How Long the Application Process Takes


A common question that cruise job applicants wonder is how long it takes to get hired to work on a cruise ship. Discover how the cruise industry works and why it can take so long to get hired. But, more importantly, learn how to increase your chances to get hired quicker.


Why It Takes Time to Get Hired

Many of you have already started applying for cruise jobs but can’t understand why you haven’t been called yet. Many wonder how much longer they have to wait to get hired. The fact is that many applicants are making some crucial mistakes when it comes to applying, interviewing and following up on their dream cruise job. These mistakes could be prevented.

Those that randomly apply to a bunch of different cruise lines with the same resume and cover letter don’t stand a chance of getting noticed. Those that don’t apply using the method that the cruise lines indicate on their website may not be hired either. Add in the fact, that many neglect to address their application package to a specific person which decreases their chances of getting hired, too.

The next reason it may take long to get hired is that the applicant doesn’t follow up after their application. Those that send out their resume and wait around for a recruiter to phone will continue to wait. The applicant must follow up after each application they have sent out.

Applicants that are fortunate enough to land themselves an interview, face the next hurdle. If they aren’t properly prepared for their interview, there will be someone else that is. That someone else will get the job and the unprepared applicant may not be offered the cruise job at all. Preparedness includes understanding how the cruise industry works.


How the Cruise Industry Works

Once you have decided that you want to work on a cruise ship, understanding how the cruise industry works will be to your advantage. The more you know about working and living onboard cruise ships the better. Furthermore, understand that there is competition for all cruise jobs and that only the best applicants will be hired.

One of the most important things to understand about the cruise industry is that the cruise lines have thousands of employees. In fact Carnival Cruise Lines alone has about 40,000 shipboard employees from around the world working for them. With that many employees you can understand that they don’t do all the recruiting themselves. Many cruise lines use recruitment agencies to screen their job applicants.

If you think that you can just send your application package out to the cruise line’s corporate office and that it will fall into the right hands, you are mistaken. Get to know which recruitment agencies are used by the cruise lines and how to use them. Furthermore, consider that some cruise jobs are recruited and employed by cruise ship concessionaires.


Know Cruise Industry Facts to Get Hired

Beyond knowing that there are cruise ship agencies and concessions, understanding some other cruise industry facts will increase your chances of getting hired. For starters, get to know which cruise lines belong to which companies. For example Carnival Corporation operates Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises and a few others.

Additionally, some cruise recruitment agencies represent a number of different cruise lines and concessions. For example, Cast-a-Way hiring agency has a client list that includes Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Steiner Leisure, and Starboard Cruise Services. They have offices in North America, UK and Australia. Applicants need to consider this type of information when applying for a cruise job.

One misconception about the cruise industry is that you can get a job on a cruise ship by applying with a resume that indicates that you would do any job that was available. The fact is, you need to apply for a specific job and have a customized resume and cover letter detailing how you are the best possible person for the job. Cruise industry employment is seriously competitive and only the best get hired.

Conveying that you understand how the cruise industry works and what it’s like to live and work onboard goes a long way in persuading the recruiter that you are the best person for the job. Highlighting that you are willing and able to work long days and months away from home coupled with living with a cabinmate in a multinational environment is the type of person cruise employers want.


Applying for Several Jobs at a Time

Job applicants know that the more cruise lines you apply to the better your chances are at landing your dream job on a cruise ship. Unfortunately, resume blasting doesn’t work. If you want to apply for more than one cruise job or to more than one cruise line, you must customize each cover letter and resume that you send out.

One particular recruiter may be responsible for numerous cruise jobs.  Also, agencies often service several cruise lines. Do your homework and don’t send out multiple identical resumes and cover letters.

You also need to take extra care in keeping track of the applications you send out. When did you apply online? When did you send an email? Who was the contact person? All these questions need to be documented for future reference for correspondence. How long it takes to get a cruise job will depend on where you send your application, how prepared you are in an interview and how effectively you follow up.


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