Meet the crew: Tetyana

Meet the crew: Tetyana


We talked to Tetyana Zhyla, Assistant Housekeeper on board the Celestyal Journey, about what it’s like getting rooms ready for more than 1,200 guests, and her love of all things Greek.

1. How did you get to your current position?

I’ve been working on cruises for 24 years, and have been with Celestyal since the company began in 2014. I started my career in entertainment before transferring to housekeeping as a stewardess. In 2015, I was promoted to assistant housekeeper.

2. Tell us about the housekeeping crew?

It’s made up of around 90 people, plus 12 people in the laundry, which runs 24/7. We look after the cleanliness of all the state rooms, plus the public areas, the stairs and entrances. We prepare the gangway as well, with banners and red carpets to welcome our guests.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Embarkation is our busiest day. We start early – at 5am – by unloading luggage for the guests who are leaving. Then that same team heads back to start removing the bed linen and prepare the cabins for new guests, which takes about four hours. We’re as quick as we can but we need to do everything properly to maintain hygiene standards. We get through around 80 litres of chlorine a week.


By 11.30am, we’re ready for embarkation. At this point, the team splits up: some of the crew escort our guests to their state rooms, the rest load up the new luggage. We can have 1,500 cases to get up on deck and delivered to cabins as soon as possible so guests have all they need to get settled.

4. What’s your favourite part of the job?

The travelling. Over the years, I’ve been to many different Greek islands so I know many of the ports really well. I’ve been everywhere. And it’s beautiful weather all year round.

5. Where’s your favourite place on the ship?

I love the Grand Suite. It’s around 88 square metres, with a huge balcony and a wonderful view from the bed. So when you wake up early in the morning, you’ll see the sunrise, and in the evening it’s perfect to watch the sunset. The balconies have their own sun beds and a big enough table for friends and family if you want to have a party. It’s magnificently appointed and bright, I love it there.

6. What’s your favourite onboard meal?

I can’t choose! I love all Greek food, especially anything with fasola gigantis – they’re big Greek beans and they’re really tasty. And I love kourabiedes – traditional almond biscuits. I make them myself whenever I get the chance.

7. Where’s your favourite destination?

Milos. I love to swim and walk there, it has some incredible beaches and sea caves to explore. I try to go outside and feel the wind and sun whenever I have free time: I love to see the sea and sit beside it to just watch it and hear its voice.

8. Tell us something surprising about yourself

I’m Ukrainian, but I’ve convinced myself that I am really Greek, or at least have had some relatives from Greece, because I love everything about it. I cook Greek food at home, and I love the traditions and of course the dancing: I know how to do the Zeibekiko, the Hasaposerviko, the Tsifteteli and more.

9. What have you adopted from Greek culture?

The Greeks have this phrase, ‘siga siga’. It’s about slowing down and taking time to appreciate what’s around you. I recently spent the winter in Koroni in Greece and took time to walk and create dishes from the produce growing all around me – olives, lemons, oranges and horta, which are wild leafy greens. I’ve never relaxed like that and I think adopting more of a ‘siga siga’ mindset was really good for me.

10. What does Filoxenia mean to you?

Greek people are always helpful. They’re always smiling. They’ll help you with anything you ask. So I try to be like that too. If guests ask me about Greece, the ports or excursions, I’ll tell them what I’ve learned as I’ve been to a lot of different places over the years. It’s good to share what we know, so our guests get the best from their time with us.