Cruise lines have a set of rules and regulations in place for all crewmembers to live by. These policies and procedures govern how you should conduct yourself, how you treat others, your personal appearance, and your work ethic and performance. When policies have been violated, discipline is necessary. Here’s what to expect from the code of conduct and rules for crew on cruise ships.
Personal Conduct of Cruise Ship Crew
Crew members are expected to behave a certain way on the ship which is not only their work place but their home. Since you have the right to work and live in a safe and professional environment, cruise lines have put these policies and rules in place. Here is a typical list of what is not tolerated or allowed on a cruise ship and which may lead to disciplinary action:
Cruise Ship Crew Dress Code
Cruise lines expect that their employees take pride in their presentation and conform to the cruise lines’ appearance standards. Here are some typical rules that pertain to cruise ship crew dress codes:
Cruise Ship Crew Grooming Rules
Cruise ship crew are also expected to adhere to personal hygiene standards and other appearance standards at all times. Most cruise lines have similar grooming rules when it comes to cleanliness, hair care, shaving, tattoos, makeup and jewellery. Here are some guidelines to follow.
Crew member Use of Guest Areas
Depending on cruise line and rank will determine if you are allowed to use or be in guest areas while off duty. Some cruise lines allow officer-ranking employees to use the pool deck, passenger gym and restaurants. If you are allowed to be in passenger areas during off duty times, remember that guests have first priority.
For example, in Royal Caribbean’s “Getting Onboard” employee handbook, they specify the following crew restrictions for public areas:
Crew Members Conduct with Guests
How you conduct yourself with the guests can make or break your career working on a cruise ship. This is exceptionally important. To start, never argue with a guest. Instead, report any problems with a guest to your supervisor.
Second, never cross the line between guest and crew member. Never invite a guest into a crew area. Avoid guest elevators. Be aware of young guests with parents that misinterpret your interaction with their son/daughter. Also, be careful with how overly social you are with a guest that it isn’t interpreted as romantic or worse yet, sexual harassment.
Crew Member Conduct While Working
You are expected to follow all rules and regulations set out for the department that you work in. At the very least you must be punctual to all shifts and follow all USPH rules concerning hygiene. Other policies may include accuracy if dealing with money or sales quotas when dealing with concessionary departments.
In addition, a crew member’s actions must not impede the progress or navigation of the ship. This could mean anything from phoning the bridge during a red zone period or arriving back to the ship after the allowable time for crew.
Furthermore, each Captain has the authority to establish additional rules and regulations for his ship (known as Captain’s Standing Orders). He may have different uniform requirements for a turnaround day. He may specify passenger areas that officer-ranked employees are able to use or not use such as pool areas and bars. Understanding the basic code of conduct for cruise lines may make you reconsider if ship life is for you.
Cruise Lines Code of Conduct – Additional Resources
To learn more about what happens when a crew member violates the code of conduct, read Disciplinary Action and Appraisals for Cruise Ship Crew.
Here are a few specific cruise lines’ code of conduct and rules for shipboard employees: