Crew Amenities and Benefits – what do you REALLY have access to when working onboard. 

Before getting into my blog post on ‘Crew Amenities, Privileges and Benefits’ take a moment and check out the awesome ‘Welcome to the World of Princess’ video which provides a lot of great info as to what to expect as a new crew member onboard.

(You will also get a sneek peek of the amazing ‘Princess Crew Pool’ area at the front of the ship and you may even catch a glimpse of ME training some hotel officers at about 11 minutes 20 seconds in!)


Seen the video? Check out my blog post below on Crew Amenities, Privileges and Benefits! 

After having worked onboard cruise ships for 10 years, quite a few people have asked me;

“What are the crew amenities and benefits really like onboard?”

This is a loaded question as cruise ships differ in regards to crew amenities and benefits from cruise line to cruise line and also depending on one’s position.

I will attempt to answer this common question in the best way I can by reviewing what is ‘common place’ and available ‘on average’ with most cruise lines.

Crew Hierarchy

Almost every cruise line has 3 separate levels of crew hierarchy/structure onboard; Crew, Staff and Officers. This is important to realize when it comes to crew amenities, privileges and benefits.

Crew may be at the bottom of the shipboard hierarchy, but they also make up the bulk of the ship’s company. Crew positions often include roles like dining staff, housekeeping, bar etc.

Staff include those members of the crew who primarily work in front-of-house areas such as in retail sales, photography, youth activities, entertainment etc.

Officers are those members of the ship’s company which are either in high level positions in the deck or technical department or supervisors/managers in the hotel department for example; Hotel Director, Cruise Director etc.

Crew Amenities

Most cruise ships will have good to excellent crew amenities which will include things like a crew rec room, crew bar, crew outside deck area, crew internet, crew gym etc. Of the lines I worked with that had  the BEST outside crew area was Princess Cruises. Most of their large ships have an AMAZING front-end (bow) crew pool and two crew hot tubs! Super amazing actually as the views are spectacular and it’s the best part of the ship to take a dip and catch some sun.

Crew Privileges & Benefits

As noted above, there are often three levels of crew onboard a ship; Crew, Staff and Officers. Depending on what level of crew you are, different privileges and benefits will be afforded to you.

All Crew, Staff and Officers have their own mess (dining area) to receive and eat their meals in.

Crew must eat in the Crew Mess. Staff may eat in the Crew or Staff Mess, and with some companies, may also have access to passenger dining areas such as the buffet or specialty restaurants. Officers are able to eat in the Crew, Staff or Officers mess and will also often have access to passenger dining areas such as the buffet or specialty restaurants and even the main dining room at certain times for example; when it is required that they host a table of passengers.

General Access To Passenger Areas

In general crew will need to stay in crew areas when off duty. Staff and Officers may have access to some passenger areas during certain times of the day and depending on use of these areas by the passengers. For example; passenger pools, passenger bars & lounges, passenger gym etc.

Crew Benefits

Crew, Staff and Officers alike enjoy the following benefits:

  • The ability to get paid to travel the world!
  • Free Professional Development Programs and Courses provided by the company.
  • Discounts in the onboard shops and also shore-side by using one’s crew ID card.
  • Crew Welfare Activities and Events such as BBQ’s, Parties, Fitness Classes etc.
  • Free Crew Tours
  • Free Passenger Shore Tours (as a Tour Escort) Check out this picture of one of my good friends and ‘Get Paid to Travel Guru,’ Anita Wing Lee, a Princess Seasonal Youth Staff & Creative Entrepreneur, on a FREE passenger ATV tour in Alaska this past summer! Anita ATV

As you can see there are a number of privileges and benefits that all members of the ship’s company receive. Again though, as noted above, it truly depends sometimes on the line that you choose to work for and the position which you accept. The best bet is to really do your research when it comes to what each cruise line offers their crew members in terms of amenities & benefits and to truly understand the hierarchy level you will be a part of once you accept a position onboard. (Crew, Staff or Officer).

I hope this post was useful to you!

For a one-stop-shop when it comes to information re: working onboard a cruise ship check out the

‘How the Heck to Get a Job on a Cruise Ship’ Guide.

Of course feel free to contact me should you have any questions and feel free to comment on this post below!

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