Career guidance for the youth – An article published on Times of India.
With the onset of the monsoon in Goa enthusiastic students are surfing the internet or have their eyes peeled at several newspapers for updates regarding job opportunities.
There are many careers that offer opportunities to learn on the job, but none as intensive, cost-effective or quick as cruise ship jobs. It generally takes years for a confident, hard-working and forward-thinking employee to get ahead, but on a cruise line, passenger volumes and restaurant diversities ensure unmatched career experience in much less time.
With fresh produce hundreds of miles away and no chance to ‘pop to the grocery store’ for emergency ingredients, cruise line chefs learn quickly how to prepare ahead and make do in times of need. Menus may be planned months in advance but knowledge of great deals and where to get the best ingredients helps keep cruise ship passengers happy.
This means that cruise ship jobs can be great lessons not only in the culinary arts,but also geography, world markets and business. This means knowing it’s better to buy mussels in New Zealand and oysters in Sydney, understanding that short cruises encourage passengers to eat more than usual, or figuring out that Chinese travellers prefer meals to snacks and that Spanish guests opt for a lot more fruit, bread and cheese.
And contrary to regular careers where learning comes with a price tag, cruise jobs allow you to earn while you learn. Positions come in a variety of culinary sub-sectors and include range chefs, commis, demi-chefs de partie, chefs de partie, sous-chefs, executive sous-chefs and executive chefs.
With food and accommodation provided free, cruise ship salaries allow for immense savings. While they differ depending on the company, they are all in enviable ranges, from US$900-1200 (approx. INR 57,000-76,000) for crew cooks or pastry trainees to US$4500-7800 (approx. INR 286,000-496,000) for executive chefs or chefs de cuisine per month.
Cruise Lines International Association earlier forecast that 23 million passengers would sail in 2015, up four per cent from last year, proving a continuing rise. The industry itself supported nearly 900,000 jobs and contributed $38 billion in wages. Moreover, cruise ships are now looking eastward to destinations such as Asia and Australia, and focusing on new passenger-based innovations such as theme cruises and ‘foodcations’.
The market is ripe for you to enter the exciting world of cruise ship kitchens where learning and earning are two sides of the same coin.
How do you do what you love, see the world and get paid for it? We could say join a travel show, but everyone knows that’s hard enough. Instead, cruise ship jobs prove the ideal match between exciting opportunities available and lucrative remuneration.
Cruise Ship Jobs Network believes there are 400,000 jobs available on cruise ships, with wages totalling up to $6 billion. Many of these vacancies are to be filled in by cruise chefs, who keep the thousands of holiday makers on board fed and happy.
And with the worldwide cruise market increasing 6.9 per cent to an estimated value of $39.6 billion with forecasted increase, there is no dearth of employment opportunities. For those interested in perfecting the culinary arts while traveling the world, cruise ship jobs are the way to go.
With food, accommodation and entertainment provided for free, you can save a lot of money. But what you gain in experience as a cruise ship chef is immeasurable. Depending on the size, cruise ships can carry passengers numbering from a hundred to as many as 5,000 or more. As the chef or part of the culinary team, you will need to ensure that all these people are fed interesting food, all the time. This means non-stop learning with dozens of recipes, large volumes and efficient cooking techniques.
To give passengers endless choice, cruise lines offer specialty restaurants and could run more than a dozen eating outlets on a single ship. So if you think you want to hone those sushi slicing skills or show off your knowledge of wines, there’s always something to choose from. Even food carving and decoration makes it to the list of cruise ship jobs.
Thanks to the volume of food required on the go, most cruise lines opt to make food – like bread, pralines, stocks and even ice cream – in the kitchens from scratch. This allows you to gain experience in the basics before working your way up.
Being a cruise line chef requires quick thinking, dedication and stamina, but once you’re out there, you find life gets more delightful every day.