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Shipboard Hospitality & Hotel Department Jobs

Housekeeping/ Hotel Administration/ Food & Beverage/ Purser

Service and Hospitality Positions are some of the most important jobs in the working model of a cruise ship. Jobs in the service and hospitality arena have been split into four subcategories: housekeeping, hotel administration, food and beverage and pursers.

Housekeeping positions make the ship home-away-from-home for the guests onboard. Members of this team are responsible for the upkeep of the ship and guest living quarters.

Cruise Ship Bartender Photo

Hotel Administration staff positions are very much like those in a hotel or resort on land. Members of this team usually have previous work experience in the area, with responsibilities that include ensuring the accommodation of the passengers is on par with the ship’s high standards as well as taking care of the needs of the guests.

Food and Beverage workers usually enjoy hefty tips to compensate for slightly lower salaries. It is an excellent venue to break into the industry and can be a formal, semi-formal or causal working environment depending on the events a worker is asked to staff.

Pursers, or those working in the accounting department manage the accounts of the passengers, exchange currency for guests and are responsible for basic accounting.

Below, are detailed descriptions of the jobs in these categories and the requirements of each. Also listed are basic salaries, meant to be used as a reference of the earning potential for each job. Most jobs include generous benefits and room and board is included, an important consideration when reviewing listed salaries.


The accountant’s responsibilities include: reporting directly to the hotel manager, auditing, inventory, general budgeting, supply costs and other general accounting duties.


-Accounting experience
-Degree in accounting or related field of business or economics from an accredited university/college

Compensation for an Accountant is $1,500 – $2,000 a month DOE


A position as a baker onboard a cruise ship means preparing and baking the many pastries and desserts served onboard. Other kitchen duties are included and a baker reports to supervising kitchen staff for assignments and review.


-Experience and education in baking
-Experience baking for a hospitality or travel industry

Compensation for a baker onboard a cruise ship is $1,200 – $2,500 a month DOE

Bar Back

A person in the position of bar back must assist the bartender in maintaining stock within the bar and is responsible for the cleanliness of the bar. Bar back positions have great potential for job advancement.


-Experience working as a Bar Back in a hotel, restaurant or bar
-Willingness to train

Compensation for a Bar Back $1,200 – $2,000 DOE and tips earned

Bar Manager

The bar manager is responsible for bar schedules, inventories and for managing bar staff. Bar supply and costs are carefully overlooked by the bar manager and bar operations are closely managed to ensure things are running smoothly. Bar managers need to be sure all bar tenders are appropriately dressed and know an appropriate number of drinks and cocktails sufficient for the demands of cruise ship passengers.


-Previous bar management experience for a larger bar, restaurant, hotel or club
-Excellent organizational skills
-Leadership qualities
-Independent thinker and problem solver

Compensation for a Bar Manager is $2,000 – $3,000 a month DOE

Cruise Ship Bartender

Bartenders onboard a cruise ship must be able to accommodate the drinking needs of a large guest list. This means having a large knowledge of popular drinks and how they are made. Bartenders must be friendly and socialize well with different groups of people. Maintaining the bar area and stock are also part of a bartender’s responsibilities.


-Previous bartending experience
-Knowledge of drinks and how they are made
-Good social skills and attentiveness to people

Compensation for bartenders is $2,000 -$3,200 a month depending on tips earned.


Bellman typically act as a valet and aid passengers with moving and arranging their luggage. They often need to have a large knowledge of the cruise ship in order to answer questions and give appropriate directions.


-Sociable and friendly personality
-Willingness to train or previous experience

Compensation for a bellman is $1,000 -$1,500 plus tips.

Buffet Server

Buffet Servers set-up, stock and attend buffet lines on cruise ships. They also breakdown and help clean when meals change over.


-Experience in the food industry
-Willingness to train

Compensation for a Buffet Server is $1,200 -$1,400 a month.


Butchers onboard a cruise ship must make meat orders to comply for large meals. They are responsible for following sanitation codes and for ensuring the quality of meat is of high standard. Meat preparation is also included under the responsibilities of the Butcher.


-Experience as a butcher for large parties

Compensation for a butcher on a cruise ship is $1,200 – $2,000 a month DOE

Bus Staff

Busboy positions require an attentive person who is responsible for clearing tables and assisting waiters and waitresses with drinks, bread and other aspects of table waiting. Busboy positions have great potential for job advancement.


-Willingness to train
-Attentive personalities

Compensation for a bus boy is $1,200 – $1,800 depending on tips earned

Cabin Steward

The Cabin Steward is responsible for cleaning a certain number of rooms onboard the ship. This includes changing sheets, windows, bathrooms, floors etc. In some cases the Cabin Steward is responsible for cleaning public areas, which can include conference rooms and banquet halls.


-Willingness to train
-Previous work in the hotel or hospitality industry

Compensation for a Cabin Steward is $1,000 – $1,5000 a month plus tips.

