Know Your Crew Members Before You Cruise

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Preparing for your upcoming cruise holiday is essential but what you might not think of is knowing more about the crew members. Very often the wrong crew members are asked the wrong questions.

It’s important to note that there are different staff for different departments of the ship so you don’t want to waste your time asking a chef how much the ship models are in the duty-free shops.

Room Steward

These are the easiest crew members to spot because usually, you would have met them the first day onboard. They are responsible for keeping your stateroom clean and tidy by making your bed each day and if your lucky getting different towel animal each day.

TIP: Don’t stay in bed all day or the room steward will not be able to finish his/her shift until your bedding is done!


The bartender is the person who is behind the bar putting together all those amazing cocktails. These crew members are also easy to spot but sometimes will rotate and work behind different bars around the ship so don’t worry it’s not you going crazy! TIP: Ask the bartender what the best drink is depending on your feeling, you’ll love what they come up with!

Bar Waiters / Waitress

These crew members won’t be found serving drinks behind the bar but instead going around the lounge asking if you want a drink or two. You’ll see them all over the ship and sometimes be serving in different venues. You may even see them walking around the ship, but don’t go asking them a question about a totally different department, it’ll drive them crazy!

TIP: Be nice and make conversation with them, ask them which bar is the best for your tastes.

Shop Assistant

To purchase anything onboard and know about the best sales the shop assistant knows best. Even if the crew member works in a different shop it’s probably still maintained by the same company known as Starboard Cruise Services. In fact, that company runs the tax and duty-free shops on all the major cruise lines. This means the staff is employed by them and not the cruise line so they should know about all the sales and deals onboard.

TIP: Ask the sales assistant when is the best day to shop and when is it not so crowded.

Spa Therapist / Spa Staff / Fitness

These crew members are only seen working in the Spa onboard which is one of the most relaxed environments on the cruise ship. You’ll see them wearing very simple color uniforms and will mostly be full of women! Although you will get men working in the gym and salon. They know about all the best Spa treatments and you’ll be surprised at how many deals they have too.

TIP: Check the Spa facilities early and book early before they get all booked up.


You’ll see these crew members walking around the ship is overalls and carrying a tool box or tool bag. They are the people who can fix just about everything from a stateroom toilet to a coffee machine! They also spend time fixing crew cabins. There is another kind of engineer only for the ships engine department and you’ll hardly ever see them unless they are fixing something important related to the engine.

TIP: Don’t ask them anything as they are not always trained for hotel guest relations.


Photographers can be found all over the ship and at the place where the photos are sold to guests. You’ll often see them carrying around a large camera and on certain days will offer to take different types of photos. Photographers will also go out in the ports of call but only as far as the ship’s gangway where passengers get on and off.

TIP: Take your own camera! If you’re in a large group arrange a unique group shot with the photo department.

Entertainment Staff

These types of crew members are involved in any of the entertainment onboard no matter what lounge is featured. If you’re lucky you’ll catch them rehearsing their show which in fact can be entertaining too. But what you probably didn’t know is entertainment staff also includes all the lighting and stage personal who work hard to bring passengers an amazing show at night. Staff who put on activities and the DJ is also usually part of the same department.

TIP: Ask them where the best place to site is to get the best experience possible when watching the show.

Dining Room Waiter

They are friendly, great and conversations and are often your favorite crew member onboard along with your steward of course. These days many cruise lines are moving away from the traditional dining room experience but these crew members can still be found in new venues offering a great guest service. Ask them anything about dining and they will know best.

TIP: Ask when and where the best place to eat is depending on your taste.

Also Read: 10 Things Crew Members Do When They Go Back Home


The cleaning staff onboard are part of the housekeeping department just like the room stewards. The cleaning staff will be seen walking around wiping stairwell railings and in groups using machines to clean the tile flooring. Just because they are everywhere don’t think they know everything.

Preparing for your upcoming cruise vacation is essential but what you might not think of is knowing more about the crew members. Know your crew members before departing to make life easier onboard.
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TIP: If you’re lost they are the best crew members to ask but don’t expect anymore especially about other areas of the ship.

Child & Teen Staff

These crew members are responsible for looking after babies while parents can have time to themselves. They also put on activities for young children and teenagers. In many situations, the staff has to work with entertainment staff in bringing activities together so feel free to ask them questions about the two departments.

TIP: If you need more supplies for your child then they are the people with the answers.

There are also the officers and a lot of behind the scenes staff catered to the crew members. These people you’ll probably never see during your cruise as they are usually working behind those “Crew Only” doors. Every cruise line operates slightly differently so they may call certain departments different to what we’ve featured in this article. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments below.

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