Has Anyone Ever Seen Crew's Quarters?

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#1
2 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I am just curious if anyone has ever seen any of the crews areas. I've heard they are terribly cramped. Please fill us in on how you did it and what you saw. I am very curious as to what it's like on the bottom floors of the boat and if RCCL treats their crew any better than the other major cruiselines. Those people have such difficult lives, I don't know how they do it (and with a smile.......)

Thanks!
Meredith
#2
ATL
1,890 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by RunnerMom3
I am just curious if anyone has ever seen any of the crews areas. I've heard they are terribly cramped. Please fill us in on how you did it and what you saw. I am very curious as to what it's like on the bottom floors of the boat and if RCCL treats their crew any better than the other major cruiselines. Those people have such difficult lives, I don't know how they do it (and with a smile.......)

Thanks!
Meredith
No, but I've seen pictures. The rooms seem similar to a college dorm setup. I know that they do have their own exercise room and sunbathing area, and Internet service for the crew is much cheaper.
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#3
Astoria, NY
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Joined Dec 2004
I was also wondering if some of the crew has better quarters - e.g. the skaters in the ice show are true professionals. Do they have better quarters than say the maintenance staff?
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#4
Orient, WA USA
323 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Mom and I used to volunteer time in the Youth Center as counselors in return for a free cruise. Our rooms were down with the crew. I was very nervous about this at first, being two girls with all those guys. However, I will never forget those cruises. Yes, the rooms are small but there is no lack of fun down there. They open their doors and party in the halls. There is a mutual bathroom/showers that they all share. We did have our own bathroom/shower but our room was tiny. Only room to sleep and change. They all had their rooms cleaned with a stewart just like passengers do and they have to tip them too. This is the job for a couple of the crew. Their dinning rooms were buffet style and they try to have different foods for the different ethnic groups. They have a lounge just for them too. Beer and cigs are at a very reasonable rate. They have planned parties and activities. It is like a big family. I felt very safe and respected by all. The stories about their families and life are stories I could listen too forever. The volunteer program no longer exists but to this day when on a cruise, Mom and I will always befriend the working staff. In comparison to American wages, it is small but for most of them what they make is huge for their country. Next time on a cruise, take the time to get to know your waiters, room stewards, bar servers, etc. They are all truely wonderful people that LOVE to talk about their home life.
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#5
Kansas City Mo
1,868 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Crew quarters differ with the line and the age of the ship. Also differant jobs have differant class levels which changes their accomodations.
I can tell you about Princess as my son worked for them as a casino dealer for 3 years.

He was considered a 1/2 stripe officer and had rooms on the same floor as passengers but behind a door in the front of the ship. The room was exactly the same as an inside room with a double long desk on 1 side and a double closet on the other side. The beds were bunks across back with curtains and lights in case one wanted to sleep or read. They had the same tv and an added vcr. Bathroom same. They also had the option of a room steward for $10 tip per week. My son said the $10 was worth it to have someone clean the room and do laundry.
The have very nice bar, dining area, exercise room and shop to buy sundries and snack cheap. Also drinks were very cheap.
Now his first ship was the old pacific princess and they had comunal showers.
His good friend was a member of the cruise staff and they were considered 2 stripes and had rooms like my sons but did not have to have a roomate.
The dining room and room attendants are usually down on 3 or 4 and the area is more sparse usually only carpet in rooms and not in halls.
I've also seen pictures on the travel channel about Voyager class crew areas which are quite nice and state of the art.
They know they need to make them comfortable to keep happier employees.
The OP is correct about parties and comrardary...everyone I met really seemed to enjot what they were doing and generally got along but of couse they did have issude from time to time especially with romantic problems.
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#6
The Schooner Lounge
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My DSLW and I were invited to the Loyalty Ambassador's cabin on our European cruise a couple of years ago. She was an officer, so she was in an officer's cabin on deck 2. It was so small that you had to go outside to change your mind! If you were standing in the middle of the cabin and reached up to scratch your nose, your elbow would turn on the faucet in the sink.
BUT... As she put it, "at least I don't have to share the cabin with anyone!"
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#7
Caroga Lake, New York
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Crew quarters and Staff quarters are slightly different. Staff members....dancers, band, ice skaters, have slightly larger cabins....some staff members have their own single cabin...like officers or the Ice Skate captain, cruise director, etc.

Royal Caribbean crew member cabins are for two people on the larger ships....and 4 crew members per cabin on smaller ships. The crew cabin is basically bunk beds that each have a curtain to pull for privacy...sort of what you might see on a sleeper train...each cabin usually has small refrigerator, TV, VCR, 1 very small table with 1 chair...closet...the TV stand has drawers under it and a small bathroom. The crew cabins are slightly small than a basic inside cabin....smaller in length, not width.
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#8
Houston TX
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It varies from line to line and ship to ship. My hubby worked on the Explorer of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, and then for NCLA on Pride of America and now Pride of Hawaii. On his current ship he said the cabins are very small, they have minimum 3 to a cabin and a lot of time 4 to the cabin. He said they have a locker size closet for putting their things away. He said his cabin on POA was a bit bigger and they usually only had 2 in the cabin and on RCCL it was better, they had 2 in the cabin and it was bigger than his is now. On RCCL he was a bar waiter and on NCLA he is now a dining waiter, working in either the main dining room or specialty dining depending on where they need him. So always crew quarters. Crew and staff are very different.

