Meet the crew: Vikas

Meet the crew: Vikas


Vikas Verma, fitness instructor on the Celestyal Journey, shares his path to becoming an onboard personal trainer and gives us some tips for including both fitness and relaxation in your travelling schedule.

1. How long have you worked at Celestyal?

I’ve been here since August 2023, but I’ve been working on cruise ships for the last 10 years. Part of my role has been helping to get our new ship, Celestyal Discovery, ready for launch. It’s an exciting time with lots of opportunities, and I’m looking forward to being part of that growth.

2. How did you get to your current position?

Fitness has always been part of my life. Before coming into the cruise industry, I used to play cricket at state level; I also loved playing basketball and football. And I could see that people’s interest in fitness was growing, it’s everywhere on social media. I started working as a personal trainer on cruise lines around Miami and the Caribbean before joining Celestyal. This will be my first year travelling around Greece, so I’m really excited.

3. Can you tell us about a typical day for you?

Mornings are often busy. Lots of our guests are fitness enthusiasts, and many like to eat a small snack or have a black coffee before they work out. So we make sure that the coffee is all set up and nicely warmed.

Most days start with a stretch class, a bootcamp or aerobics. We offer a lot of classes on board, but yoga and Pilates are the most popular: they’re peaceful and relaxing, as well as being beneficial for your health. Morning yoga with views of the sea is a lovely start to the day.

After the morning rush, I’ll supervise the gym and provide personal training for any guests that want it – this is more likely on the days we’re out at sea. If we’ve stopped at a port, most people will go out on excursions to explore the area. So while the gym is empty, we sanitise the machines and set them up so they’re ready for the next guests. We want people to be wowed every time they enter the spa or gym.


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

The fact that no day is ever the same. We’re meeting new guests all the time, and doing all we can to help every single person feel welcome. We try to offer a good balance between exercise machines and the space to move, stretch or rest. And if there’s a particular machine we don’t have, we can give guests an alternative
exercise to do. I like the challenge of giving everyone the best possible experience while they’re with us.

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

I have to say the spa! And not just for the gym. I love the thermal suite – the sauna and steam room – and relaxing rooms. Guests can come along whenever they like just to read their books on the heated beds if they need some peace. Some areas in the ship can get very busy, so if people want a break from the noise and the bustle they can spend some time here and recharge.

6. What’s your favourite onboard meal?

The Taverna – there’s so much variety there. And if you can’t find something you’re looking for, you can simply ask the chefs. They offer everything you’d want to eat for breakfast: eggs, egg whites, pancakes, honey, nuts, fruits and so much more. They do an amazing job.

7. Where’s your favourite destination?

Mykonos. It’s known as a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination, but it also has a real sense of history. Parts of it can be like going back in time, to a simpler and more easy-going life. It’s beautiful and can be very peaceful, so I love going for a walk there if I get some time off.

I also love Patmos. It’s an amazing island. About 15 minutes from the port is the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, which is high in the mountains and worth a visit whether you’re religious or not. It’s very peaceful and has incredible views. I come from the mountains, so this is a particularly special place for me.

8. Tell us something surprising about yourself

I’m retraining in sports massage. It’s something I used to do, and my supervisor, Maja, has really encouraged me to rebuild my skills: she could see my potential and I’m very grateful for that. It’ll mean we can offer guests half-hour sports massages to help their recovery after a session in the gym.

9. What have you adopted from Greek culture?

There’s loyalty in Greek culture, and interpersonal relationships seem to be very important. I can feel that on the ships – the crew here are like a big family who look out for each other. Maja’s encouragement with my training is just one example. There’s also a relaxed pace of life, which I think is so important to maintaining wellbeing.

10. What does Filoxenia mean to you?

It’s all about the Greek custom of welcoming people and offering them fantastic hospitality. And the spa is the perfect place to put that into practice. A spa should be a place of rejuvenation, and that starts with a warm welcome. We want to make our guests feel like they’re in the best place and they’re in for a real treat, so that they enjoy every single second they spend in the spa.