A day in the life of a Sports Staff on Cruise Ship

Apr 11, 2019

A day in the life of a sports staff. Firstly, it can be extremely different from ship class to ship class. I have only worked within a medium-size class of ship where there have been around 1000+ crew members and only 3000+ passengers. This sounds like a fair amount, but compare this to the ships that hold over 5000+ passengers, were looking a medium scale ship.

I want you to know firstly that as a ‘sports staff’ you are known within the ‘Cruise Division’; this is made up of Youth Staff (children) Sports Staff (sports) and Cruise Staff (entertainment and hosting) You will find that you may help out in each department throughout the division when needed. This doesn’t stop there. Cruise Division also includes; Performers (Ice Cast, Dance Cast, and Singers) it includes the Sound and Light Technicians and the Stage Staff for the shows. (On this class of ship).

With saying this, the team I worked in was a maximum of 8 staff; including a supervisor and a manager. My daily life as a sports staff consisted of the rock wall and the flow rider (surf stimulator) alongside daily tournaments that were shared out between the team. Tournaments can be all sports; including but not limited to: soccer, basketball, cricket, rounders, mini golf, and ping pong.

A ‘normal’ working day at sea would consist of a 9 am the start and a 5 pm finish. For those typical activities, running all through the day. On a night time after your daily shift had finished, you may be called to help with some extra duties: such as; game shows, show doors, spotlights, waves and any other extra help that is needed about the ship within your ‘Cruise staff division.’

On a port day: your hours would be more limited and depending on the times of docking in each port; the average working day would consist of - 9 am - 11 am FlowRider. Coming back in the afternoon for either 3 or 4 hours opening both activities for the guests.

Evening activities dedicated to sports staff would be opening the FlowRider and rock wall for an evening of ‘Under the stars’. Extra activities on top of your daily hours would be activities such as a Rockwall Speed Climb, Children’s Climb or an after-hours BEST OF THE BEST competition for the passengers and their newly learned skills on the FlowRider.

I know this does not sound a lot of work. And some may think it isn’t. But when you are on top deck working in 30+ heat for 8/9 hours. It can really take its toll on you. 

Remember being a sports staff means you are teaching people to ride on the FlowRider. Meaning that you must be at least a beginner rider level in order to help passengers to learn. The more you practice, the more advanced you become, meaning the more you can help passengers and the more job satisfaction that comes your way. The FlowRider offers private lessons, now; based on your ability and FlowRider skill level (yes they access you now) will depend on whether you can teach passengers within a private lesson, or also whether you can teach other staff and ride with other staff in order for skill progression. Practicing really does have a huge benefit when it comes to working on the Flowrider.

Sports staff is an active job, you must have a sporting background in order to apply for the job in the first instance. So you will find, many of the staff employed like to keep physically fit. This is not mandatory as it does not affect your ability to do your job with great passion. However; the gym is available for us to use out of work hours and therefore takes up (with some) much time also. You will find, your social time limited but if you use it well; it could quite possibly be the best job you’ve had!

Does anyone have anything to add regarding working on a bigger class ship? Or was your job as Sports staff different in any way? You can send us your story by email.

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