Life on-board a Cruise Ship

October 16, 2015

''If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough''

I actually can’t believe I haven’t written a post here about my experience with Steiner, working on a cruise ship for 9 months. It was one hell of an adventure, one I will never forget. And just so you know, it’s not all as glamorous as it may seem.

Lets rewind 3 years.. June 2012, I was turning 21 and I had just qualified as a Beauty Therapist. A lot of girls from college were talking about going for interviews with Steiner. A huge company that owned spas on board luxury cruise ships. Travelling the world while working on a 5 star ship, it sounded so cool. I talked a lot with my parents about it, but I wasn’t 100% sure if it was for me.

I went off to Spain for the summer with friends. The thoughts of the cruise ship were always at the back of my mind. I had nothing to loose by applying for a interview when I got home. So I did.

In October 2012 I headed to Dublin for the interview. The interview involved a practical exam, written exam, and public speaking. There was an introduction to ship life for us to watch, to make sure we all knew what we were signing ourselves up for. It was going to be long working days, 12 hour shifts, not a lot of time off, high targets to reach, public speaking, sharing a tiny room with someone you’ve never met, but the bonus? Getting to travel to places you’ve never been to before.

It all began to feel very real when I got my letter of acceptance, I was feeling like a bag of nerves, and there was one thing holding me back…

I met a boy over the summer when I was in Spain, and I wanted to be with him. We lived in different countries so it was difficult, we both didn’t think our relationship would last. I thought about ditching the ships and moving to be with him. But I had to follow my gut and do what I thought was best for myself. He supported me and we kept in contact while I was away.

Fast forward to New Years Day January 2013. I started my training with Steiner Academy in London. It was a real shock to the system, we were put up in lets just say, not the fanciest of places, we were living with homeless people! But we survived!

This was the academy in London 

 Day 1 of training, we were up at 5.30am to get to the academy. The training was very  strict. This was all to get us ready for ship life, we were monitored and watched closely for the few weeks that we were there. The ship you are positioned on is all down to your personality, experience and what you specialise in. I was chosen to specialise in Skincare, and this made me SO happy! We had exams every day and we were studying every night. We had to know every ingredient in the products we were working with. We were trained at such a high standard for our facials which were not cheap.

By the second week, 10 girls had dropped out of my class. The pressure got to them. I can totally understand why some girls left, and if you’re reading this and you’ve worked for Steiner, you know too. Steiner training isn’t for everyone; it can be very draining and you have to be very focused, motivated and passionate about what you do to get through it. The teachers will push you and it can be very degrading. 
Snow in London January 2013

 I was given my ship details 2 days before I joined my ship. I was chosen to work on a Dutch Ship, called the MS Oosterdam with the Holland America Cruise Line (what a coincidence, my boyfriend is ducth ha ha), I was quite content!
Holland America Line

 February 2013 I joined my Ship in Sydney, Australia. I was full of nerves, I didn’t know what to expect. This was going to be my home for the next 9 months. After my 26 hour journey to Australia, there was no rest for the wicked, I was taken straight to my room and changed into my uniform and had to be up in the Spa in 20 minutes. Yikes like talk about giving a girl a break!

My uniform and treatment room. 

Beautiful Sydney
Lunch onboard with the lovely Jodie.. Size of my face!! I put on 7kg while on board!!!

Mystery Island, South Pacific
My first port..with Le Bogca & Kamilla (I burnt so bad that day:(!)
The girls waiting for the little boat to bring us to the big boat after a few hours at shore

My 22nd Birthday in the Crew bar

My experience was just how I imagined. It was hard work, long days, but I saw amazing places, and made life long friends from all over the world. What I learnt and experienced in the 9 months on board, I would never have learnt in a year staying in Cork. My time went so slow at the beginning. I didn’t know how I was going to survive it. But the friends I made I am so grateful for. We kept each other strong. 

The Atlantis Gay cruise White party 


Spa party!

Waiting to go home....

Formal Night

Hiding in my cupboard crying after my Jodie left, robbing fruit from the relaxation lounge

Fire Drill practise 

Working hard and #bate

Weekly face masks jodie and lesley :-)

My other half.. partner in crime.. Irish Mafia!

What I ate three times a day.. I was addicted. No wonder I gained 7kg.

The lovely Flo :-)

Exploring Sydney for the quick 1hour we were allowed off the ship!

Sky Diving over the North Shore in Hawaii
Lets just say this is the scariest thing I have ever done... But the Views were unreal.

The view of the North Shore from above...

We didnt Die... Yay! Hawaii

Took a helicopter to the glaciers in Alaska
Went on this thing... 

Had a little sleigh ride with the huskeys..

White party with the Gay Guests

Melbourne, looking rather chilly and stormy

South Pacific Islands

Hobart, Australia

Samoa, Fiji

View from top deck of the ship, sailing towards Hawaii

Little kids in Lungville, Vanatu

Hikes in Tauraunga New Zealand
Mr Les Greene, heading back to the ship before it leaves without him..

Enjoying a whole day off in Waikiki Hawaii

Enjoying a few hours off the ship..
Sydney Opera House with my Roome, Rea 

Crew party 

Pretending to be busy working 
Messer Jodie Murtagh!

Wouldn't have survived my contract without this angel.. xx

Formal night.. the nights we are allowed in the guest areas..

Ship docked in Hobart, Australia.

I am so happy I took the opportunity to go and work on the ship. It was the best decision ever. Always follow your gut feeling. Although there were times I was missing home, my friends and Roy. I had to keep thinking positive and finish my contract. 

Been away from home for a long time makes you realise how lucky you are. You realise who is really there for you, and it makes you appreciate things more.

I wont be going back to work on a cruise ship any time soon but I will always say go for it to anyone thinking of doing it. It’s made me so independent and I am very grateful for that.

If there is something you have always wanted to do, but you weren't sure you were able to do it, just try it. What's the worst that can happen? Take the risk.. You'll learn something from it anyway...!

Work hard, play hard, do what you love & always be happy :-)

Oh and PS, 3 years later me and my boyfriend are still together.. I just moved to Holland!:-)

If you are a beauty therapist, fitness instructor, hairdresser or business manager and you would like to travel- then check out steiner's website,  here - It could be the job you've been waiting for!

''Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that is the one that will help you grow''

Hope you have a great weekend,


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Best Skincare Advise

1.Never Sleep in your Makeup 2.Cleanse & Moisturise everyday twice a day 3. Exfoliate x2 week, Apply a mask 1-2 week 4. Drink plenty of water 5. Eat fresh fruit & Veg 6.Avoid Using Makeup Wipes 7. Beauty sleep is a thing- our skin regenerates as we sleep. 8.Never apply body products to the face 9.Always wear SPF no matter what the weather. 10. Clean makeup brushes every few days and change pillow cases regularly.