Cruise ship steward

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

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): Variable

Typical hours (a week): 28 - 30

How to become a cruise ship steward

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • applying directly


You could do a college course, like a Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

College (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

Direct application

You could apply to work as a cruise ship steward directly or through specialist agencies. There are no formal requirements, but experience of working in a hotel, restaurant or bar can be useful. GCSEs in English and maths will be helpful. Customer service is an important part of the role, so most cruise liners will expect you to have worked in a customer service job before. As you'll be travelling around the world, it may be helpful if you can speak a second language.

More info

Career tips You can get more advice about careers in hospitality and tourism through the Hospitality Guild.

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • a desire to help people
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day to day

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

Working environment

You could work on a cruise ship. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Career path & 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.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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