Working on a Cruise Ship

Could Working on a Cruise Ship be Your Travel Dream Job?

Working on a Cruise Ship
Working on a Cruise Ship

If you are dreaming of travelling the world while working at the same time, have you considered looking for employment on a cruise ship?

Imagine waking up each morning in a different beautiful port city as you make your way through tropical islands on peaceful Caribbean cruises! Getting a job on a cruise also means that you will be working with interesting travel-minded and enthusiastic people from all over the world.

There are many different job opportunities on a cruise ship. Food service staff and housekeeping are always needed, but there are also positions for child care providers, tour guides, medical staff, security officers, retail assistants and a lot more. No matter what type of job experience you have, chances are that there will be a position on a cruise ship which would suit you.

One of the other major advantages of working on a cruise ship is also that you can have the potential to save a lot of money. You will be paid a wage, and your accommodation and food will all be free. With no bills or rent to pay, you will save a huge chunk of your earnings which is great if you are planning another big travel trip after your cheap Caribbean cruises adventure.

The Reality

Before you get too excited and think that working on a cruise ship would be 100% amazing all the time, don’t forget that there are some disadvantages as well. First of all, it is very difficult to get a job on a cruise liner and so the job application process will be somewhat of an ordeal. Also, working on a cruise ship can mean that you work long hours, and often work every day of the week.

You will also have to get used to living on the cramped quarters of a ship. You will not have a lot of personal space, and might be sharing a cabin with someone else. If you suffer from seasickness or don’t like sleeping in a room with no windows, you might not be comfortable living on a cruise ship.

How to Get The Job

If you have read through the following section and think, “yeah, I could handle that,” and you want to get started on the path to becoming a cruise ship worker and sailing away on exciting cheap Caribbean cruises, what is the first step in the job search process?

  • First of all, make sure that your CV is current and looks as impressive as possible. Include any relevant experience and training for the position you are applying for. Write a well crafted cover letter which highlights the reasons why you are a great candidate for the position.
  • Always target your CV to a particular position, rather than applying for any position available.
  • If you are not picky about where you travel to, you will have more choice of positions, so apply to everything from cheap Caribbean cruises to luxury Scandinavian cruises and other positions all over the world!
  • If you get an interview with a cruise line, it can be a good idea to do some research on the company in advance so that you appear knowledgeable.
  • If you get the job, you will need to take medical exams, receive a first aid qualification, and obtain any relevant visas for the country you will be working in.

Good luck!

Interested in exploring the many aspects of the Caribbean? Book your cheap Caribbean cruises today!

Constructing a Cruise Liner

It’s difficult to imagine the sheer scale and precision of engineering and fitting a cruise ship. Often with a population of more than many villages, hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill that goes into building these massive floating hotels.

Cruise Lines
Cruise Lines

Fabrication and Materials

Shipbuilding today has evolved into a high tech science. The techniques and materials that were used in the first half of the last century have become obsolete. Since 1950, ships have been constructed almost exclusively of fabricated steel or, more recently, aluminium alloys. Cruise ships, due to their massive size, have to be constructed in pieces called prefabs and assembled in dry dock before they can be launched and tested at sea.

Assembly of the Hull and Spatial Planning

Once the hull has been welded together and the ship has been evaluated for seaworthiness the fun can begin. The basic structure of a cruise ship is not much different from that of any other seagoing vessel, except the staterooms and corridors tend to be larger and the décor is definitely more lavish. Cruise ship lines are constantly competing about who can put out the largest and most opulent cruise liners.

Designed for Comfort

Is your flat at home equipped with a plush queen sized bed, whirlpool bathtub and flat screen TV? Your cabin on the cruise ship just might be, depending on who you sail with. When a cruise ship is built today no expense is spared. Unlike their predecessors in the days of old when corners were cut and the lowest bid was king, the players in the shipping industry today have learned painfully what happens when they try to save money on construction costs.

Luxuries Abound and Plenty of Places to Play

The creature comforts don’t end when you step out of your room on cruise holidays. Lounges and pools are plentiful on cruise ships, along with bars, restaurants, game rooms, and of course those romantic spots where a couple can be alone and watch the stars and the moonlight glisten off the water. Worried about sea-sickness? Even the queasiest will have a hard time feeling a cruise ship rock at all. Cruise ships are constructed using a “U” shaped hull design for maximum displacement and stability.

Modern Technology, Cell Phones, and WiFi

Just because you go off to sea on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to leave those wonderful electronic gadgets behind. In addition to flat screen TV’s in the cabins, cruise ships today also offer state-of-the-art entertainment and communications options throughout the ship. You can use your cell phone on virtually all major cruise lines and most of the modern day ships have WiFi and internet cafes where you can surf the web or do a little work while you’re on board.