Chef de Partie

The Chef de Partie must have a strong knowledge of fine cuisines and exotic foods. This person must also be able to organize menus for themed events and is also responsible for cooking and preparing these meals. The Chef de Partie has a cooking staff to aid him/her in these responsibilities. Food displays and presentation are also the responsibilities of the Chef de Partie.


-Two years experience preparing cuisine in an International venue
-Certified diploma from a culinary school/college
-Experience working in a five-star establishment
-Organizational and leadership skills are a must

Compensation for a Chef de Partie is $1,900 – $2,500 a month DOE

Chief Cabin Steward

The Chief Cabin Steward is responsible for the work of the other Cabin Stewards; evaluating the quality of their work and maintaining a high standard among his/her workers. The Chief Cabin Steward is a leadership role and works directly with the Head House Keeper as well as maintaining the cleaning responsibilities of certain cabins onboard.


-Experience working in a hotel or cruise ship
-Administrative and managerial skills
-Organizational skills and leadership qualities

Compensation for a Chief Cabin Steward is $2,000 – $2,5000 a month plus tips earned.

Chief Purser

The Chief Purser is an important role onboard a cruise ship. A person in this role acts as an onboard accountant, managing members of his/her staff and delegating responsibility. All revenues made onboard, as well as payroll, staff visas and passports, passenger safety boxes, currency change, details involving immigrations and customs and passenger credit accounts all fall under the responsibility of the Chief Purser.


-A college degree in accounting, finance, hospitality or extensive managerial experience
-Administrative and communication skills
-Leadership skills
-Work experience as a purser prior to application

Compensation for a Chief Purser is $3,000 – $5,000 a month DOE

Chief Steward/Housekeeper

The Chief Steward or Housekeeper concerns him/herself with the state of cleanliness onboard the ship. Overseeing cleaning staff, maintenance equipment, supplies and the quality of work completed are all responsibilities of the Chief Steward/Housekeeper. Room services, bell service and cabin service also fall under the responsibilities of the Chief Steward/Housekeeper. A person in this role reports to a supervisor, typically the Hotel Manager.


-Experience delegating and overseeing staff
-Willingness to learn the position
-Communication and leadership skills

Compensation for a Chief Steward/Housekeeper is $1,600-$2,400 a month DOE

Cocktail Server

Takes orders and delivers cocktails to the bar and lounge areas.


-Experience as a cocktail server
-Knowledge of popular alcoholic drinks

Compensation for a Cocktail Server is $1,600 – $2,400 a month depending on tips earned

IT Manager/Computer Systems Manager

A person in this role has different responsibilities each day. With the use of technology and computer systems increasing on a cruise ship, people with extensive knowledge of how they work and the ability to troubleshoot problems are in higher demand. The role of Computer Systems Manager is one that ensures all computer systems and hardware onboard are functioning properly. They would be in charge of managing an IT staff and would help implement new systems onboard. Extensive knowledge and experience with computer systems is a must.


-Extensive professional experience in the field
-A degree in Computer Science or related field
-Managerial experience and leadership skills
-Ability to work well with layman’s terms

Compensation for an IT Manager is $6,000 – $7,000 a month

Dining Room/Head Waiter

The Head Waiter oversees the wait staff and assists them with their responsibilities. He/She leads by example and typically serves larger or VIP sections during dining hours and special events.


-Administrative or managerial experience in a hotel or restaurant
-Experience waiting tables in a five-star establishment

Compensation for the Head Waiter is $2,400 – $3,800 a month depending on tips earned

Dining Room Manager

The Dining Room Manager oversees the service of the dining room. He/She is responsible for delegating and assessing the quality of work of the wait staff.


-Administrative or managerial experience in a hotel or restaurant
-Previous work experience as a Maitre d’ in a cruise ship

Compensation for a Dining Room Manager is $2,600 – $4,000 a month DOE

Executive Chef

The Executive Chef is responsible for nearly every aspect of food onboard the ship. Ordering, quality control, disease and code regulations, some cooking and food preparation as well as overseeing kitchen staff are all responsibilities of the Executive Chef.


-Administrative experience
-Leadership skills
-Degree from an accredited culinary school
-Professional working experience and experience in kitchen management
-Knowledge of ordering and cost calculations on a large scale

Compensation for an Executive Chef is $3,000 – $4,000 a month

Food and Beverage Manager

A Food and Beverage Manager oversees the areas of the ship where food and beverages are served. Ordering in bulk, the food budget, calculations and costs on a large scale, working closely with other members of the kitchen staff and the quality of food onboard are all the responsibility of the Food and Beverage Manager.


-Administrative and managerial experience
-Food Handlers Health Certificate
-Experience in culinary arts
-Knowledge of up to day food and beverage laws and codes

Compensation for a Food and Beverage Manager is $3,000 -$4,000 a month

General Cook

A person in this role prepares and handles food for the cooking needs of the ship. The General Cook reports to his/her superior.


