Surfboarding, rock climbing, an ice rink and a miniature golf course – not your average ship amenities, but just a sample from the immense Freedom of the Seas, currently the world’s biggest cruise ship, courtesy of Royal Caribbean – one of Crown Recruitment’s biggest annual clients.
Crown Recruitment is the official UK agent for the three members of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), including 22 ships with Royal Caribbean International and 7 ships with Celebrity Cruises Inc. They also take care of Azamara Cruises, overseeing a fleet of 31 ships in total. The cruises sail worldwide every day of the year. In the winter the horn signals from US ports mainly around the Caribbean, whilst during the summer months, it’s all aboard for Europe, US, Canada, Asia and South America.
Employing significant numbers of crew per year, the ships have open positions across the board. From hotel to casino, entertainment, Guest services, housekeeping, food, beverage and culinary departments, there are many cruise line employment opportunities for those who are considering a new working life at sea. Crown only accepts applications from people who are at least 21 years old with a clear police check.
To apply for these positions, a minimum of 2 years’ work experience in a similar environment is usually required. Certain positions such as Diving Instructor, Casino Dealer and Training and Development Manager require you to have a degree or other specific qualifications to be able to apply. Other positions need direct work experience relative to the position you are applying for, as well as personality.
Other skills and experience are also valuable when applying to work on a cruise ship. Wendy Heron, Director of Crown Recruitment UK and part of the global hiring network, says that she looks “for candidates who have already travelled or lived away from home. I select applicants who have a strong work ethic who may have work/life experience with many different nationalities.” Being highly motivated and dedicated to providing an excellent service to guests onboard are important factors in passing the application stage. Wendy describes the ideal candidate as “hard working, personable, and a team player with a zest for travel and meeting new people.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises are renowned for looking after their crewmembers and value their contributions.
Foreign language skills are a bonus, as Crown Recruitment is particularly looking for Italian, German, French and Spanish speakers at the moment. However, they do hire many staff members from the UK who are not fluent in other languages, since English is the most important language in the cruising industry, particularly with its majority of American and Canadian passengers. Onboard ship experience is a definite benefit and pretty much guarantees you an interview; although Wendy admits that many of her successful candidates are new to ships.
If you are successful with your CV application, then you will be invited to interview. Candidates selected for an interview, meet with the Regional Employment Manager from the Miami head office, along with a specialist from the area relevant to their application. You will have a group orientation followed by a one-to-one interview. Crown has recruitment dates periodically throughout the year.
If your interview is also a success, Crown will assign you to a suitable ship. The average contract is 6 months and then 6 weeks holiday with minimal holiday pay. Management positions work 4 months on, and then 2 months off with full pay.
All salaries are paid in US$ cash. The average salary for crew positions (non tip based) is around US$1,600 per month, but this varies slightly from job to job. Tip positions have a lower salary but crewmembers will have the potential to earn more. There are higher earning prospects for positions that handle a greater level of responsibility.
Wendy herself has worked onboard and is honest with crew about what to expect when they embark. With over 13 years of RCCL recruitment experience, Crown has built a good reputation within the cruise industry. Where Crown differs from many other recruiting agents is that there is no agency ‘finders’ fee that is deducted from your salary. Crown does not charge any fees since they are paid directly by the cruise line. Wendy is confident that she keeps her promises, “Candidates know they can trust me and that if I say I will get them to a ship – it will happen!
The cruise liners that use Crown Recruitment UK are leaders in the world of cruising; Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Azamara. They are predominately large-scale and accommodate a considerable number of guests and crew. They are renowned for looking after their crewmembers and value their contributions. The contract lengths indicate that they respect the fact that it is hard work on a ship, and 6 months is long enough! The extensive facilities onboard, and the fact that most ships offer cabins where only 2 share, means the staff feel it is ‘home away from home.’
Once employed through Crown, there are many opportunities for career progression. Candidates can achieve promotion through performance, which is reviewed every 90 days on board. Keep an eye out for future vacancy windows too as there are a number of new ships being built each year, with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity inaugurating several new vessels in some years.
SOME OF THE POSITIONS AVAILABLE
Position & Experience Required
Waiter/Asst. Waiter – Min. 2 years fine dining or silver service
Bartender/Barserver – Min. 1 year cocktail bar experience
Butler – Min. 2 years 5 star hotel working as a Butler
Casino Cashier – Banking, accounts, casino preferred
Casino Dealer – Min. 2 years experience A/R, B/J, Dice a plus
Housekeeping – High volume resort work or ship
Cruise Staff/Sports staff – Entertainment/resort work
Disc Jockey – Entertainment/resort work
Diving Instructor – Min. 2 years as Diving Instructor
Food & Beverage – Min. 5 years high volume resort work or ship
Guest Services – Hotel/front desk experience
Human Resources Manager – Degree educated, resort or ship experience
Purser – Cash handling, resort or ship experience
Culinaty – High volume restaurant experience
Slot Technician – Min. 1 year slot arcade
Sound & Light Technician – Min. 2 years theatre background
Training & Development Manager – Degree educated, 3 years training experience
Videographer – Experience on cruise ships a plus
Youth Staff – Min 2 years childcare experience nursery/youth group
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
OR EMAIL YOUR CV DIRECTLY TO WENDY HERON AT: