Royal Caribbean Adds 10,000 Employees for Cruise Ships and Private Island

As the demand for cruises continues to skyrocket, Royal Caribbean announced it is recruiting 10,000 employees globally. The company is already working with key government agencies and institutions to help meet its huge manpower requirement this year.

Aerial view of Ovation of the Seas
Aerial view of Ovation of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The cruise industry may have ground to a halt during the pandemic, but Royal Caribbean is certainly making up for lost time with record-breaking bookings and its latest mega vessels.

Along with revenue growth and a stock price that has doubled in value, the cruise line announced last week that it needs to hire 10,000 employees to support its “moderate capacity growth” strategy. New recruits will be assigned to Royal Caribbean ships and private destinations.

The Miami-based company already had 98,300 employees as of 2023. Around 90% work on ships, while over 9% support shoreside operations.

Royal Caribbean Crew
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

To meet its ambitious recruitment goal, the cruise line is in talks with institutions and agencies in Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, Gambia, and St. Maarten. Royal Caribbean has requested Jamaica’s Caribbean Maritime University to host more courses for short-term skills and certifications to hire more qualified workers from the region.

A similar request was made to the British Virgin Islands. Royal Caribbean has also asked the Tourism Board in Gambia for help as it seeks to grow its 700-strong local workforce. 

freedom of the seas cococay
Freedom of the Seas docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

In St. Maarten, the cruise operator held a recruitment event last year. Port St. Maarten CEO Alexander Gumbs revealed that it received less than a third of applications compared to the 1,000 employees Royal Caribbean hoped to hire.

“It did not necessarily yield as many applicants that I think we all were expecting,” Gumbs told Reuters.

Beyond Royal Caribbean’s recruitment drive, staffing needs are growing across the industry and are influenced by market demand. Passengers have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, registering almost 2 million more cruisers in 2023 versus 2019.

The Icon of the Seas, renowned as an exceptional vessel for luxurious travel, gracefully sails through the water on its inaugural cruise.
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Additionally, the latest State of the Cruise Industry Report anticipates as many as 56 new vessels in the next 4 years. Combined, these factors will no doubt continue to create more employment opportunities in the cruise industry.

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