Category Archives: Cruise Ship Jobs

Cruise Ship Jobs: Pros and Cons

Cruise ship jobs: Pros and cons

Every job has aspects of it that you absolutely love and others that don’t appeal to you all that much. It’s the same case with cruise ship jobs, but compared to land-based employment, working at sea is quite different. Let’s look at a few advantages and disadvantages of cruise ship jobs.

PROS

savings

Savings

This is the single biggest advantage of working a cruise ship job, particularly for staff originating from developing countries. Cruise crew are mostly paid in dollars, and with excellent exchange rates, earnings are much higher compared to land-based jobs of the same position.

Additionally, almost all essentials are paid for on board, so you spend next to nothing getting by. You get free accommodation, food and medical insurance, low-cost laundry, communication, medicines, and even entertainment. Everything you earn can go straight to savings.

For someone starting out and looking to put together a chunk of money for something big, like a house, expensive medical treatment for a family member or even an advanced college degree, a cruise ship job is ideal.

Travel

Travel

Being moving hotels, cruise ships naturally call in at the most picturesque ports in the world. On one’s own steam, it would be difficult even imagining a holiday at places like St Maarten, the fjords of Norway or even the Arctic circle. But as part of the crew, you’ll have no choice but to travel to some of the most coveted holiday destinations in the world.

Many cruise ships have a dedicated crew manager who ensures that those off duty get a chance to tour the ports or call, often at a lesser fee than the tours for guests. Cruise ship jobs ensure your passport pages are filled with stamps that make your friends jealous.

Friendship

Friendship

People from around the world sign up for cruise ship jobs. So it’s only natural that you will meet and work with people of different nationalities. Working on a cruise ship offers opportunity to learn cultures and even languages of new friends from everywhere, from Scandinavia to Asia, Africa to Australasia, the Americas to the Middle East. It serves as an excellent way to widen perspectives and enrich lives.

CONS

Long Hours

Long hours

The service and hospitality industry is notorious for its long hours. Given the high standards and volume of guests on board a cruise line, 10-12 hour shifts are not uncommon. While the Maritime Labour Convention ensures a required amount of rest for all employees, there is no uncertainty about cruise ship jobs being long, hard work.

While on board, staff work seven days a week for the length of their contract, which ranges between four months for higher positions and up to eight months. This means not a single day of leave, unless you are ill, for the entire duration of your contract. Instead, you receive around four months off – unpaid – between contracts.

cabin quarters

Cabin quarters

Space is limited on board, and passengers obviously get preference. Crew must learn to live with at least one other person in a restricted space. The cabins are kitted with amenities, but they’re often just enough to get by. You’ll mostly find bunk or twin beds, small cupboards, a desk, small safe for valuables, telephone, DVD player and perhaps a mini fridge. It is certainly not spacious and will probably not compare to your room at home.

Cabins for crew are also below sea level, so there will be no view to look out at. There will probably be no porthole – or window – at all, which can be a problem for people with claustrophobia.

Family

Family

Due to their nature of being away at sea for months at a time, cruise ship jobs can affect family life. Depending on contracts, you are typically unsure of being at home for important occasions, events and festivals celebrated with family. Working parents may miss out on their children growing up, and youngsters may feel like they cannot spend enough time with ageing parents.

Wi-Fi connectivity on board has made this easier, but many suffer homesickness at least in the first few weeks of their cruise ship jobs, until they learn to adjust.

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Food of the Future – The Future of Culinary Education

Food of the Future - The Future of Culinary Education

At the current rate of growth, the cruise industry is expected to continue profiting well into the future. It is therefore no rocket science to assume that the demand for services, particularly cruise ship chefs who feed the thousands of passengers on board each year, will thrive alongside.

Still, novelty continues to attract patrons and the more innovative the service, the higher the expected returns. Cruise culinary education is part of this preparation for the future, empowering new chefs with thought processes that will stand them in good stead for the years to come.

As with other spheres of life, technology has also entered the kitchen, not restricting itself to equipment for the cook, but also extending itself to the guest. Already, wait staff on the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Of The Seas are robotic. Even the bartenders at the cruise liner’s Bionic Bar are mechanical. This means that cruise ship crew must be in a position to offer something more than a computer program that guides these robots.

Cruise culinary institutes can no longer be content with teaching students basic recipes and standard cocktails. While the foundation of cruise cooking must remain strong, education must also include ideation, creation and out-of-the-box thinking. So in a space where robotic bartenders or chefs make standard drinks, flesh-and-blood bar and kitchen staff can offer innovative, personalised dishes or cocktails while adding a human touch. Performance is still expected to win, so flair bartending, teppanyaki and open kitchens can continue to astound guests.

