A Day in the life of a Star Clippers Hotel Manager

29th April 2015

Working on board a Star Clippers tall ship is unlike working with any other major cruise line. A cruise with Star Clippers revolves entirely around the wind-sailing experience and, although there are many popular features on board such as a bar, sundeck, pool, lounge and restaurant - much effort has been put into ensuring all three ships maintain their charm and heritage.

Steve Adamson currently works on board Royal Clipper as the Hotel Manager, overseeing departments such as: the galley, housekeeping and entertainment. He is from Crystal Palace in London, England.

He has been working as a Hotel Manager with Star Clippers for 27 years, after beginning his career as a pot-washer.

How do you combat homesickness?


"I was abandoned as a baby and placed in care until I was 18, so I have grown up with the ship as my family. Therefore I don’t feel homesick... When I do have time off, which is around every 9 months, I fly to see my son in the Dominican Republic."


How do you stay so slim and resist the food on board?


"I only ever eat two meals a day- and avoid the rich food!"


What is the strangest question a guest has ever asked you?


"There have been many! Do the crew sleep on board? Do you keep cows and chickens on board?"

"That must be why there is always milk and eggs on board!"


Have you ever sailed with celebrities or any other interesting people?


"John Craven (who will be sailing on board again in November 2015, Treasure Islands)"

"Also Michael Jackson, but that was a different ship!"


How do you find peace and quiet on the ship, away from colleagues and passengers?


"It is very difficult to do, as you are always stopped by guests who want to have a chat with you, which is nice of course. The only place to be alone is my cabin, as there are no separate areas on Royal Clipper except the crew mess. Some crew members share their cabin with others so you have to get used to being in company all the time."


If you could take Star Clippers ships anywhere in the world, where would you go?


"Back to Asia!"


What inspired you to start working on tall ships?


"Years ago I got on a plane with £20 in my pocket and no qualifications- I got a job on a ship washing pots, and the rest is history."


When did you start working on board Star Clippers ships?


"In 2001, on board Star Clipper. It was a voyage from the US, and I was employed to get the ship through the public inspection."


What would you say makes Star Clippers so unique?


"The intimacy of being on board a sailing ship. I have seen guests leave the ship in tears because they are so sad to leave. It’s also a great feeling when a solo traveller comes on board and feels immediately welcomed and in a family."


What is the most rewarding aspect of working on a tall ship?


"That passengers enjoy themselves simply because of the ship. You don’t need Broadway shows, or anything else like that to impress the guests."


What is your favourite destination to sail into?


"Tenerife- there is a great underwater club there. And Grenada."


What time do you finish work every day?


"I go to my cabin at 10:30pm and wind down. At 1am I do a walk of the ship and ensure everything is turned off that should be and that there are no fire hazards. I wake up and start the working day again at 5am every morning."


How does a sailing experience on board a tall ship differ to larger cruise-liners?


"On a large ship you go on board as just a number. On a smaller, more intimate ship you know all the passengers by their first names."