Where Does the Captain Sleep on a Cruise Ship?

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A vacation on a cruise ship is a fun and rewarding experience for both couples and families. But, is it the same for the crew members as well, for example, the ship’s captain?

Where does the captain sleep in a cruise ship? As a captain, you have the privilege of having your own cabin. Of all the crews, the captain’s cabin is the most luxurious and the biggest. Also known as the captain’s quarters, the cabin is located either directly behind the bridge or somewhere near it, providing quick and easy access.

Now, you might be wondering what the captain’s quarter looks like and exactly how comfortable it is. Well, let’s satisfy that curiosity and take a look at what a captain’s cabin is like.

Captain's Stateroom on a Ship

What Does the Captain’s Cabin Look Like?

Like what was said before, the captain sleeps in his own cabin. It is often located directly behind the bridge or somewhere near, just in case an emergency occurs. It is also near all the other senior staff and crew’s cabins. While known as the biggest cabin, its size and amenities differ in each cruise line and ship.

It goes to say that the sleeping quarters for the captain in all cruise ships look the same. Nevertheless, you can expect where the captain sleeps to be a lot nicer than the rest of the crew. All captain cabins do have some similar features, such as:

  • Separate bedroom
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Bathroom with bathtub
  • Office
  • Pantry
  • Conference room
Captain Stateroom on a Ship
Credit: Wikimedia

The captain’s cabin is one of the two best crew cabins in the cruise ship, the other being the chief engineers. The senior captain and his reliever likely occupy the cabin of the captain. They work together to keep their space as comfortable as possible, although it is not much of a problem given it is spacious.

Where Are the Cabins of the Crew and Officers?

Besides the captain, you must also be curious about the rest of the staff. There is plenty of misconception when it comes to the accommodation of the crew. A lot of people think they all live below the waterline. The truth is that the crew and officers are spread throughout the ship’s decks.

You will indeed find the lowest ranking crew on the second and third deck. It is where their cabins are and also where they mostly live. On the other hand, you will find officers of some departments have their sleeping accommodations on decks close to where they work for convenience.

For instance, the cabins of most engineer officers are located on the same deck where the engine control room is. This is somewhere on the fourth deck, which is above the waterline. There is typically a porthole providing the engine officers with easy access to the engine room.

Plenty of cabins are also located on the fourth deck since the entire deck is for the crew only. You will usually find the crew office here, the crew mess hall, food prep areas, and all the provisions. Some of the crew members live here, but most deck officers live close to the bridge, which is somewhere located at the forward part of the cruise ship.

Most cruise ships also have the forward part of decks five and six as cabin areas for the officers. The senior officers usually occupy the outside cabins. So, that’s where the captain, officers, and crew live the rest of the days while sailing on their cruise ship.

What Does the Cabin of the Captain, Crew, and Officers Look Like?

Captain's Cabin
Credit: Flickr

As new ships are built, the comforts of everyone on the ship from the captain to the crew are considered by the cruise liner. The captain generally has nicer cabins, but today, even the crew has much better sleeping quarters. Below are a few details on what you can expect from their cabins.

Captain Cabin

As already described about the captain’s cabin, you know already that it is quite a spacious sleeping quarter. Although I can’t give a specific size number, I would say that it is either bigger or the same size as a master bedroom to offer a comfortable time for the captain and his reliever. After all, it has some fantastic amenities that other cabins don’t have.

Senior Officer Cabin

Like the captain’s cabin, the senior officer cabin is also different in every cruise ship and is one of the best amongst the crew. Like the captain’s cabin, it has a separate bedroom. It also has a living room along with a bathroom with a bathtub. On the other hand, their office is not in the cabin but in the department they work at, although it is still somewhere close.

Junior Officer Cabin

Junior officers get somewhat nice cabins. Staff in managerial positions may also have the same type of cabins, which is a single and some amenities. As a junior officer, you do not have to share with another officer or crew. That also includes the bathroom.

