Cruise ship holidays may be luxurious for passengers with great cabins allotted reflecting the grade of various cruise deals offered. But it is a different story for the crew.

According to a former cruise ship crew’s account, via his book on cruise life, it is the supporting staff that endures a hard life and is forced to put up in filthy staff cabins.

The book by Brian David Bruns describes many unknown things and work is named Cruise a la Carte.

According to cruise news, cruise living conditions vary depending on what holidaymakers will pay. For them also, some cabins may not look exciting. But they get it for a lower price.

However, even those passenger rooms are superior to the cabins that the crew stays in. According to the author, the conditions of the crew are miserable for the staff down below.

“B deck cabins are about twenty feet below the waterline. The corridors were taller than the new ships but equally narrow. Poor lighting showed a lack of freshness and the dismal back-alley vibe.”

In his words, the thick veins of exposed pipes in the cabins' pathways give the feeling as if the scene is set for the climactic showdown of a bad action movie.

He recalls those days when he was a crew member, his cabin door looked horrendously scratched, dented as if there was a brutal dogfight every day.

The crew cabin looked roomy only for the reason that there was no sink. The shower had to be shared with the neighboring cabins.

He mentions one ship "Fantasy" where cabins were horrendously filthy.

“Inside were two narrow bunks and tow wooden lockers, smudged with age and flaking laminate.”

The air was hot and stagnant: the vent behind a taped plastic bag intentionally cut off airflow. His description portrays the stench, dim light, and foul air filling the living space of the frustrated crews.   

Cruise staff salary and scope for savings

Although the cabins may be of sub-par quality compared with passenger cabins, cruise ship employees are generally well paid.

But the pay depends on the role or position. Many other factors also contribute to higher earnings such as the size of the ship, type, clientele, cruise liner, tips, and job experience.

Cruise ships have four vital departments: deck, engine, hotel, and medical.

So, the pay pack will also depend on the department where the employee works.

A paid cruise ship employee has the scope to save a lot, unlike a land-based job. In most cases, on a cruise ship cabins will be rent-free. No grocery bills will come and uniforms are also free.

Generally, all cruise ships entry-level positions such as aerobics instructors, junior purser, youth counselors, disc jockeys, and hosts receive industry-standard wages. That comes to $1,200-$1,500 a month.

In categories such as casino workers, waiters, and bartenders tips would automatically double up their earnings.