We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Galley Steward Do?

By K. Testa
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A galley steward, also sometimes referred to as a kitchen steward, works in the galley area of a ship. As part of the ship's crew, his main responsibilities usually include food preparation and ensuring overall galley cleanliness. Galley stewards typically work on military vessels and commercial cruise ships, and depending on the size of the ship, may work independently or under the supervision of a chief steward.

On a ship, the galley steward is normally expected to help with meal planning and food preparation. His duties can vary, but he is frequently in charge of overseeing the food inventory and the storage facilities, such as pantries and freezers. He usually arranges for periodic maintenance and deep cleaning of these areas as well. The steward also might assist the chef by baking or otherwise preparing food when requested, and in some cases, he may actually serve and clean up the meals.

Another main responsibility of a galley steward is cleaning the galley and maintaining the work areas. He usually takes care of the dishes, utensils, and any other cooking accessories, for instance. He might also sweep and wash the floors and walls, along with performing other necessary cleaning tasks. The steward usually handles waste removal, for example, by separating the trash from recyclables and properly disposing of the items.

A galley steward's additional tasks might include maintaining all of the kitchen equipment and cleaning supplies. In some cases, he might have to operate industrial-sized machinery, often requiring specialized skills or expertise. He is also usually expected to adhere to applicable health and safety regulations, along with meeting environmental standards and following workplace safety policies. He might have to attend certain meetings or training sessions as well, which could include life saving procedures and safety drills.

Working as a steward in the galley is physically demanding and normally entails long hours. On a larger ship, a steward might share his responsibilities with other crew members, including dish washers, garbage personnel, and additional cleaners or maintenance workers. To do his job effectively, he typically needs to have good communication skills, have physical strength and generally be in good health. The job often requires previous experience in the hospitality industry, such as in a hotel or restaurant, with a focus on cleaning and food preparation. Prior to starting a job as a galley steward, one might also have to obtain credentials, such as a Merchant Mariner's Document, to work on military vessels in certain countries.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Potterspop — On Aug 19, 2011

@sunshined - I agree that working as a galley steward, or any similar cruise line hospitality job would be very tough, and probably not a lot of fun.

If its simply a way to get hands on experience and some cash then it may be okay. I really doubt these workers get much off shore time though.

The best jobs on an international cruise line for that would be excursion organiser or any post which didn't require you to be on board when the passengers are off enjoying the port area.

By bagley79 — On Aug 18, 2011

After I graduated from college I wanted to do some traveling before I settled down to a career. I applied for a couple of Royal Caribbean jobs, but was never hired.

I know that jobs on cruise ships require long hours, but I think it would still be a great experience. You would have the chance to travel and meet a lot of people.

I think some of the hardest jobs on the cruise ship are those who work in the galley. There is so much food to prepare and meals to clean up from that I can see how demanding of a job this would be.

By sunshined — On Aug 18, 2011

When I was younger I thought the idea of working on a cruise ship was exciting. Since I can't sing very well, one cruise ship job that I could have qualified for was a galley steward.

Not until I went on my first cruise, did I realize how hard these galley stewards work. They work extremely long hours with little time off. Many of them are on the ship for long periods of time and send a lot of their money back home to their families.

This type of job no longer sounds appealing to me, but I love to travel on cruises, and am glad that there are people who are willing to do this kind of work.

By stolaf23 — On Aug 17, 2011

@hyrax53- I had a friend whose older sister sang on a cruise ship for awhile. I think she liked the travel for awhile, but I guess part of the problem she had was that while she'd hoped it would transition into something else, like a performance career in a big city when she got home, that didn't happen. So while it sounds great, don't expect cruise line jobs to lead to stardom overnight, even if you're working somewhere like one of the Disney cruise lines' performing jobs, or something else that sounds really big.

By hyrax53 — On Aug 16, 2011

I have a friend who worked for awhile in the galley of a cruise ship. The pay was pretty good, but what he really liked was traveling and meeting different people, which I think is the main appeal for cruise ship jobs, whether you work in the kitchen or are a performer.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.