A cruise ship steward, or cabin steward, is a key part of the housekeeping staff on board a cruise ship, responsible for servicing the rooms of passengers on board the cruise ship and making sure they were cleaned to a good standard.
The role involves large amounts of customer service, and success is often measured through the feedback of guests, so making their stay enjoyable is the aim of the game.
The steward, alongside a housekeeping role, would also be expected to help out in a capacity in the bar or restaurant of the ship, so they need to be versatile, friendly and willing to help out wherever you would be needed.
Salary & benefits
The rate you’re paid at very much depends on the company you are working for and your experience in the field, with rates ranging from £700 to £1,500 per month for the average steward.
Food, accommodation and insurance are usually provided as part of the package whilst on the ship, and because tipping is commonplace, at the end of the trip you may receive a small bonus from customers you served over the voyage.
Because the work is seasonal, you would do it for a period of time before taking a break. The average contract is six months, but over the course of that contract, you would be expected to work shifts every day.
These shifts can be long and arduous, but like a ski season, a cruise ship position is one that is full on for a period of time before an extended break is given afterwards.
Whilst there are no formal requirements, a good education will help you find a spot, as will work experience in a similar catering or hospitality field.
Good experience in retail or at a hotel will help employers to trust you with providing excellent customer service
Training & progression
On-the-job training would be given out as soon as you boarded the vessel, and would be compulsory for all staff, including hygiene and first aid courses.
In terms of progression, the scope for moving up to Head Steward, Housekeeping Supervisor or Assistant Housekeeper are all part of the chain of stewards’ jobs, so if that tickles your fancy, you better get yourself onto a ship!