Cruise Director Job Description

Cruise Director Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a cruise director. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a cruise director.


Who is a Cruise Director?

A cruise director is a senior officer in a high-ranking position on a cruise ship who is in charge of planning entertaining activities and events for the passengers. A cruise director oversees all aboard hospitality, entertainment, and social events. The cruise director is supported by a team of entertainment staff and he or she reports to the hotel director. He or she also has a deputy or assistant cruise director. As a cruise director, you are typically taken as the face of the cruise establishment. The tasks of a cruise director are essential to the success of every voyage. In essence, the cruise director is responsible for organizing all forms of onboard entertainment and activities.

The cruise director not only makes sure that all social and cultural events are adequately planned but often serves as the major informational resource for the passengers on the trip, ensuring that they have a good time. Ship directors frequently start in a support role, such as working as an assistant who is focused on a chosen number of cruise activities. This gives the inexperienced person some practice in organizing a variety of activities and services that contribute to what makes cruises so appealing and enjoyable for the paying passengers. It is common for new employees to work as part of the entertainment team or as an assistant to an experienced cruise director for several cruises. Applying learned skills while being closely supervised by an experienced expert during this time will greatly improve the skills required to become a successful cruise director.

In rare instances, a cruise line would demand that new hires attend training classes before being assigned to a cruise ship’s staff. The employee has the opportunity to master all the skills necessary to succeed as a cruise director throughout the training sessions. The training will cover a variety of fundamental methods used in all forms of customer service. Learning how to handle challenging customers, what to do if a guest is not enjoying an activity, and answering questions from passengers are all possible components of the curriculum. Dealing with last-minute changes to the cruise schedule is also included.

The cruise director has administrative and managerial responsibilities in addition to passenger and crew interaction, which makes up a large portion of their job. They must generally keep travel logs, noting the travel itinerary, significant events, and any mishaps, conflicts, or injuries. The cruise director’s duties include setting timetables, conducting reviews, and evaluating the performance of the employees. The cruise director is also responsible for planning the event and invoicing for the entertainment and activities. For support and guidance, the cruise director often reports back to corporate headquarters or the ship’s base. Cruise directors collaborate closely with other crew members to make sure that every journey is a success. Also, they usually serve as a point of contact for guests and the rest of the ship’s crew.

A career as a cruise director can be a good way to explore the world and make new friends. It’s also a great opportunity to discover new cultures and traditions. As a cruise director, you must have a thorough understanding of the place you will be sailing through, as well as the local way of life. Also, you must be fluent in many languages. You must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in tourism or hospitality management to work as a cruise director. Furthermore, you’ll need to have previous experience working in the travel sector. The careers of many cruise directors begin as waiters, bartenders, or concierges. Assistant cruise directors or activity coordinators are typically entry-level positions for cruise directors. They could advance to the post of cruise director with years of experience. Some cruise directors go on to work for cruise lines as entertainment directors or operations managers. Some people start their own cruise-planning companies.


Cruise Director Job Description

Below are the cruise director job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Cruise directors typically have a wide range of duties and responsibilities which can include the following:

  • Create and execute a thorough marketing strategy to advertise the cruise line’s name, goods, and services to current and potential customers.
  • Work with local tour companies to schedule shore excursions so that all hotel pickups and drops offs happen on time.
  • Act as the cruise line’s spokesperson and face by making entertaining announcements and remarks throughout the voyage.
  • Organize a range of onboard activities and events, such as game shows, dance parties, karaoke nights, and more.
  • Serve as master of ceremonies for special events including deck parties, port speeches, and black-tie banquets and galas.
  • Develop inventive strategies for entertaining visitors of all ages in conjunction with the entertainment department.
  • Establish trusting rapport with passengers and promote their involvement in onboard activities.
  • Address any issues or complaints from visitors in a timely, professional manner.
  • Aid in the creation and execution of marketing and advertising initiatives
  • Educate and manage a group of cruise staff members
  • Observe the departmental budget and keep costs in check.
  • Keep thorough records of participant feedback and survey responses from passengers.
  • Observe all company rules and regulations.
  • Ensure that all ship activities go without a hitch by working together with the captain and other crew.
  • Help travellers make reservations and with any other travel-related needs. Arrange entertainment for the ship, such as performances by comedians, musicians, and other entertainers.
  • Organize intricate events like mixers, cocktail parties, formal dinners, and other gatherings.
  • Manage the cruise line’s crew, including hiring new hires and educating current ones
  • Make plans for children’s programs, instruct children on how to utilize the pool or other facilities, or include them in other activities.
  • Oversee a group of employees who work in the ship’s culinary and beverage, entertainment, security, and housekeeping departments.



  • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality, tourism, or any other related discipline.
  • At least 3 years of working experience in the cruise industry in a customer service role.
  • Previous experience leading a team of workers.
  • Proven experience in managerial positions.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills.
  • Must have an outgoing personality and the ability to think fastly.
  • Ability to work long hours, including evenings and weekends
  • Attend to detail skills.
  • Bilingual skills can be a plus


