Getting on board with your style, being welcomed with a glass of wine. Hoping above the rocky top, leaving behind the country pop. Captain commands to move it forward, the sailors lifting the anchor and slowly floating away from the port. Enjoying the zip- line and drinks in the bar. Moving smoothly on the mighty sea, living the luxuries and being at ease.
This is what comes to our mind when we think of going on a cruise ship. If you have never been on a cruise, then at least you have an idea on how it is to be on one. Surrounded with luxuries all around, enjoying the perfect vacation. But, have you ever given a thought on how it is to work on board ? There are people who spend their weekends and festivals just to serve guests and maintain the luxury & standards.
In the hospitality industry ( & followed in most ) there are two different kind of departments running any organisation. They are – 1) Operational & 2) Management.
Any big cursing company offers approximately 450 different jobs in total ( on board + Corporate offices). Talking of both, lets have an insight in to the worlds best cruising company, ‘Royal Caribbean Cruising Limited’ ( RCCL).
- POPULAR CRUISE WORKERS :-
Due to a very very strong maritime history and smiling faces, Filipines are the most strong in number on board amongst the staff. They also have a deep knowledge and background of the maritime due to their history. Following them are Indonesians, Indians and Malaysians. This is because of the excellent reputation in the Tourism and Hospitality sector.
- TRAINING and DUTY PERIOD :-
Before starting with the training, an individual is selected by a panel of experienced cruise men and officers. Either you get selected for the service staff or as cadet (officer).
Not much, just 13 weeks for the service staff to start with their on board duty immediately after the training is over. The staff member is suppose to sign a contract with the respective company to work for 8 months on the ship and then enjoy 2 months vacation back home. Afterwards, the person can renew the contract if they wish. Keeping in mind the most important and the most hated point. There are no leaves for a cruise worker other than 2 month vacation. This means, the staff works for 70 hours a week for about 8 months. You do go around the world,, but keep in mind that you are not on a vacation.
- INSANE AMOUNT OF PARTIES :-
Cruise staff has a saying, ‘Every morning is a Monday morning and every night is a Friday night.’ Crew has their own bar where no guest is allowed to enter. There are parties every night. And the best part being, beer is just for $ 1.50 (₹ 99.35)
- SOLO CABIN :-
Only a few have it, like officers. If you have a solo cabin, then girls (and guys) go crazy over you. Reason being- You can actually write a BLANK CHEQUE. You are one of the highest paid staff member on board. Now, when I say ‘Solo cabin’, don’t mistake it to be a work space. It is not a work cubical for an officer. It is his/her private living space or a room. Big ships may offer cabins with a balcony and a proper captains suit.
- BENEFITS :-
Just one year (12 months) on board can take you to almost 15 different countries. You see the world for free, but definitely missing on the authenticity of the destination. Being on a cruise ship you can definitely earn good money. You earn less as compared to people on land, but there are no expenses. Whatever you earn goes in your pocket and savings. After reaching a good position in on board department, you get travel benefits for the family and discounts as well.
Talking of another face of the cruise companies, MANAGEMENT or CORPORATE OFFICES.
They gain benefits, travel perks, Medical insurance and retirement program with every promotion. Top (and most) cruising companies are based in New Your, LA, Seattle and Florida. Although there are many scattered around in Europe, Dubai and Australia as well. Talking of certain departments found in any Cruising companies corporate office are :-
- AIRLINE OPERATIONS :-
Deals in booking, cancelation, discounts and complicated schedules. They are also responsible to meet the ship port time in order to meet the flight time. As not every guest or traveller visits every destination. Whereas, there are emergencies as well sometimes. For eg- Medical condition.
- MARKETING and PUBLIC RELATIONS :-
They advertise cruise and ship services. This staff is also responsible to handle the public relations & Media relations. There are financial and asset analysts working in this department headed by the brand manager.
- ACCOUNTING :-
As the name suggests, the department is responsible for business finance. Like, Accounts payble, book keeping, auditing, operations analysts and business analysts for different ships and different departments of the respective ship.
- RESERVATION and SALES :-
This the most important department and responsible for the ships to float or sink, even more than the captain. Sales keep the cruise industry going. Reservation books and solidifies, whereas, sales up- sell and develop relations. They also work interdepartmental as well as with other companies in the market. Sales make sure to develop good relations with their brand partner as well.
- ADMINISTRATIVE :-
This has the most general departments that are necessary for basic running of the organisation. Like, IT, Human Resources, Data entry and customer services.
ALL SET OFFICERS ?
AYE – AYE CAPTAIN…
*The Luxury Pineapple*
Signature of Hospitality…