List of Cruise Ship Job Roles and Descriptions

Finding the right career opportunities at sea is very important if you want to work on a cruise ship. Thankfully, there are a variety of different options to pursue here, and all you need is to seem which one is better. You have all kinds of unique ideas that you can try out, and the experience can be very rewarding and unique at the same time. With that being said, every cruise ship is designed from the ground up to help the people on board. Taking care of the guests/customers is crucial, and you really need to have a customer-focused approach here. With that being said, here you have a list of job roles and descriptions that you can find on a cruise ship.

Service/Hospitality Department

This is the backbone of the cruise ship, the people that take care of the servicing and hospitality. They are the ones that usually interact the most with customers, so it’s extremely important to work closely with them as you bring in the best results and experience. Staff members in this category need to take care of the bars, passengers, restaurants, shops and so on.

Maitre’ D

The Maitre’ D is a part of the purser department, and he will need to handle all kinds of accounting tasks. They will be the ones to control the safety deposit boxes, bills, they also create newsletters and mail. The Maitre’ D is also the one that pays the crew staff and assigns them the necessary quarters. View detailed job description of a cruise ship Maitre’ D.

Hotel / Hospitality Manager

The cruise ship hotel manager is the one that’s responsible to provide a very high quality service, both for the catering and accommodation departments. He will also be the one that needs to handle customer complaints. It’s a challenging job, but one that can be incredible rewarding if it’s done right.


A Receptionist will be the one that handles the checkin and checkout for the accommodation area. He/she will also settle accounts when the cruise ends. The Receptionist will need to handle the currency exchange, perform room changes, lost luggage or any complaints.


He is the person that needs to supervise all the people that handle any housekeeping services. This is the type of job that requires a lot of communication skills and good organization.

Head Room Steward

The Head Room Steward is focused on supervising a larger group of cabin stewardesses. The Head Room Steward will usually need a lot of experience in housekeeping.

Cabin Steward / Stewardess

Cabin Stewardesses need to clean up the passenger cabins. They have a variety of different duties, ranging from washing windows to changing sheets, cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming. Most Cabin Stewardesses work on their own, and they won’t have access to any shore excursions.

Laundry Staff and Laundry Supervisor

The Laundry Staff needs to collect items for washing, they also perform the washing, drying process and ironing. This type of job doesn’t require any previous experience. The Laundry Supervisor will need to handle and supervise all the laundry staff. His main focus is to ensure that all tasks are performed properly and at the desired level for the best results.

Bell Boy and Bell Man

The bell boy handles room service requests. A Bell Man on the other hand will be the person that transfers the luggage to and from the cruise ship. Both of these are very important services to focus on, and they don’t require any specific experience level.

Deck Steward

Deck Stewards are the persons cleaning the pools and deck areas. They are very important when it comes to maintaining the visual appeal of the cruise ship at the highest possible level.

Deck & Engine Positions

These positions are extremely important because they are the ones that help run the ship properly and without any errors. Having the right deck and engine team can indeed make the entire cruise an amazing experience for all people on board.


The Captain has the highest rank on the cruise ship. He is the one responsible for the crew, navigation and the vessel operation as a whole. He needs to have a lot of knowledge regarding the company policies, maritime laws and many others. Normally, a Captain will need to have at least 5 years of experience in a subordinate position. You also need a greed from a dedicated maritime institution. View detailed job description of a cruise ship captain.

Staff Captain

He is the second person in command. The main duty of a Staff Captain is to handle the daily operations and manage them with ease. He needs experience in a similar position and a degree from a maritime educational institution.

Chief / First Officer

He is the person that will handle the navigation equipment maintenance and which will also supervise the bridge operations. They also maintain tenders, rescue boats and life boats. Previous experience on a subordinate position and maritime education are a must here.

Chief Radio Officer

A Chief Radio Officer will focus on handling the radio communication regarding traffic, safety and weather changes. Chief Radio Officers also maintain the emergency radio communication devices, lifeboats and the radio book. They will also need to deliver personal correspondence for passengers and crew members to the desired recipients.

Security Officer

A Security Officer will be responsible for making sure that everyone on the ship is safe. They will handle suspicious passengers or luggage, enforce any safety regulations and also perform regular safety checkups. Usually the Security Officer needs to have some experience in the security industry, if they do have a police background or a military background, that can be a great bonus.


Deckhands will be the handymen of a cruise ship. They are the people dealing with general maintenance requirements, docking the ship, painting it and so on. You don’t need previous experience to be a Deckhand.

Able Seaman

It’s an entry level position, he will handle things like painting, cleaning and general maintenance. All of these take place in the deck department.

Safety Officer and Bosun / First Mate

A Safety Officer’s main job is to instruct the crew on a variety of drills and safety issues. They need to prepare and showcase ship abandonment procedures, fire drills and many other tasks focused on safety. Bosun / First Mates will usually help the safety officer and provide assistance where needed.

Chief Engineer

Chief Engineers are the people responsible for maintaining and keeping all the technical operations under control. They cover the mechanical, electrical and engineering divisions. Proper maritime education and a lot of experience is needed to become a Chief Engineer.

Chief Electrician

The job of a Chief Electrician is to ensure that all the electrical systems are working properly and they are fully maintained. A Chief Electrician needs extensive experience in this field, English fluency and proper education.


The electrician’s main focus is to maintain the low and high voltage electrical facilities. A cruise ship electrician needs to be accustomed to the idea of working on their own without a lot of supervision. Previous experience in this field is required, and the more experience you have, the better.


This position is for a person that needs to keep the engines in working order, clean and ready to use. He will usually be supervised by the Chief engineer. Relevant education and experience are required for this field.


Plumbers are responsible for repairing or maintaining the plumbing on the cruise ship. English language skills and some previous experience in this field can be very helpful and also extremely relevant.

Personal Care Positions

In order for people to have a good time and enjoy their experience on the cruise ship, they need Personal Care professionals. There are plenty of amazing positions in this field. Some of them will require a bit of previous experience, but some are suitable for entry level professionals too. So there are a vast range of options to consider in a situation like this.


You will find plenty of beauty salons on a cruise ship in general. The Beautician will provide regular treatments like a pedicure, manicure, hair styling and many others. This term also includes cosmetologists, manicurists and many others. A good Beautician should know how to offer body and facial treatments, as well as a variety of beauty services. With that in mind, some previous experience is needed, based on the cruise ship.

Hair Stylist

A Hair Stylist will need to offer hair coloring treatments, conditioning treatments, straightening services, permanents, even style cuts. The Hair Stylist will work with both the crew members and passengers. It’s the type of ship position where you will need previous experience as well.

Fitness Instructor

It’s very important for passengers to stay in shape, and the Fitness Instructor will help them with workout classes. Most Fitness Instructors will also provide dance, aerobics and yoga services. The Fitness Instructor will also offer dietary, health and exercising advice. Industry qualifications are required to get such a position on a cruise ship. Previous experience is also mandatory here.

Lifeguard / Pool Attendant

If the cruise ship has a pool, then the Lifeguard / Pool Attendant will be there to monitor the pool and ensure everyone is safe. They can also suggest emergency procedures, provide the necessary equipment and even handle first aid situation. Previous experience is not mandatory here, but it’s desired. View detailed job description of a cruise ship attendant.


A nurse on a cruise ship provides medical care to all the individuals on the board. This includes passengers as well as the ship staff. Cruise lines will hire only nurses that have at least 2-3 years of experience in this field. They also need to be on call at any given time during the day or night. A nurse will have a 6-month contract, and he/she will need to take care of both crew members and passengers.


Just like nurses, doctors are on call at any given time. They need to provide emergency and sometimes even surgical procedures to both crew members and passengers as well. Appropriate medical experience and education are mandatory in order to become a cruise ship doctor.


A cruise ship dentist will need to have at least a few years of experience, and he will provide dental care services to the staff and passengers as well.

Spa Attendant

The Spa Attendant will need to take bookings and assist the passengers during their spa treatments. If you work in this field, you need to have extensive hydrotherapy, detox and relaxation knowledge and techniques.

Massage Therapist

Massage Therapists need to provide a variety of different massage services for the cruise ship passengers. These include sports massage, deep tissue massage, Thai or Swedish massage among many others.

Information Technology Jobs on Cruise Ships

Although most of the IT tasks are handle outside the ship, IT staff is also important. There aren’t a lot of positions in this field, but they are very relevant and crucial for a variety of reasons. They are important for the proper functioning of all IT systems on the cruise ship, and they also perform upgrades and monitor the network and systems for any incidents!

IT staff

The IT staff will make sure that all the information technology systems work flawlessly and they are up to date. They will need to manage and also improve the computer technology on the ship when needed. Most IT staff needs relevant experience in this field, but that might not be mandatory if they are just hired for simple tasks.

Computer Systems Manager

The regular duties of a Computer Systems Manager will include supervising and planning the installation of hardware. The Computer Systems Manager will also provide software, hardware and network upgrades to the entire system. They will also need to ensure that all the internet related systems are up to date and they work as intended.  Previous IT experience is mandatory in this field.

Computer Technician

A Computer Technician will be the person to perform hardware or software upgrades, as well as maintenance. They will train passengers in the use of applications and equipment. The position requires at least 2 years of experience in the IT field, depending on the situation.

