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Cruise Ship Job: Training Specialist

As a training specialist on board a cruise ship, you will oversee and provide training to new and existing crew members about ship life, management, customer service, and ship familiarization, among many other trainings that somehow involve living and working on a cruise ship. Most of these trainings will touch base on very important aspects of working and living on a cruise ship. 

If you’re interested in working as a training specialist, on a cruise ship, read further as we will go through each requirement of the job as well as what you should expect for this very important position onboard.

What Does a Cruise Ship Job Training Specialist Do?

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Don’t worry, you won’t have to ask people to do jumping jacks =)

As a training specialist, the most important part of the job is going to be providing training to new hires as well as ongoing training for existing crew members. You will train, depending on ship size, between 600 to 1600 active crew members.

You will need to conduct training sessions for many different general courses for crew members from many different nationalities, where English might not be their first language. You will need to adapt your teaching methods to match that of the crew you will be training.

Examples of Training

Some examples of the courses that will be taught include:

  • Safety Training: This is a crucial training for all onboard staff to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members. Safety training includes emergency procedures, fire safety, evacuation drills, and first aid.
  • Hospitality Training: Cruise ship staff needs to provide top-notch customer service to ensure that passengers have a memorable experience onboard. Hospitality training includes learning how to greet passengers, handling customer complaints, and providing personalized service.
  • Sales Training: Many cruise ships have onboard shopping options, and the sales team needs to be trained in sales techniques, product knowledge, and customer service.
  • Language Training: Cruise ships employ staff from various countries, and language barriers can sometimes pose a challenge. Language training helps staff to communicate effectively with passengers and colleagues.
  • Environmental Training: Cruise ships have a significant impact on the environment, and it’s essential that staff members are aware of their environmental responsibilities. Environmental training includes waste management, water conservation, and energy efficiency.
  • Leadership Training: Cruise ship staff members may progress to leadership roles, and leadership training provides them with the skills they need to manage a team effectively.

These are just a few examples of the many onboard pieces of training offered on cruise ships. The exact training offered will depend on the cruise line and the specific job roles of the onboard staff

These training sessions are going to be completed using several different methods. You will need to be able to instruct people using computers, projectors, paper boards, and oral instructions. The object of the training programs is to ensure that all crew members learn and retain the knowledge that is being taught, to be able to apply to their jobs onboard.

You’re also going to be expected to learn fast when you’re provided with new instructional materials. You’ll need to utilize the resources that are available to you while also developing specialized training courses. All of this needs to be done while maintaining proper training records. Training specialists must follow all guidelines implemented by the shoreside team since these courses are mostly standard across the entire fleet but the way you teach those courses is up to you.

Providing Feedback is Essential

Feedback on blackboard
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Providing constructive criticism is another important function on the job. You need to be able to give people feedback on their performances and help them to improve. Providing coaching for people might wind up being necessary. You’ll also have to coordinate your efforts with different departmental trainers that are performing specific job-based training exercises.

What Are the Requirements of a Cruise Ship Training Specialist?

Requirements Training Specialist Cruise Ship
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If you wish to take one of these jobs, then you’ll need to make sure that you have a Bachelor’s degree or enough experience that is equivalent in the field of teaching, training, or development. Some type of teaching/training certificate may also be required and it should come from a reputable school or institution. Two years of teaching or training experience is also going to be required, so this shouldn’t be your first teaching or training job that you’re going for but don’t let that discourage you. If you feel you would be a great training specialist, go ahead and apply anyway.

To get this job, you’ll also need to have great skills when it comes to English since English is the main language on the majority of cruise lines. You’ll want to have the ability to write in a professional manner and you need to be able to speak clearly. Speaking more than one language is beneficial but not a requirement for this position.

Due to the technical aspects of the job, it’s also important to have a firm grasp of how to use Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Example Job Description:

Job Description Training Specialist
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


  • A minimum of two years of training and/or teaching experience in a business setting is required. Prior training experience in the hospitality industry is preferred.
  • Advanced level of English verbal and writing skills, including the proper use of English grammar is required.
  • Intermediate to Advanced knowledge and skills in typing and MS Office Suite software, especially Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, are required.


  • Bachelor’s degree (US system) or foreign equivalent in adult teaching/training/development or a related field is required.
  • Teaching certificate or trainer certification from a recognized educational institution and/or ESL Certification is preferred.
  • Position-specific STCW training from an accredited educational institution is required.

Source: NCL Careers

Salary Estimate

100 US Dollars
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Salaries can vary from company to company but you should expect to earn between $2,500 and $3,500 per month. The exact amount of money that you will earn is dependent on a couple of different factors. It depends on which cruise line you’re working for and the contract that you’ve worked out before accepting the job. Exact amounts may differ, but this is a good general estimate for the earning potential of this job. 

Keep in mind that while working on a cruise ship you will have no major expenses. If you are a saver type of person, you might be able to save a good chunk of money.  

If you want to learn more about salaries onboard, visit our post Money Matters

How Much Time Off Do I Get?

Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
What about spending your precious time off in Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda?

As a training specialist, you will most likely be able to create your own schedule to match your needs, but the majority of the training will be conducted on port days since these are the days that the crew is less busy. Sea days are very busy days and although you will be able to schedule training during sea days, expect to have to schedule some training on port days, which are not fun for you and the crew but might be necessary in order to reach your training goals and quota.

Benefits of the Position

Drink on the beach
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Besides being able to travel the world, your contracts normally last for somewhere between four and eight months. The position of training specialist is considered an officer title position, meaning that you will get your own room in the majority of the companies and have full access to the guest’s areas on the ship to enjoy on your time off. 

You also get to create your own schedule for the majority of the time. Although you are expected to work seven days a week with no days off, you can when possible, schedule your training to have some time off on your favorite port of call.  

Tips on How to Prepare for the Interview

Interview Sign
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Interviewing for this position should involve showcasing that you’re capable of instructing people. You want to be a person who is highly intelligent and also able to command a room full of adults. Be sure to show that you have the right personality to do this job, are patient and flexible. Being a personable individual is important, but it’s also imperative to be able to show the right leadership qualities when you’re placed in an important position of authority such as this.

It’s also smart to prepare information about your past job experiences. Try to get the dates right in your head and also try to remember specific situations that might relate to this job. It might help you to showcase why you’re a good choice for the position. Be confident and present your skills in an honest and open fashion.

Overall, working as a cruise onboard training specialist requires a high level of attention to detail, excellent communication and presentation skills, and a passion for training and development. It can be a rewarding career that allows you to make a significant impact on the onboard experience of both staff and passengers.

Final Words

I hope that after taking a look at the requirements for this job, you might be better prepared to take on this position. If you enjoy talking to people and are not afraid of standing out in the crowd, this position might be for you. Consider applying for if you feel qualified for it and good luck!

 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

― Dr. Seuss