+ Why do all cruise line jobs require me to be fluent in English?
In the cruise line industry, both passengers and crew come from many different countries and speak various languages, but English is the common language for all. Crewmembers must therefore speak English fluently to communicate effectively with both passengers and fellow crew-members. English is also the language used for safety procedures. Some cruise lines require candidates to pass an online English language test (the required passing score depends on your position on board).
+ Do cruise lines hire “freshers”?
No. At least one-year of experience in a four or five-star hotel (or the equivalent for your profession) is required for entry-level positions.
+ Are appearances important?
The successful cruise line look is well-groomed, and includes dressing in a professional manner, wearing appropriate hairstyles, jewelry, and makeup, and always being ready to smile! For many positions and companies visible tattoos and extra piercings are not allowed, and they may need to be covered or removed. Being physically fit and maintaining a good BMI will help you to have the stamina to cope with the demands of the job.
+ Are customer service and sales skills important?
All positions that involve interacting with guests require strong customer service skills, which includes: being welcoming, providing immediate service and solving problems, displaying appropriate behavior at all times, and making the cruising experience pleasurable and memorable for all guests. Many positions also require good sales skills. Even if your position does not involve guest interaction, these skills will help you advance in your career.
+ Is cruise line experience required for managerial positions? (e.g. I am a chef in a hotel - why have I been offered a cook position onboard?)
Systems onboard cruise ships are very different than those on land, and they generally handle much larger volumes of guests. It also takes time to get used to ship life. This is why prior cruise line experience is generally required for managerial positions. The good news is that promotions are based on performance, not seniority, so if you are talented, hard-working, eager to learn and a good team player with a positive attitude, then you will be able to rise up the hierarchy quickly.
+ What qualifications are required to work on a cruise line?
Appropriate qualification in your profession is a must. Please see our Search Jobs section for required qualifications for current vacancies.
+ For which departments does Cca recruit?
We recruit for all onboard departments, including: Culinary, Housekeeping, Galley utilty.
+ How do I apply for a cruise line job?
Please click on the Submit Application section of our website and complete the application form. In addition to filling your basic information, you will need to upload a photo and your resume (the size limit for each of these is 500kb). After submitting your application, you will receive an automated email mentioning your resume ID number. Please remember to note down your log-in details and also your resume ID number so that you can refer to it an any communications with our office.
+ I don’t see any job openings listed that match my profile. Can I still submit my application?
We always welcome applications from interested applicants – even if we do not have an immediate opening for you. We maintain a database of qualified applicants for various positions and will get in touch with you as soon as an opening becomes available.
+ What is the next step after submitting my application?
When a vacancy becomes available that matches your qualifications, one of our recruiters will contact you (by SMS, email or phone) to schedule a pre-screening interview. If we do not have any suitable openings available for you, we will try to inform you by email. However, we are not always able to inform all candidates of their application status on a regular basis, so you may also check the status of your application by logging in via the login button on the top of this page.
+ I submitted my application a few months ago, but I haven’t heard back from Airborne. What should I do?
Due to the large volume of applications that we receive, we are not always able to inform all candidates about the status of their applications. Generally, we will contact you when an opening becomes available that matches your qualifications. If you would like to enquire about the status of your application, please send us a message with your resume ID from our Contact Us form. If you don’t know your resume ID, please mention your mobile number.
+ What will be covered in my prescreening interview?
In our interviews, we aim to assess whether or not you are a good fit for the job by evaluating your experience, qualifications, and motivations. We may also ask you to complete a basic English test, and, for some positions, a subject test to assess you professional knowledge. Based on the results of the interview, tests, and verification of work references, we will decide whether or not to short-list you for final interviews with a client. If you require improvement in some area, we will advise you.
+ Can I do my prescreening interview via phone or Skype?
While we prefer to conduct prescreening interviews in-person, we may also conduct Skype interviews for candidates who are far away from one of our offices. Our recruiters may also conduct your interview during a visit to your region.
+ Why do I need to submit proof of prior work experience?
As part of our prescreening process, we verify applicants’ work experience to ensure that the crew who we recommend to our clients have the required experience for the position. At your prescreening interview, you are required to provide a minimum of one, but preferably two, verifiable references for prior work experience. We require at least one form of written verification (including dates) for each company reference. These can include: letter of reference, employment contract, confirmation letter, recent performance review and/or pay slip. We will also ask for the names and contact details of your references.
+ How are final selections conducted?
Our recruiting team short-lists candidates who best match our clients’ requirements, and then our clients make the final selections. We will inform you well in advance of the interview schedules and will conduct orientation sessions to help you learn about the company and the position.
Joining Process and Requirements
+ I have been successful in my job interview - when should I resign from my present job?
We advise you to continue in your present job until:
+ How long does the joining process take?
1) you have been assigned a joining date, and
2) you have passed your pre-employment medical, and
3) you have obtained your visa(s).
Sometimes, due to fewer openings onboard than expected, assignment of a joining date can be delayed. Also, if your visa or medical are not approved, then your embarkation will be postponed.
After getting selected, it normally takes between 1 and 6 months for you to join the ship. Your joining date will be assigned to you by the cruise company, depending on available vacancies onboard and keeping in mind the “earliest joining date” indicated by you. Some of your pre-embarkation preparations (such as applying for a police clearance certificate) can usually be started as soon as you are selected. However, the timing of other documentation, such as visas and medicals, must be planned according to your joining date.
+ What are the joining costs?
Pre-embarkation requirements and costs vary depending on the company and generally include medicals, police background check, seaman’s book (CDC), STCW certification, etc. Cca crew managers will explain the joining process and all costs to you in advance. You will generally pay the service provider directly (e.g. you will pay the doctor’s clinic for your medical, the maritime institute for your STCW courses, etc.). Official receipts will be issued for all payments. Your employer will reimburse your visa fees.