Technology is not all bad, however. New apps allow cruise management to understand performance to increase efficiency, or even allergens that affect guests. Tablets can help guests understand menus in their own time, particularly the history and construction of complex dishes or offer interactive, educational material about wine varietals.

All of this does not mean that technology will completely replace humans on board. Management is looking at an ideal balance between efficiency and a personal connection with the guests.

The food of the future on board will also follow land-based trends of putting a focus on local, sustainable cuisine. While global tastes will continue to prevail to offer guests as diverse a menu as possible, local ingredients available at ports of call are being used to add interesting twists to known flavours as well as improve efficiency and costs.

To feed this interest, culinary cruise institutes will need to broaden students’ perspectives of using local cuisines in innovative ways. It is obviously not be possible to touch on everything, given the wide distinction in cuisine styles over just a few kilometres, but the key is to whet curiosity for travel to very localised areas, research in dying recipes and subsequently innovation to reinvent the old for the new.

To equip students for the future, culinary cruise educators must focus on mixing technology with personalised service, innovation, and ‘glocal’ cuisine – global with a touch of the local. After all, the world is just one big village.

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Why uniforms are important for Cruise Ship Chefs

Chefs Uniforms

On board a cruise ship, chefs are most easily distinguished by their uniforms. Chef’s whites, as they are called, are one of the most recognised uniforms around the world. It sets them apart in the world of hospitality and lends a unique air of professionalism and respect to the wearer.

The first modern uniforms for chefs appeared somewhere in the 19th century, introduced by top chef of the time Marie-Antoine Carême. Toques, or chefs’ hats, were already being used with rumors suggesting that they became a trend after King Henry VIII beheaded his chef after he found hair in his soup.

Carême’s design for his chef’s uniform has not changed much over the years as the style served a more practical rather than fashionable purpose. He chose the colour white as it signified cleanliness, and on board a ship with space constraints, keeping uniforms impeccable is the mark of a good chef.

The main purpose of a chef’s jacket is to keep its wearer safe in a hot kitchen. The material is usually high quality, with cotton of double thickness and often fire resistant. On board a cruise ship, open flames are prohibited for safety reasons but that does not mean the uniform loses its purpose.

During service, it’s a rush to get food to patrons as quickly as possible and a small nudge could result in hot liquids spilling out of vessels. The thick uniform saves the chef from being scalded by boiling liquids and oils, and also from hot steam when a pot lid is suddenly lifted. It also offers a degree of safety against sharp tools like knives and peelers that could cause a health hazard should blood be spilled.

The jacket is also a nifty item when a chef happens to stain it. In a kitchen, it’s difficult to keep one’s uniform spotless all the time, but it could occur that a chef might need to meet a guest. Appearance is important, so with a traditional double-breasted jacket, the chef can quickly cover up in the event of a spill.

The jacket has two rows of buttons in front, so if the chef needs to leave the kitchen, all that needs to be done is to switch so that the clean layer is in front, and button up again.

Classical chef’s whites also consist of a white neck-tie or neckerchief that was originally meant to soak up sweat or wipe one’s face or forehead. Today, it’s often a fashion statement that completes the chef look.

In addition, chefs wear a white knee-length apron and a dish cloth. Trousers are mostly chequered so that stains are not easily visible, and loose-fitted for ease of movement. Shoes must be closed to protect the feet and have soles that offer sufficient grip so that the chef does not slip on spilled liquids. It’s important to wear the right shoes as chefs spend a lot of their day standing and this could cause health problems over time.

The toque is always white, unless it has been conferred on the chef by a guild for recognition of excellence, in which case it is black. Other than serving the purpose of keeping hair out of food, toques also prevent damage to hair caused by smoke and oil, as well as absorb perspiration from the forehead. Often, its height signifies the experience of the chef wearing it.

Put together, the chef’s uniform is a symbol of hard work, persistence and skill, and keeping it clean only proves his/her respect and passion for the job.

 

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How to Survive your First Cruise Ship Contract

ship crew

Working a cruise ship chef job is quite unlike anything you’ll find on land. Living and work conditions vary with each company but in general you’ll find similar situations across the board. On your first contract, it’s easy to get stressed with unfamiliar circumstances, but you will soon discover a method to the madness.

Overpacking

Before you even leave for your port of embarkation, you’ll have to pack your bags and former cruise ship employees have the ultimate advice: pack light, but include lots of white socks and underwear. This might seem like strange advice, but once on board you will find that it makes a lot of sense. Cabins are small, particularly for those lower in the hierarchy, so storing bulky suitcases are difficult. Shelf space is also limited. Crew are required to be in uniform – typically white – while on duty so the only clothes required are for the times you are free on board and in port. The white socks and underwear come in handy for hot days in the kitchen when you need to change often. However, do carry a sweater as the air-conditioning in crew areas where you might relax after hours often gets rather cold.

