Age and Other Requirements
for Cruise Ship Employment
When applying for a cruise ship
job, cruise employers consider the age, English skills, and background of
the applicant. Although age can be an arbitrary number, having a past
background with the law can prevent an applicant from getting hired.
for a complete guide to working on Cruise Ships
Everything you need to know to get a Job.
Minimum Age to Work on
Although the most cruise lines
and agencies will tell their applicants that the minimum age to work
onboard ships is 21, there are crewmembers that have been able to get
hired at the age of 18, 19, and 20. For the most part it depends on which
department that you will work for.
But, for positions within the
food and beverage department and within the casino department, the minimum
age is definitely 21. This is mainly due to the minimum age to serve
alcoholic drinks and to gamble.
It has been know that cruise
lines make exceptions for some applicants in select departments based on
maturity. For example, Princess Cruises' employment website states that
applicants that apply to be production cast members (dancers/singers): "We
do sometimes accept 18 year olds if they show maturity and
Maximum Age for Cruise
Good news for the young at
heart, there is no maximum age to work on cruise ships. Unfortunately,
the bitter truth is that there are some jobs onboard that applicants over
the age of 35 would not be considered for.
The main concern for the
employer is that the job-seeker is fit, both physically and medically. The
other concern is would the applicant fit into a team of mostly younger
crewmembers. Applicants need to consider that the days can be long (11+
hours) and there are no days off. Some jobs you are on your feet all day.
On the other hand, there are
some cruise jobs that are actually better suited to a mature crewmember.
Additionally age can mean experience for some positions. Cruise ship jobs
suited to mature candidates include Future Cruise Manager, Youth Staff,
Port and Shopping Guide, Event Planner and Guest Entertainer.
English and Other Languages
as a Cruise Employment Requirement
All the major cruise lines
require that applicants be able to speak and understand English fluently.
English is the language spoken on board by crew and most passengers.
Safety training and drills are conducted in English. And, it is encouraged
that English is the language spoken when there are passengers present.
Your level of English
comprehension will be evident by the way you have written your resume and
cover letter. It will also present itself in how well you converse during
an interview. Depending on the job you are hired to do will also determine
how well your English language skills need to be. Positions that deal
directly with passengers such as entertainers, guest service, stewards and
youth staff need above average English skills.
Crew that can speak and
understand additional languages may be a requisite of some cruise lines or
some positions on board. For example, some river cruise lines expect their
crew to be fluent in both English and German. Most of the major cruise
lines expect that their guest service staff members are fluent in one
additional language to English.
Police Clearance for Cruise
Many cruise employers expect
the applicant to produce a police clearance that proves that they don't
have a criminal record. This clearance is an official document that is
issued by the police or government agency of the country that the
The cruise employer wants to
confirm that the applicant has had no previous arrests, convictions or
criminal proceedings. Even a DUI could prevent an applicant from getting
hired. Other names of this clearance may be called police certificate,
criminal history check, good citizen certificate and judicial record
Applicants provide personal
information and may also have to submit fingerprints in order to request
this criminal record check. In many cases there is a fee involved which
must be covered by the applicant.
A job-seeker may have all the
right skills and experience, but if they don't meet some of the basic
cruise employment requirements, they may not get hired. Candidates with
poor English skills need to improve their fluency in order to have a
better chance at landing their dream job. Yet, regardless of age or
background, if you have the maturity and can sell yourself, you just may
--by Renee Ruggero
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