Monthly Archives: December 2015

Managing Time in Cruise Ship Kitchens

Most job profiles for cruise ship chef jobs request for the candidate to be proficient with time management. This is because the volumes of guests on board require for an almost constant stream of food making the rounds.

The basics of good individual time management skills on any cruise line job include the ability to handle many tasks simultaneously, set priorities and meet deadlines. This helps each member of the kitchen staff concentrate on his/her own responsibilities while at the same time being a cog in a well-oiled machine. Teamwork clearly goes a long way in keeping the kitchens on a cruise ship running smoothly.

In scenarios where thousands of guests are involved on a daily basis, decisions at the top have a trickle-down effect. Management begin with predicting the tastes that will dominate the cruise based on the type of passengers or food trends – for example Europeans prefer lighter wines, burgers and fries are popular midnight snacks. This means stocks can be ordered and prepared accordingly.

It also helps prepare a menu, planned well in advance of setting sail so that the kitchen staff know exactly what they are doing and when. Once the stores are bought, labelled and stocked, preparation and cooking are done in a quick, efficient, timely fashion. It is no mean feat to feed around 4,000-5,000 guests each day, with up to 20,000 meals!

Today, technology helps inform the kitchen how many passengers are eating and at which of their restaurants. With this, the staff can anticipate a rush and be better prepared to dish out meals quicker. To save time, the heads of the cruise ship kitchens design simple menus, for example, serving a single type of main of meat, poultry and seafood each. Cooks can then prepare food as the orders come in to reduce wastage.

Having many different kitchens specialising in various cuisines helps cooks concentrate on few jobs better. Some cruises like the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas have about 20 galleys, including a butcher shop. In each kitchen, work continues almost non-stop round the clock, with teams dedicated to a single job – cleaning and butchering meat, washing and cutting vegetables, making stocks, etc.

In cruise ship kitchens, being on time and efficient at work is imperative, since every minute wasted is a delayed meal.

Resumes: Your Ticket To Cruise Ship Jobs

Cruise ship jobs come with many perks, including good salaries and valuable experience. However, getting one is not a piece of cake. The first step to applying for a new job on the cruise lines is writing a good resume, or curriculum vitae as it is known in the UK.

Remember that cruise ship companies get thousands of applications every day, so making yours stand out can help you nail the job quicker than others. Most recruitment personnel do not have much time to look through lengthy, complicated information, and it works in your favour to keep your resume short, to the point and focused on the position you are applying for.

Writing short resumes does not mean leaving out sections of your qualifications or experience. It helps to consider that most recruitment personnel are busy and will avoid resumes in which they cannot find important information quickly. So keep your resume around one or two pages long depending on your experience and the position you are applying for. Accompany it with a polite, formal cover letter that briefly highlights your skills and qualifications, and if you are uploading it electronically, it’s best to save it in common file formats such as Microsoft Word (doc), or Adobe Acrobat (pdf).

Within the resume, include important information such as education, work experience and skills that relate to the position. Many kitchen-related cruise ship jobs are specific to a certain department – perhaps pastry or a certain type of cuisine. Highlighting information within that context that makes you stand apart – say an award or a challenging situation that you turned around – can set you apart from the other job applicants.

You should list your work experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the latest position you held, or the latest qualification you achieved. Knowing languages is an added advantage in cruise ship jobs and it helps to point out how fluent you are in each. It can also work to your advantage to include a short brief about the previous companies you worked for, particularly if they were local or not globally popular, such as indicating how many seats the restaurant had or the kind of cocktails served in the bar or if it was a specialty restaurant.

Do not forget to include achievements, particularly those related to the position you are applying for. It also helps to list out voluntary work that demonstrates relevant skills, such as team work or working to deadlines. Always include your contact details, and if requested, a professional formal photograph. Remember to double check for spelling errors before sending or printing your resume.