Deluxe Crew Cabin

If you are a crew member occupying a deluxe cabin, you get to enjoy your room with one other crew. The cabin usually has bunk beds where you share some stuff with other occupants, such as the use of the bathroom. It is a little cramp, especially since it does not typically have a window or a porthole.

Standard Crew Cabin

You must have already realized that compared to the small room of those in the deluxe crew cabin, this one is not better. Of all the crew cabins, it is the lowest grade where the lowest ranking crew sleeps. Two to three members share the cabin, sleeping on bunk beds. Even the bathroom is shared with the crew next-door.


When it comes to amenities, they differ as well depending on the position of the crew and of the ship. The standard crew cabins are pretty small, so you can’t expect a lot of items or facilities for comfort. Here are some things you can find inside a crew cabin:

  • Bunk beds
  • Shower and toilet
  • TV and DVD or VCR player
  • Writing desk
  • One or two chairs
  • Mirror
  • Safe boxes
  • Small refrigerators (sometimes)
  • Phones

Some of today’s cruise ships now have a mini-fridge for the cabin maters to share. Older cruise ships might not have these, though. Compared to the captain and the officers from the middle to the top, the bathroom of the standard crew cabin is small.

Often, it does not have enough space to hold all of a crew’s toiletries, especially when he or she has to share the area. Every crew member does get a single wardrobe, but where to put your luggage is a bit problematic — some store their luggage above the wardrobe or under the bed.


Cruise Ship

Bigger ships have better facilities, that one you can expect. Moreover, newer ships are the best. These have some facilities for the crew, for example, a crew recreation area. It is where the crew can kill some time in the internet area where they can connect to loved ones.

There are usually three different areas for recreation on a bigger cruise ship. Such places have items and amenities the crew can use to relax. Among those include comfy sitting areas, some books in a mini library, board games, table games, DVDs, and more.

Some other facilities that may be found in a cruise ship include:

  • Crew gym
  • Launderettes
  • Crew stores

The captain may have the most comfortable cabin with the best amenities and facilities out of all the officers on the ship. But that does not indicate the rest of the crew does not have a great place to stay. The living conditions are not great, but it is not bad either. Most crew compare their cabins as their first-year college dorm room.

Eating Area

Now, where do the captain and the crew eat? As for the captain, he has his own pantry so you can expect their dinner meals to be much more lavish. Some passengers may even be invited to eat with the captain, which is one of the best things that can happen while traveling on a cruise ship.

Crew Mess

As for the rest of the crew, where they eat depends on their job, which of course is categorized by their rank. The crew mess is the only option for the lowest ranking crew, which is a cafeteria-style facility. It is quite nice as there are often TVs available as well as a Wi-Fi signal.

Officer’s Mess

Every cruise ship has an officer’s mess. Whoever eats there depends on what the cruise line believes to be an officer. Common in the officer’s mess is a sit-down service. It means officers may be given a menu from where they can choose what to eat, just like being in a restaurant.

Staff Mess

If you’re on a large cruise ship, there is also a staff mess. This place is where those who work on onboard concessions may go to eat. People who work on the gift shops, spa, and other services on the ship can go there too. The staff mess often has its own mini crew who handles it.

Passenger Buffet and Specialty Restaurants

You can find some other places to eat within the cruise ship, such as specialty restaurants and the passenger buffet restaurants. Most of the crew can eat in the specialty restaurants. The problem with that is they have to pay the same price the passengers pay for the food. Often, they also have to get approval from their head of department. On the other hand, only some crew members and the officers can eat at the buffet restaurants.

Conclusion – Where Does the Captain Sleep on a Cruise Ship?

A job on a cruise ship undoubtedly has some fantastic advantages compared to a land-based job. The most significant of them is the fact that employees get to live where they work, so there are no worries about their accommodations. They don’t have to worry about commutes or traffic too.

This living condition allows them to create a close bond with co-workers. On the downside, the food can be bad, and seasickness is a considerable threat. One thing for sure is that life at sea is not easy. Be it the captain or the lowest ranking crew; the most significant disadvantage is probably missing their families.

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