Unsung heroes: A cruise ship custodian talks a typical work day, passenger kindness and more
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.
Unsung hero: Awang Adi Prasetyo, housekeeping staff, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium
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.
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.
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.
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].
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
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees