20 Rules Every Cruise Ship Worker Needs To Follow... Or Else

There are rules everywhere you go. No matter the country, the state, or even if you are in the air or on water, there are rules.

When it comes to cruise companies, they are in charge of coming up with different policies that will make sure that there is order on the ship and see that the employees and the passengers are safe.

Any employee employed on a cruise ship must sign an agreement with the company that states they will abide by the rules that the cruise liner has placed and will make sure that those around them are also following the rules.

Anyone who breaks these rules could get lucky enough to just get a warning depending on the severity, but most of the time, they will just be terminated on the spot.

Here are 20 rules that cruise ship employees must follow. No ifs, ands, or buts.

20 No Inappropriate Interactions Between Employees Or Passengers


When someone is hired to work for a cruise liner, they are hired to represent the company that they are working for.

Which is why, according to crew-center.com, there are rules in place that disallow any crew member from having any type of relationship with not only another crew member but also a passenger.

19 If Terminated, You Must Find Your Own Way Home


If an employee doesn’t follow the rules or do their job correctly, not only are they looking at immediate termination, but also being left at the docks.

According to thethings.com, no matter where they are, they are going to have to pay their own way to get back home.

18 Do Your Job Or Face Immediate Dismissal

BRIGHT Magazine

Like any job, if an employee slacks off or messes up, they are shown the door.

According to crew-center.com, most cruise lines give new employees evaluations at the 30-day, 3-month, and 6-month marks.

At the end, they can be offered a permanent contract, a promotion or immediate termination.

17 Always Follow The Captain's Orders


Remember that saying, “the customer is always right”? Well, the same thing applies to the captain.

According to thethings.com, the captain of the ship is the highest authority and if told to do something, an employee must do it without question, otherwise, they will be looking for new employment before the cruise is even over.

16 Respect The Ship

Matador Network

When a ship has a rule in place that requires employees to respect the ship, they mean from theft, vandalism, cabin maintenance, and misuse.

According to crew-center.com, while most of those rules if broken could lead to immediate termination, the cabin maintenance rule would just land the sloppy employee a warning.

15 Perfect Hygiene Is A Must

The Globe and Mail

This one should be a no brainer. Every job requires their employees to always look their best and make sure they wear clean clothes.

According to thethings.com, cruise ships are no different. They require their staff to always be on top of their personal hygiene and grooming.

14 Be Ready For Anything (Even While Off-Duty)

Cruise Fever

While working on a ship, everyone must pitch in to help make the ship run smoothly.

According to crew-center.com, this means that all employees on the ship are considered safety officers and not just in the time of an emergency either. They constantly must be on alert for anything that may harm a co-worker or a passenger.

13 Be Respectful Of The Passengers

Business Insider

Passengers pay a lot of money to spend a few days on a ship. While aboard, they expect to be pampered and have all their needs met.

According to thethings.com, ship passengers can be a bit demanding, especially since they have access to an abundance of “adult beverages.” But employees have to cater to them, no matter what.

12 Maintain The Health Of The Ship And Its Passengers


Being on a ship means being cramped with not only thousands of passengers but also employees.

According to crew-center.com, it’s very important that those that work on the ship make sure to keep their home on water spotless and in order, because if one person gets sick, the whole ship gets sick.

11 Never Forget Your Name Tag


When a customer needs something, they tend to feel a lot more comfortable when they know the person’s name that they are asking. Which is why wait staff and personnel always give customers their names.

According to thethings.com, cruise ship staff must always wear their name tags, so they are identifiable to the customers when needed.

10 Passenger Areas Are For Passengers Only (Same With Crew Areas)


While on a cruise ship, the crew has their own area to eat and hang out in, and the passengers have theirs.

According to crew-center.com, with their uniform on, they can enter a passenger area to work, but while off, they are only allowed in those areas if they have permission, this includes when family is on board.

9 Be On Time For Every Shift (There Is No Excuse)


When working for any company, it’s very important that all employees are on time for their shift.

According to cvtips.com though, it’s even more important for cruise line employees because there are only a certain number of employees on board that can do certain jobs. There are no excuses either.

8 Nothing Sketchy Is To Be Used Or Brought On The Ship By The Passengers (Or The Employees)


According to thethings.com, if it’s not legal to do in society, then it’s definitely not legal to do on a ship. Which is why all staff must ensure that none of these banned things are brought onboard or used by either passengers or staff.

7 Follow The Ship's Curfew


As stated earlier, cruise ship staff are only allowed in passenger areas while working.

According to cvtips.com, most ships actually have a curfew for staff and once that clock strikes a certain time, they are required to vacate all passenger areas. It’s a ship rule that isn’t negotiable and applies to all staff.

6 Always Be Ready To Pass A Random Test

NY Daily News

As mentioned, illegal substances are banned from all cruise ships.

According to thethings.com, to make sure that this rule is followed by the employees, the ship staff is given random testing every now and again. If at any point they decline to take this test, they are shown the door; same if a test comes up positive.

5 Be There BEFORE The Ship Departs (No Excuses)

Royal Caribbean

This is the Holy Grail of sins when it comes to working on a ship.

According to cvtips.com, there is no excuse whatsoever as to why any crew or staff member can not make it on board before the ship leaves. It’s completely avoidable if prepared ahead of time.

Be there beforehand, or don’t come back.

4 No Drinking On-Duty (Or Even Off-Duty)


When the ship is in motion, all staff must constantly be on the alert, even when they are off duty.

This means, according to thethings.com, that they are not allowed to do anything that could jeopardize them from doing their job correctly, which includes drinking any adult beverages.

3 Safety Drills Are Mandatory


If a member of the ship's staff is off the clock, on a break, or eating lunch, they must drop whatever they are doing to attend a safety drill.

According to thethings.com, safety test drills are important not only for the staff’s safety but for the safety of the passengers that are on board.

2 Piercings And Tattoos Must Be Concealed At All Times

Zero To Travel

Not everyone is welcoming of tattoos and piercings, which is why a lot of workplaces require their staff to cover them up or take them out.

According to thethings.com, cruise ships are no different. They require that if a member of their staff has any tattoos or piercings that are visible to the passengers, that they be courteous and cover them while on duty.

1 Only Eat In Crew Designated Areas


While on the ship, passengers and crew members are always separated. Passengers have their own areas to eat and hang in, and so do the staff.

According to thethings.com, not only do staff have their own areas to eat in, but they also are forbidden from eating the same food as the passengers.

Sources: crew-center.com, cvtips.com, thethings.com

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