Cruise Ship Fitness Instructor Salary

The most asked question on the internet (and also on this website), from fitness instructors and Personal Trainers is; How much money can I make as a Personal Trainer or Fitness instructor on a cruise ship?


This question will be answered in this post, so keep reading!

First of all, I am going to assume that you aspire to work for Steiner. Steiner Spa staff works on the following cruiselines; Azamara Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Orient Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn, Windstar Cruises. So that’s quite a lot. It is actually pretty much every cruise line with ships over 1000 guests. So if you want to work on ships, Steiner will be the way to go.

When you work for Steiner there used to be only commission, but currently (mid 2013) they have introduced a minimum wage. The minimum wage for Personal Trainers or Fitnessinstructors is currently $1000,-US. This means if you don’t earn up to $1000,-US, on the commission you get from retail (selling products) and services, Steiner will make up the difference.

So as a Fitnessinstructor or Personal Trainer on a cruiseship, you will heavily depend on your commission. The commission for Fitness Trainers on cruise lines is 9% (currently checking if it is changed).

Just a quick side not here now that you know about the numbers. Life is more than just your salary.


Money will not buy you happiness; and there are plenty moments on the ship, you will experience happiness, and most of them have nothing to do with what you sell. It has to do with the smiles on peoples faces, the friends you make, the places you see, and the amazing sunsets you will experience. So instead of looking just at the money, take into account that you don’t have to pay for food and accommodaction on the ship, and you travel for free.

Conclusion: How much can a Fitnessinstructor make on a cruiseship?

So to conclude; It depends how good you are in your job, especially with selling. I have seen guys make over a $1500 a week (for themselves, so think about how much they sold), and also hear people that had to do with $200 a month (for themselves). It all depends on your skill and motivation. The average is around $1500 to $2000 a month. There is only commission, so no base salary. The commission is around 9% for a PT, between 7 and 9% for massage therapists and barbers on board.

31 thoughts on “Cruise Ship Fitness Instructor Salary”

  1. Hi,

    Nice blog, very informative. Can you give some advice personally in budapest? I mean some kind of simple training before i apply for the job. (Not for free)


    1. My son started with Steiner less than a month ago and is still learning but before he could find his feet he was transferred to another ship. Is this normal. In the 3 weeks his done about $7500 of sales. Is it because of his performance? For a 21 year old with no work experience i think his done well in the 3 weeks. Reasons for the transfer has not been discussed with him?

  2. Hi Mate,

    What do you mean?
    On location? Might be a challenge unless you are paying for transport too 🙂

    But you can ask me anything you want, here trough the website. If you put your email address in as well, I can reply via email to questions that are irrelevant to anyone else.

    Cheers, Daan

  3. Hello,
    Great website, thank you for putting this together. I am very interested in being a personal training on board a cruise ship as it combines two of my biggest passions, fitness and travel. I am about to finish my degree in accounting and before I go into the finance field, I would like to have a job like this for a year or two. Is it possible to do this occupation for a period of only a year or two or would you say it is a more long term position? Also, should I have my personal training certification before even contacting Steiner?
    Thanks mate!

    1. Hi Justin,

      Contract with Steiner are 8 or 9 months at a time. If you are good enough, Steiner will hire you for a second time.
      Yes, I would recommend getting your PT degree before contacting them, what would you inquire about?

      Cheers, Daan

  4. Hi there,
    I am a Personal trainer operating out of Brisbane, Australia running my own business, and I am wondering about the
    1. Days on/off you have (How long your working week is)?
    2. Do you actually have any holidays?
    3. Do you know what sort of Personal Training Packages they sell on board? So I have a rough idea of what I may be attempting to sell
    4. How much experience/sales ability would you say is necessary in order to earn a comfortable living?

    Thank you very much for your time,


  5. Hi,
    I am soon to become a personal trainer in the UK, Kent and would also like to try the life on a cruise ship for maybe a couple of years (if possible) and thank you for your insights on this website but there are still things you haven’t mention. I suppose simillar to the above post, I’d like to know:

    Do you get some time/day off at all, if so how long do you work and how long do you rest?
    Do you have some time to explore the places your traveling through?
    Can you take a few days holiday at all and are you able to leave the ship at all?

    Sorry to bother you, I hope that you’ll find the time to answer those questions, it is nice to know that there’s someone who can help you with your decision.

    Thank you very much,

    1. Hi Michal,

      There answers might not have been stated exactly so, but they are in my blog.

      You work on average about 14 hours a day, 76 hours a week. So you can rest the other hours, eat, or have fun. Up to you.
      You have 1 day a week off, and yes usually this will be on a port day. And this is not a normal job, where you can just “take a couple of days off” as you please.

      Hope you are succesful as a PT and feel free to ask questions.

      1. Thank you very much for all your help. I’d have one more question. If you are a couple is there any chance you could go together and share the same room or will you be separated and will only be able to see each other on your days off?
        Thanks very much again, you are very helpful.

        1. Hi Michal,

          Whilst working as a PT?
          95% chance no.
          First of all, the chances that you will work on the same ship together are pretty much nill, and than cruiselines do not pair male and female together.

