As cruise ship crew, you will call your cabin ‘home’ for anywhere between six to eight months, depending on your contract. Based on your position, you will share your cabin – with one person, if you’re lucky, or up to three others. Single cabins are only available to superior officers. And just like your home, you will be required to keep it clean all the time.
Clean cabins play an important part in life on board, sometimes for reasons quite unexpected. Here are a few reasons why cruise ship crew need to clean their cabins.
On ships, safety comes first. Every cabin – whether a guest stateroom or crew cabin – is required to have certain safety items such as life jackets for every resident. These need to be accessible at all times.
Cabin inspectors do regular check ups and crew will be pulled up if anything is found obstructing access to safety items. Crew are also prohibited from cooking in their cabins as this poses a safety hazard. So any sign of a hot plate or other heating instrument and it could mean trouble. No food is allowed from the mess back to the cabins either. You must eat in the areas designated for the purpose.
To avoid disease
Cleanliness and hygiene is of utmost importance on board a cruise ship. Due to close living quarters, it is extremely easy for contagious diseases to spread rapidly and turn into an epidemic.
It is best to keep any eating or snacking out of cabin areas as this might create problems with your superiors. Even the slightest bit of food could invite cockroaches, flies or even microscopic germs that can cause disease.
Cleaning up after yourself is also important. Remove any food crumbs that may have caught onto your clothes and dispose them properly. Wash your clothes and linen regularly. A clean room is also less likely to trigger any allergies from dust mites.
To stay organised
It might take something to believe this, but putting effort into cleaning your room can make you more organised or efficient with your work. Right off the bat, you will spend less time getting ready for work since everything will already be in place.
You will start to put things away as soon as you are done with them, instead of waiting to clean up at a specific time. This gets transferred, often unknowingly, to your work space, where you will return items to the place you found them in. Everyone doing this helps the ship run like well-oiled machinery.
Illusion of space
A clean room makes your room seem bigger. It is well-known that cruise ship crew cabins are fairly small as space is minimal. With a mess, it will feel smaller and more cramped, which can make people irritable. A neat room will do just the opposite.
Even as small a chore as making your bed can help you feel uplifted. An Indiana University study showed that clearing up your room can help you organise your thoughts. It can even leave you with feelings of pride and happiness that stem from a sense of accomplishment.
Happy cabin mates
It is the responsibility of all in the room to share the task of cleaning it. If everyone does their bit on time, there is less likely to be conflict over messy spaces. After all, both cabin mates will be pulled up by the inspector if the place is out of order.
You can share responsibility by dividing tasks fairly – each person does a specific set of jobs and swaps with the other every day or week. Or cabin mates sometimes get together and pay another crew member to do it for them.