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

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Cruises can allow you to see so much more of the world in a large, interesting vessel. Have you ever thought about the parts of a cruise ship you don’t get to see? 

One of those parts is the crew quarters. If you’re curious to learn the ins and outs of a cruise ship, you might be wondering what the crew area looks like. Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out. Keep reading to find out what it’s really like to live on a cruise ship.

Crew Quarters On a Cruise Ship – The Features

You need to know a few things about crew quarters on a cruise ship to get the whole picture. Here are some of the key points. 


The first thing you need to know about crew quarters on a cruise ship is that, for the most part, they are quite small. In fact, some of them can be described as tiny. 

While the size of cabins varies based on the ship, cruise line, and even the type of crew cabin, the size of a crew’s quarters is around 120 square feet. In comparison, the average hotel room is about 300 square feet.

Crew Cabin on Cruise Ship
Photo Copyright Cruise Hive

What’s more, at least two crew members typically share one cabin. However, in bigger rooms, more than two crew members may be bunking together. 

Finally, some crew are given more cabin space, or even their own cabins, depending on what their job is. They may even be given their own stewardess. Crew members who get this privilege include those in:

  • Entertainment
  • Shops
  • Spas
  • Casinos

Of course, crew members that are very high up, such as department heads, typically get their own cabins.

What’s Included

With two people in a 120-square-foot space, most cabins are usually furnished with a bunk bed to make use of the small space. Some crew members get curtains for additional privacy in their bunk bed quarters.

Crew Cabin
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Here’s what you can expect to find a crew’s cabin:

  • Mini fridge
  • Shelving and storage space
  • A television
  • A closet

In addition, there is also a private bathroom. Other items you might find in a crew’s cabin include a desk and a side table.

The Bathroom

Every cabin has its own bathroom. That said, the bathroom is utilitarian as it is smaller than the small cabin. The bathroom typically only has space for a sink, toilet, and shower, and they’re usually pretty cramped together, making the space feel very tight.

Crew Cabin Bathroom
Crew Cabin Bathroom (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Crew Quarters on a Cruise Ship – How It Works

As mentioned, most cabins are shared by at least two cruise ship employees. But there are a few other moving parts regarding how crew quarters on a cruise ship work.

Crews Have More Than Their Own Cabins

A crew’s quarters include more than just their cabin. As crew members are on cruise ships for sometimes months at a time, they need the usual facilities that anyone else would need to live. Some facilities are similar to those guests have access to, but crews usually must do much of the work themselves. 

Cruise Ship Laundry Room
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

This includes a laundry room resembling a laundromat for the crew to wash and dry their clothes, the need to sort and throw out their trash in their own trash facilities, and shared rooms for the crew to hang out. They may also have hair salons and other grooming facilities.

Some cruise ships also include crew gym facilities to work out and stay healthy, although they aren’t as extensive as the guest gyms on board. You can almost think of it as a college dorm situation!

Their Own Cafeteria

Crew quarters on a cruise ship also have a separate cafeteria, mess hall, or buffet for the crew to eat at. The buffet times are set, and the food may vary. Typically, the crew mess buffet’s food differs from the guest buffet.

Carnival Cruise Line Crew Mess
Crew Mess (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

In addition to a central mess hall, there may also be a crew cafe where they can order refreshments such as coffee and juice throughout the day.

Routine Inspections

Every crew member is expected to keep their cabin in good shape. To ensure that this is the case, crew members can expect routine inspections of their cabins. 

These inspections typically happen before the beginning of every cruise, depending on the cruise line. The department head, the head of housekeeping, and a senior officer will often do these inspections. They will ensure there are no confiscated items and that the cabin is clean. Ensuring the cabin’s safety aspects are working and hygiene aspects are also looked at.

Form a Bond

Being at sea for months and having to share small spaces causes you to get close to your coworkers. Crew quarters on a cruise ship are designed to have crew members spend a lot of time together and create a bond while not working.

Carnival Cruise Line Crew Area
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Crew cabins are often split up into several different floors, and those on the same floor sometimes form their own little community. 

During their free time, the cruise ship crew members socialize and hang out on their floors in the crew bar. They even have after-hour parties and partake in different games. They may also have their own private front and back crew deck; in some cases, there may even be a crew pool. 


A cruise ship can have hundreds, if not thousands, of crew members on board, which makes the crew quarters on a cruise ship quite an essential part of the ship.

Read Also: How Much Do Cruise Ship Workers Make?

Crew members need to live on the ship for months at a time, which means they need to be able to eat, stay fit, and have time for leisure. That’s why you’ll find a variety of crew facilities below deck to help them enjoy their life onboard as cruise staff.

To a certain extent, crew quarters on cruise ships have many of the same features that cruise ship guests can access.

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