The perfect pampering for any guest on a luxury cruise line involves a visit to the spa and beauty salon. Cruising has long since become popular with more than the stereotypical zimmerframe-wielding retirees, and fitness instructors are in high demand. Steiner International is one of the most prominent recruiting agencies for spa departments in the world cruising industry, employing over 2,000 crew members to work on cruise ships every year.
As global leaders in the spa industry, Steiner recruits hairdressers, fitness, reception and beauty professionals from all over the world to work in beauty spas, gyms and salons onboard 136 luxury cruise liners owned by 16 different cruise companies! These jobs really are “a job of a lifetime”, giving you the chance to gain valuable experience furthering a career that you love. Not only will you be trained and become more qualified, you’ll be earning a potential packet, and travelling to some of most beautiful ports around the world.
Cruise Job Requirements
The basic requirements for applying for a position with Steiner are that you are qualified in your chosen profession and you are at least 18 and a half years old. Almost all positions require a relevant NVQ level 2 or equivalent. Steiner can take you straight from college to work if you have reached the necessary standard. Positions such as beauty and massage therapists favour applicants who have completed additional courses like face/body electrics, aromatherapy, reflexology, and Indian head massage. Massage therapists also require at least 150 hours of practical experience.
Hairdressers are required to have at least one year’s salon experience working their own column. Nail technicians have to be qualified to NVQ level 2 or a product house equivalent; Creative, for example. They must also be able to demonstrate a full set of acrylic nails (French polish) in 70 minutes. Acupuncturists require a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Acupuncture and/or Chinese Medicine. This must be from a recognized university. Supplementary courses such as Tai Chi, Oi Gong, and Tui Na are a bonus, but not mandatory.
Fitness instructors must be 20/21 years of age, with at least 6 months experience, and have a gym instructorship certification such as YMCA Gym Instructor Level 2 or Personal Trainer qualifications. To qualify for a position onboard, instructors have to agree to obtain an Exercise to Music Level 2, which is an intensive week long course run through Steiner or an established outside company (i.e., Premier/YCMA). All fitness instructors will complete Steiner’s two-week exclusive boot camp, where they learn skills as diverse as teaching spinning to putting together a detox seminar! Spa receptionists must be at least 21, have an immaculate appearance, English language skills and be well grounded in sales. Knowledge of any other languages is a plus, but not a necessity!
Steiner Job Interviews
Once Steiner has received your application form, you will be sent information about your interview via the same communication method that you used to apply. You will then be asked to accept, reschedule or cancel your attendance at a proposed interview date. UK interview dates are held every two weeks in the London headquarters for beauty, massage, nail technicians, acupuncture and reception staff. Fitness instructor interviews are held once a month. Please see www.theonboardspa.com/ for more specific information and contact details of your Regional Employment Manager.
At the interview, you will be asked to fill out various forms and carry out a written and practical trade test. Ensure that you dress smartly and wear appropriate uniform and footwear. You will also need to bring with you any necessary trade tools. Eva Yarburg, Head of International Recruitment at Steiner Training Ltd, knows exactly which applicants she is after:
“We are looking for a candidate with professionalism, confidence and a great standard of appearance and service. Good communication skills, flexibility and a cheerful ‘smiley’ personality are also very important. It will be someone who has the ability to adapt to different situations as well as being flexible, and someone who is willing to take up a challenge and work hard.”
If you are successful at your interview, you will receive a Starter Pack with a C1/D visa letter and a contract. This US visa costs £63 and is compulsory in order to work on ships with Steiner, and to obtain it you will need to book an interview with your country’s US Consulate (www.usembassy.org.uk). You will then be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure check (£50) to ensure that you have no extreme criminal history, and you will be required to have a valid passport prior to obtaining visas and travelling. All these documents are vital for your training place at the Steiner International Academy.
