I currently work for a hotel as a controller, and was curious about working in accounting for a cruise ship. The pay seems reasonable considering food, and room and board are provided, but many crew members work 60+ hours a week, does the accounting staff work a similar schedule? Is there advise you can share about working in the accounting department for a cruise ship?
60+ hours a week is an understatement.
Don't forget, onboard you work all Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. No exception.
On top of that, every week you attend crew drills, various trainings, and of course - share a cabin.
That's just to start with.
The finance dept is more of a 'daytime' job - There is usually the head financial person (Chief purser or financial controller) and then there will be a guest purser and then a crew purser. Some lines may add in a crew payroll manager. Busy times would be the day before and on turnaround days - clearing departing guest and crew finances, and then setting up the accounts of new guest/crew. Many of the lines still pay the crew in cash - so 2x a month, everyone in the finance dept will pitch in to stuff envelopes and pay out the crew.
As you're already in a hotel - you are familiar with the transactions and challenges on the guest side, and the crew is not that much different - just mostly cash issues/usually no credit cards.
Cruise lines in general are slowly switching over to pay cards, so experience in that would be helpful.
In my experience- the Financial Controller and Crew Payroll Manager have single cabins, the rest shared.
You will probably find the role very similar. At RCCL the financial controller seemed to have quite a good life, single cabin and their own office on most ships.
Im not sure whether you would be able to transfer directly into that role from outside, or whether you would have to take a more junior position first. I found that RCCL doesnt tend to hire managers from outside, but rather promote from within. From previous jobs I have more experience than those working above me, but had to work up the ranks. I can see some logic in that they have many bespoke systems that you need to learn.
I believe they are experiencing quite high turnover so it may well be that policy has changed and I did see the odd occasion where managers with experience from other lines or hotels were brought in.
Generally busiest days are day before turnaround and turnaround day, also rolling the day in the morning when everything is reset to zero is another busy time. With your background you shouldn't have too much problem landing a job.