Essential Skills

  • Leadership skills: Leadership skills enable cruise directors to manage a staff team and make sure that the entire team is cooperating adequately to deliver a great experience for their passengers. A cruise director can oversee the crew of the ship and make sure that they are adhering to corporate regulations and procedures with the aid of leadership skills.
  • Communication skills: Communication skills are essential because cruise directors engage in daily interactions between passengers, crew, and other staff members. They lead and inspire their teams by employing both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Additionally, they use their communication abilities to make and update timetables, organize activities, and respond to guest inquiries. Maintaining a positive workplace atmosphere also requires good communication skills. A cruise director may find it easier to manage their staff and keep everyone on goal if they can interact with their group efficiently.
  • Customer service skills: Since cruise directors frequently engage with passengers and represent the business that hired them, they must possess strong customer service skills. Customer service skills can help cruise directors give their passengers outstanding service, which might result in repeat business or referrals. Empathy is a quality of customer service, thus a cruise director who possesses it will be more sensitive to the demands and worries of passengers.
  • Organizational skills: Cruise directors often supervise many parts of a cruise’s operations, therefore they are required to be exceptionally organized. They could be in charge of organizing and planning events for both the passengers and the ship’s crew. When the ship is at a port, they could also be in charge of organizing shore excursions and other activities for the passengers.
  • Public speaking skills: The ability to speak to a group audience either face-to-face or over a microphone is known as public speaking skill. Public speaking is a crucial skill for cruise directors to possess because they would need to address sizable crowds of people frequently. They can be required to make presentations about the history of the cruise line, speak on safety precautions, or greet guests as they board the ship.
  • Teamwork skills: This skill is essential because the captain, the ship’s engineer, and a staff of waiters, bartenders, and other service personnel are typically on the cruise director’s group of teammates. By inspiring them, assigning duties, and giving helpful comments, cruise directors with strong teamwork capabilities can guide their teams to success.
  • Decision-making skills: Cruise directors need to be able to decide fast and with assurance. They frequently have to choose the best course of action given a circumstance, such as whether to alter itineraries or postpone activities because of bad weather. Additionally, cruise directors must act quickly to resolve any problems that occur on board their cruise ships. For instance, they must be aware of the first steps to take in an emergency to protect passengers.
  • Marketing and promotions skills: Expertise in marketing and advertising is essential for cruise directors. This is because they regularly collaborate with sales teams to boost ticket sales for a certain cruise line or location. They also need to understand how to advertise the cruise using digital platforms like social media, email marketing, and others. Finally, they could employ their marketing expertise to assist in organizing special events on board that entice patronage.
  • Budgeting skills: A cruise director must be able to plan and oversee event costs. Knowing how much money you need, where it’s coming from, and what your expected expenses are all part of budgeting skills. To stay within your budget, you must also know how to track your expenditures. A competent cruise director should be able to develop a budget for a planned event. This entails calculating your total expenses and the amount of funding you’ll need to raise to make it happen.
  • Crisis management skills: A cruise director will be in charge of making sure that the visitors have a good time on the ship. They must be capable of managing a crisis and making sure that everyone’s safety comes first. Additionally, they must be able to act swiftly in the event of any crises or natural calamities. This entails being aware of evacuation protocols and where all emergency gear is placed on board.


How to Become a Cruise Director

Step 1. Obtain education

The standard educational requirement for cruise directors is a high school diploma or GED. A bachelor’s degree in hospitality or a closely related profession may further be required for cruise directors. Some cruise directors seek to earn a degree in cruise management. You can enroll in programs at your city community college to get your high school certificate if you don’t already have one. Consider enrolling in high school courses that will help you get ready for the job. For instance, attending theatre and public speaking classes can be beneficial if you want to work as a cruise director.

Step 2. Acquire training

Before they start working on a ship, cruise lines train their staff members. Depending on the cruise line, this training often lasts one to three weeks and takes place in the corporate offices. New personnel learns about their position’s specific responsibilities as well as basic information about life on a cruise ship, such as safety procedures and how to interact with passengers, during this period. On-the-job training is generally provided for cruise directors. During their first few days on board, they might observe a cruise director or another member of the entertainment team. They might also attend a brief onboarding seminar as their type of instruction. The policies and procedures of the ship as well as the entertainment program are covered in this training.

Step 3. Pass a background check

All employees, including directors, must pass a background check before being hired by cruise lines. The National Crime Information Center database of the FBI which contains data on arrests and convictions for both felonies and misdemeanours is used for this background check. The cruise line may do extra background checks on its staff members, such as credit checks and drug tests. The training process usually includes drug testing, and credit checks are conducted to make sure crew members can make their bill payments on time.

Step 4. Acquire certification/licensure

Cruise directors need to acquire licensure to work on a cruise ship. To acquire certifications, requirements vary from state to state, hence an applicant needs to fulfill the requirements to qualify. However, some cruise lines may prefer their directors to hold certifications in first aid, lifeguarding, scuba diving, and other relevant skills.


Where to Work as a Cruise Director

Cruise directors typically work on cruise ships. Some of them start their career working in a hotel. They are can be employed in entertainment and recreation centres. Cruise directors work closely with the captain and other officers to make sure that all activities are conducted safely, successfully, and by the ship’s rules and regulations. Cruise directors also work with the ship’s staff to organize the activities of the various departments, such as the dining room, kitchen, and housekeeping. Cruise directors usually work long hours, often more than the standard working hours per week. They are also required to be on call 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.


Cruise Director Salary Scale

Cruise directors’ salaries vary depending on different factors such as level of education, years of experience, and the size and type of company they work for. The average salary of a Cruise Director is $62,093 in the US, but the salary range typically falls between $55,319 and $69,077 per year. The salaries of Cruise Directors in the UK range from £19,759 to £24,938, with a median salary of £21,503 per year. The base salary for a Cruise Director in Canada ranges from $55,319 to $69,077 with an average base salary of $62,093 per year. A person working as a Cruise Director in Nigeria earns around 5,050,000 NGN per year. This amount typically ranges from 3,298,000 NGN to 7,655,000 NGN per year.

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