Career Tips

Cruise Ship Jobs: How to apply and get hired real quick


Who would not love to travel beautiful places around the globe?

Who would not be interested to travel while onboard a fantastic cruise ship, you make a mint?

Hey, hey, we do and we think of you, and your ultimate dream in life too!

Like what many of our readers shared us, perhaps the promising salary, adventure, and career growth have been your top reasons why you want to work in a cruise ship.

Oh well, read-on to know how you can jumpstart your seafaring career anytime soon!

No hocus-pocus

You might hear from other people that you have to have a ‘backer’ or a ‘padulas’ in one recruitment agency.

We will be honest. If you knew one recruiter whom at the same time, a close friend, relative or a colleague of yours. He can be the wind beneath your wings – he can be your ‘backer’.

Meanwhile, if you are rich and you think like a corrupt politician, you can bribe the recruiter.

A strong backer or bribe money can shorten your agony of waiting to be shortlisted. Heaven sweet, right?

However, we would like to remind you that if you want to be successful, you must be willing to walk alone. If you want to be strong, you must learn how to fight alone.

In addition, did you know that legit recruiters collect no agency fees from their applicants? Yes, they do.

Unfortunately, corrupt manning agencies exist in our country. The more you feed their desire to milk money from job seekers like you; they tend to be more abusive. In fact, when someone asks money from you in exchange of a promising job, it is the first sign to investigate him for he might be an illegal recruiter.

These kind of people do not deserve our support, and our hard-earned moneys. Not to mention that they must be reported to the proper authorities.

On this point, we hope to clear your doubts that you cannot work in a cruise ship unless you have a ‘backer’ and/or ‘padulas’ to the agency. You do not need one. You just have to set a goal and work hard to fulfil it.

Secure your spot

Since there are many Filipinos seeking for cruise ship jobs, the competition to be hired is likely stiff.

Recruiters hire the cream of the crop. Are you competitive enough to win their trust?

If you are not sure of your answer, let us motivate you to improve yourself.

Be your own hero

On why they did not change for the better, some people were afraid to go out of their comfort zones while others kept on blaming the unfair treatment of their surroundings. They live in a world they own but they cannot even control its turn. If you are one of them, it is not yet too late to unleash the superhero in you.

The world is a battlefield and your greatest competitor here is none other than but yourself. Every day is a struggle to grow for our life, as one good friend has reminded us, is always under construction.

The common traits successful people possess are confidence, character and charisma. We highly encourage you to fly high with these men of values.

Becoming confident

As an applicant, you have to show confidence at all levels. Remember, you will be a crew of an international cruise ship. You will later on face rich foreign people, and have to serve them confidently with a humble heart.

One way to be confident at work is by becoming competent. Have you gained enough work experience yet?

Local recruiters for big cruise companies Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines, among others, require at least one or more years of work or sometimes any related experience gained from high-end hotels, restaurants, casinos & resorts, etc.

We talked with one recruitment specialist friend working at UPL, the local recruiter for Carnival and NCL. He shared us that the applicant’s On-the-job training (OJT) and/or short training courses attended could not replace the mega value of an experience passionately earned at work for years. Mind as well that the work or related experience you write in your resume should not be more than 2 years ago.

If you do not have any commendable work experience yet, we encourage you to earn it for a while before moving on the second step.

Get set to sail

A recruiter may accept applicants without travel documents and training certificates yet. This is a special case, for example, of those applicants who have gained outstanding work experience and that the agency highly needs them. The agency agrees that the ‘follow-up’ of the applicants’ missing requirements ensue upon initial recruitment.

Commonly, recruiters prefer applicants who are travel ready, and have earned maritime training certificates applicable for cruise ship workers. This means that you have to own a valid passport, seaman’s book and be registered as a seafarer in POEA. Several recruiters point out that  your passport and seaman’s book when you apply should be 1 to 1.5 years before it expires.

Here’s a list of requirements and how to get/renew a passport , seaman’s book and seafarer’s registration number.

Speaking of becoming a sea-based worker, these maritime courses are required if you want to work in a passenger ship.
a. Basic Training (BT)
b. Seafarer’s with Designated Security Duties
c. Crowd Management
d. Crisis Management (For supervisory position)

For the duration, purpose and other details of these trainings, read this blogpost.

We commonly observe that applicants without work experience yet have taken the trainings above. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with it but the training certificates they get expire in five years time.

