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My experience as an Acupuncturist on a Cruise Ships


I am a registered Acupuncturist and myoskeletal alignment therapist, and I work my a$$ off in "my own clinic," and I make 3000.00 + a week. When I want to go on a cruise ...I take one.

heres my rant....

If you love what you do with passion, and you actually work the business side of running a clinic, you will not need these cruise ships gouging your well earned prifits, and catering to people for tip money... and pushing sales on people, like used car salesmen. This ( at least in my opinion) is not what inegrative healthcare and Acupuncture / tcm is about.

To each their own...but know this: There are much better ways to earn money, while keeping your moral and ethical standards intact, not to mention ones dignity.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture does NOT have to estabolish itself along the same lines as "makeup and hair" ...IF do not want it to.

I for one will quit this very rewarding carreer before I scrounge for tips off the backs of tourists in some spa. ( but thats just me)

Just know that there are more dignified ways to earn money ( if you so choose)

And to those who like their cruise ships and spa style acupuncture, and tip money...more power to you. But also know that we are not all tarred with that same brush !!!!!

Steiner is laughing all the way to the bank...with "your" hard earned money, your "dignity," and your "reputation with other legitimate healthcare workers." jus sayin&#39

Sorry for the tone...but "spa style acupuncture".."pushing product lines"...and "tips"...really cheapens this field, and irritates the heck outta someone who spends massive amounts of time promoting Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (and all its modalities) as a legitimate field of healthcare .

Choose wisely, and best of luck :) Take care all !


sanyinjiao: I totally understand where you are coming from. I worked in one of the spas off and on for 3 years after working in a acupuncture-based public health setting for nearly 7 years. I found that I had exchanged my burnout of the public health sector for the stress of working for a big business with big expectation$$$. That all said, it was an overall good experience, as I did learn a lot about how to (and how not to) do business.

I agree with you, that if the practitioner really works the business side of things its easy to make upwards of $6k per month and still have a lighter schedule that on the ships.

On the flip side there is something to be said about visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and St. Thomas about 100 times. Then there are those spa girls... I&#39ll leave those stories for different forum.


It really is amazing how different the experiences and perceptions are for those who worked on ships. My experience actually was glamorous because I got to travel all over the world, literally. I don&#39t just mean a few countries here, I was world cruising. I never once felt like I was pushing myself on people or pressing them for tips, or retail for that matter. When people were happy with the results, I just said, spread the word, tell your table, let people know that it helped you and that helps me. The other thing that was crucial was rebooking. Acupuncture is not a one treatment miracle so let people know up front. I told them that in my seminars. . . give it at least 3 sessions to see what it can do, bla bla bla. I was almost always the busiest person in the spa. I also kept my friends in the spa very busy, to the point I had people asking for trades because they wanted me to promote them. Yes I worked hard. Yes I was exhausted by the time I went on vacation. Yes I loved it anyway. Honestly, prove yourself on your first ship and you can soon find yourself in Egypt, Dubai, India, Myanmar, Antarctica, The Amazon, Austrailia, Jordan where ever! I went to every place I just mentioned, btw. I know a lot of people who haven&#39t even heard of some of the countries I have been too. If you love to travel and are looking for a way to do it, go for it. If you need tips on how to be successful and how to get good ships so you can actually go to all of these fun places, I am more than willing to give advice and share what worked for me.


Jingmaster: ...haha you make a good point all around ! I am sure you can tell some great stories : ) !!


I was interested in a postion on Steiners as an acupuncturist. After reading the comments I decided to do some homework. I contacted the company and asked questions that most therapists had issues with. My main concerns were about pay,hours,training and if I need to recruite clients. All of the complaints about this company are true. I do need to recruite my own clients. It is a commission based pay. I would not get paid for training or a hotel room. There are too many negatives for me to say " yes". I feel that a company that makes so much money IS taking advantage of their employees. Glad I checked this site first.


