Steiner training is renowned for being tough, which is why if you have worked for Steiner, you will most likely be able to walk into any other job without a problem. Before starting your 9-month contract on board a cruise ship, Steiner will train you to be the most knowledgeable and professional employee you can be, so that when you board the ship you know exactly what to expect. The training takes place at the Steiner training academy in Watford which is about 45 minutes from London city centre. The academy has all the up to date equipment and very knowledgeable staff.
How do they decide what you will specialise in?
You are there to become a Personal Trainer onboard cruise ships. Your job will revolve around two main components, teaching classes and doing health seminars. Most of your training will be absorbing knowledge and being able to regurgitate that knowledge in front of a crowd of people.
As a Hairdresser, you already know what you’re doing so usually hairdressers are in training 2 weeks max, and in that two weeks, you will have your hairdressing skills assessed and learn about the products and how to sell them.
If you apply to Steiner having only got your level 1&2 Beauty Therapy qualification you will most likely be a nail technician. They will teach you how to apply normal polish, gel and acrylics as well as treatment routines and products.
If you apply to Steiner having beauty therapy 1,2 and 3 you will have the option to be either:
An Ionithermie specialist
Ionithermie is a slimming and detox treatment which helps to aid the breakdown of toxins which internally will make you lose inches and in the long term, will help you lose weight.
A Massage specialist
You will train in all of the different types of massage such as Bamboo, Thai poultice, Hot stone and Swedish.
A Facial specialist
You will be trained in all the Elemis facials and be able to identify what skin needs what facial.
A Seaweed wrap therapist
The seaweed wrap treatment is one of the most luxurious on board, where the guest will enjoy being wrapped in seaweed which will help to detoxify them, and then receive a massage of their choice.
The first week
Your first week will be spent learning about the classes that you will be teaching and on product knowledge. Once you have the basic knowledge, you will focus a lot of public speaking and selling techniques.
Hairdressers will have their hairdressing skills assessed and do a lot of product knowledge. Once they feel you are ready you will be sent to a ship.
The first week will be spent learning treatment routines, contra-indications, and product knowledge. Once this is done, application of the product comes next whether it be gel, acrylic or normal polish.
Level 3 Beauty employees
The first week is spent learning the Elemis massage routine, contra-indications for treatments and the seaweed wrap treatment, with the idea that when you have all finished the first week, you will all be on the same knowledge level. After this, the teachers decide what they think you would be best suited to specialising in, and the group is separated and you will go on and learn about whatever is chosen for you.
Take in mind that the first week is a 7 day week, so you will have to do 13 days of training before you get your first day off.
How long will you be there
This mostly depends on whether there is a ship that requires your skills. If there is a ship that needs a facial specialist and that’s what you are, you will go to that ship. On the other hand, you could be trained in everything but if there is no-one to replace, you will stay in training until a space on board opens up. The teachers may tell you stuff like “they are waiting for a ship to come up to suit your personality”, or “we are waiting to put you on a ship with the best itinerary” but really they are just waiting for any ship that needs your skills. If you end up being at the Academy for a while, remember this. Don’t start doubting yourself like I did, they just haven’t got a ship that is available yet.
How much money should you take?
Before starting training, you will have already paid for the training and your uniforms. Things you have to pay for during training:
The medical you receive on your first day of training cost me £250 in 2015. This may have changed.
Once you find out your ship you may need injections dependant on the countries that the ship is visiting. The price depends on which injections you require and how many you need, but I would allow at least £50.
To and from the training academy every day. The price depends on how long you are at the academy, but I would allow £100.
Transport to the airport
Depends on which airport you are flying from and whether you want to use a train, taxi or bus to get there, but I would allow at least £30.
You will have to buy breakfast and lunch every day. I would allow £8 a day minimum for food and drink. If you multiply that by 6 weeks it equals £336.00. That is just for breakfast and lunch so if you want to go out for dinner or drinks, take this into account. Whilst dependant on how long you are there for, I would set aside £400.
As you will only be 45 mins away from the city of London and you get Sundays off, you may want to go and explore, especially if you are from another country, but just keep in mind London is very expensive.
