The ship crew: who's who and what is their job

Do you want to work on a cruise ship but you don't know what, or who's who on board or what is their job? We give you all the clues about the crew. Keep in mind that for many and many working on a cruise ship is more than a job, it is more about a way of life in which you know nationalities, religions, lifestyles, experience, places ... not everything is fun, it is a harsh disciplinary environment.

We also want with this article to help you know the organization chart of how a cruise works, and know who to turn to on a cruise, so that your question can be answered immediately.

Workers' wages


One of the scales that are most taken into account when forming part of the crew is salary, and it is not a minor issue. The salaries are good, Especially taking into account that you will not spend on accommodation or food, including the uniform that you necessarily wear on board. For the crew there are services and common areas which include: bar, Internet, laundry, gym, solarium and swimming pool (only on some ships).

Payment is made in euros or dollars, According to the shipping company and is done on the ship itself. In general You receive a fixed salary, sales commission and a share of tips. The tips that each guest gives you individually, these are not counted. To know more about the topic of tips you can read this article.

All shipping companies, they sail under the flag they sail are regulated by the MLC 2006 (Maritime Labor Convention 2006) which in turn is regulated by the UNWTO (World Labor Organization) and the IMO (International Maritime Organization).

We pass you the average monthly salaries in 2017, but each shipping company has its salary policy. It's just to give you an idea:

  • Restaurant waiters 1.500 euros + tips and commissions.
  • Waiter, glasswasher, clean buffet tables 800 euros
  • Cooks (there are 3 hierarchies) range from 900 to 1.600 euros. And in this category do not enter the maitres, or chefs of restaurants.
  • Cleaners 1.100 euros.
  • Animation for both children and adults 1.300 euros.
  • Entertainment, artists and stagehands are also included here. They charge as budgeted. Sometimes they depend on the production company itself and others on the shipping company.
  • Security 2.000 euros.
  • Doctor 3.500 euros and nurses 1.500 euros
  • Second Engineer 7.500 euros
  • Captain 20.000 euros

As we said before, these values ​​are indicative and each company has its own policy regarding remuneration. Sometimes the employees of the shipboard shops, the casino and the spa are hired directly by the commercial brand that offers these services, and not by the shipping company.

cruise ship stewardess
Related article:
Requirements to work on a cruise ship

Crew functions

In order not to get you too involved with another broader list, we will divide the work on board into four basic areas:

  • La cover. They are all the officers who they run the ship, they are on the bridge. On the edge of the pyramid is the captain and all the officers have to be certified by the Official Schools of Nautical and Merchant Marine.
  • The machines: They are the technicians and engineers responsible for the operation mechanical and electrical of the entire ship. Do not think only about the ship's engines, any personnel in charge of the correct maintenance of the ship enters this area. The maximum position is the head of the engine room.
  • La hostelry: Is the bulk of cruise ship crew and make up the part of the on-board resort. In turn, they are divided into departments such as entertainment, accommodation, administration, food and beverages ... it is organized and directed by the Cruise Director.
  • Hospital: They are the nurses and doctors in charge of the hospital on board. There are usually no pediatricians.

We hope that with this classification we have helped you when embarking on a cruise and addressing each professional at the right time.

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