AT the end of a hard day's work, most of us would love nothing more than to escape the routine, sail off into the sunset and see the world...
And with up to 10 new cruise liners being built every year, you could do just that.
From eco-tour cruises to the Amazon to sailing round the Greek islands and round-the-world trips, more holidaymakers are taking to the seas - 1.2million last year, that's 12 per cent more than in 2005 - which means there's a whole raft of careers for workers who fancy a life on the ocean waves.
Students, career changers and mature employees are all needed to fill the 300 or so different types of jobs on-board. So if you fancy being paid to travel the world and can handle the perks of free room and board on the ship, free laundry, travel insurance and air travel to and from the ship, then read on to find the job for you.
IT'S no mean feat to feed hundreds or even thousands of people for a week or more - it requires highly-skilled manpower and hard work.
At the top is the food and beverage manager, responsible for service quality in all areas of the ship that serve meals and drinks. Below them is the executive chef responsible for the operation of the kitchen areas including administration.
Then comes an army of pastry chefs, sous chefs, bakers, dishwashers - you name it they need them. Cooking qualifications (such as NVQs) and experience will stand you in good stead.
KEEP 'EM HAPPY
WHETHER it's arranging a fancy dress party for kids or managing an elaborate ball for 1,500 guests, entertainment is key to any cruise.
These are the most popular among job-seekers: host and hostesses, cruise directors and staff, DJs, performers, swimming instructors, shore excursion staff.
At the top of the entertainment hierarchy is the cruise director, responsible for all onboard entertainment.
The general cruise staff do everything from playing games and dancing, to calling bingo numbers and performing on stage.
More specialised staff such as casino staff, comedians, singers, musicians, lecturers and nannies are always in demand. Job vacancies are usually advertised by the cruise companies (see Contacts). If you're a singer who'd like to work on a cruiseliner, visit www.vocalist.org.uk/cruiseships for some advice.
CRUISE-liner waiting staff work either in cabin service or in the bar area. They work as part of a team, under the supervision of a head housekeeper or bar manager. There is much competition for jobs, so you need to have relevant experience in hospitality and catering. Visit www.caterer.com
THE most vital crew on a ship are the ones who ensure it keeps sailing, and jobs from engineers to the captain are all taken by merchant seamen.
The Merchant Navy is the generic term for the civilian shipping industry. Each firm usually recruits and trains its own seamen (see Contacts). Also visit www.offshorejobs.co.uk/sea/index.html
KEEPING fit on-board is popular, along with pampering treatments, so there are several jobs for those with skills from aerobics to yoga, dance, hairdressing and beauty. Plus doctors, nurses and dentists are all needed.
Applicants need at least three years experience and are often on call 24-hours a day. Contact the cruise companies (below) to find out about these jobs.
FOR those who get green around the gills when they're out at sea, there are plenty of land-based opportunities, including bookings, administration, information technology, sales, human resources, customer services and marketing. Contact the cruise firms via their websites below.
Or you could consider a career as a specialist cruise travel agent. This way you often get to try out the ships first.
The best bet is to be a part of PSARA(www.psa-psara.org), which is the travel agent training body for the cruise industry in the UK and Ireland. They are supported by the leading cruise lines, and have almost 2,000 travel agencies that are current members.
There's also Leading Cruise Agents at www.thelca.com that represent dozens of cruise experts, so get in touch with them and see if it's the career for you.
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