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Life on a Floating Spa

Written by Abby Sangster & Carla Lee on October 10th, 2014.      0 comments

WOW what an amazing opportunity I thought! After being presented by my Tutors at AUT the chance to work and travel overseas in a floating spa on board cruise ships!

So after 4 years experience as a therapist in some well regarded salons in Auckland I was ready to take flight to London to the Steiner academy and start my new journey!

I will never forget the day I was told I had been placed on a ship after training at the Steiner was my ticket and I was off to Barcelona the next day!!! Overwhelmed was the feeling when I arrived to this massive ship which would be my home for the next 8 months.

While on board I continually learnt new skills from all the other therapists from around the world, I worked very hard, with long days but with a great pay check and a day off in a new exotic place coming up. That hard work pays off with incredible travel opportunities, no bills to pay, wondering which pair of designer shoes...or handbag you will buy next!
Abby Sangster SpaBeauty Blog
The most difficult part for me was time restrictions of having to be back on the boat before departure when you were is such an amazing place you did not want to leave! but was it so bad? Considering the next day you were in another amazing place again!

Crew excursion tours were amazing! Pyramids in Egypt...Cinque Terra in Italy...Pompeii this list goes on...and they were free!

If you are up for an exciting challenge? Doing what you love as a therapist, being paid to travelling the amazing like minded somewhere new each week...sip piña coladas on an exotic work hard but also play hard too! It's not for everyone sharing a cabin and being away from family....but it can be for a short time or a long time! For me I was on board 2 years and I LOVED it!

I was on board Royal Caribbean ships. Voyager of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Serenade if the Seas and Legend of the Seas.

I travelled the Mediterranean (Italy, France, Spain) Caribbean, Hawaii, USA, Bermuda, Alaska, Canada, Egypt, Oman, Turkey, Jordan, Dubai, Panama, Mexican Riviera, Portugal, Greek Islands and India!

Abby Sangster
Owner/Operator Flossie (beauty salon) - Find Flossie on Facebook
Tutor (beauty therapy) at Aoraki Polytech
Cruise Ship Life for me was always the "natural" next step after getting my National Diploma in Somatology (I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa)... it is what my sister did, and I wanted to experience what she did... see the world, meet new people, gain experience & make loads of money while doing it!
When the recruitment agent visited us in College, it looked amazing, the pictures, the stories etc., and of course I had an inside knowledge into it all through my big sis, which helped a lot I think :-) I knew the good, the bad & the ugly even before I joined!
I started my first contract as a Beauty Therapist, doing mostly massage treatments, and to be totally honest, I hated my first contract, it was tough being away from home, the long work hours, massage after massage after massage, targets targets targets... BUT then of course it happened, I met a guy... a Kiwi guy, who is now my husband, hence I have moved to NZ, and have been living here since April 2014.
What I enjoyed the most about working in a Floating Spa... where do I start...
Carla Meyer SpaBeauty News
I loved the multi-cultural environment, being able to meet people from all over the world.
I loved the beautiful spa's that I have worked in... I really miss the environment a lot, the beautiful thermal suite with steam rooms, sauna's, tropical showers etc., amazing.
I loved all the different treatments we had to offer, and seeing how our guests loved them too.
I loved it when hard work paid off, being promoted from beauty therapist, to assistant manager, to manager.
I loved the incentives, being able to reach targets/goals & earning some extra time off :-)
I loved all the places I've seen
I loved all the shopping :-)
Simply put, I loved my time at sea!
I have worked on a couple of different cruise ships & seen so many amazing places:
  • 1st Contract: Caribbean Princess (Caribbean, Florida, Bahamas)
  • 2nd Contract: Star Princess (Alaska, Seattle, San Francisco, Antarctica, Mexico)
  • 3rd Contract: Caribbean Princess (Canada & New England, New York, Puerto Rico)
  • 4th Contract: Diamond Princess (New Zealand, Australia, Asia)
  • 5th Contract: Sea Princess (Panama Canal, Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska)
  • 6th Contract: Caribbean Princess (Canada & New England, New York, Puerto Rico)
  • 7th Contract: Grand Princess (Europe, Baltic)
  • 8th Contract: Island Princess (Panama Canal, Alaska)
Working on a cruise ship has given me confidence that I did not have before! And working for such a reputable company as Steiner Leisure/The Onboard Spa has opened up so many doors for me... e.g. I was not even looking for a job in NZ (I was on vacation), when I was approached regarding a position available!
My advice to those thinking should I or shouldn't I...
If you are willing to put in the hard yards, willing to be tired, willing to go find yourself some clients, willing to step out of your comfort zone, willing to meet awesome people, willing to make lots of money while travelling the world, and willing to get your heart broken/find the love of your life (as in my case), then GO FOR IT! You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain!

Carla Lee
Former Spa Manager for Steiner/ The Onboard Spa
Currently working as Spa Manager at Forme Spa in Hamilton

For more information about Steiner visit them here or watch this exciting video:





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