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FAQs

For more information on training, job duties, and cruise ship life, read our FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:

    What is an Independent Contractor (IC)?

    A:

    All members of the shipboard program, including Principal Auctioneers, Gallery Directors, Art Associates, and Art Preparators, enjoy the freedom of being a hired as an Independent Contractor. This allows for greater flexibility when scheduling international assignments. This also enables successful ICs to individually manage a Park West shipboard art program, much like an entrepreneur would run a small business or franchise.

    All candidates are screened, contracted, and compensated by our staffing partner, Caribbean Staffing Solutions (CSS). All candidates must sign an IC Agreement prior to attending job training.

  • Q:

    If I am invited to the Training Academy, am I guaranteed employment?

    A:

    The vast majority of candidates who attend training are offered an assignment and proceed to a ship—on average, 95% of candidates. However, we do reserve the right to deny a cruise ship assignment to candidates based on unpreparedness or failure to pass a drug screening.

  • Q:

    How long is the length of each contract?

    A:

    Work contracts are typically 4-6 months long. You will live and work on board the cruise ship for the length of your contract. Between contracts, you will enjoy enjoy a well-deserved and lengthy 4-5 week vacation before your next contract.

  • Q:

    Will I always work on the same cruise ship?

    A:

    In order to create successful teams, all of our shipboard assignments are strategic. We take your background, language abilities, personality, and performance into consideration when creating our onboard teams. As ship itineraries change throughout the year, you may work on one to two ships during a contract.

  • Q:

    What is the standard day for an Independent Contractor working aboard a cruise ship?

    A:

    While cruise ship itineraries vary, sea days—days where the ship is sailing all day—are typically auction days. During these days, the auction room is prepared and an auction is held, followed by an evening of appointments and art consultations in the gallery. These are the busiest days!

    Port days—days where the ship is docked in port—are break opportunities where you can enjoy free time, unwind, and explore cities in destinations such as Alaska, the Caribbean, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Australia, and Asia.

    After a day of exploration, art teams will typically hold a gallery event in the evening, such as an art seminar, gallery exhibition, or VIP reception.

  • Q:

    Can you initially apply to work as a Gallery Director or Principal Auctioneer?

    A:

    All new hires begin as an Art Associate or Art Preparator. It is essential to learn the “ins and outs” of our onboard program before you are able to lead a successful program as a Gallery Director or Principal Auctioneer. Top performers are invited into our Auctioneer Development Program. Please see the next entry for details about additional job advancement.

  • Q:

    Are there opportunities for further job advancement?

    A:

    Yes! While all applicants begin as an Art Preparator or Art Associate, skilled candidates can quickly rise to become a Gallery Director or Principal Auctioneer.

    There are additional advancement and management opportunities available to Principal Auctioneers with proven sales records. Top auctioneers are given the opportunity to become Auctioneer Sales Trainers (AST) and Regional Sales Trainers (RST) as a means to utilize their leadership capabilities. ASTs and RSTs train rising Principal Auctioneers and monitor the success of multiple cruise ship art programs.

    Art Associates that demonstrate impressive potential and interest in becoming a Principal Auctioneer may apply to be a part of the Auctioneer Development Program (ADP) to hone their sales, public speaking abilities, and art knowledge at an accelerated pace.

  • Q:

    Are there onboard amenities that Independent Contractors can take advantage of?

    A:

    Yes! Although amenities vary among ships and cruise lines, our ICs happily enjoy a variety of benefits onboard, including access to gyms, theatre shows, comedians, restaurants, coffee shops, spas, and of course the exotic ports-of-call around the world. It’s all part of the job!

  • Q:

    Can I work with my spouse or partner on board?

    A:

    Yes, we do hire couples. In fact, many of our successful Principal Auctioneers are part of a couple .If you and your partner feel this is a great fit, please note that you are applying as a couple in your application.

  • Q:

    What are onboard meals and lodging accommodations like?

    A:

    All meals and accommodations on board are provided. Art Associates and Gallery Directors share a cabin with one other person of the same gender, typically another art gallery staff member, while Principal Auctioneers have their own cabin.  Depending on the assigned ship, Principal Auctioneers, Gallery Directors, Art Associates, and Art Preparators may have a guest, staff, or crew cabin.

    Guest Cabins: Guest cabins will typically support two single beds that can be pushed together to form one king size bed. The room will also have a dresser/closet, a small desk, and a bathroom with a shower and toilet.

    Staff or Crew Cabins: Staff and crew cabins are normally located alongside the cabins of other cruise ship staff. The space is small, but efficiently arranged with enough room for two bunk beds, a dresser/closet, a small desk, and bathroom with a shower and toilet.

  • Q:

    Are uniforms required?

    A:

    Principal Auctioneers, Gallery Directors, and Art Associates are expected to dress in business professional work attire during all art auctions, gallery hours, and guest-facing events. These are clothes you will pack and bring with you to the ship. All Independent Contractors are provided with a branded polo shirt you may wear with slacks or khakis for internal meetings, auction setups, and non-guest-facing activities.

  • Q:

    What if I have a non-emergency medical issue while on board?

    A:

    Each ship is equipped with a full medical facility staffed by a registered doctor and nurse. Their services are available at minimal cost should a medical issue arise. All members of the onboard art team must be fully prepared for their own personal needs prior to joining any ship. All medications must be ordered in advance for the duration of each contract.

  • Q:

    Is Internet access available on board?

    A:

    Yes, Wi-Fi can be accessed throughout the cruise ship. Personal Internet plans can be purchased as needed. Although most ships have an Internet café, it is recommended that you bring your own personal computer or device.

    Crew members also utilize free Wi-Fi at various cafes, restaurants, and shops in the ports-of-call during their free time.

  • Q:

    Are there opportunities to exercise while on board?

    A:

    Yes, nearly every cruise ship offers access to onboard gyms.

  • Q:

    Are there laundry services on board?

    A:

    Yes, full laundry facilities are available, including dry cleaning. Some ships charge a minimal fee for this service.