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Cruise ship steward

Cruise ship stewards clean and service cabins on board cruise ships.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but GCSEs in English and maths, or qualifications in areas like housekeeping, may be useful.

Paid or unpaid work experience as a hotel room attendant or in a customer service role may also help.

The Hospitality Guild has information and advice about careers in hospitality and tourism.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • tact and diplomacy
  • the ability to deal with difficult situations and complaints
  • the ability to work under pressure
  • a methodical approach to work
  • attention to detail

3. What you'll do

You’ll clean and maintain guest rooms and cabins. 

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • showing guests to their cabins
  • taking food and drink orders
  • making beds
  • supplying fresh linen
  • vacuuming floors
  • replacing mini bar items and providing a bill
  • replacing stocks and supplies 

You’ll work as part of a team, under the supervision of an assistant or head housekeeper.

With some cruise companies, the job title 'steward' refers to customer service or reception staff. In these roles, your duties could include informing passengers about the services offered on board, arranging excursions and dealing with guests’ queries and complaints.

On smaller cruise liners you might help out in other areas of the ship, like serving in the bar or restaurant.

4. Salary

You could earn £700 to £1,500 per month, depending on your duties and who you work for.

Food, accommodation and travel insurance are often included.

Tipping is common on cruise ships.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Most cruise work is seasonal. You’ll usually be on a temporary contract, with an average length of 6 months.

You would work shifts which would include evenings and weekends.

You’ll usually share accommodation with other staff. 

You’ll be provided with a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to a supervisor post, like assistant housekeeper. 

You could also move into other areas like working as a croupier in the casino, or entertainment or restaurant work.

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Last updated: 13 December 2016