If you are giving serious thought to whether work on a cruise ship would be an advantageous vocational path for you to pursue, you have probably asked yourself what type of educational options would help enhance your job marketability. While there are a plethora of different educational programs and degrees that you could obtain to make yourself a marketable job candidate within the cruise ship sector, opting to attain a hospitality degree could be particularly advantageous. By considering the information listed below, you can make an informed decision regarding whether obtaining a hospitality degree would be advantageous or ideal for you. 

Cruiseships-A Brief Overview

A cruise ship is a passenger ship that is used for vacation or “pleasure” voyages. The trip or voyage as well as the amenities offered by the ship are part of the experience, and transportation is not the primary purpose. For this reason, cruiseships often offer “nowhere voyages” or “cruises to nowhere” in which the ship makes 2-3 day trips with no final or ultimate destination. There are a plethora of jobs that an individual could obtain with a cruiseship, as they typically have the following departments: Deck Department, Engine Department, Hotel Operations Department, Food and Beverage Department, Housekeeping Department, Beauty Salon Department, and Casino Department.

Hospitality Degrees-The Basics

Although broadly defined, a hospitality degree is basically a degree program that enables students to take courses pertaining to hospitality in hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, amusement parks, destination marketing organization, convention centers, and country clubs. Some of the subjects a student can expect to study while attaining a hospitality degree include business, finance, accounting, information systems, marketing, human resource management, public relations, strategy, and quantitative methods. While enrolled in a hospitality program, students can expect to learn about hotel and tourism management, hotel administration, and hotel management.

Why Hospitality Degrees Are Advantageous For Cruiseship Workers

If you are attempting to determine what type of educational path would best prepare you to work on a cruiseship, you should definitely keep a hospitality degree in mind. Because cruiseship work falls under the category of leisure and service-providing industries, attaining a degree in hospitality would be a great way to gain the education and experience necessary to excel within the field. This is especially the case if you’re interested in employment as a food service manager, receptionist, aerobics or fitness instructor, floor supervisor, guest entertainer, or gift shop manager. Each of these jobs necessitates the development and implementation of interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, both of which are integral to the coursework one takes when earning a hospitality degree. The aforementioned jobs can also offer competitive salaries. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a food service manager earns an average of $47,960 annually. Additionally, the aforementioned jobs generally do not require a degree, meaning that individuals who have earned one are often more likely to obtain positions than those who have not.

Other Considerations

While earning a hospitality degree can be a great decision for some individuals who want to work on a cruiseship, it is certainly not ideal for all positions. For example, if an individual has decided to pursue a career as deck officer or chief engineer, the skill set attained through the hospitality degree will not be enough to help you excel within your chosen sector. Since this is the case, it is important that you think critically about which type of work on a cruiseship you’d like to do before deciding whether to pursue a degree in hospitality.


To learn more about employment on a cruise ship, take a look at this article on “10 Most Incredible Cruise Ship Designs“.