Holland America Line

Cellar Master

Holland America Line
Beverages Jobs
Sommelier / Wine Steward
11 July 2024

Department: Beverage Svc

Employment Type: Fixed Term Contract

Reporting To: Beverage Manager


Directs the daily operation of vessel’s Wine Sales Operation including the effective administration, supervision and execution of programs consistent with the company standards and goals of providing excellent service while maximizing revenue generation. Responsible for educating our team members and guests about our premium beverages and other retail products. Be willing to go the extra mile to assist guests and team members and recognize that every interaction is important, no matter how big or small. 


Key Responsibilities
All duties and responsibilities are to be performed in accordance with HAL standards, USPH and HACCP guidelines, and Responsible service of alcohol, Environmental policies, and safety procedures. Each shipboard team member may be required to perform all functions in various food and beverage service venues throughout the ship. Each team member is required to conducts oneself in a professional and courteous manner at all times. 

  • Directs the activities of Sommeliers and Beverage Runners.
  • Directs and ensures the implementation and execution of corporate policies and procedures within the Beverage Department as they relate to wine sales.
  • Controls, measures and reports Wine Bar Outlet performance on a daily basis and takes required corrective action to ensure operations are in accordance with the company standards and objectives.
  • Achieves or exceeds Bar Revenue and Cost objectives for the established cruise program targets. Creates new opportunities and maximizes existing ones to generate extra revenue. Recommends measures to control/reduce costs and ensures that the operational cost budgets are strictly adhered to.
  • Develops and recommends merchandising and promotional programs to maximize Wine Sales and Service objectives for established cruise program targets. Identifies market needs and trends, creates concepts and communicates these to the Beverage Manager. Monitors product movement onboard and special offers. Plans and implements an effective sales plan and promotional activities in each wine outlet.
  • Works closely with the Controller and Provision Master in regards to inventory taking, cost control, loading, ordering and storing of wines. Follows proper accounting procedures, requisitions, transfers and reconciliation of daily wine sales.
  • Verifies delivery of prepaid wine orders to staterooms and coordinates the service thereof in the dining room.
  • Oversees voiding, checking any discrepancies. Is fully responsible for posting of gift orders, pre-ordered wines and parties (company’s and guests’).
  • Responsible for achieving and exceeding guest satisfaction standards and rating for wine services consistent with company goals. Personally gets involved with handling guest concerns.
  • Introduces him/herself to VIP’s and Suite guests within 24 hours of boarding. Identifies wine drinkers and wine lovers early in the cruise and guides Sommeliers & Restaurant Servers to make personalized bespoke recommendations.
  • Directs and coordinates the assignment and scheduling of Sommeliers and Beverage Runners in accordance with operational requirements.
  • Plans (along with other departments) and schedules wine related functions as required while following up on Party Sheets with detailed preparation and service information as a guideline for beverage staff to execute the function. Maintains open communication of key operational information at regular meetings. Is present at all functions to ensure proper mise en place and execution.
  • Carries out wine tastings, seminars, spirits & cigar tastings etc. Works closely with Culinary team on wine and food pairing dinners and special events.
  • Assists in the dining room during opening hours; serving VIP’s & Captain’s Tables, plus oversees the wine service in the alternate dining areas. Ensures proper mise en place in all areas.
  • Fully in charge of wine displays and pre-order tables.
  • Assists on any project as assigned by the Beverage Manager or Corporate Office.
  • Ensures that all reporting to the Beverage Manager and Corporate Office is completed in a timely manner.
  • Attends daily operational meeting with Beverage Department management if required.
  • Attends daily menu briefing by the Chef and ensures all Wine Attendants are present, followed by a briefing by the Cellar Master or Beverage Manager. Attends weekly beverage staff meetings.
  • On a daily basis makes an effort to check in with every member of the wine service team and monitors their overall operation and mood.
  • Is responsible for the overall training of the Wine attendants, Dining Room stewards, as well as the bar staff. Training should include – but is not limited to - wine knowledge, spirits knowledge, product knowledge, selling techniques, pouring styles, correct wine service, customer service and the art of upselling. Develops and implements training programs.
  • Provides periodic feedback on wine attendants to the Beverage Manager. Creates realistic goals and sets objectives for the team and follows up. Promotes innovation and change.
  • Greets all new hires and ensures the buddy system is in place and being followed. o Monitors grooming and personal hygiene of the Wine Attendants.
  • Counsels non-performers and does not hesitate in disciplining in accordance with company policy.
  • Actively participates in the safety and accident prevention programs, including weekly boat/emergency drills.
  • Complies with and causes to comply with House Rules as stated in MR-1000. Maintains a consistent application of disciplinary procedures.
  • Every Hotel Officer shall possess a certificate of competency of Lifeboatman.

General Responsibilities

  • Builds strong teams and encourage collaboration.
  • Leading by example and provides regular and focused performance feedback, thus creating a dynamic team.
  • Acts as a brand ambassador with the onboard teams supporting the company goals and brand direction.
  • Fosters regular and structured communications within the Beverage Operations team.
  • Maintains visible presence throughout the department at all times and encourage meaningful and strong guest interaction by you and the Restaurant Operations team.
  • Promotes efficiencies in time management and resources through holding structured, documented and concise meetings and inspections.
  • Exercises emotional intelligence to communicate effectively throughout all levels of the operation
  • Instrumental in accurate and effective budgeting
  • Demonstrates strong financial responsibility, working together with relevant department heads for day-to-day oversight as well as Voyage/Monthly/YTD overview with an expectation to meet and/or exceed targets.
  • Ability to lead teams in a positive and productive manner by inspiring and developing individuals and effectively managing processes.
  • Encourages input of direct reports create a team of ‘stakeholders’ who provide‘ collaborative leadership’ and feedback across all aspects of the operation, thus maintaining set standards and execution of relevant policies and procedures. 
  • Perform other job related functions as assigned.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Experience in managing a multi-national wine team.
  • Extensive knowledge of varying brands and quality of liquors.
  • Extensive knowledge of new and old world wines including food and wine pairing. o Ability to train multi-national wine team in all areas of wine & beverage service.
  • Ability to investigate and solve guest complaints, follow up and meet/exceed guest expectations.
  • Ability to oversee, carry out and supervise mini bar supply, lido beverage service, dining room and alternate dining wine service, gift orders and special functions.
  • Ability to oversee wine stocks, ordering, storing and loading.
  • Knowledge of beverage handling procedures in regards to public health standards.
  • Attendance of a certified USPH or HACCP course is preferred.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for the financial aspects of a bar/wine operation.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for the management of headcount within assigned area, as it relates to and supports the business needs of the vessel. (Scheduling)
  • Strong interpersonal and leaderships kills.
  • Excellent appearance, outgoing, social, self-starter.
  • Revenue and guest satisfaction focused.
  • Extensive knowledge of training and motivating the entire beverage team on a weekly basis in regards to wine service under the guidance of the Beverage Manager.
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal service including needs assessment, problem resolution and achievement of quality service standards.
  • Ability to manage an international staff in a positive and productive manner by motivating, developing and managing employees as they work.
  • Ability to conduct wine & spirit tasting in public for passengers and staff.
  • Working knowledge of computers, Internet access, and the ability to navigate within a variety of software programs such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Excellent open communication style with all department heads and all levels of employees.

Note: Other duties as assigned included and not limited to Health, Environmental, Safety and Security responsibilities.

Holland America Line

Holland America Line


Holland America Line has been operating for more than 140 years and we are a recognized leader in the cruise industry, operating a fleet of premium mid-sized ships. We believe travel has the power to change the world and we take pride in playing our part in opening minds, building connections, and inspiring a shared humanity. Our fleet of 14 ships visits all seven continents and annually offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports of call in close to 100 countries. Holland America Line crew members are the heart of the operation and work enthusiastically to ensure that each guest has a memorable vacation.

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