How to Become a Cruise Ship Steward (US)

How to Become a Cruise Ship Steward (US)

A cruise ship steward is described as one of the most difficult and stressful jobs around, particularly for entry-level workers. Individuals must spend a lot of their time on boats, cruise ships and yachts, but it does offer candidates the ability to earn a lot of money without having to endure tremendous living expenses since you spend much of the year at sea.

The Work

A cruise ship steward is required to do an array of jobs rather than just focus on one task at hand. In other words, this employment position is a ‘jack of all trades’ type of job and prompts each worker to multi-task and complete a variety of outlined duties.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

-                Accompanying and showing new passengers to their cabin rooms

-                Carrying passengers’ luggage to their rooms and inquiring if they need further assistance

-                Maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of passengers’ cabins and replacing supplies

-                Ensuring that all parts of the boat or ship are neat, tidy and well-kept

-                Supervising the preparation of the food and ensure complete satisfaction of meals

-                Keeping in contact with all of the passengers to make sure they are comfortable

-                Having the knowledge of all the intricacies of the ship’s procedures and schedules

-                Reporting all ship issues, customer service inquiries and inventories to superiors

-                Monitoring certain areas to keep guests and other employees from injuring themselves

-                Sustaining proficient knowledge in a primary language and rudimentary in others

Salary & Hours

The Chronicle

Monthly Income


United States

$800 to $8,000



$450 to $2,000


Great Britain

$1,135 to $2,300


The majority of cruise work that is available to job applicants is seasonal and usually comes with temporary contracts. Some companies will provide one day off each month or only on holidays. Shifts are regularly long and breaks only come in the form of meals and sleep.


-                Strong communication abilities, outgoing personality and interpersonal talents

-                Motivation to persist with grueling hours, hard work and customer service

-                Efficient understanding in computer programs and languages

-                Capable in working in a team of fellow cruise ship stewards and other workers

-                Astute in the tasks behind regular cleaning chores and strict attention to details


Although a general education would be sufficient enough, such as a high school diploma or GED, additional education credentials can place you ahead of the pack. Some cruiseline professionals suggest having a degree in marketing or sales. Furthermore, a small amount of employers may want their staff members to have certifications in Level 1 (NVQ) Certificate in Accommodation Services or Level 1 Award in General Housekeeping Operations. On-the-job training usually consists of work safety, health and hygiene and first aid.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment in this field is expected to grow 14 percent until the year 2022. This number is about as average for an array of other occupations around. The future of the industry will be better for those seeking part-time job opportunities or only seasonal work.

The work of a cruise ship steward can be very hard and tiresome, but there are numerous perks involved, such as on-site accommodation, free meals and snacks and various entertainment (television, Internet, games, etc.) However, living quarters are shared with two to four people per cabin with bunk beds. Aside from getting intimately acquainted with others, this is perfect for individuals seeking travel, excitement and a new career.

Photo by Yoshikazu Takada via Flickr.