A+ Summer Jobs profiles a variety of cruise employers, ranging from the largest ships with thousands of passengers to small sailing ships that visit exoitic, secluded ports of call.
World Cruise Lines
These vessels are what you probably think of when you imagine a cruise ship. They tend to be large, with crews of over 150 (up to over 1,800) and passenger capacities of over 500 (up to 3,400 on some newer ships). These ships have all the amenities anyone could desire and they sail world-wide. Job assignments are very specific, so you will become very good at your job while providing quality service to the passengers. Another characteristic of large vessels is that they tend to be staffed by an international crew – as many as a dozen nationalities may be working on the same ship.
These vessels are typically smaller than large cruise liners, carrying under 450 passengers. Depending on the company, these ships could be new, ultra high-tech vessels, or nostalgic paddleboats that have been in service for nearly 100 years. Either way, the smaller passenger and crew capacities lend a more informal tone to the cruise, and you will probably have more opportunities to get to know passengers and to try different jobs. Destinations include American rivers such as the Mississippi, Columbia, and Ohio, and rivers abroad including the Amazon, Danube, Nile, Rhine and Volga.
Sailing and yachting cruises are even smaller than typical river and barge cruises, and they offer crew members even more opportunity to try a variety of job assignments during the season. You may be helping with breakfast in the morning, escorting passengers ashore in the afternoon, and setting up chairs for a lecture in the evening. These ships tend to have passenger capacities of under 150, and activities often focus on shore-based outings such as hiking and eco-tourism. These ships can be some of the most technologically advanced ships afloat, with computer-controlled sails and sophisticated anti-roll mechanisms that keep sailboats relatively level. Sailing and yachting cruises are also known for an elite clientele and for stopping in smaller, out-of-the-way ports that avoid the "touristy" feel of the more popular ports.
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