Cruise Ship Job Descriptions

Cruise ship jobs are arranged by department. Every cruise line doesn't necessarily
use the same titles. But, jobs on cruise ships do tend to fit into these general

Deck Department
The deck department commands and navigates the cruise ship. The highest
ranking officer aboard a cruise ship is the staff captain. He or she is at the top of the
chain-of-command for the cruise ship. The staff captain is responsible for the safe
and economical operation of the cruise ship. A staff captain does not typically stand
watches. He or she is in a more executive position... rather than the supervisory
functions handled by the subordinate deck officers. The captain reports to the staff
captain. Like the staff captain, the captain does not generally stand watches.
It is the captain and ultimately the staff captain who report to the officers and
directors of the cruise line for Coast Guard violations, environmental violations,
sailing delays and crimes aboard the ship. The titles for the subordinate officers
manning watches in the deck department are chief officer, or first officer, second
officer and third officer. Again, cruise lines may designate their officers and crew by
different titles, such as navigation officer... although the duties and responsibilities
resemble the traditional hierarchy of the deck department. The deck department
employs security officers, able-bodied seamen, or able seamen (depending on how
they are designated) and deckhands.

Engine Department
The engineering department is responsible for safe and economical operation of a
cruise ship's main engines and auxiliaries. On newer vessels, this can include
diesel-electric systems and azimuthing pods. The engineering department is
responsible for the cruise ship's electrical system, as well as other systems that
include marine sanitation, compressed air, fresh water, HVAC and others. The chief
engineer is at the top of the heirarchy of the engineering department. Just as a
captain does not typically stand watches, a chief engineer doesn't usually stand
watches. Like the staff captain, the chief carries out executive decisions dealing with
purchasing, equipment overhaul planning and other administrative duties. Beneath
the chief are the first assistant engineer, second assistant engineer, and third
assistant engineer. There are also refrigeration techs, electrical techs, electronics
techs, oilers, wipers and other engine department personnel. There are also
environmental officers who ensure environmental compliance with waste disposal
and storage at sea.

Catering Department
The catering department prepares thousands of meals and snacks every day on a
cruise ship. Meals aboard cruise ships are often modeled after high quality
standards of hotel restaurants. It's common for cruise lines to seek experience from
the hotel or restaurant industry. Some of the standard titles include executive chef,
senior chef, chef and assistant chef. The catering department also hires bakers,
bakers' assistants, food managers, beverage managers, maitre'd's, waiters,
waitresses, stewards, stewardesses, and dishwashers.

Bar Department
The bar, or beverage department hires beverage managers, bar managers,
bartenders and wine stewards. A cruise ship can have a number of bars throughout
the ship. Bar department employees may depend upon tips to make up their wage

Casino Department
Large cruise ships derive a large portion of their revenues by operating casinos on
board. These casinos are generally large operations that seek former employees of
shore based casino operations in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The
casino department employees cashiers, dealers, slot technicians, surveillance

Accounting Department
Cruise ships employ accountants, bookkeepers, and pursers to oversee the
financial operations of the vessel. As with any large hotel, passengers can have
questions about charges on their bills. In addition, the time sheets and wages for
ship's personnel must be managed.

Service and Specialty
This department provides amenities for passengers that include massages, spa
treatments, hair styling, facials and other luxuries. This also covers cruise ship gift
shops. People who work in this department include hair stylists, beauticians, nail
specialists, gift shop managers, cashiers, massage therapists and other spa

Entertainment Department
The entertainment department is responsible for coordinating and hosting activities
for passengers. The entertainment department hires singers, band leaders,
musicians, magicians, ventriloquists, comedians, jugglers, dancers and other
people with backgrounds in the performing arts and entertainment industry. It also
includes DJ's and sound and light technicians. This department also hires cruise
directors and youth activity coordinators. Cruise ships also hire aerobics and fitness
instructors to work in the ship's gym.

Medical Department
Going to sea with thousands of passengers and crew on ships exceeding 100,000
tons requires medical facilities on board to address the injuries or illnesses that can
arise at sea. Cruise lines hire physicians, nurses and assistants to deal with the
medical needs of such a large group of people for an extended cruise.

