What Jobs Are There on a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

Working on a cruise ship can be a rewarding career choice with ample opportunity to explore the world while earning a paycheck. Cruise lines employ people from all walks of life and with many different skill sets. From administrative positions to more hands-on roles, there are numerous job opportunities available on any given cruise ship.

Deck Department

The deck department is responsible for navigation and the overall safety of the vessel. It includes crew members such as officers, engineers, navigators and deckhands.

Officers provide leadership and oversight for the other members of their department, while engineers manage all mechanical aspects of the ship. Navigators plot courses and ensure that all sailing regulations are followed. Deckhands perform manual labor tasks such as rigging sails, scrubbing decks, painting and cleaning.

Catering Department

The catering department is responsible for providing food services to passengers and crew members throughout their journey. This includes chefs, waiters/waitresses, bartenders, sommeliers and housekeepers.

Chefs create menus using fresh ingredients while waiters serve meals in formal dining rooms or casual buffet areas. Bartenders mix drinks at bars located throughout the ship while sommeliers specialize in pairing wines with meals. Housekeepers clean cabins between use.

Entertainment Department

The entertainment department is responsible for creating fun activities for passengers to enjoy during their voyage. This includes shows at night clubs or theaters as well as organized sports activities on board such as basketball tournaments or pool parties. Entertainment staff also coordinate shore excursions when docked in ports of call around the world.

Positions in this department include dancers/singers/musicians, photographers, technicians, tour guides and activity coordinators.

Purser’s Office

The purser’s office handles administrative duties such as issuing payroll checks to crew members or assisting passengers with complaints or requests during their voyage. This department also manages security aboard the vessel by coordinating emergency drills or responding to medical emergencies on board if needed. Positions in this area include pursers/secretaries/office administrators and security personnel.