This is a rough overview of things you will be expected to pay for. All my estimates were worked out with 6 weeks of training in mind which came to £830.00. Of course, you may only be there 3 weeks, so you won’t need this much but you just can’t tell, and it’s better to have too much than not enough.
I took £1000.00 with me, I was in training for 9 weeks. During that time I went into London once, went out to eat a few times, went out for drinks and by the time I boarded the ship, of that £1000, I had £33.00 left.
Please also take into consideration that you won’t receive your first payment from Steiner for 8 weeks into your contract. Many people struggle with this if they are not prepared. Let’s say you are training for two months, and then have to wait another two months once on board before getting your first payment, that’s four months in total. Although once on the ship you have no outgoings, if you want to enjoy your day off in port, or buy anything, you will obviously need a little bit of spare cash.
What to do for breakfast and lunch?
The most popular option is to buy food from the canteen inside the Academy as it is relatively cheap. In the morning they have continental options on offer and for lunch, you can have a jacket potato, a sandwich, a salad. Your evening meal is included in the YMCA, so you will eat when you return from the Academy.
How do you have to look?
You are expected to have immaculate appearance every day – A crinkle-free and sweet smelling uniform, slick hair, flawless makeup and a smile. They are very fussy at the academy, even if one hairpin is out of place they will pick up on it. You won’t get in trouble as such, but they do notice everything. For the girls, they are really big on you wearing lipstick and making sure it always looks good, so I would invest in a good liquid lipstick to save yourself from re-applying it all the time.
What are the teachers like
The teachers are firm and fair. They have high standards and expect you to meet them. I found them to be helpful but only to a point. If they felt that you were asking a question that they thought you should know the answer to they would advise you to “find out for yourself”.
When do you find out your ship
Normally Friday is “ship day” where various people will find out when and where they are going. It’s a very exciting day. If you are lucky you will be given a bit of notice, but some people were given their details and were flying the next day.
How you get to and from the academy?
Public transport. there is a bus stop right outside the YMCA where you and all the other ‘Steiners’ will wait to catch the bus. The buses are very regular and if you are not sure where to get off, the driver will be able to tell you.
How long is a typical day at the academy
You need to be at the academy for 9 and normally finish at 5. With the wait for the buses and the 30-minute commute, the day would definitely seem longer. Once back at the YMCA, after dinner we would then have to wash and iron our uniform most nights and revise for the following day, so wouldn’t get to bed till at least 11 pm and then have to be up at 7 the next morning.
As I was a level 3 employee, my first week was spent learning the Elemis massage routine and the Seaweed detox wrap treatment.
After completion of the first week, it was then decided that I would be a Facialist and would spend the next two weeks learning all the facial routines and the products. Although my knowledge on the skin was good and I had done many facials before, remembering all the different massage routines were very hard and something that can only truly be remembered by practising.
I assumed after my 3 weeks I would be given a ship as I was now “specialised” in something, however, that was not the case. I was placed in massage classes and product training classes. I was actually quite glad of this because it gave me a chance to practice what I had learned in my first week and improve on my product knowledge.
When I got to the end of my 5th week I started to get frustrated. Most of the people who had started on the same day as I had, had already left for their ship. I started to wonder if I wasn’t doing well and they felt I needed to stay and better myself. But this didn’t make sense as I was always being praised for my work.
As well as being concerned with the length of time I had been in training, money was also becoming a concern as I had budgeted for 6 weeks because that was the amount of time I was told to prepare for. I also didn’t anticipate how expensive things would be, as we were basically in London.
The 6th week of being there I was put into an Ionithermie class which was a two-week class so that got me even more fed up because it meant I wasn’t going anywhere for another two weeks.
During my training, I had spoken to girls who had trained to do Ionithermie and they had all said how hard it was because of all the information you had to retain. I surprised myself and really enjoyed the treatment.
I spent another week doing sales training and going over everything I had learned. I wondered what I would specialise in, as I was now trained in all the massage procedures, all the facials and Ionithermie. After 9 weeks of training, I was assigned my first ship as an Ionithermist.
On reflection, the fact that I was at Steiner so long was a brilliant thing because I was trained in a multitude of things which helped me make more money. After speaking to people who went on the ships after only 3 weeks, they said they felt like ‘a rabbit in the headlights’, whereas I felt very ready.