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From Ship to Shore: The Unique Qualities Former Cruise Crew Bring to Land-Based Jobs

Updated: Oct 27, 2023


Are you a former cruise ship crew member setting sail for new career horizons on land? The transition from a life at sea to stable onshore employment can be an exciting but challenging journey. Yet, there's something that sets you apart in the job market - the unique qualities and experiences you gained while working on a cruise ship. In this article, we'll explore how to leverage your cruise ship background effectively to excel in interviews and on the job.


Leveraging Your Experiences


One of the most significant advantages of being a former cruise ship crew member is the wealth of experiences gained at sea. These experiences are often an untapped resource when it comes to job interviews and on-the-job performance.


  • International Etiquette: Cruise ship crew members are experts in international etiquette, having interacted with passengers and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. This skill is particularly valuable in roles that require interactions with clients or colleagues from different cultures.

  • Crisis Management: Life onboard a cruise ship involves dealing with unexpected challenges, from medical emergencies to adverse weather conditions. Your experience in crisis management demonstrates your composure under pressure and problem-solving skills.

  • Language Proficiency: Multilingualism is a common skill among former cruise crew, yet not one in the job market. Fluency in multiple languages can open doors in industries like hospitality, customer service, and international business.

  • Cultural Competence: Understanding and respecting different cultures is essential in many land-based roles, especially those involving customer interaction. Your experience in bridging cultural gaps is a significant advantage that you should highlight in your resume and interviews.

  • Networking and Industry Connections: Working on a cruise ship exposes you to a vast network of people and opportunities. The ability to build relationships and leverage industry connections is a skill that can benefit you in various onshore careers.


Showcase Your Story


Your story is a powerful tool during interviews. Emphasize how your experiences at sea have shaped your skills and work ethic. Describe how maritime discipline, punctuality, and adaptability have become second nature to you.


Crafting a Standout Resume


A well-crafted resume is your ticket to getting noticed by potential employers. Consider including these key elements:


  • Highlight Unique Skills: Create a dedicated section in your resume to showcase skills gained from your time at sea. These skills can the skills we mentioned above - crisis management, conflict resolution, customer service excellence, and adaptability.

  • Quantifying Achievements: Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. Did you receive awards for exceptional service? Have you improved guest satisfaction ratings? Mention it, but be specific!

  • Pillars of Your Personal Branding: Your cruise ship experiences have shaped your unique personal brand. Use this branding to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Emphasize qualities like resilience, teamwork, and global awareness.


Showcase Your Story


Include anecdotes that illustrate how you've handled challenging situations effectively.


Craft these stories in a way that highlights your growth and adaptability. For example, turning a difficult situation into a positive outcome can showcase your problem-solving skills.


  • Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Many former cruise crew members have faced difficult situations at sea, from medical emergencies to inclement weather. Craft your story around how you turned these challenges into opportunities for personal and professional growth.

  • Military-Grade Punctuality: Working on a cruise ship often requires military-grade punctuality. Emphasize your ability to be on time and prepared, a quality that can be highly valued in many onshore roles.

  • Superhuman Crisis Management: Dealing with crises on a cruise ship can make you look like a superhuman in the eyes of potential employers. Share stories of how you handled difficult situations and found solutions under pressure.


Transitioning from a cruise ship career to land-based employment may seem like a significant change, but it's one filled with promise. Former crew members bring a remarkable set of skills, experiences, and stories to the onshore job market. By effectively identifying and showcasing these qualities, they can make a seamless transition and set sail toward a successful land-based career.


Remember, your journey from ship to shore is a story worth telling — a story of adaptability, resilience, and a commitment to personal growth. Use this story to your advantage, and you'll find that your unique qualities are your greatest assets in the onshore job market.


Remember that you can also catch the replay of the webinar video on YouTube for a deeper dive into the insights we shared.



Don't forget to sign up on our Candidate Portal! This way, you'll be the first to hear about exciting job opportunities as soon as they set sail.




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