Working on a cruise ship with your significant other may seem like a dream come true. Getting paid to travel and spending lots of time together is what may first come to mind, but is that the reality? How difficult is it for a couple to get hired and work on a cruise ship together? Here are some facts on how to apply and get hired for cruise jobs as a couple.
Working on a Cruise Ship as a Couple
There are plenty of challenges when it comes to working and living as a couple on a cruise ship. There are some cruise jobs where you may not be able to share a cabin together. You and your spouse may have different contract lengths and completely opposite shifts. Will you even accept a contract if you aren’t on the same ship?
Cruise recruiters also want to make sure that if they are hiring a couple that there won’t be relationship problems that will interfere with your work. Furthermore, will you be able to handle this unique life onboard?
Cruise Jobs for Couples
Although couples can choose to apply for two different cruise jobs based on what their varied experience is, there is another option. A handful of cruise jobs may be held by couple if the couple is willing to work as a team. Even though this means only one salary, some of the commission based cruise jobs offer a chance to make a healthy salary.
There are many examples on different cruise ships where a husband-wife team or common-law partners work onboard together covering the same cruise job. Some of the most popular options are the Art Auctioneer, Port Shopping Guide, Guest Lecturer or Cruise Sales Manager. One big benefit is that each of these jobs is entitled to their own cabin meaning the couple doesn’t have to be split up, sharing a cabin with someone else.
Typically, cruise lines and their concessions don’t mind hiring couples to cover these particular cruise jobs. It’s like they are getting two people for the price of one. This is one feature a couple should promote during the application process. They should highlight the fact that they can sell more as a couple.
Cruise Line Couples Policy
Onboard Media, the concession that hires Port and Shopping Guides, states their Couples Policy on their website:
“At the time of submitting your application, you MUST include in your cover letter ?your intention of completing a contract as a couple. All applications for couples must include resumes of both candidates along with a video audition featuring the primary candidate and introducing the partner.”
Comparatively, Carnival Cruise Lines website employment pages answer the question, ‘Does Carnival hire couples?’ as follows:
“Carnival Cruise Lines is a very ‘couple friendly’ cruise line, and endeavors to allow couples to work on the same ship whenever possible.
For prospective couples seeking employment with Carnival, for the first contract it may prove difficult to keep them together on the same ship as contracts are completed at different times. Further, Carnival prefers to assess employees as individuals before committing to hiring them as couples.
Once couples have completed their first contract, Carnival will try its best to place them together for future contracts. However, there are many factors involved and this is not guaranteed.”
Applying For Cruise Jobs as a Couple
If you do want to pursue a cruise job that you would perform jointly then you would apply jointly as well. For the cruise jobs mentioned above, some cruise lines allow a couple to work together. You must specify this to the recruiter at the application and interview process.
A couple with two different types of expertise may also apply separately. Unfortunately this means that one of you could get hired before the other one. You may be hired to work on different ships. And, one half of the couple may not get hired at all. In the case where both partners must work on different ships for the first contract, they may ask to be put on the same ship for their second contract. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees.
There is a way to increase your chances of working on the same ship when applying for two different cruise jobs. After both partners have had their respective interviews with the recruiter is a good time to explain your situation. If you try to explain before hand, the recruiter may feel that your situation is too complicated.
Once both of you have proven that you are right for your respective jobs during an interview then the cruise line recruiter may be willing to make it work for you. On the other hand, you could choose to be upfront with the recruitment agency from the start. In that case you need to apply with a cover letter that represents you as a couple.
Cover Letter for Couples Applying for Cruise Jobs
Depending on the cruise jobs that the couple is applying for will determine the type of cover letter that should be sent. For couples that are applying as a couple, such as for the Port and Shopping Guide, follow the instructions given by Onboard Media above.
In cases where the couple is applying for two separate jobs, it is up to the couple if they want to disclose the fact sooner than later. When working with a recruitment agency, the couple may choose to enclose a joint cover letter with two separate resumes. The cover letter would specify that you are looking to get hired together.
Cruise Ship Careers as a Couple
Once you have completed at least one contract on a cruise ship, you may think that it should get easier to work together onboard. It seems reasonable to think that once an agency or the cruise line sees that you are committed to the job that it would be easy to get placed on the ship together. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Although this may work in your favour if you work together as a team, the same doesn’t hold true for employees working in different departments. Consider that one person may be advancing with their career while the other may not be able to be promoted if they intend to stay on the same ship. There are plenty of pros and cons of working onboard as a couple.