When we talk about large cruise lines versus small cruise lines, what are we referring to? Not the size of the ships, but rather the amount of ships owned by a particular cruise line. If you are applying for a cruise ship job, it is always advantageous for you to know the size of the cruise line to which you are applying.
Cruise lines with large fleets mean that you have the opportunity to work on different cruise ships throughout your career. The larger the cruise line, the higher the chance for advancement.
But don't expect that all the ships in a fleet are identical. Older ships have fewer amenities for passengers and crew. On the other hand, the newer, bigger ships have all the bells and whistles.
But these ships are also busier and less intimate.
One example of a large cruise line with a varied fleet is Royal Caribbean International. With the addition of the Oasis of the Sea in December, the company now has six classes of cruise ships with a fleet of 21 vessels.
The Oasis of the Seas is the biggest of Royal Caribbean's ships at 220,000 tons, 5,400 guests and 1,650 crew members. But they also own older, smaller ships like the Monarch of the Seas, which was commissioned in 1991, and Legend of the Seas which only weights 70,000 tons.
In September 2009 Carnival Cruise Lines launched Carnival Dream, their biggest cruise ship to date; and in 2009, Royal Caribbean launched their biggest ship ever.
Those two ships alone will have generated more than 3,000 cruise ship jobs.
In fact, by the end of 2009, an extra 10,000 jobs were created by the launching of new ships during 2009.
However, not to worry, the boat (ship) hasn't left without you yet! In 2010, another 12,000 cruise ship jobs will be available due to the continuation of the building boom - positions such as guest services officers, gift shop staff, spa and salon staff, photographers, deck officers, IT personnel, cruise staff, youth counselors and many more.
The first ship to be launched for 2010 is the Costa Deliziosa in January, and there will be more than a dozen more cruise ships to debut throughout this year. Norwegian Cruise Lines will introduce their largest ship to date in June this year and Royal Caribbean will be launching the sister to the Oasis of the Seas in December 2010.
Small cruise line fleets have plenty of opportunities as well. For example, Disney Cruise Line currently has only two ships but by 2012 they will have four ships.
It is advisable to send your resume and cover letters to cruise lines in anticipation of the vacancies being posted for these new cruise ships.
Tip: It's a great idea to mention the fact that the cruise line is launching a new ship in your application correspondence. This demonstrates your specific interest in the cruise line you are applying to.
Neil Maxwell-Keys is a former crewmember, hiring expert and founder of WorkOnCruiseShips.com: a website dedicated to showing you how to realize your dream of landing cruise ship jobs. Get Neils *free* insider's report by visiting =>