You Do WHAT On a Cruise Ship?

July 9, 2009- A recurring inquiry from cruise lovers is “How can I change careers and attain the job of my dreams – working on a cruise ship?”


There are more than a few unheralded “out-of-the-box” opportunities to ply your craft (or take up a new one) on a cruise ship. Here are a few of the possible cruise ship employment opportunities:


Wine & Cheese Sommeliers: Crystal Cruises was the first line (in August 2008) to feature professionally trained and certified cheese sommeliers who introduce travelers to samplings of new flavors, textures and cheese combinations that complement food and wine. These sommeliers receive intensive training and certification supervised by world-renowned authorities on this subject.


Gentlemen Host: Gentleman hosts exist for the simple reason that there are more single ladies than men on cruise ships and cruise lines like to provide dance partners and companions for their lady passengers. And while the criteria for gentlemen hosts are very strict, there are numerous vacancies available. Many Cruise lines offer gentleman host programs.


Art Auctioneer: Over the last two decades, auctioning “fine art” on cruises, often to first-time bidders, has become big business. Park West Gallery of Michigan handles such a high volume of art sales at sea that it bills itself as “the world’s largest art dealer”, selling art on the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, NCL, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania. (Princess runs its own auctions in-house.)


What are the qualifications for becoming a Cruise Ship Professional? Here are some of the typical criteria:

Have several years of proven sales experience

Have an extraordinarily high energy level

Excel in public speaking and motivating people

Enjoy providing exceptional customer service

Maintain a positive, outgoing and highly motivated personality at all times

Be able to work for 4 to 6 months straight on a luxury cruise ship. For example, Seaborne’s contract periods tend to run four months on, two months off.

Navigate common computer programs easily (MS Word, Excel, Power Point)

For those who qualify, there are significant “perks” for becoming a Cruise Ship Professional:

Possible six-figure income

Competitive vacation time (typically one month off for every six months on board)

Opportunities to travel the world and build relationships with people from every corner of the globe


So, how does one find this type of opportunity?

Make a visit to, to see tons of jobs available from the cruise lines and various other sources. Please note the importance of knowing – ahead of time – what your professional references will say about you to a prospective cruise line employer. Even if your employers were (or still are) in different professions than the cruise industry, supervisors or HR contacts can attest to your overall performance and work attributes. We strongly suggest you utilize a veteran reference checking firm such as Allison & Taylor, a company that has specialized in reference checking since 1984.

Bon Voyage!

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