Cruise ship is a floating hotel that provides good, quality and world class service that satisfy every guest's needs. To provide a good service, cruise line companies requires an employee with a good personality, positive helpful attitude and skills. In this field, there is no real advantage of being a university graduate over someone who has not done a degree unless your degree is within the hospitality industry.
The graduates of a hospitality-related program particularly Hotel and Restaurant Management, plays a major role in the management of production and services in the hotel, restaurant, resorts and event operations of travel and tourism industry. In view of the fact that the hotel operation in the cruise is no different to the land-based operation, quality of service mounted and the demand for the skilled workers ascended during the boom of the cruising industry.
Nowadays, cruise line companies hires people even without college degrees and more highly consider those who are knowledgeable in basic skills and with experience in hotel operations. Since they refers to hire a candidate having extensive information or skills in the position they are applying into, the competition between the graduates of HRM and those who are non-hospitality management graduates and undergraduates rather.
“[...] Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said cruise ships hire people without college degrees and prefer those with working experience in hotels, casinos and spas, as well as in the fields of beauty and health, information and technology and security.
The basic skills and related requirements for jobs on cruise ships are a high school diploma, experience and proficiency in spoken and written English, she added.
Baldoz said about 47,000 jobs will be created when 15 new international cruise ships come into service this year.
“Cruise vacations are becoming more popular, so global demand is expected to increase in the next five years with new cruise ships to be put in operation,” she said.
Cruise ships hire entertainment and service crew to cater to the needs of passengers, she added.”
The article contains forecast in the increase of job opportunity in the cruise industry which also comprise of the requirements such as (1) high school diploma, (2) experience, and (3) English proficiency. It is beneficial for the high-rate unemployed Filipinos who are aiming to be part of the industry, yet alarming and unfavorable for the graduates of the concerned academic program since they considered hiring people without a degree in hospitality. This established competition in the demand of employment between a hospitality degree holder and non-hospitality degree holder.
On the other hand, the competition appears to be positive as these factor considered as motivation for on both parties to know their weaknesses, improve themselves and enhance their skills even more.
Advantage of HRM Degree Holder in the Cruise Line Industry
The following factors listed below focused on how HRM graduates can be effective in the hotel operation of cruise lines:
- Advance knowledge. Compare to any other academic program, Hotel and Restaurant Management programs provides training from food and beverage preparations and service up to marketing and sales, and management skills. All students undergo this program will immersed in every single aspect of hotel and restaurant operation.
- Professionalism. Every individual that takes part of any services are expected to act professionally especially in the hotel operation since they provide the service face-to-face with the guest.
- Flexibility. In view of the fact that HRM programs covers management subjects, the graduates under this course cannot only be a food or room attendant, but also a manager of food and beverage, housekeeping and can even take part in the accounting and finance department.
- Behavior and ethics. As HRM program also have a branch of learning in values education and personality development which improves throughout study period, it can also be reflected during their On the Job Training (OJT) which stand them out of their competitors.
- Interaction and approach to the guest while performing the service. Since this program focus on the service, they already possessed the knowledge in approaching the guest needs and complaints.
- Greater understanding and vision of the cruise industry.
Hindrances that HRM Graduates faces during the operation
Although HRM graduates have more advantage in the line of operation, the following issues serves as barriers and may have negative effects to the subject matter in portraying the task effectively:
- Inexperienced. The program unmistakably focused on delivering and improving the knowledge and skills of students, which make them fit in the qualifications of the job descriptions. On the contrary, having experience of working in the field is considered advantage of the competitors and what mostly measured by the companies that leave them behind the field.
- Peer-pressure. While the idea of working in the cruise line from one opinion may also from a relative or a common friend, hearsay or unfounded information about the nature of the work inside the hotel operation of any cruise lines may affect the way of thinking and their perception towards industry.
- Underdog/Seniority. This factor is one of the negative aspects that mostly faced and undergone by the trainees and fresh graduates from their superiors and/or senior officers that in this circumstances may alter their performances towards their tasks.
- Deficient training. In reality, the skills and performance of the graduates under the concerned program is in fact the basis why HRM graduates become effective towards the service. On the other hand, some schools and other training centre that are offering the programs are below standards and/or not able to provide the required training and facility that the students needed to excel during the study period.
- Discourage workers. Employees and service providers under this field, whether they like it or not, is ought to work double and beyond the working hours since merging of task is implemented in the cruise operation.
- Erroneous belief towards the job. The slogan, ‘Travel the world for free.’ by the cruising industry sound promising as ever to the aspiring applicants; absolutely free and you were the one who is getting paid for, nevertheless, you have to work hard, suffer seasickness, miss your family across the globe, withstand emotional problems during the voyage and the like.
Coping with the Hindrances
Given that the obstacles listed above are clearly established, the following factors below are to be considered device to break these barriers:
- Continues learning after completing the program. It is essential that the learning process must not end after obtaining the degree. Undertaking training programs, related or irrelevant to the degree, may appear favorable since training centre that are accredited by TESDA issues a National Certificate (NC; From NC II to NC V) which may add to their credential and make good impression to the employer.
- Improving observation skills. Despite the fact that being novice in the field may be burdensome, having an excellent observation skill is a convenient way to adjust and adapt in the operation.
- Establishing interpersonal relationship within the department. By developing interpersonal connection with the people, one may fully comprehend the task given since he may have companion that has been into the certain position before and can assist him during the execution of task which can make the flow of production trouble-free. A healthy and friendly working environment can also prevent the emotional agony that the worker suffers during the travel period.
- Acquired self-esteem, self-reliance, and confidence.
- Greater understanding of the career path chosen. One must be knowledgeable about the reality and nature of the career they have chosen to avoid misconceptions. This process can also be part of the preparation before entering the industry.
Experience is the key to be hired in any skill-related jobs such as in the hotel operation of cruise lines, hence, being a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management program in addition with the field experience can be the key to a successful career path towards the cruise industry.