Crew Member Shows Tiny Cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Newest Cruise Ship

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As part of the compensation for working on cruise ships, crew members are provided with room and board for the duration of their contract. However, while the accommodations may be free, they are not always the most luxurious homes away from home.

The typical crew cabin is tiny, between 100-200 square feet and shared by two employees. But the employee accommodations on Royal Caribbean’s Utopia of the Seas, which will officially enter service next month in July of 2024 with approximately 2,300 crew members onboard, might have some of the tiniest cabins out there. 

Bryan James, a cruise ship musician who has just begun his latest contract on Royal Caribbean’s newest vessel, went viral after sharing a sneak peek of his “hilariously small” cabin on his TikTok (@bryanjamescruises) and YouTube channel. 

In less than a week, the cabin tour has earned over 45,000 views on TikTok and 28,000 on YouTube. 

James takes his followers along to deck 3, where his bandmate welcomed James into his own room – which is barely big enough to hold the two musicians and the camera. 

From laying down on the narrow single bed, the men were able to touch almost everything in the cabin without even sitting up. 

“Laying in your bed, you can touch every drawer, your fridge, your trashcan, your sink, your mirror, your phone, your lighting…the only thing you can’t touch is the bathroom,” said James. 

“You can touch every wall at once,” replied his band member. 

Thankfully, the tiny room is private – so the crew members do not have to share the cramped space with anyone else. However, the bathroom is not. The “Jack and Jill” setup requires the crew members to share their small shower and toilet with their next door neighbor. 

While shared bathrooms are rare, this layout has been used before, such as on Carnival’s older Fantasy-class ships. However, these rooms were typically reserved for crew members who ranked lowest on the totem pole, such as servers and housekeepers, and not entertainers, who are typically a bit higher ranking. 

James demonstrated how he could barely fit in the shower, as an average sized adult man, and has to crouch to fit under the shower head.

Small Utopia of the Seas Crew Cabin
Small Utopia of the Seas Crew Cabin (Credit: Bryan James)

“If I just kinda barely go up on my tiptoes there’s the ceiling,” James says while demonstrating how his head can easily touch the top. 

“You can never get the shower head actually over your head. You have to kneel down,” adds his friend. 

Read Also: Crew Quarters on a Cruise Ship – How Do They Look?

He concluded the tour by showing off his cabin’s limited storage space, which could only accommodate around a single bag of James’ belongings – which is minimal considering he’s spending months at sea. 

Not All Crew Cabins Are Created Equal

The cabins onboard the Oasis-class ship, which will be the second largest ship in the world when she embarks on her maiden voyage on July 19, 2024,  also seem a bit less modern than the “crew neighborhoods” available on Icon of the Seas – which is the only larger ship out there. 

The employee accommodations onboard the first of the Icon-class vessels are still small, but seem to offer more innovative storage solutions and privacy using L-shaped staterooms

While employees may still have to share a cabin with another worker (likely someone from their department), they don’t have to try to connect with someone in another room to figure out when they can use the shower or toilet.

Crew Quarters on a Cruise Ship
Carnival Cruise Ship Crew Cabin (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

That said, not all crew live in the same type of cabin. Decisions surrounding the sort of cabin crew members are assigned – and if they have to share a room or not – largely depend on their rank onboard. 

Entry level roles like dining staff, cabin stewards, and retail workers tend to rank lower, while captains, officers, and managers tend to rank more highly. 

For example, a wife who lives onboard a Holland America ship with her husband, who is an officer, went viral earlier this year for sharing the good, bad, and the ugly of living on a cruise ship.

Their cabin is much nicer than what James showcased in his video and looks more akin to a standard guest cabin with an ocean view. 

While James didn’t detail any of the private crew areas in his viral video, it’s likely that the workers also have their own cafeteria, laundry rooms, gym facilities, and lounge or crew bar. 

If the amenities are anything like Icon of the Seas, which was the most recent mega-ship launched by Royal Caribbean prior to the new 5,668-passenger vessel, the crew will get to enjoy an onboard barber sharp, an indoor and outdoor pub, a gym, a store, a gaming room, a coffee shop, a lounge area, and a dining area that mirrors that of guests, complete with ocean views. 

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