Working on a cruise ship sounds like a glamorous job, and the holiday lifestyle can be appealing, but cruise representatives must work hard to make sure all the guests also enjoy themselves. Cruise representatives are also called cruise hosts, and these job titles reflect the main duties -- representing the cruise company to their customers and organising onboard entertainment. No qualifications are required, but an outgoing personality and good physical fitness are essential.
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Cruise ship representatives or hosts are the main contact point for passengers. They greet passengers when they first come aboard and are responsible for making sure guests enjoy their trip. As representatives of the cruise company, good social skills and a calm and professional manner are required, because cruise hosts are usually the first person that passengers go to with an enquiry or problem. Cruise passengers must always have a friendly and familiar person available to listen to a complaint or just to chat, so cruise representatives are never off duty.
Entertaining passengers is a major part of the cruise representative role. Dancing with single ladies from five o'clock to midnight, seven days a week is one possible cruise representative duty. Other cruise hosts put on performances, offer dancing lessons and organise activities such as quizzes, games, arts and crafts, karaoke and pool games. Stamina and a sense of fun are needed to provide hours of entertainment for passengers. At the same time, cruise representatives have to know where to draw the line between social banter and deeper personal relationships. Over-familiarity or favouritism with passengers isn't allowed, so hosts must know how to turn down passengers' overtures graciously.
Cruise representatives are responsible for some passenger administration duties. Passengers often take excursions while the ship is in port, and cruise representatives may need to be present while they disembark, to make sure each person knows all information relevant to their trip. This process can take up to two hours. Cruise staff can also be called on to perform whatever duties are needed for the ship to function efficiently.
Working conditions for cruise representatives can be challenging. There are no days off for the duration of the cruise, and while representatives have some free time during the day, evening duties often don't finish until midnight or later. Cruise hosts must also share accommodation with another member of staff and always present a happy face to passengers, even when they aren't feeling their best. However, many representatives enjoy the social aspect of the job and the opportunity to visit a range of foreign countries, and food and accommodation while working are free.
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