my name is Joan Smith and I am an experienced Youth Consellor. To whom do I contact for a simliar onboard position?" Now, they may direct you to their recruiting page or to an agency they deal with, in which case you follow their recommendation.

Carnival Cruise Lines
3655 NW 87th AvenueMiami, FL 33178 (305) 554-5954‎ Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on "Fun Jobs"

Crystal Cruises
2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400 Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 785-9300 Click on "About Crystal Cruises", then click on "Employment Info"

Cunard Cruise Lines
6100 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 400 Miami, FL 33126 (305) 463-3000 Click on "Contact Cunard" at the top of the homepage, then click on the "Employment" link on the left menu.

Holland America Line
300 Elliott Avenue WestSeattle, WA 98119 (206) 281-3535
Click on "About Us" on the top right of the homepage, then click on the "Employment" link in the menu on the right side.

Norwegian Cruise Line
7665 Corporate Center Drive Miami, FL 33126, (305) 436-4000
Click on "Employment Opportunities" on the homepage, then explore the Corporate Employment and Shipboard Employment links.

Princess Cruises
24305 Town Center DriveValencia Town Center Mall, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
(661) 753-0000
Click on "Contact Us" at the bottom right corner of the homepage, then click on "Employment Opportunities".

Royal Caribbean International & Celebrity Cruises
1050 Caribbean Way Miami, FL 33132
Click on "About Us" in the menu on the left side of the homepage, then click on "Career Opportunities".

*If you want to contact an agency, here are some I know.
IMPORTANT: If you DO choose to contact ANY agency, the FIRST question you must ask is, "how are they paid?" Do you, as the applicant pay a fee? - or is the fee paid by the cruise line?

Remember, if you choose to pay an agency, all you are paying for is information, because NO ONE can GUARANTEE you a job on a ship. If you don't believe me, call a cruise line, discguise your voice, and ask them if any of the cruiseship job agencies on the internet can gurantee them a job with their cruise line. The answer will be a resounding NO! well established within the marine and cruise industy - highly reputable they were a single agency based in Montreal, now they are franchised - ask who pays them, ask about fees and job gurantees I heard the cruise line pays them - check to be sure employment website but has good general listings from time to time, or .ca is another good source of listings from time to time.

Q & A
Here are basic general questions and answers to help you along the process.

What makes cruise ship employment so unique?
Working on a ship means you live and work onboard. This also means it is a 7-day work week with 10+ combined hours per day.
Is this a full time job?
Employment on a cruise ship is DEFINITELY a full time position. However, due to the intensity of shipboard work & life, it is on an assignment basis.
How long is the assignment?
Assignments vary depending on the position and brand. It can be anywhere between 4 months thru 10 months.
What about time off?
That’s the best part. Although you work 7-days a week while on assignment, crew members get a BULK time off upon completion of the assignment period. It’s like banking your days off and taking it all at once.
Which ship do I work for?
Crew members are assigned to a position, not necessarily a ship. Although our preference is to bring back returning assignments on the same vessel, there’s a chance that you'll be moved to where the role is needed.
What if I have commitments during my assignment?
When you’re interviewing, it’s important that you share any pending commitment information. We can look into an assignment that works for both our new hire and the department.
How do I get to the ship?
For most assignments, cruise lines will provide full transportation from your home to the ship and back for the full assignment period. In some locations, we'all even have someone meet you! In some cases, first contracts will require you to cover some of the cost.
Do I need travel documents?
Valid passports are needed for all our new crew members. New hires that are not US citizens, US Permanent Residents or Canadian will need to obtain a C1/D visa.
What is a C1/D visa?It is a special visa for non US & Canadian nationals to work onboard a cruise ship. This can be obtained at the US Embassy in your respective countries.
Where do I sleep and what will it look like?
Living space can vary based on ship and the position. While the management level position will have a single room, non-management will be sharing with roommates - usually only one other room mate. Although the room is small, you will have a comfy bed, a shared tv, personal closet space and full bathroom. You'all have clean sheets and fresh towels!
Is there a place to relax?
Yes. There is a common room where our employees can gather to play games, share experiences and even to watch a movie. In some ships, we even have an Internet CafĂ© just for our crew to check in with what’s going on back at home. There is a Crew Club committe which organizes parties, events, cultural events for crew, even shoreside soccer teams, movie nights, crew discos - lots to do, so get involved with your ships crew club.
Can you drink alcohol onboard?
Yes, when you’re not scheduled to work and off duty. Just remember that we have a zero tolerance policy for certain positions and alcohol limitations. And no matter what, YOU are RESPONSIBLE for being on time for your shift and SOBER! Reporting to work under the influence or hung over is cause for immediate termination. That’s definitely NOT what you want to happen!
Can I bring a friend, family, maybe a pet?
Space onboard is very limited. Any offer is for employee only. NO PETS. After a couple of contracts, some cruise lines offer discounts for "friends and family."
What should I pack?
We recommend that you pack for a 1-week trip and consider bringing items that are on the suggested packing list. We'all set you up with the proper uniforms so you need off-duty clothes. There are times when you may be called on to participate in a formal event, so one dressy outfit is worth packing. There are shops onboard that our employees can shop from, at a discounted rate. And some of the best bargains can be found at some of the ports you'll visit. Ask the cruise line BEFORE you depart for the ship.
What about medical care?
While you’re onboard, the medical doctor onboard will provide you medical care.
Can I use the guest pool and the gym?
Guest facilities are for guests only. Employees are provided with employee only facilities. We have a well equipped gym onboard for you to keep in shape! Some new ships even have an employee only pool area and tanning area! And, many itineraries offer a port of call with some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts that you can visit if you’re off duty and headed a shore.
What’s the chain of command?
The ultimate final word is the Captain, Master of the vessel. There is a clear chain of command that should be followed in seeking advice, assistance, resolutions, etc. You shouls always direct ANY concerns you have to your IMMEDIATE superivors ONLY and let him/her determine next course of action in accordance with chain of command.
What happens at the end of my assignment?
Each assignment concludes with a performance review. Based on a successful evaluation, you will be asked to return for another contract. In some cases, we can even provide a return assignment before you even leave the ship!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cruise Ship Jobs - Cruise Ship Employment - Where do I start