          If you refer to finding a girl on the ship, than yes. You will not be assigned to her cabin, but it works the same as having a girl in real life. You can still go to her cabin, etc. Just have to be considerate towards her roommate..

          That answer your questions?

          1. Yes, it did. Thak you very much. I must say it’s not what I wanted to hear but it is what I expected (hahaha).
            Thanks again.

  6. Hi there,
    Unsure if you covered this in any of your blog, but how important is the level of experience in getting a cruise ship job? In a few months I will be a qualified Level 2 fitness instructor and Level 3 PT, with plenty of experience in sport and fitness under my belt. I was wondering if they;d require any years experience already working in a gym environment and most my past employment history is in retail etc?

    Many Thanks

    1. Hi James. Most important is your sales skills, of course youd have to have some pt experience, and certifications, but experience is something that you can learn / develop. As long as you got anational certification for PT you are fine.

  7. Hi Daan,
    Thanks for this blog you have provided a lot of insight! Sorry mate I am a bit confused here. You had said you have seen people earn as little as 200 per month but then that steiner would bring you up to 1000 if you cant make the sales target? If you could clear that one up for me it would be much appreciated.
    Thanks for your time

    1. Hi Josh,
      It’s simple 🙂 People in my time could make no money (actually lose money), but now there is a minimum salary of US1000 per month 🙂
      So if you are not performing up to standard Steiner will still pay you a basic salary..

  8. Daan,
    Thanks for the response I too like many others here have an interview (next week) and after reading this have my doubts! Haha.

    I have worked as a PT and gym manager (very sales driven) but in saying that my passion is for training people. Weights training and physical training. By the sounds of it you are really just a sales man. Could you provide more insight on what you are expected to sell? Are we talking gym gear, supplements etc or more these lose weight pill schemes and the like?

    Basically I am asking if I am going to be able to improve and help people with personal training or if I will be a sales man taking pilates and yoga classes?

    Thanks again,

    1. Josh, I’d say; 70% sales, 30% pt.. You’ll be a salesman that uses classes and PT sessions to get people to buy detox pills. You can sell all elemis detox products, but will be focussing on detox, and feet insoles.
      So only supplements pretty much 🙂
      Ofcourse you can focus on selling PT and not on the supplements, but it will not do you wallet any good..

      1. I know certain Group Fitness/ Personal Training certifications advise against selling supplements unless you are also medical professional (as they should). What cert do you have? That would be an ethics issue for me.

  9. HOLA


  10. Hi Arnold joanel from Cameroon my hobbies are psychology and fitness,am a model but i always dreamt of working in the ship,what can be the characteristics someone need beside the certificate,are they looking on ur body sharp?Ur height ur personality?What if u never sold those products before and are the best in cardio exercises?for clients to lose body weight change from CameroonEndomorph to ectomorph .

    1. Hi Arnold,
      No body shap or specific fitness required (do recommend you to be a proper image of a PT though, as it helps with sales, and they do ask about your weight, height, BF%, etc).
      They look at your promise, how well you will do in sales… and secondary in PT.
      Remember you most likely have about 5 to 7 days with most clients and are unlikely to achieve lasting results on the cruiseship. But the point is to try and sell them detox in the process 🙂

    1. Hi there, well where to start…I am quite disappointed in the way Steiner goes about their Presentations….I asked questions during the presentation (as a mother), cut a long story short…my son is working on board Princess Cruise as Fitness Instructor, to be told he does not get a basic of $1000 but has to make a target sales of $8000 per week, to be told he has to pay $70 for his accommodation and $10 steward fees….my son sold his car and resigned from his job to make a better life for himself financially and career wise, he told me they do basically no personal training, it;s all sales on detox and spa products. Regarding the presentation, non of this was mentioned, on the contrary the opposite is what we were told. Another important factor is that during your UK Boot camp (Training) before being placed on a ship, you get give 3 Counsel Performance warnings and thereafter will be sent back home, this they also seemed to forget to mention!!!!
      Daan, is there anybody from Princess Cruise that can be contacted to find out exactly how this accommodation story works, as it sounds very suspect to me. Port of departure Vancouver…

  11. Hello Daan

    I’m a little bit confused here. You said as of mid 2013 Steiner had introduced a minimum wage for PTs/Fitness Instructors which would be $1000/Us. When I read the conclusion it said that there is no base salary just commission. Do you think you could shed some light on that?

    1. The $1,000 is a MINIMUM. If your commission amounts to $1,300, that’s what you get. If it amounts to $800, then you’ll receive $1,000 instead.

  12. I understand that the commission on sales is 7.5%, so you would have to sell about $13,000 to cover the $1,000 salary.If you don’t make that level do you get “counselling” ?
    I’ve read that 3 x Counselling and you’re out ! What happens then ? I know you have to pay your flight home, but is there any penalty to pay for breaking the contract ?

  13. Very True Information i have been selected for Steiner as a Personak Trainer and i have attended the Orientation in which they told us the Exact Same things which are written here. The Oientation was given by Lorena Hartl Polenco, she works for Steiner. Nice Blog !!

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