How to Score a Job on a Cruise Ship


Today’s ultra-luxurious cruise ships are essentially floating cities that offer passengers all the mod cons and amities of shore life, plus more!  People spend months on end saving for their dream cruise ship getaway however for the staff that make their experience a reality, life on the high seas is an everyday occurrence. The sheer scope of what’s on offer means that there are a plethora of employment opportunities for those who are infatuated with the idea of working on a cruise ship.

So how can you score your dream job? And what exactly is on offer? Check out our list of popular employment opportunities available on every cruise ship.

Front desk attendant at Purser’s Department

Got a flair for customer service? A career as a front desk attendant at the Purser’s Department could be the ideal job for you. The department’s operate as the centre of hotel operations on-board ships and are responsible for managing accounts, shore excursions, crew personnel operations and more. The dynamic department is ever changing which makes for interesting new experiences every day. To apply you’ll need several years of hotel or hospitality industry experience under your belt, as well as computer skills, mathematical aptitude and of course, a customer service smile.

Health and beauty technician

Cruise ships offer passengers a cornucopia of health and beauty indulgences, and they’re always on the search for staff. Whatever industry you’re in there’s likely to be an on-board employment opportunity that suits your interest, from hairdressing and massage to yoga and personal training.


Are you a qualified chef looking for a sea change? Seeking out opportunities on-board luxury cruise ships is challenging, exotic and exciting. Today’s lines are placing an ever increasing focus on fine dining experiences which means there are plenty of high end specialty restaurant roles on offer. In fact, if you score a position on certain ships you’ll join the ranks of celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, James Martin, Marco Pierre White and more!



If you love to offer guests a superlative dining experience a cruise ship waiting position is calling! Depending on your experience you can apply for a myriad of different venues, from casual burger joints to five star specialty establishments.

Boutique sales associate

Cruise ships are peppered with luxury boutiques staffed by the crème de la crème of sales assistants. If you have a passion for chatting, upselling and providing every customer with a VIP experience, a sales position in an on-board boutique could be perfect. There are an array of options to choose from, including Michael Kors, Le Vian® Chocolate diamonds, Hugo Boss, Diane von Furstenberg and more.


As passengers step aboard the ship professional photographers snap happy memories of their very first on-board experience. This could be you! As well as the initial welcome photoshoot you’ll also document VIP parties, exclusive dinners, deck parties and other events. Some cruise lines also put together souvenir DVDs which you’ll be entrusted with creating. Retail and customer service experience is also valued.


21st century cruise ships treat passengers to world class entertainment and you could be a part of the excitement. Whether you’re a singer, dancer, comedian, gymnast, magician or even a Disney princess look-a-like there are plenty of opportunities to join entertainment troupes.


Medical Officer

All cruise ships house on-board medical officers, nurses and paramedics. You’ll need all the relevant industry qualifications to apply as safety standards are stringent. Experience is also essential, with nurses generally requiring three years of post-registration work in acute care while paramedics will need to possess at least three years of on-the-job experience.  Often cruise ships will give preference to multi-lingual staff so it always helps to speak a second language.

Information Technology

Are you a computer whiz? If so why not try your hand at IT on the high seas? You’ll be responsible for a range of different areas including maintenance, operation and support of all on-board computer systems, servers, networks, POS terminals, and peripherals. Lines generally seek out candidates with AA or higher in Computer Science, as well as several years of relevant experience.

Casino Dealer

For a fun and fast paced job a position as a casino dealer is sure to keep things interesting. Luxury lines now boast Vegas style establishments that will have you wheeling and dealing all day and night.

Captain and crew

If you’ve pursued a career in professional maritime operations and want to expand your horizons to the leisure industry applying for a position as a crew member is rewarding, diverse and fulfilling. For the ultimate high status position you can even set your sights on working your way up to Captain, however this is an incredibly competitive role so you’ll need to arm yourself with total dedication.

Discover Your Perfect Cruise Today

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Helgi Halldórsson, Eric McGregor, Jeff, brownpau

How to Score a Job on a Cruise Ship
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How to Score a Job on a Cruise Ship
So how can you score your dream job? And what exactly is on offer? Check out our list of popular employment opportunities available on every cruise ship.

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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