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Cruise Ship Jobs - Working in the Hotel Department

Description of Cruise Ship Job in Hotel Department


The dining room manager, or maitre d', takes care of seating arrangements, service, and oversees the wait staff for the dining room. Under the maitre d' are the head waiters, and each of them is responsible for several waiters and busboys. Even though waiters and busboys are considered entry level positions, many cruise ships prefer those with previous experience from a restaurant or hotel dining room. Depending on the size of the ship, there may be several bars, and the service of drinks is a popular job on board. Bar tenders and wine stewards must usually have prior experience.

The executive chef is responsible for the ship's cuisine. There are dozens of jobs in the galley (kitchen), many of which require extensive prior restaurant or cruise ship experience. The galley is usually divided into the hot galley and cold galley. The hot galley positions include all types of cooking--vegetables, fish, soup, and grill. The cold galley positions include baking, pastry, and buffets.

With all of this food preparation and dining, there has to be a team responsible for cleaning up after the passengers and cooks. A cleaning crew (utility division) washes all of the dishes and tableware (including the pots and pans), changes the table cloths, vacuums the floors, and cleans the windows and bar areas.

The provision division is responsible for procuring, storing, and issuing all of the ship's food and beverage requirements. The provision master and his staff orders the supplies and takes the weekly inventory of the ship's stores. As someone who keeps a running "grocery list" on her refrigerator for a family of only two , I can only marvel at the thousands of pounds of provisions that a ship would need each week for the thousands on board!

The cruise staff also fall into the hotel department. They are responsible for all of the activities and entertainment on board and ashore. The cruise director is in charge of the cruise staff. The size of this staff, like all of the other departments, is dependent on the size of the ship. Entertainers such as singers, dancers, and musicians are needed on ships along with shore excursion leaders/coordinators, dive masters, and lecturers. Most of the cruise staff have a lot of interaction with the passengers, and must be able to focus on providing a "good time" for the cruisers. This "good time" attitude means that cruise staff have to be almost like cheerleaders--up beat, happy, and courteous to everyone. Some might think that the entertainers would have less hours to work than many of the other hotel staff. This normally is not true, because the entertainers often serve as hosts and hostesses during the day, or help with other areas of the hotel operations.

The last division of the hotel department is the administrative section. This group is responsible for all of the ship's "paper work"--the mail, accounting, and daily newsletters. The medical staff also falls into the administrative group. The chief purser heads up the accounting, printing, and payroll sections, and the ship's doctor or principal medical officer is over the medical staff onboard. For those of you who were fans of the TV show "The Love Boat", it is important to note that the purser staff are not all like the character of Gopher on that show. (I never saw Gopher do ANYTHING!) The purser staff maintain all of the ship's documents and the passenger manifests and clearance papers. They also keep the safe, safety deposit boxes, and the passengers' bills and accounts. The information desk on many ship's is often manned by someone from the purser's office.

Many of the other jobs that might fall into the Hotel Department are often concessionaires. These independent subcontractors lease space on a ship and then pay the cruise line a percentage of their profits. Concessionaires often operate the photography studio, gift and clothing shops, spas, and casinos. Some cruise lines use concessionaires to provide staff for most of the hotel operations on the ship, with a cruise line employee as the overall manager. Other cruise lines use concessionaires for the entire food and beverage operation. If you think you want a job in one of these areas, you may need to purchase a book that will provide a list of concessionaires, like "How to Get a Job with a Cruise Line", or sign up with a service that deals with concessionaires like cruise job link.com.

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