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Today: 22 July 2024
2 weeks ago

What Cruise Ship Crew Members Need to Know About Expenses

Is something for crew to pay on cruise ship?

Living and working on a cruise ship can be an amazing experience, offering travel to exotic locations and the chance to build a unique career. However, unlike passengers enjoying an all-inclusive vacation, crew members do have some onboard expenses to consider. Here’s a breakdown of what you might need to pay for during your contract:

Staying Connected:

  • Wi-Fi: While internet access for passengers is a standard offering, crew Wi-Fi can be a different story. More and more ships are utilizing Starlink for internet, and some companies are starting to offer limited free data for crew. However, exceeding that limit will result in charges. Virgin Voyages stands out by providing complimentary crew Wi-Fi.


  • Bottled Water: While tap water onboard is generally not recommended for drinking, filtered water fountains are available. Crew members typically bring reusable water bottles and refill them throughout the day. However, bottled water purchased from onboard shops will be charged to your crew account.

Snacks and Drinks:

  • Beverages, Snacks & Treats: Crew meals are provided free of charge in the crew mess. However, if you crave a cappuccino, a bag of chips, or a chocolate bar, those will be deducted from your salary at the end of your contract through your crew account. Plan your budget accordingly!

Exploring in Port:

  • Shore Excursions: Some ports offer organized tours specifically for crew members, with prices varying depending on the activity. Occasionally, these tours might be complimentary, but generally, there will be a cost involved.

Living the High Life (Maybe):

  • Upscale Perks: For positions above a certain rank (often one stripe or higher), benefits can include cabin cleaning, laundry service, and even the chance to dine in the main dining room with passengers. However, there might be restrictions such as specific time frames, guest priority, and a uniform or badge requirement.
  • Superior Benefits: Some very senior positions might enjoy additional perks like complimentary coffee, beverages, and even alcohol. For the rest of the crew, alcoholic drinks will likely be charged to their account, or some companies might have a strict “no alcohol” policy.

Remember: Every cruise line has its own policies regarding crew expenses. It’s essential to carefully review your employment contract to understand exactly what is included and what you’ll be responsible for financially. Budgeting wisely will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience while working on the high seas!

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