Have you always wanted to be a paid pirate?

As a divemaster I wanted to become a Cruise Director. I did not get the position at first. It was frustrating to not get more responsibilities.

Over time I found out some key skills that make a qualified Cruise Director.

Here you can read 7 tips that help you understand what it takes to become a Cruise Director on a liveaboard.

Photo by Andreas Ott

1 — Connections or a kick-ass job application

If you send a semi professional job application how do you think the owner could possibly trust you to be a professional Cruise Director?

The owner will not even bother contacting you back.
With a kick-ass job application, you will achieve a great first impression and stand out of all other applicants.

Because liveaboard owner struggle sometimes to find good staff they offer these kinds of jobs only to recommended people.

Therefore it is really important to socialise inside the diving industry.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

2 — Learn to be a multitasking ninja

As a Cruise Director, you will be in charge of a small company inside a company.

  • Likely you will organise the:
  • Accounting
  • In-water activities
  • Land excursions
  • Crew roster
  • Overseeing of food supply
  • Maintenance of the technical machinery on board
  • Ordering of spare parts
  • Repair of diving equipment
  • First aid
  • Be the entertainer in the evening for guests and sometimes therapist for a lonely single traveller
  • Whatever the guests or the crew surprise you with

Sometimes dive companies hire couples to complement each other’s skills.

Photo by Andreas Ott

3 — Bring technical understanding

  • Most of the vessels come with tons of technical equipment.
  • Engines
  • Generators
  • Dive compressors
  • Nitrox system
  • Scuba tank filling banks
  • Desalination-freshwater maker
  • Air-conditioner
  • Water pumps
  • Electric wiring
  • Plumbing
  • Woodwork
  • Steelwork
  • Fire fighting system
  • Life rafts
  • And more

Your job can be locating of an issue, problem-solving and ordering of spare parts might be your duty.

You don’t need to be an engineer but any technical job experience helps a lot.

Photo by Andreas Ott

4 — Attitude

Attitude is a (the) major thing to have.
Some dive professionals are motivated to the tips of their fingers. Some are too lazy to research the online presence of a dive company they apply at.

Photo by Andreas Ott

5 — Bring social intelligence

The Cruise Director on a liveaboard needs to understand both the needs of the guests and the crew and be a good interface between them. And then there is the boss who wants something too.😉

Photo by Andreas Ott

6 — Speak the local language

Staying in a country for a few months or even for the first year working on land will help immense achieving the local language skills you need. In this article I explain how to learn a language fast.

This will make you way more employable because you will have your first months/year time to learn the local culture too. Believe me, this can be very important.

7 — Be an experienced dive instructor with specialities to teach.

Dependent on the company specialities such as the Nitrox speciality, deep, gas blender etc., are beneficial.

The Cruise Director should be ready to do the teaching part straight out of the gate.

However, often times the diving and teaching part of your job as Cruise Director is minor.

Photo by Andreas Ott


I became a dive instructor and got teaching experience. I practised the skills and qualifications mentioned here in this post.

Eventually, I became a Cruise Director on a liveaboard. It made me very proud and the rewarding feeling of being a paid pirate is just wonderful.

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Originally published on Scubacareer.net.