Cruise lines usually hire people with relevant professional background and good command of English language. Those who have previous experience in working on cruise ships are often preferred by employers. Employees on cruise ships come from all parts of the World.
People who apply for a position on a cruise liner want to travel. However, that is not enough. Certain onshore experience from a related job and working with the public is always required. The most common background experience is in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and hotels are perfect places for learning customer service and guest experience. The hotel and culinary schools and academies provide the best background. Graduates from these establishments are very often hired by the cruise lines.
Cruise ships are like hotels floating on water, you just can't go home at the end of the day, you live in the hotel. Cruise lines also hire people with experience in tourism, entertainment, teaching, childcare, health and beauty, sales, customer relations, fitness, medicine and accounting. All cruise staff must be able to communicate in English and knowledge of other Western languages is always a plus.
Cruise companies usually employ career-changers, occasionally students and retirees. The cruise lines staff must be experienced, dependable people with an outgoing character and excellent customer service skills. Employers look for people who have met these kind of challenges before. Independent individuals with an ability to work in a team are welcome. Good employees do their job quickly and efficiently whilst also preserving high quality standards.
Those who have previously been employed on a cruise ship have an advantage as cruise lines prefer them. Some popular jobs (such as bartender, purser, tour staff, etc.) are often available only for experienced candidates but new people can sometimes get a position as a bartender if they show their qualities during the interview.
Jobs on deck or in the engine room are usually difficult to get, unless your nationality is the same as the nationality of the officers. Most of the officers are Greek, Norwegian, Italian, British or American, but there are also Polish and Croatian officers on some ships. Many Filipinos are employed on deck and in the engine rooms.