How to get a job on a cruise ship

How to get a job on a cruise ship

CRUISE TIPS: Working on a cruise ship can be an incredibly rewarding experience, offering a unique opportunity to travel the world while earning a living. Whether you’re seeking a career change or simply looking for an adventure, securing a job on a cruise ship requires careful planning and preparation. Here’s how to get a job on a cruise ship – no promises though!

carnival panorama crew on deck

Please note: Cruiseguru in no way implies that this information will help you get a cruise ship job and cannot help you with contacting cruise lines, preparing a resume, submitting an application or any other cruise job related information. This article is for general reference only. Thank you and good luck!

  1. Research the Industry: Before diving into the job application process, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the cruise industry. Learn about different cruise lines, their itineraries, and the types of jobs available on board. Cruise ships offer diverse roles ranging from hospitality and entertainment to administration and technical positions. Determine which department aligns with your skills, qualifications, and interests.
  2. Assess Your Skills and Qualifications: Cruise ship jobs demand specific skill sets and qualifications. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to identify the roles that suit you best. Customer service, language proficiency, hospitality experience, culinary skills, and entertainment talents are highly valued onboard. Additionally, certain positions may require specific certifications or licenses, such as STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) for maritime safety.
  3. Prepare Your Resume: Craft a professional resume that highlights your relevant experience, skills, and qualifications. Emphasize any customer service, hospitality, or travel-related background you possess. Tailor your resume for each specific job application to showcase how your skills align with the cruise industry’s requirements. Use action verbs and quantify achievements whenever possible to make your resume stand out.
  4. Apply Online: Most cruise lines have online portals where you can search and apply for available positions. Visit the official websites of the cruise lines you’re interested in and explore their career sections. Submit your well-crafted resume and cover letter through their designated application process. Ensure that you follow all instructions and provide the necessary supporting documents, such as copies of certifications or licenses.
  5. Attend Job Fairs and Recruitment Events: Cruise lines often organize job fairs and recruitment events worldwide. These events provide an opportunity to meet with recruiters face-to-face, ask questions, and learn more about available positions. Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and be prepared to engage in interviews or informational sessions. Networking at these events can significantly enhance your chances of getting hired.
  6. Stay Persistent and Flexible: The cruise industry is highly competitive, and securing a job may take time. Be persistent and follow up on your applications. If you don’t receive an immediate response, don’t be discouraged; cruise lines receive numerous applications and may take time to review them all. Additionally, remain flexible regarding job roles and locations. Starting with a lower-ranked position can open doors for advancement in the future.
  7. Enhance Your Skill Set: While waiting for a job offer, consider enhancing your skill set. Take relevant courses, such as bartending, foreign languages, or event management, to broaden your knowledge and improve your employability. Acquiring additional certifications can make you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting hired.
  8. Prepare for Interviews: If your application is shortlisted, you’ll likely be invited for an interview. Research commonly asked interview questions and prepare your responses. Emphasize your ability to work well in a team, handle challenging situations, and provide exceptional customer service. Highlight any experiences that demonstrate adaptability, problem-solving, and leadership skills.
  9. Obtain the Required Documentation: Once you receive a job offer, you’ll need to provide certain documentation to meet the legal and operational requirements. This may include a valid passport, medical certificate, background check, and possibly a drug test. Ensure that you fulfill all the necessary requirements within the given timeframe.
  10. Training and Onboarding: Once hired, you’ll likely undergo training and onboarding sessions. These sessions will familiarize you with the ship’s policies, procedures, safety protocols, and your specific job responsibilities. Make the most of this training period to gain a comprehensive understanding of your role and demonstrate your dedication and enthusiasm.

Here are cruise line job links for more information.


Securing a job on a cruise ship requires thorough research, preparation, and persistence. By following these steps and staying committed to your goal, you can increase your chances of landing a rewarding job that allows you to explore the world and build a successful career in the cruise industry. Remember to showcase your skills, adaptability, and passion for customer service throughout the application process, and be open to the opportunities that arise.

Please note: Cruiseguru in no way implies that this information will help you get a cruise ship job and cannot help you with contacting cruise lines, preparing a resume, submitting an application or any other information. This article is for general reference only. Thank you and good luck!