Also on NCLA they are responsible for keeping their own cabin cleaned, on RCCL they could pay a steward to do it if they wanted.
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#9
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Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by heidilsing
In many cases the entertainers vary from the waitstaff and others in that they have free run of the ship when they are not entertaining whereas the waitstaff my not rub elbows with the passengers and it's strictly forbidden for passengers to go into the crews quarters.

Heidi
Heidi is quite correct that passengers are not allowed in crews quarters. I have been in the captains quarters, chief engineers quarters and some of the senior officers quarters, but not crew quarters such as our room attendant.

Conversely, most crew members are not allowed in guest cabins except to do their job.

Rick
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#10
Burlington ON Canada
3,094 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Yes, I toured the crews' quarters on Sovereign of the Seas in 1990. As has been said their quarters are cramped however their quarters are not oppressive. The higher up you are in the hierarchy, the better the accomodations. They have their own buffet restaurant, bars etc. The food is no different, quality wise, that we get and they pay a heck of a lot less for a beer than we do (as it should be). It's not heaven but it ain't hell either.
#11
12,933 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by heidilsing
In many cases the entertainers vary from the waitstaff and others in that they have free run of the ship when they are not entertaining whereas the waitstaff my not rub elbows with the passengers and it's strictly forbidden for passengers to go into the crews quarters.

Heidi
Heidi is right about that! 1 1/2 years ago we took our grandsons on the Miracle. DH was taking a nap and the boys were in the gym (they are both over 18 years old so I didn't have to watch them). I was bored and wandering the ship. I went through a small door and down a few steps, and I was in a long hallway that had lime green linoleum flooring. I was afraid because I had no idea where I was. A young crew member asked me how I got here. I said, "that's what I'd like to know"...I don't know how to get back to my cabin. He was not at all happy with me, but he politely escorted me all the way back until I knew where I was and I took it from there. EGADS!
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#12
California
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Joined Mar 2004
On my very first cruise - we were upgraded to the Queens Grill on the QE2. At that time the entire staff were British. Rather class conscious and very very proper. DH and I are from So Cal and we were clueless as to the formality required to be proper cruise passengers. (No tux no long evening gowns.) Never made that mistake again.

In the rather stuffy Queens Grill we had a great time with our waiter and asst. Our waiter was a disowned gay noble class man. We had so much fun making jokes and laughing - not in a mean way but just people on 'holiday' who wanted to have a good time. They snuck us down to crews quarters and the crew bar on the last night. We were told they kept the drinks dirt cheap - it helped keep the workers happy. Did we get weird looks from the crew in the bar.

We saw the asst waiters cabin. 4 with little curtains on the stacked beds. No room for anything - not a chair. I had to go to the bathroom. Concrete floors - something I picture in a jail. It was communal so they sent a look out so I would not be 'embarassed' if a male walked in.

I am now so glad to hear the conditions have improved for the workers on these ships. Needless to say - we would never undertip one of these very hard working people. It was an experience I will never forget.
#13
Bay Area California, USA
121 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
I was invited down to deck 0 to view the quarters of a guy we met while on our first RCCL cruise in 1989 on the Sovereign. ROoms were exactly the same size as a regular passenger standard cabin, except there were 2 to 4 per room. Also, at that time there were no doors on the cabins just curtains. Bathroom was exactly like the standard passenger cabins.

I was also lucky enough to be invited back to the Captains quarters for Champagne and snacks after dining at the captains table. It was right behind the bridge on deck 10. It was sort of a long thin sort of room, but he had it set up realy nice with lots of personal touches.

I guess we just got lucky and I am sure these days they frown on any such "tours". Just glad we had the experience.
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#14
Fredericksburg, va. USA
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Joined May 2001
This is why you should give CASH to the crew for tips, and not some trinket from your hometown!!!! They don't need more junk to store in what is really a walk-in closet with beds!!!!!
#15
4,372 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Many many moons ago when I was 21, my parents took me on a world cruise. The P&O Oriana. In those days it was a two-class ship - I was the only 'young' person upstairs. The Captain was consulted and I was given a dispensation to be escorted each evening 'downstairs' and allowed to enjoy the great time being had there!! It was a total blast - every night!!

At that time, things were a little 'freeer' and a blind-eye was turned to pax/staff fraternisation to some extent. I can only say that on those ships at that time, the staff accommodation was more like you find in the navy!!! And so was some of the cheaper passenger accommodation!! And yes, I was recently invited for a meal on a frigate and shown around, so I can compare!!

I have seen various Captain's and senior officer's quarters - they don't seem to have a balcony!! So I won't swap.

Another point is that staff romance is actively encouraged on the ship. If a couple wish to share a cabin, that is permitted. A case of almost anything to keep our staff happy. I reckon that such small cabins must certainly test a relationship!!

Another officer told me that he had recently come off cargo ships and was appalled at the passenger accommodation on the cruise ships. Said the staff cabins were huge on the cargo ships!
#17
1,216 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I've been in crew, staff and officer's cabins and they vary greatly. On the older ships the crew have 3-4 per cabin and they are nothing more than 2 sets of bunkbeds and a small desk. On the Voyager class the crew only share 2 to a cabin and 2 cabins share a bathroom between them. They also have in cabin computers for internet use.

Staff usually have larger, some single cabins that are on Decks 2 and 1.

The crew areas also vary from ship to ship.. I've been to the crew bar on most of the RCI ships and the nicest are on the Voyager class.

I'll try to dig through my pics and post some
#18
81 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by cb at sea
This is why you should give CASH to the crew for tips, and not some trinket from your hometown!!!! They don't need more junk to store in what is really a walk-in closet with beds!!!!!
Well said.