Work Onboard Luxury Cruise Ships with Steiner Cruises

Steiner is a global leader in the Spa industry, employing over 3000 hair and beauty professionals across the globe to work on board their luxury cruise liners.

We talked to Debbie Pritchard, Head of International Recruitment to find out the exciting career opportunities that exist today in the cruise industry and the qualities that she specifically looks for when recruiting.


Q. Can you tell us about your background and how you came to work for Steiner

As a 19 year old recently qualified Hairdresser I really wanted to travel. I became aware of Steiner and working onboard cruise ships, I applied to Steiner and joined in January 1993.

Just travelling to London from the North for the job interview was a huge adventure, so to walk up to the Port of Miami and stand at the side of this massive Cruise Ship waiting to board, was truly the most amazing feeling and a dream come true. 

No one can ever really explain it to people unless you have experienced it yourself.   All these years later I still get the same feeling when I visit them now. 
I worked on board for nearly 10 years as a Hairdresser, progressing to Spa Manager. 20 Years later I am now the Head of International Recruitment for Steiner

Q. What challenges do you face in recruiting for your onboard spas?

It is very challenging to explain and get across the fabulous opportunity that is available to candidates wanting to work for Steiner on board, the safe environment, making lots of new friends, seeing countries you only dreamed about and making money. There are many obstacles to cross before joining us and sometimes one is clouded by it all and doesn’t see the extraordinary opportunity before them.

Q. What are the popular misconceptions people have about what it's like to work on-board a cruise liner?

Not being able to cope with the hard work and demands of the job in a busy retail orientated environment. If only they realised the training is so comprehensive in preparing them for such a role. 

Q. What type of person is ideally suited to working on a cruise ship?

Smiley, Passionate, Energetic, Motivated and well presented! 

Q. What qualities do you specifically look for in a candidate?

High standards, work hard, focused and career minded, motivated and passionate about delivering a fantastic service. 

Q. You're well known for the opportunities open to therapists but we've also heard you offer great career opportunities to stylists. Can you tell us something about those opportunities

Steiner is often associated with Beauty only, however we also require great Hairdressers, someone who is passionate about their work, whilst combining it with travel and new experiences.  As a Hairdresser this is the best salon experience you will ever receive.  

You get to work with so many different cultures, nationalities and hair types.  You would simply not get this experience on land. As a traditional stylist, one only sees one in a traditional salon, however the opportunities increase massively, preparing and giving you the confidence to work within Hotels, Health clubs or Destination Spas. 

Q. What are the typical rewards and life experiences that a placement at sea offers?

There is simply no job like it; there are so many rewards working at Sea, not only life experiences, which you would never achieve on land: making and saving money, no living expenses onboard, travelling, and of course career progression. Steiner employees are very sought after in the industry.

Q. After their first contract at sea do you get many people applying to return?

We have an excellent retention of staff, many complete more than 2 or 3 contracts and some staff are on their 10th or more contracts. 
In addition, there are also many careers opportunities after a life at sea for the right individual.  

Q. What questions would you advise someone asks themselves before considering applying to work on a cruise ship?

1. Am I prepared to be away for 9 months at a time?
2. Am I prepared to take responsibility for my own life?  Yes it’s going to be hard work, but with the training and my ambition I know I can achieve anything

Where will your Steiner career take you? 

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