Although applying directly with a cruise line is one way to land a job at sea, using cruise ship recruitment agencies is also recommended. Get to know the role of these recruiters and the relationship they have with the cruise lines. Then learn which recruitment agencies are the best along with some tips on how to use them.
Why Use Cruise Ship Recruitment Agencies
For some cruise lines it’s not just a matter of why to apply through an agency. It’s actually the cruise lines’ preferred method of application. This means that if you just assume that sending your resume to the head office of a cruise line is going to land you a cruise job, then you are mistaken. If a cruise line states on their website to apply through one of their recruitment partners then that’s what you need to do.
Many cruise lines rely on a network of hiring partners around the world to help with their recruitment needs. Consider that cruise ship employees come from over 100 countries, many of which are nowhere near a cruise line’s head office. Although the manning agencies do not have the authority to actually hire applicants, they are authorized to screen and interview on the cruise lines’ behalf.
The bottom line is that these hiring partners have the ability to influence whether or not a job seeker is presented to the cruise line’s HR recruiter as a qualified candidate. If the agency gives their stamp of approval this could mean the difference of getting a second interview or not.
Finding a Cruise Ship Recruitment Agency
Many cruise lines make it clear on their website’s employment pages to only trust the recruitment agencies that they have listed. Some cruise lines even go as far as to point out known cruise ship employment scams that applicants need to steer away from. So how do you find a legitimate cruise ship recruitment agency?
Apart from checking out the Cruise Ship Recruitment Agencies directory on this website, applicants should educate themselves on what to look out for in a reputable agency. Be aware that there are agencies that attempt to collect funds from job seekers by fraudulently representing themselves as authorized recruiters for a cruise line.
Keep in mind that cruise lines pay the hiring partners for their services and do not allow the collection of administrative fees, agency fees, or processing fees. Although there are costs involved with joining the ship (visas, medicals, airlines tickets), there is no fee associated with obtaining an interview, position, or ship assignment. Learn more about Cruise Ship Job Scams.
To find a reputable cruise ship recruitment agency, each cruise line lists the agencies that they work with, broken down by country. Consider that most recruitment agencies have a specific geographic area that they represent. For example, job seekers in Australia will most likely be applying with a different agency than applicants from the UK.
Biggest Cruise Recruitment Agencies
In some cases it is possible that one agency may represent two or more cruise lines. In other cases, an agency may represent two or more countries. In all cases it depends on where you live when deciding which agency to apply to. Here are some of the biggest and most respected recruiting agencies in the cruise industry.
Cast-a-Way – This agency recruits applicants from Canada, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Australia. They are hiring partners with Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, Starboard Cruise Services and Steiner Leisure.
Seven Seas Group (SSG Evropa) – This agency recruits applicants from the United States and Europe. They are hiring partners with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and the Image Group.
Cruceros Bonavista – This agency recruits applicants from South America. They are hiring partners with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines and NCL.
CTI Group – This agency recruits applicants from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. They are hiring partners with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, and NCL.
Ismira Recruitment – This agency recruits applicants from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and a few other Eastern European countries. They are partners with Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Oceania Cruises, and Crystal Cruises.
V. Hospitality (V-Ships) – This agency recruits applicants worldwide. They are partners with Disney Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea Cruises, and Starboard Cruise Services
How to Use a Recruitment Agency to Get a Cruise Job
Here are some tips to follow when using cruise ship recruitment agencies:
- Be conscientious of which cruise lines that the agency represents. For example if an agent represents Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines, don’t send three identical application packages to the same address.
- Only contact the hiring partner closest to your permanent address. Submitting applications to more than one hiring partner could result in your disqualification as a candidate.
- Follow the agency’s instructions on how to apply. Does the recruiter want you to complete an online application? Make sure it is complete and free from errors.
- Even if you fill out an online application, mail or email your resume and cover letter, too. The cover letter lets you personalize why you are applying. Make sure you mention when you completed an online application.
- Follow up after you apply. This is one sure way to get noticed. Follow up after you fill out an online application. Follow up after you have an interview. Follow up until you get a ship assignment.
Once an applicant receives a ship assignment, the hiring partner will issue a Letter of Employment as instructed by a cruise line representative. The hiring partner will assist new hires with their visa applications, and provide guidance for medical and travel arrangements. They also provide company orientation and information about shipboard life.