Contract & information

Once you arrive, you will be given your contract and information about the ship. It is imperative to read these very carefully so you are intimately aware of all the do’s and don’ts on board, and what standards and principles will govern you during the length of your contract. The initial few days of the job for first time cruise ship staff include orientation and training in things like safety and other aspects related to the job you will do on board.

Staff Only entryAlways remember the way to your cabin when it is shown to you, as without signs, many new employees find themselves wasting valuable time searching for what is now their home. Also note which areas are meant for staff and those where only guests and officers are allowed. Most cruise ship companies take engagement with guests very seriously.

Clean crew cabin

You will be required to keep your cabin clean at all times, so it helps to create a schedule with your roommate of how this will work. Additionally, it is possible to pay a cleaner a small amount each week to clean it for you. Cabin inspections occur every month so you must also ensure you know what is in your room. You can be in severe trouble if contraband items like drugs, candles, toasters are found in your cabin, even if it belongs to your roommate.

Crew laundry

Doing laundry is usually not accounted for when planning time off on first contracts, but this is important. Often, there’s just one or two laundry rooms so it’s imperative to hold out for as long as you can, and then always stick around the room when your clothes are in the machine. Theft of clothes, or rushed crew taking your load out and replacing it with theirs, is not unheard of.

Mobile & Computer

It helps to carry your mobile phone and laptop with you, along with chargers so you can take advantage of the heavily discounted crew Wi-Fi and internet facilities on board or get in touch with your family at free Wi-Fi spots at port. Saving movies or favourite TV shows on your laptop or hard drive can come in handy during off-duty hours when your roommate might be asleep and you do not want to switch on the cabin television.

employee relation

The most important tip to surviving your first contract is your relationships with the hundreds of colleagues and supervisors you will meet and engage with every day. With so many nationalities and personality types, it is difficult to judge immediately who will be a genuine friend. It is advisable to keep your cards close to your chest and make friends at a pace you are comfortable with. Getting into arguments or heated political debates are better attempted with good friends.

Your first contract will be a breeze if you always remember to work hard, be a good person to all on board, and always put the guest first.

Also read the ultimate guide to tackling seasickness here

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Learn & Earn: Why cruise kitchens are the quickest way to get ahead.

PacificRimDining_SevenSeas

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.

1024px-Seven_Seas_Voyager-Copenhagen

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Why choose a career as a cruise line chef?

Celebrity Cruise Chef

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.

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ACCLA Students Placed – February 2015

ACCLA Students Selected

 

Congratulations!! They have been placed on Oceania Cruises, Thomson Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Ships.

Our Executive Cruise Culinary Program 1st Batch students & Galley Utility 2nd & 3rd Batch Students selected on 02nd & 03rd February 2015 have been placed via the Recruitment Trip conducted by Kamaxi Overseas Consultants Goa.

The client, was extremely pleased with the quality of candidates presented for interviews from  ACCLA in the Goa office.

Congrats to the ACCLA Students! All the very best to all of you, Visitation, Manoj, Sujeet, Vishal, Sandesh, Glen, Laxmikant, Socorro, Job, Anthony, Josil, Sweat, Ancio, Josfon, Aashish, Meghashyam, Jonas, Arjun, Baptist, Vialli, Mustafa Shaikh, Stevan, Seby, Joseph, Melvin & Mustafa!

Come join our extremely successful, Executive Cruise Culinary Program or Galley Utility Operations ProgramContact us for more details.

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ACCLA Students Placed – November 2014

Congratulations!! 9 ACCLA students have been placed on Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Ships.

4 students from our Executive Cruise Culinary Program – 1st Batch & all 5 students from Galley Utility 1st Batch were selected on 24th November 2014 via the Recruitment Trip conducted by our sister company Kamaxi Overseas Consultants Goa.

The client, was extremely pleased with the quality of candidates presented for interviews from  ACCLA in the Goa office.

Congratulations to all the ACCLA selected students! All the very best to, Conceicao Niasso, Freddy Pereira, Cashbal Rodrigues, Joseph Ignattius, Zico Dmello, Cajetano Sequeira, Rollan Fernandes, Sebastian Mascarenhas & Nereus Barbosa!

Come join our extremely successful, Executive Cruise Culinary Program or Galley Utility Operations ProgramContact us for more details.

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ACCLA Students Placed – July 2014

Congratulations! They have been placed on an American Cruise Line, much before their course was completed! Our Executive Cruise Culinary Program 1st Batch students  selected on 24th July 2014. Awesome Work Boys! All the very best to all of you, Dip Thakur, Walter Godinho, Charles Fernandes, Broy Fernandes & Joffy!

Come join our extremely successful 100% assured placement, Cruise Culinary Chef 3 Month Course. Contact us for more details.

Cruise line career opportunities by Accla.

ACCLA Students Placed

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