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TNT May 23rd, 2002 10:15 AM

Cruise ship job question.....
First off,
Id like to say Hi to all who are members on this forum, I am a newbie here.
And i will start with this question....

I am very interested to work on a cruise ship in a few months time, I have been going through several cruise line sites, for information.

I am planning to get a job on a cruise ship with my girlfriend whom i have been with for 3 steady years, we will work in totally seperate
departments, I'm in the IT field and she is in Hotel Management.

I have a few questions to ask;

1)is this a good IDEA?

2)should we apply as a couple in different departments or as seperate

3)how should we present ourselves to the employer (human resources people or recruiter..) , should we not tell anyone that we are a couple, just to
say that we are best friends and that we want to do this together?

4)can we request to have one room together?

My main concern is how to go about this with my girlfriend and the cruise line employer, we will only do this together if we are always working on the same ship and live in the same room, what approach does anyone recommend?

5) Is this this the silliest question anyone has ever asked on this forum, wanting to work with his girlfriend on a cruise ship.

HELP advice????

Carole Dunham May 23rd, 2002 12:05 PM

Re: Cruise ship job question.....
Very few Americans work on cruise ships in any field except cruise staff. The work is too hard, the hours too long and the pay too low. If you don't apply as a couple you're not likely to even end up on the same ship. Also, lines require that you sign contracts for x amount of time, so you may not be able to just work the few months that you want. I'm not saying don't go to work for a cruiseline, but don't expect it to be on your terms.


Liz May 23rd, 2002 01:39 PM

Re: Cruise ship job question.....
I have worked in the cruise industry and IT personnel are not actually crew, they are land personnel and cruise only when there are problems. Your girlfriend has more of a chance of employment with her hotel management background, but you said that you would only do this if you could do it on your terms. This approach never works whether on land or sea. You should stay shoreside and cruise for pleasure.

Thomas May 23rd, 2002 02:37 PM

Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
Contracts usually run for 8 months. I believe most of your pay (or a good portion of it) is held until the end of the contract to minimize departures. Most personnel will work 12 hours/7days for 8 straight months. The people live in cramped quarters, 2 per cabin, and have very strict rules governing them. I rarely see Americans in the service ranks, only in staff level jobs.

Maybe it fits your style. But recognize that 12 hour days with no days off does not allow you to roam the streets and nightlife of the ports. Employees on the ships have told me their favorite entertainment is for one to go into town and rent a movie and then 6-8 of them will sit in a cabin and watch it while eating popcorn.


TNT May 23rd, 2002 06:21 PM

Re: Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
We have been thinking about applying as a couple and I know it seems like we want it our way or no way, but it is something we would like to do as a couple not to be apart. Weather she is in another part of the ship , different department is ok, that is her job/career and i will be responsible for my duties.

We just want to obviously live in the same room and always work on the same ship ,not have to be moved around form vessel to vessel where work is needed.

We really want to do this for a while now...just as if we were on land, working our careers and at the end of the day we meet at home (our cabin).

This is harder than we thought it was.

Thank-you for your replies
I hope some more reply and give me feedback.

ErnieMCC May 23rd, 2002 09:11 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
If you are U.S. Citizens/residents you have virtually no chance for employment... except for certain very special areas, ie entertainment (not generally done by the CL), Dive-In, etc.

TNT May 24th, 2002 11:05 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
Me and my girlfriend are both Canadian citizens.

Paul Motter May 24th, 2002 01:06 PM

Re: Cruise ship job question.....
Please let me reply to this since it appears no one here has actually worked on a ship except me :-)

Don't believe the stuff about long hours and cramped conditions and low pay. IT and Hotel Management staff generally get good pay, work reasonable hours and get their own cabins.

The trick for you is in guaranteeing that you will both be on the same ship. Cruise lines don't need to be pressured into package deals because they already have plenty of applicants.

*IF* both of you are extremely qualified in your fields and
*IF* the cruise lines have an immediate need for your positions
-- you might be able to swing this, but most couples have to prove themselves individually before they get the privilege of living together.

I knew a musical director on HAL that actually bargained to have his wife AND 6 y.o. kid on board full-time, and she didnt even work. But he had been with the company for years and had become indispensible.

If you can do this, apply individually first, get individual track records on ships, accrue references and THEN approach a line about working together.

TNT May 24th, 2002 06:01 PM

Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....

I thank you much for your reply, you are the first to encourage me about the approach for me and my better half to work on the same ship. I have done an excessive amount of research and ordered a cruise ship job book which explains every postion and salaries as well. I have read that IT/IS and Hotel Management personnel get excellent pay and as for the long hours, we both don't mind we are going there to work and play if some free time permits.

My main concern was to be on the same ship with my better half, we would both be ok living in different cabins for a while until we prove ourselves to the company and show that we are mature and take our careers seriously. The one thing that might stop us from applying for these postions is being apart on different vessels and knowing that contracts usually last 6-10 months depending on the position hired for, that is something we don't want to do, being apart months at a time or even being transfered around to different ships.

One question I have for you Paul is, when me and my girlfriend send our resumes in the next little while to various cruise lines, we plan to take the approach of at least being on the same vessel, should we send our resumes as one package to the department we apply or should we just send it individually and then wait to see who will get contacted first and then mention our situation. Do you recommend that I or she tell the employer , what about my boyfriend or girlfriend?

Paul I thank you much
Have a good one.

Paul Motter May 25th, 2002 12:25 PM

Re: Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
I would recommend seeing who gets contacted first (that is the hard part so don't make it more difficult). Do not mention your 'better halfs' until you get interviewed and they actually are asking questions about availability, etc. Make them really want you first.

When it comes to cabins you should PLAY UP the fact that you want to share a cabin. That frees up another cabin for another staff member - something that could be a bonus.

But not being willing to work separately is a MAJOR problem to the cruise lines. They need flexible people they can move to different ships when they need them. At the very least one of you would probably have to start before the other, possibly by a few months.

Frankly, I don't think your approach is going to work. There are a lot of veterans on ships who want to sail with their spouses. Cruise lines usually hold that out as a reward for a long time in service. Giving that to you two immediately would upset the whole reward system for the existing crew.

You have nothing to lose, but basically, your only chance is to luck out and find a cruise line that needs both positions filled on the same ship at the same time, and that is pretty unlikely.

You have nothing to lose by trying, but don't get your hopes too high.

TNT May 30th, 2002 08:33 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Cruise ship job question.....
That's what we have been thinking about, at least to see who gets contacted first.

As for what we are trying to do , it's harder than we thought and a little disappointing to get the feedback from many that it 's possible but highly likely it will not happen.

We will try our best, like you said we have nothing to lose but try and take it from there.

thanks Paul for the feedback

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