Do’s and Don’ts for Cruise Ship Crew

Do’s and Don’ts for Cruise Ship CrewAs a crew member on a cruise ship, knowledge of the rules that govern life on board is vital. Living and working on a floating hotel brings with it a whole new parameter of safety and conduct.

The rules are strict and those that involve interaction with guests are stringently enforced, risking crew with a dishonourable discharge should they be flouted. Below are a few of the main points to follow and avoid.



Crew members are expected to report on time for their shifts so that the workings of the ship can move like clock work. They are also expected to arrive back on board well before departure time if they go on an excursion in port. Failure to do so can cause them to be left behind in port.


As with the hospitality industry around the world, appearance creates an impression. Cruise ship crew have strict rules when it comes to dress codes and these must be followed to the ‘T’. They are expected to shower regularly, keep their hair neatly cut or trimmed and their nails short and clean. Wearing the correct uniform is important too, and it helps greatly for crew to develop a laundry schedule to ensure their garments are spotless.


Every crew member on board a cruise ship is considered a health and safety officer. It bodes well for the cruise line for officers, staff and crew to know exactly what to do in emergency situations or how to avoid safety risks. All cruise ship crew are expected to attend safety drills and learn all the emergency procedures. Many ships even train their crew how to respond in the event of a possible pirate attack. Crew on some ships must even learn code words for various emergencies so they can get messages across without alarming passengers.


Drugs & alcohol

Intoxication is not tolerated. Consumption and even possession of narcotics are strictly prohibited. Cruise ships do have a crew bar with cheap alcohol but employees are expected to remain within limits. Alcohol levels should never be such that they impede work. Crew can be randomly breathalysed at any time, and although this rarely happens as cruise vessels understand social needs, employees must be able to function at their jobs up to standard.

Fraternising with guests

Cruise ship crew members are not allowed to engage with guests unless their role requires it. For those who interact with guests as part of their job, they are expected to be friendly and helpful, but there is a line they should never cross. Being overly sociable is frowned upon; getting physical is not permitted. Cruise ship crew whose roles do not involve guest interaction are not allowed in the passenger areas.


Hygiene is vital on a ship as it can affect all on board. Never dismiss a feeling of physical uneasiness or symptoms of a stomach upset. They could be signs of a deeper issue. Crew are expected to inform their superiors of any illness or sickness as soon as they feel uneasy. This especially applies to those working in the galleys and in service as their neglect could cause passengers to fall ill, and if this is left unchecked, it could lead to an epidemic on board.

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