The last posting on L.Ac.&#39s working as acupuncturists on Steiners was over a year ago. I am looking at doing this since I&#39ve retired and was wondering if there are any recent experiences out there?



my daughter is experiencing the same treatment. She quit her 2 jobs, sold off most of her belongings and borrowed money from ME to fund this experience of a lifetime. She is a hairstylist and travelled to the UK to Steiners INFAMOUS Academy. When she arrived in the UK she was at the YMCA as told in her interview. The so called medical that she had to pay 250 pounds for consisted of a chest xray and listening to her lungs. That was it. After a week they put her in a "host home" i was never told about such living arrangements prior to her leaving. She was told by the "host home mother" that she was not allowed to be on SKYPE because it was noisey. She had a curfew of 10 pm even though the Y was 11. One night she was given permission to stay out past curfew because of a going away party for a classmate leaving for SHIP....she was then locked out of the host home and i had to put a hotel room on a credit card so that she would not have to sleep on the streets. STEINER doesn&#39t care about the safety of the girls. She was then dicked around constantly and people were arriving and getting placements within a week, girls far less superior with their skills. Because my daughter was a bit heavier and didn&#39t look as slutty as the others she was not given placement. After 5 weeks and no money left it was just her and the other, as she called "FAT" girl left in class. She was used to teach the classes while the instructor left the room to go do whatever. Incidentally in light of the Costa Concordia disaster i find it funny that STEINER does not do any training on ship safety. NOTHING when the staff arrive at the SHIP and are expected to work immediately they know nothing about safety procedures. They are immediately made to "guide" passengers to safety should a disaster occurr, just like on CONCORDIA.....the staff didnt&#39 know what to do. FINALLY she was given her ship, the instructor told her they had selected this ship just for her. She was flown to New York to board a plane the next day for her Port. She was picking up the Ship midway thru it&#39s journey. I had to foot the bill for the New York Hotel even though she was told they would pay and they didn&#39t. WHen she arrived at the Port she had 5 minutes to spare before the ship left port. Steiner had not informed the spa manager she was coming, or so she said. THe spa manager was EVIL to her from the get go. Treating her and others like lowlifes. She was harassed about her "appearance, her image wasn&#39t Steiner material" well then why the heck didn&#39t they weed her out at the initial interview. They wanted her money that&#39s why. She was treated in a manner that would have the employer charged with harrassment in Canada. I guess there are no laws at sea. She was threatened to be kicked off in foreign ports with no money , luggage or passport. Finally she was told by SHIP STAFF and note i have not used any cruise name YET.....because i did post something on their website and she was harrassed almost immediately. I&#39m sure they have "lurkers" on their pages who report back immediately. She was called to the ship office and told that they want her off the boat she is a trouble maker. I booked her a flight back to Canada which they approved only to be told 2 days later NO she coudl not board that flight and mUST book another that was a direct flight with no stopovers in teh USA.....I have now paid for 2 flights home for her with no chance of reimbursement. We are out thousands of dollars. All you people who think its glamourous...IT IS parents, her grandparents even surprised her on the ship.....we were all so excited about it. THey arrived for the spa tour, she saw her grandma&#39s face and burst out in tears with joy. She was told by the spa manager to "FIX HER MAKEUP THAT"S NOT A STEINER GIRL" mother went on to book her hair appointment only to have the manager say "we have many talented girls i can book you with" my mother wanted her GRANDDAUGHTER...the ()&&* spa manager was actually diverting clients away from my daughter, her own grandmother almost didn&#39t get a booking. SO GO TO HELL STEINER when you say these girls and guys can make lots of money, NOT if they don&#39t whore themselves out for you and adhere to all your brainwashing. Beware you have not heard the last of me or others. The media will be all over this in light of all the cruiseship crap are low life bottom feeders STEINER>......


Not How I See It...I ahd a great time and lookin gforward to more.

The first thing I want to say is to the posted of Steiner Abuse...I&#39m sorry that happened to you daughter but I do not believe it is the norm....And I can positively say that EVERYONE on the ship including Steiner crew are trained in safety for hours, drills are conducted before every cruise and safety is teh number one concern on ships. I will also say that I worked with many "spa girls" that were a little heavy and not the petite model type girls. I&#39m not sayin gthis didn&#39t happen to you daughter, again just not the norm.

I have completed three contracts with Steiner and after a year off am set to go back in a couple months. I know of the horror stories and yes some are true but it has been my experience they are few and far between.

