Horror stories about Steiner / working on cruiseships

“I have been reading a lot of horror stories about Steiner, are they true? Is working on cruiseships as a Personal Trainer, Massage therapist or Nail technician, really that bad?”
This page will answer that questions and help you make up your mind.

The first month back from working for Steiner on Disney Cruise Line I spend showing pictures of how amazing it was. Holding baby turtles, swimming with dolphins, sunsets and amazing places. All the great and amazing things you want to share with your friends.. And then some of them started to ask questions, so how was the life there? How did you live and how was the money?
The second month I was back, I spend telling my friends and family how I experienced cruiselife, and from that point on I have not stopped education people about what life as a Personal Trainer, Massage therapist or Nail technician onboard a cruiseship is really like.

The most important question I recon people ask me is this:
Would you do it all again?
And my answer is this; No. But I would not have wanted to have missed this experience for any money in the world.

This is a useless answer, because people just want to hear; yes or no and a reason. But don’t worry, I will explain.


(Horror) Stories about working on cruiseships (for Steiner)

When you are looking to work on cruisehips in a spa, you will quickly find out that you are extremely likely to end up working for Steiner. And than you go out and do research about this company, as you should! And it would have taken you less than 4 minutes to find your first “Steiner / cruiseship horror story”. A story in the line of how horrible the manager was, or how hard they had to work, about the insane training at London and of course about selling. But than again, you might also have read some good stories, and those appeal to you more, because you actually really want to work on cruisehips and have an amazing time, right!?

The thing is, you don’t know what is true and who is just bitter. Well let me tell you, you will not know. There is no way of knowing if people tell the truth. All you can do if read as many reviews as you can and start asking question to people that you trust.. This website is my private initiative helping people decide what they want in their life, and is not convincing you to work on cruiseships, neither is it’s goals to discourage you. It offers my and other peoples opinions and information.

The truth about all those stories is, most of them will be likely to be true. The good ones and the bad ones.
There will undoubtedly be people that had a very bad experience on the cruiseship, but there will be many who had a equal amazingly experience. Not all of them might write about it..

As you are a smart person, you might have heard about research about experience sharing. People are 7 times more likely to share bad experiences opposed to good ones..

As I’ve been writing this blog post, I realized that there is just to much, so if you want to read about Horror stories about spa training for cruiseships with Steiner, click here.


Horror stories about money on cruiseships as Personal Trainer, Massage therapist or Nail technician.

Let’s discuss the most important one first; Horror stories about money. Which seems to be the most important one to most people. And indeed for me that was important too. I decided to go to Steiner with the idea “Even if I do not get rich, i can still travel and see the world”. But for some of you out there, money might be a challenge and a necessity to maintain your current lifestyle (or your preferred one). So let me cut right to the chase. Money is about your attitude! And skills. But most important is your attitude. You can see new fitness instructors on a ship, making more than triple the amount of the previous trainers, not because of their skills, or itinerary, but because of how they perceive reality and might not have the same bias. I can tell you it will be very difficult to sell something you do not believe in. You can see it as a challange, but it won’t be easy. I can also tell you, I have known people who made some serious money! Really good money. Somewhere along the lines of 1000USD a week. To some of them it came naturally, other used tricks, and other just worked their ass of every single second of every day (most training actually do). So if you are willing to put in the effort, you can and will be successful. If you want to know how much money a personal trainer on average makes on a cruise ship, click the link.

Horror stories about working hours.

This is the second one that seems to frighten people. I can be very short in this. If you are expecting to work 40 hours you will have a rude awakening. Hours will most likely average around 60 to 70 a week. Prepare for this. This means less sleep than you might be used to, early days and long nights. They can even be extended with sales or team meetings. Although there are stories of people getting incentives like time of if they preformed well, but this is up to your manager and you can not depend on this, as it might change with your manager. The good thing about a cruiseship is that; everything litirally takes less than 4 minutes.. Going to work, going home, seeying a movie, going for a swim, or partying. I felt, that never in my life, did I ever had so much time to myself! I’ve read a book about sales / self development every two weeks. (other people partied, it’s a choice ;)). Anyway, on a cruiseship there are no traffic jams, no waiting for your food and no other stuff to waiste your time on board. When you are off, you have nothing mandatory to do, so enjoy life.

To finish this up, most crewmembers on board work 7 days a week. Steiners work only 6. We get (on most itineraries) 1 full day off a week. And that is much better than the few hours every day for 7 days a week. Because you will experience every port and have a entire day to relax and unwind with all your friends.


Are the horror stories real?

I think all stories you will read online are based upon how people expected things to be and how the perceived reality. I hope this post and website will give you a better expectation. Because how you will deal with things and how you will see things, is up to you.  You can have a amazing experience if you want, but when you let it, it might become the hell you’ve feared it would be. Please be aware of the choices you make, by making sure you know what you are getting into.


Why this post?

