Qualities Cruise Ship Recruiters Look for When Selecting a Crew for a Potential Job

Aug 30, 2023

This will help you prepare for your interview for the desired role on cruise ship. Some specific behaviors cruise ship recruiters will look for in their candidates, regardless of the position sought.

1. Adaptability: The shipboard environment is fast-paced and constantly changing, making it very challenging. As such, recruiters look for candidates who are flexible and adaptable. Employees must be able to adjust to different situations, shift priorities, and enjoy working with diverse groups of people.

2. Customer-centric: Providing excellent guest service is paramount in the cruise industry. Recruiters look for candidates who are friendly, personable, and approachable and who have great communication skills.

3. Teamwork: Cruise ships are large, complex operations requiring much teamwork to run smoothly. Shipboard employees must be able to work well with others, take direction, and contribute to a positive team dynamic.

4. Attention to detail: Candidates who pay attention to detail and have good organizational skills are highly valued in the cruise industry. There are many different tasks to juggle and responsibilities to manage.

5. Professionalism: Recruiters look for professional, reliable candidates with a strong work ethic. Candidates who can hold themselves accountable, have high levels of integrity, and take pride in their work will always be prioritized. 

6. Humility: Cruise ships are multicultural environments where employees work alongside colleagues and serve guests from many different countries and backgrounds. Humility enables employees to remain grounded during challenging times, take direction, be open to learning from everybody (including their subordinates), and work collaboratively. This creates a more inclusive and welcoming environment essential for providing a positive guest experience. 

7. Initiative: The initiative is the quality of taking action or carrying out a necessary task without requiring direction from someone else. This quality is vital in various roles, such as that of a deckhand, where much of the work is unsupervised.

8. Friendliness: Working on a cruise ship puts you in contact with many passengers, and it's among your duties to ensure they enjoy their experience. Thus, a friendly personality and approachable attitude are essential when interacting with them.

9. Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication refers to the ability to convey thoughts, feelings, and other information to others, both in speech and in writing. Interpersonal skills are essential for typical duties such as relaying messages, reporting problems on the cruise ship, and resolving conflicts between passengers or colleagues.

10. Organization: Organization is the ability to manage your time, energy, and material resources in an orderly, efficient way. Your role on a cruise ship will likely require you to handle various daily duties, and organization skills can help you execute them successfully.

An employer wants a good fit for the team and cruise company. They want someone who satisfies all the requirements for the job in terms of work experience, education, skills, and personality. Moreover, cruise employers want the job applicant to fully understand what it means to work and live onboard a cruise ship.

Experience and Skills for Cruise Jobs

Although it is possible to get a cruise job without experience, cruise employers do have a wish list of what they would like their potential crew member to have. Each cruise job requires the skills and expertise needed to get hired.

Cruise employers would like to see that you have some previous land-based employment that is relevant to the job you are applying for. The trick here is to present your past jobs on your resume to reflect the skills the employer seeks. You must highlight what they need if they want two years of relevant work experience.

Don't just write your work history in a list, hoping they will find some relevance in what you have done. You need to point out your skills and list your most relevant experience or education at the beginning of your resume.

Personality and Soft Skills Needed for Cruise Job

Discussing your personality and soft skills in a resume is more challenging. Although you can mention some of them, it is easier to point them out in your cover letter. Even better, you can let your personality shine during the interview process.

Cruise employers want job applicants to have a personality and soft skills suitable for a cruise ship environment. Working, living, and getting along with a multinational and multicultural crew is important. Also important is a personality that works well with the passengers. Consider examples of when you have used the following personality traits and soft skills. Then, use them in your resume and cover letter.

– Communicates well with others

– Effective listening skills

– Proactive problem solver

– Works well in a team environment

– Time management skills

– Organizational skills

– Works well without supervision

– Ability to take direction

– Easily approachable

– Enthusiastic attitude

– Ability and experience working long hours

– Flexible

– Reliable

Knowledge of the Cruise Job

In addition to the right personality, experience, and skills, cruise employers want the job applicant to fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the position they are applying for. This is an easy requirement to meet. For the most part, you need to read the cruise line's job description, right?

The short answer is yes. However, the cruise employer wants the job applicant to have read between the lines. Try to get a real feel of what the day-to-day duties of the position are all about. Which days are your busiest? Understand who you would be reporting to. What is the hierarchy of the department? What expectations do you have of this particular cruise job? Expecting?

Try to get to know as much as you can on your own. Whatever you already know will impress a recruiter. Well-thought-out questions to ask during an interview will also work in your favor. The hiring manager wants the job applicant to understand exactly what will be expected of them. If you ask the right questions, it shows that you are not only interested, but you have done some research on your own.

Understanding Life On Board Cruise Ships

This is one of the biggest expectations that a cruise employer has of a job applicant. The recruiter wants to know that once you get onboard, you don't change your mind and want to quit and return home. They want to ensure you understand what life onboard is like. 

Sometimes, a cruise recruiter will telephone the job applicant before committing to the "real" interview. This pre-interview allows the recruiter to know if the applicant understands life onboard. Regardless of when it happens, the cruise employer will ask questions to ensure the applicant is suitable for life onboard.

Knowledge of the Cruise Line

Once a job applicant proves they meet all of the above requirements, there is one more thing that cruise employers are looking for–that the applicant is knowledgeable about the cruise line.

You may apply to several different cruise lines, and you just want to get hired by anyone without caring which cruise line hires you. Be careful if this is the case. Each employer wants to know that you have taken the time to research their company and want to work for their company in particular. To get this point across, here's what you can do.

– Your cover letter needs to be customized to the company you are applying to.

– Know the cruise line's fleet, guest demographic, itineraries, and more.

– Be knowledgeable about cruise news that relates to that cruise line.