Entertainment

Other amenities that may be included when a cruise ship is constructed are casinos, movie theatres, and amusement rides for children and adults. Anything that you see on dry land in the world of entertainment is usually available at sea also. Some cruises also have live shows and fireworks displays. Modern technology has made that possible. Storing or using pyrotechnics of any kind on a ship was unheard of just a few short decades ago.

Recruiting the Best in the Business

A position on a cruise ship pays well, more than that same position pays on the mainland or even on resort islands. The final stage after constructing a cruise ship is choosing the personnel that are going to staff it. For this, the industry accepts only the very best in the business. It’s not hard to be selective because anyone who works in the hospitality industry wants a dream job that takes them out to sea and pays them twice as much as what they make at home.

Expect to See Former Naval Officers

Those who operate the ship are also among the finest in their industry. Many cruise ship captains and officers are former naval personnel who have retired or completed their term of service. The same is often true of the engineers and maintenance people, many of whom have advanced maritime degrees and education. It is said that a seafarer will always be a seafarer so it’s no surprise to see sailors with decades of experience working for all of the major cruise lines.

What will the future bring?

The cruise ships of today, compared to those built in the 1960’s and 70’s, are like something out of a science fiction novel. The internet didn’t exist back then, nor did cell phones, aluminium alloys, modern pre-fabrication techniques, and many of the other elements that go into building ships today. What will the future bring? Only time will tell. One thing that is clear though is that people will continue to sail the seven seas and cruise ships will allow them to do that in safety, style and comfort.

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About the author: Sarah Van Rensburg is an avid travel writer. She covers a wide range of travel-related topics but with a focus on cruise holidays.

Inside the Engine Room of Some of the Largest Cruise Ships

The engine rooms of today that are the heart and soul of large cruise ships would be confusing and unrecognisable to the engineers and operators from the past. The big ships are still run on turbine power, but the similarities end there. Steam has been replaced by gas and diesel. The new fuel systems burn cleaner and don’t require the use of oil or coal like the steam engines of the past. Since oil has recently gone up significantly in price this also means the new ships are more economical.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II

The Conversion of Queen Elizabeth II

The QE2 was launched on September 20, 1967 as a steam powered cruise ship. Twenty years later she was converted to electric diesel to prolong her sea life. The engine room still looks the same as it did before the conversion. Only the fuel system and turbines have changed. With the conversion, QE2 sailed the seas for another twenty-two years. Don’t expect any cruise offers to travel on her this year, though. In 2010 she’ll be converted to a luxury hotel and remain stationary where she is currently docked in Dubai. A high end shopping and entertainment complex will be built around her.

Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

The Safety of Life at Sea Act was actually passed in the United States back in 1914 in response to the Titanic disaster. In 1948 it was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation and is generally considered the current standard by which ships are measured for safety. The Act has been modified a number of times over the years with the most recent change going into effect in 2010. It is these guidelines that are primarily responsible for the change from steam to gas or electric turbine power. The engine rooms on a steam ship tended to be somewhat less safe than their diesel counterparts.

2003 Boiler Explosion on the SS Norway

SS Norway
SS Norway

The SS Norway was crucial in bringing international attention once again to the dangers of using super-heated steam to power ships. On May 25, 2003, one of the four boilers on the SS Norway exploded while she was docked at the Port of Miami, and luckily no passengers were hurt. The SS Norway was launched in 1962 (originally as the SS France) and was the longest cruise ship in the world (316 metres) until the RMS Queen Mary 2 (345 metres) was launched in 2004. While operating as the SS France she had eight boilers which provided 175,000 hp and gave her a cruising speed of 31 knots.

The Engine Room of the Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2

The Queen Mary 2 runs on four 16-cylinder marine diesel engines and two gas turbines which put out a combined 67,200 kW at 514 rpm. This system is known as CODAG (Combined Diesel and Gas turbine), and has been common in naval vessels for some time. It’s considered the most economical for a ship when travelling at low speeds and has the power to help it attain high speeds quickly. Despite being 345 metres long with a displacement of 76,000 tons she is one of the most manoeuvrable cruise ships on the water today. The technology that went into the construction of the Queen Mary 2 is some of the very best ever used on a cruise ship.

The Power of Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas, at 360 metres long, is the largest cruise ship to ever be launched. Her sister ship, Allure of the Seas will be joining her in 2010, making the Queen Mary 2 the third largest cruise ship in the world. It is powered by six marine diesel engines that put out 97,020 kilowatts (130,110 hp) which is used both to propel the ship and provide electricity to its passengers and entertainment facilities. The Oasis is also the first cruise ship to utilise Azipods instead of long screws with propellers on them. Azipods are propellers mounted to tubes which turn, making rudders unnecessary.