I agree with mpahl02, and I know who that is but as he did not post his name I won&#39t say out of respect. I also posted here a couple years ago how I thought some were just a bunch of whiners and not living in the real world but it looks like that post was deleted....this one might be

You get what you put into it. I was one of the top earners for Steiner because I applied myself. And yes there can be managers that can make your life hell. But I found, at least on the acupuncture side of things that management (Dan, Stephanie, Lisa and Martin) ALL had your back and wre only a phone call or email away. I will say that I was lucky in that sense as I never had a monster for a manager but had one that had no clue and was horrible at her job.

The perks are great as an acupuncturist. You get the run of the ship, private cabin, you do your own scheduling (unless you are not doing well in which the manager will step in), I had plenty of port time off, made great friends, free food, free lodging and great travel. And as I said money wise I did very well. Because of that I was allowed to pick the ships I wanted etc. You do well you are rewarded, you don&#39t you are not...just like with ANY company!



lastmonth I worked with Steiner for 15 days as an Acupuncturist on Disney Dream
Cruise to know their work procedure and environment, so that I should send the
Acupuncturists from my country to learn the skills in Acupuncture . They are
providing Acupuncture worldwide on cruise lines. Working on sea is a wonderful
experience for those who are new in Acupuncture and want to travel free of
cost. They are offering this service on the cruise along with their Spa
Department. The status of the Acupuncturist is of officer grade, so lot of
respect is given to the acupuncturist by the whole cruise staff. Free
accommodation and free food is available on board, which makes the journey
exciting. Lot of things to be learned during this period. You will learn how to
communicate with the new guests and to tell them about acupuncture, which makes
you perfect in your coming practice. Upper staff like Dan Brown (Director
Operations) and Stephanie (Manager) are very cooperative and you can discuss
your problems with them directly. Both are senior Acupuncturists, so can better
understand your woes. Sometimes differences with the Spa managers occur, but
you can consult with Dan Brown in this regard and the problem can be solved


Hi, I have been doing acupuncture for 18 years in the U.S. I have also done Clinical Supervising at one of the acupuncture schools. I am now starting in a new city again. I would prefer to get myself out and speak and market. TOASTMASTERS sounds to be a good suggestion. To gain some confidence. Not quite sure which groups to promote myself.
I have a family, and would hate to have to work on a ship to provide for them. Thanks for marketing suggestions.


I worked on the different cruise lines with different managers and I do agree with all the comments and I can relate to all of them. Acupuncturist work under spa managers who has very little education and get their position with playing politics and creating connections with senior managements and giving sexual favors in return of getting the position. Acupuncturists get their position with education and don’t know how to play politics and usually spa managers are jealous of our education and wants to provoke us. In addition of my own experience and meeting with other acupuncturists that worked with steiner, I never heard of any Acupuncturist that don’t have a problem with management. You work in the spa with south african, jamaican, British hairstylist, nail tech, facialist massage therapist fitness instructor all of the sudden they become your boss and talk down to you and boss you around.

If you have a problem with a manager, steiner never gets the practitioner side almost all the time gets the managers side. It is very unfair.

Acudocs_Adventure = it is great you are enjoying your time but not all the acupuncturist are on their 60s like you and have grandchildren.

Mpahl02 = obviously you have worked with Steiner’s Acupuncture sales and revenue! if it is a great of an opportunity, you wouldn’t quit years ago already.

Danish= this page is about advising acupuncturists the truth not lies yes Dan and Stephanie can be helpful but they have a lot of supervisors and bosses. You only lasted 3 weeks on your first contract onboard Disney Dream because you had a problem with a manager who started on Disney painting little girl’s toes and all of the sudden became your manager and made your life miserable and took the acupuncturist cabin and gave it to the receptionist and no acupuncturist were able to get it back!! on every cruise line receptionist have to share a cabin.

If you are thinking about working on the cruise ship and you have a job opportunity on land, I recommend to stay on land and go on the cruise as a passenger. I work so much less on land and make much more money.

split this topic #32

2 posts were split to a new topic: Practicing acupuncture on cruise ships

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