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How Women Over 50 Can Launch a New Career on Cruise Ships

Guest article by Jessica Suter

If you are thinking about a midlife career change and love travel, then why not consider working on a cruise ship?

Working on a cruise ship comes with the benefits of travel and new experiences. Women over the age of 50 can choose from a number of career options within the cruise industry. Careers for Travel explain what these jobs are and which skills you need to succeed.

Cruise Job Opportunities for Mature Women

The best career opportunities on cruise ships for women are the jobs that entitle the crewmember to have their own cabin, have flexible hours and have officer status (meaning more benefits). Here are some of those jobs.

Future Cruise Sales Manager – Each cruise ship has a person that is responsible for selling future cruises to the passengers. An understanding of the fleet’s itineraries, proven sales experience and public speaking skills are essential to landing such a cruise job.

Onboard Loyalty Manager – Cruise lines reward their past passengers with perks depending on the amount of times they’ve cruised before. The Onboard Loyalty Manager is responsible for organizing and hosting parties for these passengers as well as ensuring that passengers have received their entitled onboard benefits.

Port and Shopping Presenter – The Port and Shopping Presenter/Guide on a cruise ship educates the guests about where to shop while in port through entertaining shopping presentations. This job requires sales experience and public speaking skills.

Port or Enrichment Lecturer – Many women over the age of 50 make ideal enrichment lecturers and port lecturers (different than the port and shopping guide). Qualified candidates have the skills to educate and entertain simultaneously. Various cruise ships offer enrichment workshops in such topics as computers, ceramics, dance, as well as history and culture as it relates to the ship’s itinerary.

Other Officer Positions – Management positions such as Human Resource Manager, Training Manager, and Casino Manager are often filled by crewmembers promoted from within the cruise line. Fortunately, there are also occasions when a cruise line will hire people that have the required skills and experience and yet have no cruise ship experience.  Some other examples include doctors, nurses, dive instructors, golf instructors and art auctioneers.

There are plenty of entry level jobs on cruise ships that mature women may also be qualified for such as guest relations, gift shop associate, casino dealer, spa receptionist, photographer, and youth counsellor. But, you may want to consider that those types of cruise jobs require you to share a cabin with another crewmember.

What Skills Are Needed for Cruise Jobs

The cruise industry is highly competitive and only the most qualified candidates fill the positions. Understand how your prior work experience, skills, accomplishments, interests, and personality type are suited to a particular cruise job and then go for it.

Make sure your technological skills are current by keeping updated in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  In addition, promote the breadth of your experience as an expert problem solver as it relates to customers and colleagues.

How to Get Into the Cruise Industry

Although having the right skills and experience is required for any job that you apply for in the cruise industry, cruise employers have additional expectations, too. Recruiters want to make sure that the applicant is physically and mentally fit as well as embracing what living and working on a cruise ship is all about.

During an interview for a cruise job, the interviewer needs to confirm that the applicant has the energy and passion to work more than ten hours a day, seven days a week for six or more consecutive months. Additionally, will the applicant be able to be away from their home, family and friends without distractions? Furthermore, crewmembers are required to pass a Seafarers Medical (ENG1), ensuring that you are medically fit to work at sea.

For energetic women over the age of 50, working on a cruise ship is not only possible, but a career choice for women looking for travel, adventure and a lifestyle change.

Careers For Travel are specialists focused on delivering e-learn courses for people of all ages, nationalities and abilities who want to work in specific sectors of the travel industry.

For more information please visit: www.careersfortravel.com


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  1. Gerda Koegelenberg

    June 28, 2012

    I found your website on google and loved it. Its informative and proves that there is hope for a life after 50. I would dearly love to apply for a cruise ship job but I live in South Africa. Is that a problem? I excel in dealing with people! Have been doing telemarketing in insurance field very successfully, but would really prefer to do something more personalised and adventurous before I really am too old to enjoy it. On the hobby side, I love designing and making clothes and accessories, even shoes! But always end up wearing it, instead of selling it. Would really like to hear from you …

    • Jhan

      May 24, 2014

      Hi Gerda, i saw your post and see it is dated a few years back so hope you see this. I to am a South African and at the age where I need to do something different as my hubby works away and the kids all grown up. Did you have any success on the cruise ships. Would love to hear from you. Regards jhanlangley@gmail.com

  2. Linda G Shaw

    November 10, 2012



    Dear Sir/Madam


    My name is Linda G Shaw. I turned 50 years old this year
    *I am seeking work on International Cruise Liners working with Youth in any of the following nations – Namely:
    United Kingdom, European Continent, Australia, United States of America or Canada
    *Am also Teaching Basic Typing & Basic Computers up to Advanced Typing & Specialized Medical Typing – All on Computer
    *To Teach New Skills to Children from All Over The World is my Passion, if you would Please give me a Chance in doing this
    *Have No Experience working on cruise liners, But Am Willing To Learn!
    *I will forward my Resumè or Curriculum Vitae (ie. CV) to you On Request!


    Thanking you kindly

    Sincerely yours

    LINDA G SHAW.lgs

  3. valerie

    February 14, 2017

    My name is Valerie Appollis 51 years old in lived in South Africa all my lives working in retail for 27 years still do but know it is a time change for something knew really want to work and travel I am a hard working and will do anything work for a big company call Checkers been a money Market Clerk for this company for 27 years really wants a opportunity for doing this. I am capable of doing anything working in rooms a cleaner.

Reply to valerie

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