If you were not hired because you still lack work experience close to or five years since you were trained, you have to retake such training. That’s what we mean above that before you take this step, we suggest that you comply with the required work experience first.

Licensed recruiters


There’s a lot of manning agencies around the Philippines where you can submit your CV. In response to your application, expect that they will conduct a thorough bio-data screening, interviews, and character checking. This is the normal process of recruitment in our country.

To prevent future problems, we urge you to apply only in a Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA)-licensed recruitment agency. You can check here if the agency you’re dealing with has been permitted by the POEA to operate.

As far as our knowledge is concerned, below agencies are reputable and likely worth mentioning in The Republic. If you have work experience, are travel ready and certified, you may now apply ‘walk-in’ or online to whichever agency you like!

Legit recruiters based in Manila

Check our list of recruitment agencies.

If your resume fits with the position you have applied for, the recruiter will then schedule you for a job interview. On this next stage, get ready to show off your charisma.

We will give more tips on how to write, and prepare for the interview in our next blog posts. So make sure you follow us.

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Don’t give-up

You may have come a long way in your quest to secure a cruise job but the tides of bad luck swept you away from your port of success. No agency has scheduled you for an interview yet or you weren’t able to pass the screening process. For these reasons, you feel hopeless and about to quit.

Okay, take a break but keep your head above the water.

As a line in one favorite poem of ours says, “Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!”

We knew a lot of people who failed at their first attempts but they never gave-up. One of our friends told us that it took him ten years before he was finally accepted as a photographer. In ten years time, he annually submits his resume on the same agency which hired him. He did it while gaining work experience here and abroad. See what a goal-driven applicant is willing to do?

If any storm delays your trip, patiently wait until it’s over. You can always sail again to reach your ultimate destination in life. Renew your hope, and learn how to bounce back every time you fall.

How do you find our suggestions?

Share us your experience applying for a cruise ship job.

We would love to hear from you!


62 replies »

  1. Many thanks po sa mga advices, it really encouraged me to continue my dreams even though im still on the process, i have no experience yet,next year pa ako gagraduate(2017) but i will work harder, in order to achieve my dreams to become successful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a inspiring words.To all aspiring seafearers patience is a vertue..someday somehow God will answer our Dreams and prayer.thank you.for this advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just wanna thanks to the people behind this blog , to the people who give me more inspiration to keep dreaming and work hard to achieve my goals in life ..

    I am a high school graduate but working in an italian restaurant in riyadh for since 2014 up to this day and planning to work on cruise 🚢 in the near god’s willing i know he is alwaya there for me. I know 50% is my chances due to my educational background but i still believe that i can make it..

    AIM HIGH AND HIT THE MARK.. keep dreaming because dreams do come true ..

    Thanks again for motivating me ..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Im mr.milkey im dreaming also to work on board someday if i finish my experience here in abroad this my firstime to work as a dishwasher befor and now promoted tobe a bartender…life is harder wat i expect but all i accept….because of dreming to work on board someday….


  5. Grabi nakaka inspired lahat bg nabasa ko dito talagang totoong mang yayare. Isa po ako sa umaasa na maka sampa ng barko someday. Salamat po sa blog nyo at nabigyan ako ng idea at naliwanagan ang pag iisip ko. Goodbless po sainyo!👆


  6. Thank you for that inspiring messages to all people who dreams to be in a Cruise Ship, and Yes I really feel motivated since I decided to apply in some Agencies. I am still waiting for a Principal Interview in Star Cruises which I applied as a Massages Therapist, But I feel unlucky not to be called for the Principal since I was applied. And I decided to change the position but they need the experience where is different my past job. And while I’m waiting for a call from my position as Massage Therapist, I am now working now at Sofitel Philippine Plaza as Public Attendant. I do anything, any job for me to be in Cruise Ship oneday! I hope this would be better to get me in or hired!


  7. Thank you for that inspiring messages to all people who dreams to be in a Cruise Ship, and Yes I really feel motivated since I decided to apply in some Agencies. I am still waiting for a Principal Interview in Star Cruises which I applied as a Massages Therapist, But I feel unlucky not to be called for the Principal since I was applied. And I decided to change the position but they need the experience where is different my past job. And while I’m waiting for a call from my position as Massage Therapist, I am now working now at Sofitel Philippine Plaza as Public Attendant. I do anything, any job for me to be in Cruise Ship oneday! I hope this would be better to get me in or hired! I have all the documents, Passport, Seamansbook, BT, COP. That’s why it’s my dream to be!


