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Unsung heroes: A cruise ship custodian talks a typical work day, passenger kindness and more

July 04, 2021
5 min read
Unsung heroes: A cruise ship custodian talks a typical work day, passenger kindness and more
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After you board a cruise ship, order your first fruity cocktail and grab a seat by the pool, it's instant relaxation. But in that state of bliss, it can be easy to forget the people who help you to have a marvelous time on your vacation.

The crew works tirelessly to make you feel right at home and completely pampered. They cook your food, do your laundry and make sure your cabin is as spotless as it can be.

Here, we're highlighting someone who's responsible for keeping public areas like bars, lounges and the pool area clean and tidy.

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Unsung hero: Awang Adi Prasetyo, housekeeping staff, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Millennium

A crew member holds a bottle of cleaner as he prepares to sanitize public areas on cruise ship Celebrity Millennium. (Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

TPG: How did you get into being a member of the housekeeping staff on cruise ships?

Awang Adi Prasetyo: I started in 2016. My first ship was the Millennium. The second ship was the Celebrity Eclipse, and the third ship was the Celebrity Edge. And on the last one, I opened Celebrity Apex.

TPG: What does a typical work week look like?

AAP: It's nice. The supervisor [tells] us who will be responsible for each section [of the ship]. For example, the public area, the crew area, the pool attendant area. We have a lot of teamwork.

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We need to wake up a little bit early. Sometimes we have a job that starts at 7 or 7:30 a.m. We have breakfast for the crew, and then we have a meeting after. I finish around 9 p.m.

Every day, we're supposed to have four hours' break. We have [two] breaks. We get a one-hour break and a three-hour break. Under normal conditions, with no COVID-19, we can go ashore for shore leave [on port days]. We have three hours to go outside and then come back to the ship.

A cabin bathroom on cruise ship Celebrity Millennium (Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

TPG: What's your favorite part of the job?

AAP: I [enjoy] cleaning the restrooms. The restrooms are nice because I can talk with the guests, and if we keep [the restrooms] clean, it makes the guests friendlier to us also.

TPG: What's your least favorite part of the job?

AAP: I [don't have a least favorite]. Guests make messes, and I need to clean them because that's my job.

TPG: What's the one thing you wish more people understood about your job?

AAP: Feedback is important. [I wish more] guests would give us nice feedback about our cleanliness in [various] areas.

After COVID-19, we are all fully vaccinated on the Celebrity Millennium, so the guests should be comfortable. I wish more people knew it was safe to come back.

Face masks and hand sanitizer provided in passenger cabins on Celebrity Millennium as part of the ship's protocols (Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

TPG: What's something anyone can do to be a better traveler in 2021 and beyond?

AAP: Follow health and safety protocols so everyone can stay safe.

TPG: Are there any VIP-type treatments a guest could score from you for good behavior?

AAP: It helps if guests make conversation and are friendly, [but] we give good service to all the guests.

TPG: How has working in the hospitality industry changed your idea of travel or going on vacation?

AAP: It has taught me to be more conscious of cleanliness. When I'm back home I keep my house clean. I don't throw garbage anywhere.

Also, we sail the world, and I've made friends with people from all over. We can meet the families of other people working on the ship. We work here, we save the money and we have vacation back home with our families [instead of traveling for vacation].

Paris and the Eiffel Tower in spring (Photo by Nikada/Getty Images)

TPG: If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be and why?

AAP: The next Celebrity Millennium [itineraries] go to Alaska, and I've never been there. But I want to see it. If possible, I'd go on a ship [during work], but if I could save the money, I'd take my family.

TPG: Tell us about the best vacation you've ever taken or the best place you've ever traveled.

AAP: My favorite is Paris, with the Eiffel Tower. It's my favorite place because it's friendly, and the movies always show it as [romantic]. Paris in love.

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023