The cruise staff department of the ship is responsible for arranging entertainment and other recreational activities onboard and ashore for the passengers.
The Cruise Director is in charge of all onboard entertainment, daily activities, programs, ceremonies and social parties. The most common way to become a Cruise Director is from the bottom up, starting as entry-level cruise staff and working up to Assistant Cruise Director. The Cruise Director’s responsibilities are to act as master of ceremonies at evening shows and social events such as talent shows, horseracing and masquerade parties. The Cruise Director must have the ability to evaluate the performances of musicians, entertainers and staff.
To apply for a Cruise Director position, you will need a professional entertainment background, two to five years shipboard experience, public speaking, sense of humour, delegation skills, a strong personality and superior diplomatic skills.
Assistant Cruise Director
The Assistant Cruise Director offers support and assistance to the Cruise Director. The Assistant Cruise Director will coordinate staff schedules and help organize the various daily activity programs. To become an Assistant Cruise Director, you will need previous shipboard experience, a background in entertainment, public speaking and organizational skills.
Shore Excursion Manager
The Shore Excursion Manager is responsible for all shore excursions offered in the ports-of-call. To arrange and confirm passenger tours, the Shore-Ex Manager must effectively liaise with the ship’s shore excursion office and port-of-call agencies. The person is this position must have previous experience in shore excursions or tour operations. He or she will need public speaking experience in order to professionally host each port’s tour-talk. Strong customer service skills are also required.
The Social Hostess is a highly visual figure of the cruise staff. She is the lady of the vessel and, thus requires exceptional social skill, elegance, grace and refinement. She will introduce the Captain to the passengers at the Captain’s cocktail party, she accompanies the Captain at formal affairs and she arranges and invites passengers to dine at the Captain’s table. She also may be called on to act as master of ceremonies for certain events. The Social Hostess reports to the Cruise Director. She should have a background in hotel / resort guest relations or one to two years of shipboard entry-level cruise staff experience. Public speaking, out-going and extremely personable social skills are required.
Cruise staff conduct and participate in activities, games and entertainment for the ship’s passengers. These activities include bingo, arts and crafts, karaoke, horse racing, line dancing and sports activities. Cruise staff answer passenger questions and act as tour guides when the ship is in port. To be considered for a cruise staff position, you should have experience in public relations and/or customer service. Hotel or resort experience is an asset, but not required.
The Youth Counsellor is responsible for coordinating and encouraging participation in fun shipboard activities for youth ages 2 to 17. These activities include scavenger hunts, pizza parties, arts and crafts, contests and games. Youth Counsellors provide supervision in designated areas while parents enjoy adult activities. To be considered for a Youth Counsellor position, you will need one to two years experience in working with children. A certificate in Early Childhood Education or something similar may also be required. On your resume, include any volunteer positions that you may have had at youth summer camps, day cares, or boys and girls clubs. Also, First Aid and CPR certifications are often required for this position.
The DJ must provide excellent guest service and accommodate all passenger music requests. He or she must have diverse music knowledge from the top forty hits right down to the 1950’s era. Occasionally, the DJ may also be tasked with additional cruise staff duties. An entertainment or musical background is required and experience with sound and lighting is an asset.
Dive Instructors are responsible for dive and snorkelling programs. They must provide programs that will not jeopardize the health and safety of participating passengers. They also maintain the equipment and dive boats. Dive Instructors also assist with other water-related programs. NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors, PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) or SSI (Scuba Schools International) certification is required. Lifesaving / CPR / First Aid and instructor-level experience with a dive operation or resort is also required.
Fitness / Aerobics Instructor
The Fitness and/or Aerobics Instructor is responsible for conducting daily sporting activities such as table tennis, shuffleboard, pool games, high and low impact aerobics, stretching or yoga classes. The instructor is also responsible for the maintenance and safety of the shipboard gym or health club facility. Certification and previous experience as a Fitness Instructor, as well as First Aid / CPR training are required.
Many cruise lines hire concession companies to operate and employ personnel for their gift shops, casinos, salons, spas, photography & many more venues.