-Applicants with a degree from a culinary school are encouraged to apply
-Experience in the hospitality industry, work on a cruise ship is preferred
-Experience serving and prepping food on a large scale

Compensation for a General Cook is $1,800 – $2,000 a month

Gift Shop Manager

The Gift Shop Manager staffs and schedules the gift shop. Inventory, ordering, stocking, displays, retail and good customer service are all responsibilities of the Gift Shop Manager.


-Administrative skills and experience
-Managerial experience in a retail setting
-Customer service skills and sociable personality

Compensation for a Gift Shop Manager is $2,500 – $3,100 a month

Gift Shop Sales Assistant

This person assists the retail manager in his/her responsibilities. Staffing the gift shop, offering customer service, inventory, stock and retail are all included.


-Experience in retail

Compensation for a Gift Shop Sales Assistant is $1,600 – $2,000 a month

Hotel Manager

The responsibilities of the Hotel Manager are many. This person works closely and reports to the Captain about the state of the ship. Training and supervising hotel staff, working directly with guests to field questions and concerns all fall under the role of Hotel Manager. Most importantly the Hotel Manager works hard to ensure the quality of the ships environment is on par with the standards of the cruise line.


-Applicants with a degree in hospitality or management are encouraged to apply
-Working experience in a lesser role with similar responsibilities in a hotel
-Administrative and managerial experience with two years of work experience
-Organizational and communication skills

Compensation for a Hotel Manager is $4,000 – $5,000 a month DOE

IT Staff

Members of the IT staff are required to have a large knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. Implementing new systems and assisting the Computer Systems Manager are also the responsibility of members of the IT staff.


-A degree in Computer Science or related field
-Work experience in a similar role
-Communication and people skills
-Ability to work with Laymen

Compensation for IT staff is $4,000 – $6,000 a month DOE

Laundry Staff

Members of the laundry staff wash, dry, and dry-clean the laundry they gather from different areas on the ship.


-Willingness to train

Compensation for a Laundry Staff member is $700 – $900 a month.

Maitre d’ Hotel

The Maitre d’ on a cruise ship is a very important position onboard. The Maitre d’ offers the best quality dining service to passengers as is possible. Thus, the Maitre d’ trains the staff in correct serving techniques and high serving standards. He/She supervises the quality of the food and beverages to ensure they are up to standard.


-Applicants with a culinary degree or background are encouraged to apply
-Two to three years work experience as a Maitre d’ or as a server
-Hotel and hospitality experience
-Food Handlers Certificate
-Sociable personality and enthusiasm for working
-Managerial and Administrative skills

Compensation for a Maitre d’ is $3,000 – $3,500 a month DOE

Pastry Chef

The Pastry Chef is responsible for baking and preparing the many pastries onboard a cruise ship. In the case that the Pastry Chef has a staff, he/she would delegate and supervise responsibilities of those members and all would be responsible for presentation and display.


-A background in culinary arts
-Previous work on a cruise ship or hotel
-Previous experience working with large scale operations

Compensation for a Pastry Chef is $1,900 – $2,400 a month DOE

Program Coordinator

The Program Coordinator works with members of the performing staff on scheduling. He/She also writes the daily newsletter and makes updates to the ship’s intranet.


-Excellent written and verbal skills
-Computer skills

Compensation for a Program Coordinator is $1,800 – $2,400 a month

Purser Staff

Members of the Purser Staff are trained and well versed in immigration and customs laws, and are responsible for the ships documentation when traveling. They also handle passenger accounts, ship revenues and other financial matters onboard. They must be excellent with customers because they are often dealing in customer service, fielding questions and complaints with sensitive financial issues.


-Degrees in finance or accounting is preferred
-Previous work experience in the hospitality industry
-Excellent communication and working skills

Compensation for a member of the Purser Staff is $1,000 – $2,000 a month


Receptionists check passengers in and out during arrival and departure. They settle accounts at the end of the cruise and field questions and complaints.


-Good customer service skills
-Organizational and communication skills
-Previous work in the hospitality industry
-Knowledge of the functions of the cruise ship from an administrative standpoint

Compensation for a Receptionist is $1,800 – $2,400 a month

Sous Chef

A Sous Chef is an integral part of any functioning kitchen. A Sous Chef on a cruise ship works closely with the Executive Chef and prepares the food and the kitchen for the respective meals onboard.


-Work experience in a kitchen onboard a cruise ship or in a hotel
-Degree from a culinary school
-Managerial or Administrative service

Compensation for Sous Chef is $2,500 – $3,500 a month DOE

Wine Steward

The Wine Steward is the wine professional onboard the cruise ship. He/She often answers questions about wine history, making, products and vineyards. He/She also makes suggestions about wines for the menu and can make personal suggestions based on the needs of the passengers. The Wine Steward is highly knowledgeable and must work well with passengers.


-Proven experience in a four or five star establishment as a Sommelier
-Education experience in wine
-Sales skills

Compensation for a Wine Steward is $2,500 – $3,500 a month DOE

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