Hotel Department
Since a cruise ship is essentially a floating and traveling hotel, cruise ships employ
housekeeping staffs, laundry staff, linen keepers, cleaners, janitors, bell captains,
and bell boys.

Security Department
A large cruise ship employs security officers and surveillance personnel to monitor
the safety and security of the vessel.

Good luck and smooth sailing!

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U.S. Department of Labor - These are contact numbers
for Dept of Labor Offices that maintain regional
employment, unemployment, wage information.

ALASKA - Juneau, AK - (907) 465-4518
ARIZONA - Phoenix, AZ - (602) 542-3871
ARKANSAS - Little Rock, AR - (501) 682-4500
CALIFORNIA - Sacramento, CA - (916) 262-2160
COLORADO - Denver, CO - (303) 318-8898
CONNECTICUT - Wethersfield, CT - (860) 263-6255
DELAWARE - Wilmington, DE - (302) 761-8052
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - (202) 671-1633
FLORIDA - Tallahassee, FL - (850) 488-1048
GEORGIA - Atlanta, GA - (404) 232-3875
GUAM - Tamuning, GU - (671) 475-7062
HAWAII - Honolulu, HI - (808) 586-8996
IDAHO - Boise, ID - (800) 772-2553
ILLINOIS - Chicago, IL - (312) 793-2316
INDIANA - Indianapolis, IN - (317) 232-7460
IOWA - Des Moines, IA - (515) 281-0255
KANSAS - Topeka, KS - (785) 296-5058
KENTUCKY - Frankfort, KY - (502) 564-7976
LOUISIANA - Baton Rouge, LA - (225) 342-3141
MAINE - Augusta, ME - (207) 287-2271
MARYLAND - Baltimore, MD - (410) 767-2250
MASSACHUSETTS - Boston, MA - (617) 626-6556
MICHIGAN - Detroit, MI - (313) 456-3090
MINNESOTA - St. Paul, MN - (651) 282-2714
MISSISSIPPI - Jackson, MS - (601) 321-6261
MISSOURI - Jefferson City, MO - (573) 751-3609
U.S. Department of Labor - These are contact
numbers for Dept of Labor Offices that maintain
regional employment, unemployment, wage

NEVADA - Carson City, NV - (775) 684-0387
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Concord, NH - (603) 228-4123
NEW JERSEY - Trenton, NJ 08625 - 609 292-0099
NEW MEXICO - Albuquerque, NM - (505) 222-4683
NEW YORK - Albany, NY - (518) 457-6369
NORTH CAROLINA - Raleigh, NC - (919) 733-2936
NORTH DAKOTA - Bismarck, ND - (701) 328-2868
OHIO - Columbus, OH - (614) 752-9494
OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma City, OK - (405) 557-7265
OREGON - Salem, OR - (503) 947-1212
PENNSYLVANIA - Harrisburg, PA - (717) 787-3266
PUERTO RICO Hato Rey, PR - (787) 754-5340
RHODE ISLAND - Cranston, RI - (401) 462-8767
SOUTH CAROLINA - Columbia, SC (803)
737-2660SOUTH DAKOTA - Aberdeen, SD - (605)
TENNESSEE - Nashville, TN - (615) 741-2284
TEXAS - Austin, TX -
UTAH - Salt Lake City, UT - (801) 526-9401
VERMONT - Montpelier, VT - (802) 828-4153
VIRGIN ISLANDS-Charlotte Aml, VI -340 776-3700
VIRGINIA - Richmond, VA - (804) 786-7496
WASHINGTON - Lacey, WA - (360) 438-4804
WEST VIRGINIA - Charleston, WV - (304) 558-2660
WISCONSIN - Madison, WI - (608) 267-2393
WYOMING - Casper, WY - (307) 473-3807
Cruise Ship Job Descriptions
Maritime Jobs - Marine Jobs - Deckhands - Tankermen - Able Seaman - Maritime Jobs - Deck Engine - Employment in the Maritime
Industry - Work on Ships - Yachts - Tugboats - Cruise Ships
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Jobs on Cruise Ships
Cruise Lines