child animation on board – fast lane to the entertainment team
The high number of guests means a high number of kids on board, who need a different kind of attention during the cruise. To solve this issue, the cruise lines established the animation teams who take care of the kids, no matter where the parents are.
MAIN TASKS AS A CHILD ANIMATOR
Your job depends on the age group of kids you have to work with day by day:
Let’s start with the small ones, for example, the 4-11-year-olds. On every vessel, there is a separated area called „kid’s club” which is a mixture of a kindergarten and a playground, where the parents can leave the kids for hours or even for the day and the team members will take care about them.
Of course, it is more like supervision because these facilities are equipped with modern features such as videogames, TV, consoles, and toys based on modern characters which can be recognized by kids, and make them able to engage their attention. It is important that these areas can be locked, to there is no chance for the kids to get lost.
The members of the kid’s club team are in charge of the dinners as well, means they visit a designated buffet with the kids.
The next big age group is teenagers between 12-18 years. There is a designated area for these kids as well, which is designed according to their needs and interests. The biggest difference that most of these kids are roaming around the ship freely, so the animators of these groups must handle them more like friends to hang with, than someone who takes care about them as we saw in the kid’s club.
According to this, you will need more experience to work with this group because it is harder to keep the trust of them and control the team.
Both teams can calculate with a fixed schedule, which is 10-11 hours a day just like the others. The kid’s club animators are usually working in 2 shifts during the day (no night), and the other group is working according to the programs they organize for the kids.
Just as the other departments, the animation is working with the 7 days a week + half-day off system.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
All the cruise lines have high requirements for these positions because you have to work with kids and take responsibility for them. Per this, you must have at least 2 years of similar experience on board or in hotels and qualification.
The exact language requirements depend on each vessel and cruise lines and based on the typical nationality of the guests. Luckily most of the cruise lines are designed to serve American guests so that the proper English knowledge will be essential. You must speak English at least on a conversational (B) level, and able to understand complex sentences/orders, and answer. Your language skills will be assessed during the application process, to make sure that you won’t face with difficulties on board, plus you have to complete an independent test (Marlins) according to the maritime law.
These requirements are similar for each position, so there is no chance to step on board with Basic English. The main reason that you might be able to complete your duties without communication, but you will have secondary/ and safety duties, where proper communication is mandatory.
No matter which group you are working on, you will have a base salary which is 1300-1500 USD a month, which is a big advantage if we compare with the land positions, where you can lose the 70% of your income because of the accommodation, food, transportation and utility costs.
Based on the fact that the animation department means only a few team members, you have to calculate with short steps which can be the head animator or the leader of the whole team.
However, before you give up your plans, we have to mention that with your experience you can sign up for the entertainment team, who take care about all of the guests on board, and from there you can be the Cruise Director of the ship which is a similar leader position just as the hotel manager.
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