Cruise Ship Staff & Activity Positions

Art Auctioneer

Art auctioneers prepare art for sale, and they also establish and run auctions on the ship. There are many different auctions that can take place on a cruise ship, and he is the person responsible for making sure everything is managed appropriately and there are no discrepancies or problems that might arise.

Assistant Cruise Director

Assistant Cruise Directors will support the cruise director when it comes to supervising the cruise staff. He will help with the passenger activities, while also coordinating any of the activities that take place during the evenings. It’s a job that focuses on a lot of socialization with guests and engaging in various shipboard activities. The Assistant Cruise Director might even host events or evening shows.

Audio Visual Coordinator

The Audio Visual Coordinator will prepare the audio equipment and ensure everything is going up to par and as expected. He is also required to be there during all performances and rehearsals. He is the person responsible for everything related to any sounds and video, especially during events but also for private parties on the ship.

Casino Staff

Casino Staff is working almost nonstop, aside from times when the cruise is in a port. There are slot managers, as well as casino technicians, casino managers, cashiers, casino hosts and dealers. Each one of these jobs has its own requirements. These jobs are highly sought after, and they are known to have a very long daily schedule.

Cruise Consultant

The Cruise Consultant has a focus on offering as much information as possible about the future cruise trips and any information related to that. In addition, he is the person that sells future cruises to the current clients.

Cruise Directors

A Cruise Director is the person in charge of all the entertainment. Most of the cruise directors already worked their way up from other staff positions and established their own career. On top of that, they are known for the fact that they understand how to offer the best entertainment to everyone on the cruise itself. The role is more focused on the administrative side of things.

Disc Jockeys

DJs are common on a cruise ship, and they are the ones that focus on uplifting the mood. People will cherish and enjoy the great content provided by a DJ, especially during parties. The Disc Jockeys work on a contract, which in general it ends up being around months, sometimes a bit less depending on the DJ and his experience or how much the cruise is operating itself.

Dive Instructors/Lifeguards/Water Sports Instructors

Since a lot of water sports and diving is taking place on and near the cruise ship, it’s very important to have staff that helps keep everyone safe and away from any danger. All the staff listed here is fully focused on making sure that people are staying safe. The instructors need to have a CPR certificate and a valid certification for their own specific field. On top of that, some ships will need water sports instructors that also must have a certification for their own field.


Entertainment jobs are abundant on cruise ships for a variety of reasons. People come to take entertainer jobs because they are appealing, they are also paying very well and the contracts can be for a few months. Some of the jobs included here are anything from vocalists to orchestras, sole performers and many others. You can also have magicians, singers, comedians and even a cruise line dancers.

The most important focus when it comes to entertainers is to help people unwind and relax. The entertainment sector here can also add dancers and vocalists, musicians and talented people that have something to say and which are very excited to share their ideas. View salary details and complete job description of a cruise ship entertainer.

Food & Beverage Administration

Food & Beverage Manager

The Food & Beverage Manager is the one that oversees the beverage and food operations on board. The idea for him is to offer the best possible service level for all passengers. At the same time, he also needs to control costs and ensure that the revenue opportunities are maximized.

Assistant Food & Beverage Manager

An Assistant Food & Beverage Manager is focused on helping the manager with his tasks, making sure that costs are on point, revenue is generated properly and there’s a massive customer service level that everyone will cherish and appreciate at all times. There’s also a Junior Assistant Food & Beverage Manager position that will help the assistant to complete all of his duties.

Provisions Jobs

Hotel Controller

The main job of a Hotel Controller on the cruise ship is to manage the storeroom inventory. He is focused on inventory reporting, as well as loading the hotel items. On top of that, the Hotel Controller manages and also submits orders from every department. He is also the person performing a maintenance report for storeroom lockers and storage rooms in general.

Provision Master

While the Hotel Controller is focused on acquiring and submitting orders as well as handling storage, the Provision Master is just focused on food and consumables for the kitchen and storage. The Provision Master is focused on planning the need for provisions for an upcoming cruise. He also works closely with the provisions staff and the cruise kitchen/s to ensure they are always stocked with the necessary items.

Air Operations

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) Coordinator

The ARC coordinator manages the way a cruise ship communicates with aircraft. They can also let the coastal areas know about any weather problems in the sea, as that will help eliminate concerns and ensure the safe travel of passengers. It’s a great position, albeit a rather challenging one, since there are a multitude of air operation tasks to complete, while also assuring that all air passengers are safe.

Pier/Airport Expediter

The Pier/Airport Expediter is a person that will make sure every parcel that needs to be sent and received is handled properly. Expediting any type of items and receiving ordered products is crucial, and that’s why the expediter has such an important job on a cruise ship. This is not a temporary job either, so if you get hired as an airport/pier expediter, you will be working all year long.

