After months of planning, you’re expecting a cruise of a lifetime with lots of memorable adventures and new experiences. You’re on the cruise enjoying the delicious main course in the main dining room but there are also many aspects of ship life you don’t know.

Some are bad and most are…well, just different! There are two hives on a cruise ship, one with the passengers and another with the crew members, the later can be really interesting and an insight into life behind the scenes on a cruise.

Here are some things that go on behind the scenes that you probably never knew existed.

Leftovers (Not really!)

In the ship’s main dining room a lot of dishes are prepared but not all of those are eaten. Instead of just throwing away all that tasty food into the ship’s waste system it is often taken to the crew mess. Yes, that’s correct, the crew can also enjoy all that fine dining, but of course not in a nice swanky dining room. If you see a happy crew member walking around the ship then it’s more than likely that they had your dining rooms extras from the evening before!

Crew Bar

There of lots of different types of bars onboard but did you know the best bar is down at the bottom of the ship. The crew bar is the place to be for crew members, it’s where relationships are made, passenger rants are constant and games are played. Beer is really really cheap in the crew bar, I’m not going to tell you how much because it will just upset you! When a shift is complete the crew run to the bar where they can also purchase plenty of snacks and supplies for their cabin.

Carnival Valor
All Photos For Cruise Hive Only


Every ship has a purser’s desk or also known as information desk where guests can resolve issues onboard, book tours and just about anything else. What you probably didn’t know is the crew also have their own information desk or also known as crew purser.

At the crew desk, staff members can sort out their cabin issues, receive the sign on/off details and can even store valuable items. The crew purser will also keep a crew member’s passport until their contract comes to an end. The crew purser’s desk can be just as busy as the guest’s information desk at times.

There's an entire life onboard the cruise ship which you probably didn't know about. Take a look things you never knew happened on a cruise ship behind the scenes.
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Bingo is really popular onboard cruise ships and some cruise lines feature it several times a day with different themes. Well, I bet you didn’t know there is a crew bingo too and they absolutely love it! Depending on how many crew members enter and the price of a card it has been known in the past of crew members winning $8,000 cash. In the crew bingo, there are some really good prizes on offer including laptops, game consoles and a ton more.


When there is no dock for the ship at a port of call tender boats will be used to transport passengers to and from shore. Tendering can be a real headache for everyone, the captain must keep a close eye as the ship is just anchored, the crew must wait for the passengers to use the tenders first before they can enjoy the destination and there are a lot more.

When a cruise ship visits a cruise line’s own private island like Carnival’s Half Moon Cay, often crew members will have to work there too. Tendering is all just annoying for a lot involved.

There are more things going on aboard cruise ships which we’ll save for another time. You also really should read our article about things crew members do when they go back home after a long contract working on a cruise ship.