The Park West Academy provides world-class training in sales, public speaking and fine art. Courses are held at Park West Gallery’s Miami Lakes, Florida location. Each training session lasts approximately nine days and is highly intensive. During this period, all applicants receive the necessary foundation to successfully market Park West artwork aboard a cruise ship.
Most candidates leave our unparalleled training course with a newfound appreciation for the arts, invaluable sales training and an incredible sense of accomplishment. Those who pass are well prepared to succeed.
As Park West Gallery maintain its 40-plus year reputation as an industry leader, bear in mind that an invitation to training does not constitute an offer to represent the company as an independent contractor (IC). In fact, this training session is an extension of the qualification process. Only those candidates who excel during training will receive an invitation to join a ship.
A significant amount of learning material is provided to candidates prior to their training. Candidates are encouraged and expected to study these materials in order to maximize their learning potential at Park West Academy training. Those that excel are typically well prepared on the first day of training, which translates into a solid foundation to build upon for their own success.
To participate in our training academy, candidates are responsible for a minimal number of expenses including, but not limited to, the following:
- Medical exam
- Necessary visas (for non-US and non-Canadian residents only)
- Proof of Health care coverage
- One-way airfare to the training site
- Dinner during training
- Cost of pre-employment medical exam
Conversely, costs that are covered by Park West Gallery include:
- Hotel room for duration of training in Miami Lakes, Florida
- Breakfast and lunch during training
- All training courses and materials
- Transportation to and from the hotel to the training facility
- Flight to your first cruise ship assignment upon passing training
- Flight to return home if the applicant has been unsuccessful
- Flight home after a successful completion of your assignment
Frequently Asked Questions
If I am asked to participate in training, am I guaranteed employment?A:
While the majority of candidates receive an official offer of assignment and proceed to a ship, there are occasions where it is deemed that the applicant is not a good fit. This is typically a mutual determination, and candidates who have not moved on have told us the training was some of the best they ever received and that the experience was invaluable.
What is the standard day for an Associate Auctioneers?A:
While cruise ship itineraries vary, sea days – when the ship is sailing all day – are Auction days. During these days, the auction room is prepared and auction is held, followed by evening appointments in the gallery. The days when the ship is in a port of call are when you can enjoy free time and explore and enjoy the port. In the evening of port days, there will usually be an art event such as art seminar, gallery exhibition or VIP party.
What is the contract length/work period?A:
Work periods are 4-6 months. You will be expected to remain on board for the length of the work period. Between work periods, you are welcome to enjoy a well-deserved and lengthy break of 4-5 weeks off the ship.
What is an independent contractor (IC)?A:
All members of the shipboard art department enjoy the freedom of being an independent contractor (IC). This allows for greater flexibility in scheduling and international assignments offered to ICs all over the world. This also enables successful contractors the opportunity to eventually manage a shipboard art program, much like an entrepreneur would run a small business. All candidates are screened, contracted and compensated by our staffing partner, Caribbean Staffing Solutions (CSS), and candidates are required to sign an IC agreement prior to attending training. This document ensures that CSS approved candidates, selected to provide services to Park West Gallery, understand their full commitment and responsibilities.
Is Internet access available on cruise ships?A:
Most ships have an Internet cafe where you can access the web, but bringing a laptop or personal device is advised, as space can be limited. Wi-Fi hookups can be found throughout the ships.
What do I do if I have a medical issue while on board?A:
Each ship has a full medical facility staffed by a doctor and nurse. Their services are not free but are available should an issue arise. All members of the onboard art team must be fully prepared for their own personal needs prior to joining any ship including, but not limited to, bringing all medications on board the ship and delivering them to the medical facility upon arrival.
What are cruise ship cabins like?A:
Cabins our candidates stay in can be categorized as guest cabins and staff or crew cabins:
Guest Cabin: Cabin space will typically support two single beds that can be pushed together to form one king size. Enough room will remain for a chair and small table along with tables on each side of the beds. The room will also have a dresser/closet, small desk and bathroom with shower/toilet.
Staff or Crew Cabin: This cabin is normally located in the same areas as other shipboard staff (E.G. casino workers, entertainers, etc.). The space is small, but efficiently arranged with enough room for two bunk beds, a dresser/closet, a small desk and bathroom with shower/toilet.
Are there opportunities to exercise while on a cruise ship?A:
Most cruise ships have a bounty of options when it comes to fitness. Whether you are a workout junkie or a casual walker, many cruise ships offer onboard gyms and activities like surfing and ice skating. Exercise classes are available as well, though these typically include fees.
Do cruise ships offer laundry services?A:
Full washing/drying facilities are available, including dry cleaning. Some ships charge a minimal fee for this service.