Seasonal Corporate Air Ticketing Agent

This position focuses on helping corporate customers with air ticketing and a variety of other services. As the name suggests, the air ticketing process is seasonal, so there are times when the agent will work, with the colder seasons being off-time for the most part.

Marketing / PR

Account Executive

An Account Executive needs to understand the objective of the cruise and also ensure that he creates the best marketing opportunities. He is the one that prepares all the marketing campaigns, including email marketing, influencer marketing and even network marketing. The account executive oversees how all marketing campaigns are created, if there are any changes to be made and how everything is fully adapted and customized to the potential customer base. He is also responsible for studying the market and analyzing the competitors in order to deliver better marketing and more value for the money.

Brand Manager

The Brand Manager is to make sure that the cruise brand remains up to date, appealing to customers and also very recognizable. He will make sure all the items on board are fully branded, the marketing campaigns share all the brand messages and the logo is placed everywhere on promotional materials. The brand manager will also ensure that everyone gets access to branded flyers and offers that can be used to generate more sales on the board of the cruise.

Field Representative

In order to generate sales and make people enroll in the cruise, you need a Field Representative that help showcase the value of the cruise. A field representative is the one that won’t really operate on the cruise itself. He is usually the one on land, trying to promote the cruise and bring in as many new passengers as possible. A field representative has access to all the sales tools and marketing solutions created by the team. He is a very important part of the sales process, because he connects with people, generates leads and shows the true value of the cruise. A field representative usually gets a certain percentage of the sale for every person brought on the cruise.

Marketing Research Analyst

It’s very important to analyze what customers want and what they expect from the cruise. A Marketing Research Analyst is important because he will study all these customer requirements to further improve the marketing efforts. Analyzing what customers like and dislike is very important, because it’s easier for the cruise management team to know what can be improved. With help from the right marketing research analyst, the cruise will evolve and become more suitable based on the customer requirements.

Media Relations

It’s crucial to make sure that you work with the media to promote your cruise. Media companies always want to have info about the best cruises, so you need to share this type of content. The Media Relations professional will stay in constant connection with the media and bring in the information needed to reach success. Proper relations with the media always matter, because they make it easy to bring in your cruise offers in front of a large audience. That’s why a media relations professional is extremely important for any cruise ship.

Purchasing Agent

The Purchasing Agent buys product and services for the cruise ship. His job is extremely important because he stocks up with all the products and items needed for the proper operation of the cruise ship. He constantly assesses stocks and makes sure everything is ready for the operational team and the passengers.

Vice President of Marketing

The Vice President of Marketing position oversees all the marketing efforts to ensure everything is working according to plan. Having the right marketing plan is crucial, and he is the person overseeing the entire process, from creation to implementation. Upon doing that, the VPM will know exactly how the marketing process works, what can be added and removed and what things are important to change. Some VPMs are making changes on the fly in order to ensure that the marketing campaign reaches a lot of customers and generates multiple sales.



Naturalists are focused on topics that are very specific to the current region. They mostly related to nature and they provide speeches on wildlife, but they also cover science, culture, art and many others. They do tend to specialize in areas that apply specifically to the clients. Normally, a naturalist will work on a contract for the cruise ship. This contract ranges anywhere from a single cruise to multiple months.


Their main focus is to take memorable photos for the cruise passengers. Every passenger comes here to relax and unwind, so it’s very important to capture those moments. While it’s possible for these guests to come and take their own pictures, most of them want professional pictures anyway. Which is why photographers are needed all year round on the cruise ship. View detailed job description of a cruise ship photographer.

Port Lecturer/Lecturer

Lecturers are presenting a variety of lectures regarding geology, culture, marine biology as well as wildlife and astronomy or many others. Their primary concern is to help people learn more about the marine life. Their lectures can also cover history, culture, art and science.

Shore Excursion Manager

The main focus for the shore excursion manager is to organize and prepare shore excursions, and in order to do that he needs to have close connections to the local area. The manager chooses how complex or simple the shore excursions are, how many stops they have and all the necessary information. Most of the time, the shore excursion manager will work on multiple excursions at a time, so this is a busy job since you always need to connect with locals, establish a routine and also adapt based on the number of passengers.


There’s no denying that the cruise ships are filled with extraordinary job roles that you can enroll in right now. It’s important to understand what the cruise job entails, what experience you need and how it can influence your future.

Usually, working on a cruise ship can be very helpful, since it shows you can work with lots of people and be a part of a team. If you’re looking for a job, even if it’s a seasonal one, working on a cruise ship can be a great idea. Not only do you have a stable income for most positions, but you get to explore the world and learn new things!