Cruise Hotel Managers: Evolution of the Species

  • Philip GibsonEmail author


Cruise employers are faced with a highly competitive and challenging task when sourcing tomorrow’s cruise hotel service managers. In a globalised setting, cruise companies strive to make their products appropriate for specific target markets and, increasingly, that means paying due regard to the origins of front line hotel managers and their teams. Also working at sea onboard a contemporary cruise ship means employees accepting a different set of terms and conditions compared to similar shore based occupations. So not only is it important to find the right people for the job and the appropriate types of managers to meet the requirements of specific markets, the cruise industry has to attract managers who accept the nuances of maritime employment. This research project was funded by the Centre for Excellence for Professional Placement Learning (CEPPL). It considered the aforementioned set of challenges by examining the perceptions of students who apply to join the BSc (Hons) Cruise Management course at the University of Plymouth – a highly vocational degree programme for hotel management at sea. This course has been running since 2003 and has seen successive graduates progress from the programme, on to work placement or internship, back to complete the degree and then to employment. The study examines students’ perceptions and learning motivations in relation to obtaining employment as hotel managers at sea by reflecting on the work of theorists such as Gibson (2005), Bloomer (1997), Bourdieu (1986) and Lave and Wenger (1996). In addition the rather limited but nonetheless revealing body of knowledge surrounding cruise employment is considered. Fifty five people were interviewed either individually or in focus groups in relation to their motivations to join the specialist degree programme. Findings suggest that there is considerable interest for this type of degree and this employment area but for most prospective applicants the act of converting motivation to action appears to be serendipitous. It is suggested the missing link, in establishing a chain of logic for stimulating interest in this employment area, seems to reside in the hands of the cruise industry itself and that by accepting a negotiated partnership with educational institutions the industry stands to benefit in harvesting a high calibre supply of talent for the future.


Continue Professional Development Work Life Balance Cruise Ship Human Resource Professional Hotel Manager 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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