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Cruise Ship Management Jobs

Explore jobs and the training you'll need for a hospitality career at sea.

Working on a Cruise Ship

Individuals from a variety of hospitality backgrounds can find a bevy of opportunities in cruise ship management. From preparing gourmet meals to finding a guest a new room, each cruise ship manager plays a crucial role in ensuring the highest quality of service to customers. While their duties may not allow time to enjoy every Caribbean breeze or South American landscape that the ship finds, living in the equivalent of a five-star hotel for extended periods of time presents its own singular advantages.

Career Paths in Cruise Ship Management

Achieving a management position on a cruise ship typically involves hospitality training and prior experience (earned on land or at sea) in a specialized area. Although job titles and descriptions may vary, examples of cruise ship management jobs available include:

Food and beverage managers Take responsibility for all areas of the ship that serve food and drink, these managers prepare budgets, calculate expenses, place bulk food orders and ensure the quality of the food served on board.

Executive chefs Manage every aspect of food service operation, including supervising kitchen staff, preparing food and performing administrative duties associated with running the kitchen.

Hotel managers Control all areas of the ship's hotel. From managing hotel finances to training and supervising hotel staff, hotel managers make certain that guests receive the highest standards of quality and service.

Casino managers Direct the activities and setting the policies for the ship's casino, their duties include managing casino staff, tracking finances associated with the casino and providing exceptional customer service to casino guests.

Qualifying for Jobs

Individuals with a hospitality management degree (and specialized training where applicable) will have an edge in earning managerial cruise ship jobs. Other preferable skills include the following:

  • Demonstrate strong communication, organizational and financial skills
  • Solving problems quickly while maintaining customer focus
  • An aptitude for building successful working relationships with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Ability to adapt to life at sea for extended periods

Perks of the Job

The foremost advantages of working on a cruise ship are the setting and the savings. Staff members earn their income working in a luxury environment where they receive free room and board, medical insurance and medical care—all while enjoying the opportunity for worldwide travel. Cruise lines typically provide staff members with airline tickets to and from the ship's port and discounted cruise rates for relatives.

Challenges of Working in Cruise Ship Management

In most cases, cruise ship jobs don't become lifelong careers, and the industry suffers a high employee turnover rate, especially in current times. People tend to settle back on land eventually, whether they find a new job, decide to return to school or simply tire of living a nomadic life style. For managers, this can mean regularly hiring and training new staff, only to lose them the next season.


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