The main areas that employers usually consider in addition to job experience and qualifications when hiring for cruise ship staff are age, English communication skills, and background. The applicant must be within the age range, usually from 21 to 35 years old, but the range varies depending on the job and the company. The applicant must also be able to communicate well in English and should not have a criminal record.
Most cruise lines and agencies assign 21 as the minimum age required to work onboard. However, there have been instances where crew members under the age of 21 have been accepted, provided that they are not minors. The age requirement primarily depends on the department the applicant will be working under if hired. For example, food and beverage crew and casino department staff are all at least 21 years old due to it being the minimum age required to legally serve alcoholic drinks and gamble. In other departments where no such requirement exists, applicants younger than 21 may be considered based on their level of maturity and responsibility. Cruise lines usually also implement a maximum age, for medical and fitness reasons. However, some cruise jobs are better suited for older applicants, so the maximum age requirement depends on the job type as well.
It is also important that the applicant has a working knowledge of the English language, as it is the language used by the major cruise lines, as well as their passengers. This is especially important for guest relations positions.
Finally, cruise employers usually require proof that the applicant has no criminal background or history, such as a police clearance or certificate.