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!