Every now and again, I will remind you to first, know a little something about the different cruise ships and cruise line companies before you apply. While most cruise lines offer the same employment, it is wise to review each cruise lines "profile", to see if you think you are a good fit. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines, which initially sold itself as a party cruise line, has become more family oriented. Cunard, is a little old school British in stlye and service. Royal Caribbean is a nice mix of everyone and they have HUGE beautiful ships. Use some of the cruise links up in the right under ads by Google, to check out the different cruise lines and their ships. Also, the CLIA or will give you another profile of ships.
Usually, when you first get hired, you don't get to pick your ship or itinerary. So, when they call you - go! Never say NO, or you will wait a looooooooooooog time for another shot with that particular cruise line. Cruise line jobs are free unless you CHOOSE to pay someone for information that is out there for everyone anyway. No one can GUARANTEE you a job - cruise ship jobs are based on availability and only the cruise line can make you a job offer. And yes, it is acceptable to be professionally persistent.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cruise Ship Jobs - Onboard Gift Shop Boutiques Jobs

Someone emailed me and asked about a job as a Fine Jewelry Salesperson onboard cruiseships. Well, as some may know, the shops onboard 99% of cruise ships are concessions - that is, they are operated by an independant company and pay a percentage of cruise ship shop sales, to the cruise lines.
The numero uno gift shop employment company in the cruise ship vacation industry, is "Starboard Cruise Services". They operate and manage all the shops onboard most major cruise ships, except Princess Cruises. Princess Cruises operates their own in-house shops called "Boutiques Onboard.

Both companies will "ask" for someone with 2 years retail employment experience in clothing, jewelry, pefumes, watches, fine gifts - not neccesarily onboard a cruise ship. If you have specific experience say, in fine jewelry, watches or perfumes, you are pretty much good to go. They both tend to hire you as a sales staff and then you are promoted from within, which is not a bad thing. because, with such a high boutique staff turnover on cruise ships, you can be promoted relatively easily providing, A) you learn to get along with everyone onboard your cruise ship - not just your department. This is the BIG things about ships: if you are an amazing gift shop sales person, but the staff and ship's crew think you are a wanker, you are done! I have seen many mediocre people receive promotions in all shipboard job departments. This is where you really need to be a complete team player! Volunteer for the crew club/crew welfare. And remember, you WILL SHARE A 10-6 ft CABIN with someone you have never met - possibly from the otherside of the world. So, to get've got to get along!

Your skill and experience will get you on the ship, your attitude and how you get along with others, will keep you on the ship!

Here is Starboard's website:
Peruse the website links for lots of good information about how to apply.

Starboard contact phone number:
(786) 845-7536
Be very professional and simply say, you have boutique experience in fine jewelry, watches, pefumes..what ever or, simply say you have 2 years experience in quality shops - never use the word "stores" - it sounds cheap. *Only use "shops" or "boutiques."

Here is Princess Cruises website:
Check their website and follow the requested manner of applying. Yes, in your most articulate voice and professional manner, you can follow up your application with a phone call. Don't call often. be creative - make an effort - utilize email, phone and yes, snail mail.

Bottom line???? Squeaky wheel gets the apply as suggested, and then do respectful follow ups so; A)they know who you are B) they know you are ready to work onboard. If anyone ever asks you WHY? you want to work on is OK to say you love to work and travel, and you are exploring career opportunities at sea!

You need to find your own personal balance between, a) respecting the employers preferred method of applying, and B) your own aggressiveness. Like I said before, squeaky wheel gets the grease!