The very basic qualification is a diploma from a catering college and 1-2 years experience in the hotel industry (preferably in a 5-star hotel). For kitchen positions, you need to have experience in a continental kitchen (hot or cold). Most cruise line jobs, especially in the hotel department, are for those below 30 years of age. You also need to be fluent in English and able to communicate effectively. Other basic requirements are that you need to be healthy and fit to manage the long hours on your feet.
You also need to have a strong sense of personal hygiene and grooming – long hair is discouraged due to strict hygiene standards maintained on cruise ships, and so are visible tattoos and piercings (excepting ear lobes).
To help you succeed in your job, remember –
- Attitude is everything!
- You need to be hardworking and motivated to succeed.
- You need to enjoy working with people as you will be interacting round the clock with people of many nationalities and personalities.
- You need to be a team player – you will realize that the enormous cruise ship operations run like a smooth machine only through discipline and cooperation.
- You need to be accommodating and adaptable to the new experiences that come with working in such a different environment than the one you are used to.