How to Work on a Cruise Ship in Hawaii
Cruises employ thousands of people to maintain the ship and cater to the needs of passengers. Their employees are generally divided into service staff, personal care and medical staff, entertainment staff, technical and deck crews, and officers. If you want to work on a cruise ship that is based in Hawaii, you will have to target your resume to the few cruise ships that tour the Hawaiian islands.
Finding Hawaii Cruise Jobs
Research the employment options on cruise ships.The hierarchy and job choices on cruise ships are unlike most conventional businesses. You can become part of the service staff, personal care and medical staff, entertainment staff, or work as an officer. See which positions are available and figure out what you are qualified to do.
Find available cruise ship jobs online.Look on the websites for the main cruise companies in Hawaii: Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line. Most cruise companies have an employment section of their website.
- Print and fill out an application form. Submit this application when asked and keep a copy for in-person interviews.
Look for jobs on cruises that visit, but are not based in, Hawaii.These lines include Celebrity Cruise Line, Cunard, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent, Seabourn, and Silver Seas Cruises. Job postings should be listed on their websites.
Use job search engines to find positions.Try Careerbuilder, Monster, Indeed, Simply Hired, HCareers, and Craigslist. Highlight the term "cruise" in the listings and look for jobs specifically in Hawaii.
Choosing a Position
Join the service staff.The staff usually provides services directly to cruise ship passengers. They work on hospitality, administration, and housekeeping. Jobs on the service staff may include:
- Laundry staff
- Steward or Stewardess
Become a part of the personal care and medical staff.Workers in these positions provide services to the passengers, but must be licensed to do so. Personal care and medical jobs include:
- Fitness instructor
- Hair stylist
- Massage therapist
Choose to work in the entertainment department.These people are all about keeping guests occupied and entertained. Entertainers may work in casinos, perform music or other acts, or coordinate activities. Examples of jobs in the entertainment department include:
- Casino staff
- Dance instructor
- Disc jockey
- Dive instructor
- Expedition leader
- Gift shop staff
- Production manager
- Youth counselor
Join the deck or technical crews.The deck crew is responsible for managing safety-related issues, while the technical department is responsible for efficient and cost-effective operation and maintenance of all onboard machinery and equipment. Positions of these crews include:
- Environmental officer
- Maintenance worker
Train for an officer position.Officers are the people in charge of the sea-faring aspects of a cruise ship. They are often appointed after working on boats for a number of years. These jobs have the most privileges. Examples of officers include:
- Security Officer
- Quarter Master
Applying for Hawaii Cruise Jobs
Create a resume for each job you wish to apply for.The following guidelines should be considered when creating your resume:
- Create your resume in an internationally accepted format, such as Microsoft Word (DOC), Portable Document Format (PDF), or Rich Text Format (RTF). Try to limit your resume to 1 or 2 pages, with no less than 10 point font.
- Show your professionalism with your resume format, photograph, cover letter, and application. Pay attention to the details and ensure there are no mistakes or inappropriate content.
Tailor your resume toward the job you want.It is not necessary for you to have previous cruise ship experience, but you must highlight applicable experience. List skills that show you have a passion and drive for your work.
- Cruise ships like to hire people that are self-motivated hard workers. Show any examples of honors you received for your work in the past.
- Highlight your customer service and communication skills. Hiring managers want to see that you are an outgoing personality with a tireless love for working with people.
Write a cover letter aimed at the specific job.Your cover letter should enumerate how your past work experience fulfills all the requirements. In 400 words or less, highlight why you have the drive and passion to succeed in cruise ship employment.
Attend a job fair.Norwegian Cruise Lines hold job fairs throughout the United States in June. Visit their Pride of America employment website to find dates and requirements for the closest job fair.
- Bring copies of your resume and wear professional attire. This job fair specifically hires employees for dedicated Hawaii cruises. The Pride of America is the only cruise ship that flies the American flag, so they do their primary recruiting in America.
Visit cruise ship offices in Honolulu during their regular interview hours.Many cruise ship companies conduct weekly interviews in order to keep their ships well staffed. Visit the website, call ahead and arrange an interview with each company at their convenience.
- Bring your completed application and resume to your interview. Make sure to practice interview questions related to your work experience and customer service skills. Appear professional during each interaction with the cruise company.
Excelling at Your New Job
Pick a position you are qualified for.Choose a job you know you can do or take classes or train for a position you’d like to have. For example, get lifeguard training in your hometown or get certified as a scuba instructor before applying for those positions on a cruise ship. Similarly, work as a hotel housekeeper before accepting a housekeeping position on board the ship.
- Don’t lie or fib on your resume -- if you aren’t able to do the job properly, your employer will quickly notice.
Expect to work long hours.A cruise ship and its staff stay busy 24 hours a day. You will likely work long shifts with a few short breaks. You will be constantly busy, and in some cases, you don’t get a full day off for the entire duration of the cruise! If this doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, working on a cruise ship may not be for you.
Follow the rules.Cruise ships have strict protocols that you will be expected to follow. For example, on some cruise ships you are not allowed to enter guest areas unless you are working in them. You may also be prohibited from disembarking the ship.
Maintain professionalism.You should always be courteous to all guests, staff, and crew members. Remember that your actions reflect back on the cruise line, so don’t use curse words, engage in inappropriate behavior, or drink too much alcohol on your time off.
Be prepared.Ensure you have everything you need to complete your job to the best of your ability. For example, if you are a musician, bring your instruments and tuning equipment with you. Also, make sure you pack everything you’ll need for an extended period at sea, such as:
- Personal hygiene products (toothbrush and paste, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, razors, deodorant, makeup, hair products or tools, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc.),
- Clothes (you’ll need undergarments for your uniform as well as shoes, a swimsuit, and clothes to wear on your days off),
- Books, games, or activities for down time, and
- Your cell phone and/or laptop to keep in touch with friends and family.
Enjoy your time off.You will be able to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii, and likely other places, on your down time. Explore the port cities, swim or snorkel in the ocean, and take advantage crew-only amenities. Ask other staff members for recommendations on activities and restaurants at port locations.
QuestionWhat if I don't know how to do a resume?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
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Video: How to Work on a Cruise Ship | Picking a Position
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