The Future of Cruise Ship Propulsion Systems

When you enter the engine room of one of today’s large cruise ships you’ll be surprised at how clean and advanced they are. The technology that goes into constructing a cruise ship today is like nothing that has ever been used on sea-going vessels before. What comes next? With the current record holder at 360 metres it’s unlikely that the ships will get much bigger. Propulsion systems are more powerful and economical now but there’s no doubt that they can be improved. As the techniques used to build ships and the fuel systems utilized by the rest of the world advance there will unquestionably be changes in the cruise ship industry. The next few decades should be a new “Golden Age” for the 21st Century much like the 20’s and 30’s were in the 20th.

About the author: Sarah Van Rensburg is an avid travel writer. She covers a wide range of travel-related topics but with a focus on cheap cruises.

3 Top Summer Cruises for 2011

Summer Cruise
Summer Cruise

What are your plans for this summer? Is it to stay home and bake in the hot sun as you do every summer? Is it to travel to see family, which you have likely done on too many occasions? Or is it to do something special? If you’re an adventurer who likes to make the most out of life and you fall into the latter category, the best option for you is a summer cruises deal. This is an event you will remember for a lifetime, especially if it’s the right cruise. Three of the highest rated summer cruises are covered below.

The first great summer cruise to consider is Fjords – Newcastle to Leith. This is a 5-night cruise on the Ocean Countess by Cruise and Maritime. Ports of call include Newcastle, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Bergen, Kirkwall, and Leith. There is an excellent chance that at least one of these ports of call sound interesting to you. If that’s not the case, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. If you’re more into staying on board, you will have plenty to do. Amenities include a casino, a fitness center, a pool, several Jacuzzis, and did we happen to mention a casino? The best part about this summer cruise is that it’s affordable, especially if you book it online.

How about a summer cruise with the title of ‘Holland, France & Spain from So’ton’? That should pique your interest right away. When else will you have an opportunity to see so many amazing places within only 8 days? Ports of call include Amsterdam, Southampton, La Rochelle, Bilbao, La Coruna, and Cherborg. There are also free excursions offered in Balbao and La Caruna. On the MSC Opera, by MSC Cruises, you will find pools, on-deck activities, a gym, a sauna, a library, a game room, a midnight buffet, and the list goes on and on. If you’re traveling with family or a large group, strongly consider reserving the Family Oceanview Stateroom, which is magnificent.

If you would like to take a summer cruise with the family and you want everyone to be happy at all times, consider travel on the Norweigan Jade by Norwegian Cruise Lines. This ship will take you the Easter Mediterranean, the Adriatic, Greece, and Turkey – all within 6 days. More importantly for the kids, there is a Splashdown Kids Club. Add that to a pool and sports courts and they will never get bored. Considering the nighttime entertainment here has won several awards, you won’t get bored, either. 24-hour room service is available and there is also a fitness center. Enjoy.

Top 5 cruise destinations in 2012

Cruising is the perfect way to combine the comfort of a hotel with the adventure and tranquility of sailing on the high seas. With cruising more popular than ever and ships getting bigger and better year by year, there really is something to satisfy every taste. Here is a look into the most sought after cruise destinations in 2012.

Norwegian Fjords:

With its stunning scenic views, a Norwegian Fjords cruise is truly one you will not forget in a hurry. A camera is a must to capture the rolling hillsides and glaciers you will witness when cruising through this unspoilt gem.  You will marvel at how serene these natural wonders are as you cruise through the Nordfjord and Sognefjord, the two most spectacular areas in the dense fjord lands of Norway.

Caribbean:

More than likely the most popular cruise destination of all time, the Caribbean delivers the perfect cruise for those seeking sun, sea and island hopping. Waking up in different countries and sampling different food and cultures daily is one of the reason the Caribbean is such a popular cruise destinations. Then combine that with amazing weather, stunning beaches and a variety of itineraries, it’s not hard to see why the region is one of the most popular cruise destinations ever.

Alaska:

Awe inspiring glaciers and amazing scenery all come as standard on an Alaskan cruise. Marvel at the abundant wildlife you will see from the deck of the ship, including bald eagles, Bears and even Whales surfacing for air.  Amazing shore excursions are also available, such as dog sledding and wildlife tours that showcase Alaskan wildlife in all its glory.

Mediterranean:

The med is a stunning destination due to its variety of itineraries and warm climate. Hot spots for culture include Barcelona, Rome and Venice, whilst other itineraries offer the Greek islands, Italy and the south of France. There really is something for everyone in the med and it’s great for those people from the UK who aren’t keen on flying.

Baltics

Cruising the Baltic’s is perfect for those who love exploring different cities. Cruises typically call at Tallinn, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and St Petersburg, giving cruisers the chance to experience the rich culture of these amazing cities whilst also enjoying the beautiful views the Baltic sea has to offer. Cruises to this region tend to be 9 days and over which is ideal for people seeking a longer cruise experience rather than the typical 7 night itineraries on offer in most other destinations.