Cruise Job Training Academy
Situated in Harrow Weald, Middlesex, the Steiner Training Academy is an elegant Victorian mansion, surrounded by tranquil gardens. Every successful applicant must complete the pre-Shipboard Training Module before being allocated to his or her vessel. During this training you will be taught the signature treatments and will perfect your skills to prepare yourself for a successful life at sea.
The Academy is the central base of Steiner, and can accommodate up to 200 staff at once from all corners of the globe. There are several lecture rooms, where students learn various Steiner skills to equip them for ship life, along with a café serving subsidised food, and various areas to sit and relax during breaks. Depending on training and positions available, the training length will vary from 2 days to 12 weeks. Other meals and accommodation are provided at the YMCA in Watford, London.
Once you have your qualifications, you will be trained in Steiner professional treatments, special techniques and products. Steiner pays for the time you are in training, and Eva is keen to tell us of further staff perks, “Working with Steiner encourages personal growth and independence. It is worth it to work onboard, just for the education! Working at sea gives you a free ride – your training would cost £3000 if you had to pay for it. Other staff benefits include product discounts and free treatments when time allows.”
Whilst the expert training is complimentary, there are various other costs incurred during your time at the Academy. Firstly, there is the Norwegian Medical, which you need to pass to complete your training. This is a maritime standard requirement for all cruise ships, and will set you back £190. You must perform this specialized medical with Steiner; those administered by your local GP are not accepted. As well as this, you will be given any required travel vaccination injections during training.
You will also be asked to provide £275 in either cash, sterling travellers cheques or via a bank draft for your maritime and facilities fee, and £32 for the training uniform. These fees are due on the first day of training (not at the interview). If you require a Sea Survival certificate, this might also be completed during training, although it is usually done onboard the ship. Other expenses include the £50 Airport Tax and the hotel cost when joining your ship– this should be no more then £100. The uniform appropriate to your ship will cost approximately £100. Last but not least, you will need to cover the cost of a return flight ticket as well as money for socialising whilst at the Academy! Phew!
You must be prepared and ready to go when you come in to training, because if you are successful you may not get enough notice to go home before joining a new ship. Positions arise continually and if you are a good worker, you may be offered a ship with only a few days notice.
Working on a Cruise Ship
Once you have passed the training you will be assigned to a new ship and contract.
Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to choose your own ship or the same ship as a friend. Couples cannot work on the same ship, as cruise company’s policies allocate a separate amount of cabins to fill with their own staff. The first contract is 8 months long, and you will be out of the country for the entire period. Steiner staff members are entitled to 1 and a half days off per week.
Steiner pays for the flight to the ship and your flight back to the UK on completion of your contract. You are responsible for any hotel and transfer costs. Steiner provides medical insurance cover only when you are actually onboard. In the worst case scenario, if someone does not enjoy ship life and wishes to break their contract, then they have to fly back home at their own expense and they cannot re¬apply to work for Steiner again.
The salary depends on your profession, although most salaries are commission-based on sales and services. Whilst onboard, your tips and retainer are paid in $US cash. When your contract is over your final commission cheque will be sent home – but more detailed information is given at the interview stage.
Finally, Steiner offer a Back2Sea program designed exclusively for existing Steiner cruise staff that wish to return to sea for another contract. After you have completed your first 8 months contract, you will have the option to do 6 months on the second contract. There are wide ranging opportunities for your career, including managing a cruise line spa, supervisory roles and training positions at Steiner Training Academy or working in a land based spa. Eva further points out the long-term advantages of completing a contract with them: “We are synonymous with luxury cruise liners and famous for our rigorous training. We focus on developing your customer service skills, standards and professionalism. That’s why most staff can get a job ‘anywhere’ after working at sea with Steiner.”
Please visit www.onespaworld.com for more information. To apply directly to Steiner and start an exciting new career at sea, send your CV to Jan Green at [email protected] or post your application to: Steiner Training Limited, The Lodge, 92 Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald, Middlesex, HA3 6DQ.
CRUISE LINES STEINER RECRUITS FOR
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
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