  8. Baka po needed parin referral po. Peru thanks anyways for the info. 2015 pa aku grad peru wala parin akung experience. Bsmt grad po ako. Any shipping companies po na tumatangap ng with no experience po?


  9. good day sana nmn po may mag reply. nag start po akong mag apply last year eh hanggang ngayon po nirereject nila ako may experience nmn po ako sa mga 5star hotels sa uae. nag resign ako sa uae 2015 ng dec. sa tingin ko po ang nang yayari dito ay kakaiba iba ang tinitingnan sa tinititigan.discrimination po b tau sa pinas.halos yata pinasahan ko ng cv. sabe daw tatawgan. but till now nag iintay ata ako sa wla. hanggang ilang taon po b ang ang edad ng mga nkakasampa sa barko. at kinakailangan po b n mag trabaho ulit ako para mag ka experienve ako its was so confusing.may chance pa po ba ako oh wla na? matagal ko nang pangangarap mkapag barko. sana po may responce po kau maraming salamt po. godbless po.


  10. thank u very much for this kind gifts of information to us as a aspiring seafarer who wants to fullfil of our dreams to come true in gods grace


  11. Nakita ko na tong post na to before, nung nag a apply palang ako, and now waiting nako for medical ko then us visa. May joining date nden. Malaking tulong to para sa mga aspiring seafarer gaya ko.


  12. thank you poh sa page na ito sobrang lalo poh akong ginaganagahan para makamot ang pangarap ko marame poh akong natutunan sa page na ito at salamat sa WPCS nmen n grouo s ptuloy n ngbbgay ng pagasa sameng mga newbie or first timer sna kung my pagkakataon s paguwe q sna makilala
    ko in person ang iba dito..s naun poh nandito p aq s dubai pauwe n din poh ako naung JUN..maraming slamat poh ulit s page na ito

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Salamat po,malaking tulong sa aming mga nangangarap mgbarko ang mga impormasyon na naibigay nyo po.Always think positive.


  14. hi sir ask ko ang work ko dati sales coordinator for 20 years sa SM, Puregold company ko dati foodsphere inc at 42years old na ako pwedi ba sa sampa sa barko may BT na rin ako at Seamans book thanks po sa magrereply..


    • hello admin..thank you for some information..we learned a lot from your noreen presently work here in saudi arabia as janitress/housekeeping and also willing and to enhance my of my dream is to work in cruiseship and im very happy that you are our way how to apply,to learn and to pursue our dreams…thank you and have a nice day!!!


  15. To the creator of this blog,I have learned a thank you so I am willing to pursue my dreams,to rich the goal of success. Now I just started to collect all the requirements needed to apply.I hope that God will be beside me all the time to guide.and I hope when I apply i’m Hopping to be hired.God bless us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. kudosss!! blogger.. you made a pleasant information for those who want to be a seafarer like me.more inspiring message sir. thank you for the effort. keepsafe always and godbless. see you around 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good day i am so happy while i see all the picrure..i have a dreams that someday.i am their in shep also my with my dreams.i am waiting that god he give us with me…my pasion of my life..thats fod and have a bless day the all worker’s in the shep god bless all..


  18. I think I should continue my dream to work in a cruise ship .As you said nothing is impossible. I’m just 21 but I’m already here abroad trying to gain experience,after I finish my contract here in Dubai I will start getting those trainings. Thank you for the inspiring message as well as those informations that can really help. kudos! God be with us always!


  19. Hi possible po ba mag apply kahit wala pang training certificate and seaman’s book? Gusto ko po sana itry mag apply sa cruise ship


  20. Oh! This blog is a big help for as aspiring seafarers. Thank you for sharing. Btw sir, I’d like to ask coz’ Im a newbie here and I enrolled BT in Magsaysay. Planning also to take that “A-D” trainings was mentioned in your blog. After all these trainings. What can be the position for me? I honestly have no hotel/restaurants experience. I was a Graphic Artist-Marketing-Advertising for 3 years. And I’d like to go work on A cruise ship this time. What can you suggest? Thank you in advance for answering. God bless


  21. this blog is very helpful to us especially for those who are determined and have plans to work onboard.Thank you very much! Mabuhay ang mga Mandaragat!


  22. I am assistant restaurant manager at in reputable quick service restaurant. I applied for utility provision trainee but sadly i was not consider by one of the leading cruise line. Im still hoping that i can get the job to fullfil my dreams.


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