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The cruise ship spa industry is dominated by one major player, Steiner Leisure and a few smaller competitors like: Harding Bros, Mandara Spa, and Canyon Ranch.

There may be a few other sources of employment out there that I do not know about, perhaps serving niche markets like luxury yachts and smaller cruise vessels. That said, my attempts at researching the latter information has not sourced any good leads. Anyone else?

I know that private yachts will occasionally hire Massage Therapists and a search for 'yacht crew jobs' might find leads although the best way is a direct contact with an owner. That would be the key. Know any jet setters or celebs?

FYI Crew listings are usually free. I enlisted with some of those agencies years ago but never got any jobs as an MT. It may still be worth a try.

I would beware of "cruise job' sites that charge for membership or 'agencies' that charge a placement fee. These are scams. The way to go is to contact the employers I have listed here directly.

Here are a couple more links to concessionaries and cruise liners: Spaindex and Cruise Ship Portal.

May you find your sea legs.

Tags: crew, cruise, employment, jobs, ships

Views: 396

Replies to This Discussion

This is great info. Thanks!
how long do you stay on the cruise ship?
Hi Nyema,
the company I was with required a six month contract. Other companies may differ but I suspect that unless you are working on a ferry liner it will be about that. With Steiner, the first contract is nine months as per their FAQ.

Nyema Tolese Randall said:
how long do you stay on the cruise ship?
Thank you Mike! :)

Mike Hinkle said:
This is great info. Thanks!
So how many massages in a day are done? The therapist I had on the ship to Mexico told me 12 and that her hands hurt terribly. The room was very small and proper body machanics were impossible. So how do you do self care on a cruise ship with so little time for sleep? Do you ever get to receive a massage on a cruise ship in the spa you are working?
HI Darcy,

Hours:
yes 12 appointments is about right if you are fully booked but it could be way less if you are not. We had slow days, we had busy days. On my 8 am to 8pm shifts, the massages were 25 or 50 minutes so if I got booked with half hour sessions that would raise the number of persons worked on. That only happened rarely but it could technically if the spa booked up. Still the same long hours, just a lot more sheet changings, interactions, and 'energies' to deal with.

Hands:
Yes hands can hurt if you use them a lot. I started to use them mainly for palpation while favoring forearms and elbows for pressure. I eliminated petrissage by hand altogether. Feels great to the client but shipwrecks your body on that kind of schedule.

Self-care:
The cruise ship experience helped to teach me that self care must happen anywhere. It has to be portable and minimally restricted by the environment. That's why I like taiji and yoga...

Sleep:
The cruises are a very high energy place to live in so you do get entrained by that and motor along on the charge. Sleep was 6-7 hours. We traded massages and other spa services, and I enjoyed using the the gym, the sauna, and doing my taiji and yoga topsides.

Darcy Neibaur BS LMT NCTMB said:
So how many massages in a day are done? The therapist I had on the ship to Mexico told me 12 and that her hands hurt terribly. The room was very small and proper body machanics were impossible. So how do you do self care on a cruise ship with so little time for sleep? Do you ever get to receive a massage on a cruise ship in the spa you are working?
thank you for this information I have applied to Steiner and may have an interview in February and because of your info I just applied to on board spas or Harding Brothers I have question for you also I just need to get them lined out so I can send them if that is ok
Hi Julie,
that's great. I will be glad to answer your questions as best I can.
Best regards,
Alex

Julie Wuebbels said:
thank you for this information I have applied to Steiner and may have an interview in February and because of your info I just applied to on board spas or Harding Brothers I have question for you also I just need to get them lined out so I can send them if that is ok
Hi Alex
well here it goes with the questions any answer you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Is it normal for them to ask for your certificates before the interview? How do you do taxes I have been told different things by different people like you don't pay taxes, or it is 20% of what you make? What kind of clothes should I bring, personal hygiene products? Do they provide insurance? Do they give vacations? I know I am basically on a vacation on a ship but I expect to be working a lot from what I have read on this and other web sites. Do you work straight through the contract or do they break the months up? If they break the months up do they pay for the way to get home and back, do they pay for your way to the cruise ship period? Can you claim the schooling that I think they have you do as continuing education? Do they pay you while you are learning? Is there breaks in between cruises and if so where do you stay? Do they bounce you from cruise ship to cruise ship or are you on the same cruise ship for the whole time of the contract? Do they have a plan set up for emergencies that may arise at home, like funerals and accidents and health issues at home? Sorry for so many questions I will also be asking them to the person I get the interview with (when I get the interview it is frustrating when they ask for things that you have no way of sending them) but again thank you for any help I just would like a second set of eyes and answers from someone who has been there. Also of you think of any other Questions I should ask during the interview I would appreciate that.
Best Regards,
Julie
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and to all of your families and good luck with the holiday shopping
Hi Julie,
sorry for the delayed reply but I had not logged in until now. Great questions. I will type in the answers in between your text below:

Julie Wuebbels said:
Hi Alex
well here it goes with the questions any answer you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Is it normal for them to ask for your certificates before the interview?
yes

How do you do taxes I have been told different things by different people like you don't pay taxes, or it is 20% of what you make?

if you are a US citizen you do your taxes like with any other job.

What kind of clothes should I bring,

Few but good ones: one or two gala/evening outfits, your beach duds, jeans, regular stuff for casual off duty wear. At work you'll be in a uniform.

personal hygiene products?

yes

Do they provide insurance?

liability for work stuff yes but not health insurance

Do they give vacations?

No. The end of a contract is when you go on 'vacation'.

I know I am basically on a vacation on a ship

Red ALERT! Do not even remotely begin to think this job will be a 'vacation'

but I expect to be working a lot from what I have read on this and other web sites.

Expect to be working hard enough that it will test the very limits of your physical endurance.

Do you work straight through the contract or do they break the months up?

straight

If they break the months up do they pay for the way to get home and back,

no breaks

do they pay for your way to the cruise ship period?

no they used to pay for you to be repatriated to where you boarded. I don't know how it is now.

Can you claim the schooling that I think they have you do as continuing education?

If they offer CEU's for it yes.

Do they pay you while you are learning?

nooo you pay for your travel and housing and various fees

Is there breaks in between cruises and if so where do you stay?

You stay on ship unless there's an overnight somewhere and you feel like you need to pay for a hotel for the distinction of land under your feet and a shower to yourself. There are usually no breaks between cruises. Sunday 1000 people disembark, 1000 new people embark, off you go again. Exceptions are when there is a big reposition of operations from one ocean to another. Then there may be a few days where the ship is in wet dock for provisioning and maintenance.

Do they bounce you from cruise ship to cruise ship or are you on the same cruise ship for the whole time of the contract?

same ship, they may bounce you around cabins, or bounce roommates thru your cabin. All additional bouncing courtesy of mother ocean.

Do they have a plan set up for emergencies that may arise at home, like funerals and accidents and health issues at home?

No plan. They will let you break contract only under these serious conditions and at your own cost.

Sorry for so many questions I will also be asking them to the person I get the interview with (when I get the interview it is frustrating when they ask for things that you have no way of sending them) but again thank you for any help I just would like a second set of eyes and answers from someone who has been there. Also of you think of any other Questions I should ask during the interview I would appreciate that.

You're welcome. Good luck! Alex


Best Regards,
Julie
Thanks Julie hope you had a nice holiday!

Julie Wuebbels said:
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and to all of your families and good luck with the holiday shopping

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