We get many questions as to the process of getting hired on cruise ships, so we thought we would write this post to help clarify. The first step is to read the entire webpage. there is a ton of information and you can get a sense of the incredible opportunity this career offers.
first, submit your CV, with a portfolio of about 10 photographs with settings (aperture and shutter).
If you pass this round you will be required to do an online test. This test gauges personality, and how you handle pressure.
Next is a Skype interview with the Miami head office at a scheduled time. It goes without saying you need o be presentable, and especially timeous.
Almost there! Twice, maybe three times a year the hiring Director from Image Photo Services comes to South Africa (Cape Town or Johannesburg) to conduct a hiring session which is usually 2/3 days. You will be required t attend. If it means you need to travel to Cape Town or Johannesburg this will have to be at your own expense. This is the final step, and you will be informed within a week if you have been successful or not with your application.
You made it! You have been accepted, now what? Next step is to get your medical by an Image approved Doctor – we will advise you where this is. Unfortunately your personal GP is insufficient (usually). It is very thorough and is examined very closely. The medical is for your own expense and Image and Seven Seas Photo cannot be help responsible if your application is denied on medical grounds.
You have passed the medical, now you need a USA Seamans Visa. You will be provided with a Letter of Employment and guided in the right direction to obtain your Visa at the USA embassy. This is also for your own account and you usually get a 5 or 10 year Visa. Again, we cannot be held responsible if your Visa is declined.
Finer details like a Nikon camera body, uniform are now taken into consideration.
Once you have all these documents you are ready to go! You are now part of a pool of photographers who are ready to start. The average waiting time is about 6 weeks, but we have seen photographers asked to leave within 3 days while there are times it can drag a little to 8/10 weeks in exceptional circumstances. 6 weeks is a good average. You do not pay for your flight to your ship, flights/hotel/transfers on this first flight are covered by Image Photo Services.
You are on your ship, working hard and earning US Dollars! It really is hard work but it is all worth it and one of the most rewarding careers on cruise lines.