Someone pointed something out to me a week before writing this post talking to a girl, who wanted to work for Steiner. I talked to her about my experiences and answered her questions. She replied with; “Anyway you are doing them good in a way …”. To be clear as glass on this subject. I explain these things on this website, because;

  1.  I want everyone to chase their dreams and achieve their goals. For me this was a life defining experience (If you want to know if I would do it again, keep reading my next blog posts).
  2. I wish all of this information was here when I applied. I hardly knew what I was getting myself into. The information on forums was all negative, and I did not know who to trust. Wish there would have been someone for me to answer questions honestly.
  3. I like to share my experiences and from a blog to keep my family informed, a lot of people have found this website online and showed a great interest in more information. So I will gladly share my story 🙂 I think it is important to base your choices in life on proper information and a real expectation of the job and the life. When you still want to join after all my discouragements,  it will be for you and you will do amazing!

Again, questions, feel free to post them anywhere in the comment section.

29 thoughts on “Horror stories about Steiner / working on cruiseships”

    1. No need to worry about that, as long as you can sell, write a whiteboard (or pay someone to write your whiteboard), and get trough training you should be fine.
      I dont think you need to worry about that. 🙂

      Good luck with applying 🙂

  1. I’m very impressed thanks a lot for the wise words,here’s a question …How do you approach a client to buy a product?,I’m not really good at that I need training

  2. Very true and great representation of life on ship. I have been with Steiner for a few years and am lucky to be in the positive and progressive group of employees.

    Work hard, be successful enjoy your job. Do not work hard, you will not be successful and unfortunately you will not enjoy your job!

    All my love to Steiner’s x

  3. Hello Daan

    Just a quick question and not sure if you’ve touched on the subject but I was wondering if you could shed some light on what the training academy is like in London before you depart for the cruise ship. I have a couple friends who have done it and they both said the instructors in London are very very strict, have to be on your feet the whole day, have to pass written exams and are given 3 warnings before being asked to leave to go home. Is all of this info true?

  4. I interviewed with Steiner a couple of years ago, and basically it was sales. I have been a massage therapist for 6 years and have a lot of training and experience under my belt. They really didn’t care they just wanted to know if I have ever sold products. Working 12-14 hours a day was mentioned in the meeting which I was surprised they’d disclose that to excited applicants. And about London, I’d love to go there but on my time and no be obligated for up to 3 months before starting on a line. They way I perceived it as they teach you the way they want you to massage/facials ect. I did not get chosen but after leaving the interview I wqs discouraged so it did not hurt my feelings. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  5. Hi how long are you at the London training academy ? also was the exams hard ? If succesful do you depart from academy or go home them find your own way to port thanks

    1. When I was studying at college, the rep came to talk to us about the opportunity. It was very apparent they were looking for young people, typically living at home with their parents. However, the rep was seemingly honest in what she said, as I’ve since discovered her answers to some rather candid questions to be true.

      You can be at the training academy in London for up to three months. You will depart from the academy directly to the ship, even if you live in the UK. Whilst you have a choice as to which ship you will work on, nothing can be guaranteed. You will (usually) be required to purchase your own uniforms – which will not be the same as worn at the academy, which you will also need to provide.

  6. My daughter is interested in working on a cruise liner, we live in South Africa, what are
    her chances of being accepted with South African Qualifications.

    1. Hi Charmaine, her chances are good. Monday At college a lady from steiner gave us a presentation on what steiner and jobs aboard are about. They recruit South Africans on a regular basis

  7. I’ve just applied waiting on word back I have read good and bad points but shop life will be awesome ! What’s a little hard work and long hours when ur on a flipping ship :)))

  8. Hi there,
    Iam thinking about going to work for steiner. I did an interview and pass. Iam going to work as a personal trainer. I would like to know if you work 7 days full days.?
    Am I able to go to the hairdresser to do my hair and when? Do I pay the same price or get a discount? can I also use their treatment? or its only work work work? and no time for my own things. I mean if it s only one hour break in the morning and one in the afternoon well that will be to eat I guess.

    1. Hi Laure,

      Work is 5.5 days a week (1.5 days a week of, splitable in half days).
      Yes you can get your hair done, usually this works on barter deals (with your managers approval), so you do your service for one person, and they help you out (2 haircuts for one PT sessions was my deal) 😉
      It is mostly work work, work yeah. It’s 70 hours a week, but the rest is yours, and no traffic jams, etc, so time is really your time.
      It’s one hour lunch per day, sometimes managers will allow you longer break times, depends on your manager.


  9. Hi, the information is great thanks. Quick question, do you get paid whilst you are at the training academy and also, do Steiner pay for your journey to the airport, any hotel fees and transfer when you head out to join your ship??

  10. Hi

    I have an age question. I know the minimum age in 18 and there is no REAL maximum age, but would a person of 59 stand a chance if she is a “young 59”, energetic, qualified etc etc or would there be a bit of bias towards that?

    I would love to hear your take on this.


  11. Hi,

    I am offered to go to the training in a few months time, and i would be a Spa receptionist. I am a bit worried, what are the chances to PASS the training? I was told i get the real contract only after i passed medical examination, and the training. But what is the training about for the receptionist? Do all people pass the exam? As there are considerable starting costs, i do not want to spend a lot, and then at the end of training getting a NO answer and all my money is wasted?
    I mean is this training offer + job offer a spam, like a lot of people do get fired from the training, or normally it is fair, and if you do the training normally , you will get the job offer.
    I would like to know this.
    Is it true if you are invited to the interview after your local interview, you can be almost sure you will pass the training and get the job?

    Also i was tols to work 10 hours daily, is it correct?

    Thank you in advance for the answers.

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