Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pay your taxes!!!!

Yes, many people enquire as to whether they should declare their cruiseship income. YES!!!
Yes, it is true, most positions are paid onboard in cash - so the government will never know - that is untill they ask you one day, how did you support yourself financially for X period of time? Gulp ((( Yep, if they catch you defrauding them, you are going to jail......
So, here's what you do... As a crew member, for tax purposes, you are considered an independant contractor - not an employee. Therefore, you should declare all your earnings because you can write off many expenses as an independant contractor - the flight (even if the cruise line pays for it because it is part of your contract income and it is in your name), medical examinations, hotels, meals, onboard expenses, some entertaining expenses if they are relevant to your position, clothing, dry cleaning/laundry, personal grooming and sundry items, laptop and accessories...to name a few. Of course each persons country, state and personal situtation will determine exact benefits - this is where you spend a few bucks each year on an accountant to file your taxes for you. Please do not try to hide the cash from Big Brother! Simply set yourself up like a business, and enjoy the benefits! Plus, over time, you will have established a legitimate, self employed income.

Just returned from Alaksa

Just returned from an Alaskan cruise on a ship I used to work on 4 years ago.

Paid very close attention to the crew nationalities and onboard jobs around the ship. I was pleasantly surprised to see many more Candians and Americans onboard working in positions such as Cruise Director's Staff, Golf Pro, Boutiques, Port and Shopping Lecturer ($$$), Art Auctioneer ($$$), Future Cruise Consultant, Bridge and Deck Officers, Guest Services/Pursers, Matre' D, Shore Excursions, Youth/Teen Counsellors and more.

Most US crew, were hired directly by this particular cruise line, and most Candians were hired with the help of Page Marine Crews (pmcmarine.com) in Vancouver. (They interview and hire across Canada)

Coninue to read the older blogs as well, for relevant information on ship jobs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One of my not-so-secrets, for tracking the right people down

Go to www.spoke.com. Where it says "company", type in Princess Cruises, Holland America etc. You will be provided with current information on who's who, regarding the Corporate Management. Three other sites are www.linkedin.com, www.jigsaw.com, www.zoominfo.com. Register with all 4. Then use their search tools to find key pepole at the various cruise lines.

Create a ficticious name, ie John Cramer, whatever, and use it to make your first email enquiries. Use this same ficticious name while you creep around the internet looking for the key contact person for the job you are interested in. Only use your real name, once you have located the person who is the correct contact, and you are ready to make a great "first" impression.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cruise Line Contacts

Someone wrote me recently and asked why I simply don't post the names and personal contact numbers of all my direct contacts at the various cruise lines. Well, imagine Chris at Carnival getting hundreds of unsolicited enquiries regarding employment - I would not be very popular with him anymore. He has better things to do than play gate keeper.

This blog is kind of like a game of charades - I will "lead" you to the opportunity process, but you must do the work. Only you, can represent you! Unfortunately, many people will always suck when it comes to job hunting - they just don't get it! Yes, cruise ship jobs are very rewarding - travel, finances, romances - whatever you seek it does indeed offer. But, I can tell by the emails I get, that many people have no hope in hell of ever getting a job onboard. So, I do not want to waste anyones precious time dealing with these people.

If you follow the clues and advice, you can figure it out pretty quickly as to where the opportunities are, and how to acccess them.
1) Hmmm, I want to work on a ship - what is it like? (www.crewbar.net, www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2259651769,www.cvtips.com/live_work_cruise_liner, www.frugalfun.com/cruiseship)
2) What kind of jobs are available (look at each cruise lines website, read online descriptions)
3) Do I have any relevant experience for the job I want?
4) Draft a relevant, 3 short paragraph intro letter, and a 1 page resume with professional head shots - 1 head shot, 1 full length shot
**If you are serious about a ship job, pay someone who puts resumes together for a living, to ensure your's is perfectly matched to the job/industry.
5)STOP! Remember all jobs dealing with the public on ships are service jobs - you must have exceptional social skills, have lots of energy and stamina, you must be polite and courteous to passengers and fellow crew - this cannot be stressed enough.
6) Learn a little about the cruise industry. www.cruisecritic.com is the industry standard however, for up-to-date, unbiased cruise industry information, follow www.portsandbows.com - my favorite. I will add to these site recomendations on other postings.

Now, how to find out who to send your resume to - first, send it using the requested method of applying as per the cruiselines employment page. Then, start Googling (is this really a verb?) to find the name of the particular individual or department, and send it to them personally, as well.

NOTE: it is important to know who are sending it to - people in the cruiseline corporate offices are constantly changing jobs and positions. Knowing the correct anme and title of the individual, demonstrates that you have done your homework and are up-to-date on industry news.

Now, for example, if you want to apply for job with NCL, Norwegian Cruise Line, their Homepage is a no-brainer, just follow the links at www.ncl.com. I just did some Googling for about 30 minutes regarding onboard employment, and came up with their Miami based HR contact - her name is - Mina Yi. I found her email online and it is myi@ncl.com.

If you contact her, make sure your resume and presentation is as I have previously outlined... and pleeeeez, use Spellcheck!!! Do not waste your time with anything less than perfect or you will never hear back and your enquiry will be quickly deleted! Further digging, and I found out she travels alot recruiting, so obviously she may not get back to you right away.

In the Subject line, write the following ONLY:
Onboard Employment: Cruise Staff (or Musician, or whatever onboard job you are seeking) Check their website or call them, to know the correct title for the position onboard, for which you want to apply.