+ Will my employer pay for my airfare to join the ship?
Most cruise lines pay for your joining airfare on your first contract and on subsequent contracts. Some cruise lines require you to pay for your airfare to join the ship on your first contract only. They then pay for your airfare to return home at the end of your contract and then provide return tickets on subsequent contracts.
+ Will Cca help me with my visa applications and other documentation?
yes. We will assist you with obtaining all required documentation. And we are familiar with the procedures of the relevant Indian agencies and foreign consulates, we are well-placed to advise and assist you with your visa applications and other documentation (including police clearance, medical, STCW training, etc.).
+ Can I do my pre-employment medical with any doctor of my choice?
Pre-employment medical evaluations need to be completed only at an authorized medical clinic and in accordance with the requirements of DG Shipping, MLC 2006 and the cruise line company. Airborne will give you a list of approved doctors in your area.
+ After receiving a job offer, am I guaranteed to join the ship
Your job offer is contingent on your ability to meet all of the embarkation requirements. Some selected crew are not able to join due to visa rejections or medical problems. If you keep us informed of your situation, you may reapply for the visa or take as much time as needed to get medically fit.
+ What is a CDC, and is it required?
CDC stands for Continuous Discharge Certificate and is commonly known as a “Seaman’s Book.” It is an official and legal record of a seaman’s sea experience. India’s Directorate General of Shipping now requires all Indian crew to have Indian CDC’s to be eligible to receive any benefits offered by the Seaman’s Welfare Fund, which has been established by the DGS and to which your employer will contribute funds. Airborne can assist you with the application process.
+ What are STCW certificates, and are they required?
STCW certificates are basic safety training certificates that you get after completing approved safety courses. We will advise you on which certificates you require for your position and company, and we can assist you with the process of registering for a course, if you require. Before confirming you for a joining date, we will verify that you hold all of the STCW certificates that are required for your position and that they are authentic and issued by a Directorate General of Shipping approved maritime institute.
+ How many months will I be working on board during each contract and how much vacation time will I have?
The length of cruise line contracts depends on the company and the position. Generally they are between 6 and 10 months, with a vacation of approximately 2 months between contracts. There is some degree of flexibility in the length of vacations, as long as you follow the procedures and stay in touch with your manning agency and the company. Contracts are renewable, based on your performance.
+ Do I need to pay taxes on income earned onboard?
Per Indian tax law, Seafarers who work overseas for more than 182 days per year have NRI status, so the income that you earn onboard is tax-free. You do not pay any tax on your income in your employer’s country either, so your onboard income is 100% tax free.
+ What happens if I require medical care while on board?
While you are on the ship, you are covered by the ship’s insurance, and a fully equipped medical center on board will provide treatment free of cost. In case of a serious illness or injury, the company will arrange for your hospitalization in a port or fly you back home and pay for your treatment in your home country. When you are medically fit, you will be able to return to your job onboard.
+ Do I get paid during my vacations?
Because you will be working on separate contracts, you will not be paid for the time you are on vacation. However, in some companies, some senior ranks do enjoy a continuous pay policy.
+ Are there any living expenses onboard?
While onboard, your food, accommodation and medical care are provided, free of cost, by the company. This gives you an opportunity to save most of your earnings if you choose to do so.
+ What are the accommodations and onboard facilities like?
Crewmembers typically share a small but functional two-berth cabin with another member of their team. You would have access to the crew cafeteria, crew bar, crew gymnasium, crew deck, swimming pool, etc. Some companies also arrange various events and crew activities. Access to passenger areas varies depending on your job position and the ship.
+ What types of food are available onboard?
There are crew galleys and cafeterias serving a variety of cuisines to the tastes of crew members of different nationalities.
+ Will I be able to go ashore when the ship is in port and visit different countries?
es, depending on your duty roster (some crew have to be on duty even when in port) you are free to visit the ports of call during your off-duty hours, subject to local immigration laws.
+ Can I do shopping when the ship is in port?
Yes, you can shop to your heart's content when you are ashore. In addition, you may get crew discounts when you buy anything from the onboard duty free shops. However, you should be aware that you may be required to pay duty on certain types of purchases when you return to your own country, according to your country's customs regulations.
+ What is the cruise line “Code of Conduct”?
Each company has documented rules and regulations onboard, and it is very important that you read, understand and follow them. Cruise lines have a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-social behavior like physical aggression, excessive consumption of alcohol, sexual harassment and racism. They also follow a zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs. If drugs are found in your possession, you will lose your job and will be disembarked immediately. You may even face criminal charges. For any infraction onboard, the cruise lines have documented procedures for holding a hearing and taking disciplinary action.
+ What should I do if I have a complaint?
All cruise line companies have documented complaint procedures to address and resolve any issues raised by the crew in a fair manner. We recommend that you read and understand the complaint procedure for your employer.
+ What are my chances of getting promoted and building a long-term career?
Cruise line companies promote crew based on performance, rather than on seniority, and prefer to promote from within their existing crew pool. Since there is a continuous rotation of crew contracts, vacancies become available periodically and crew are evaluated frequently. So people who are hard-working, take pride in doing their jobs well, and show a positive attitude have very good chances of being promoted and advancing in their careers. Others who left cruise lines after several contracts have found very good jobs in hotels and restaurants, etc. on shore, and some have opened their own businesses. The skills that you learn and refine by working on a cruise ship, such as time management, teamwork, and the ability to multi-task (to name a few!) will help you succeed throughout your career, whichever direction it takes you.