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Life working on a cruise ship: Day in a life of a cruise ship crew member

Crew member split image

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work on a cruise ship? Thanks to social media, we are able to get a more in-depth look at what being a crew member onboard a cruise ship is really like. 

While onboard Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas for a seven month contract, TikTok user @cruisingwithkay, whose real name is Kailey but goes by Kookie, posted videos showing what ship life is like for crew, as well as some of her day-to-day responsibilities as Youth Staff. To date, she has amassed over 128,000 followers and 600,000 likes across all of her videos. 

For instance, did you know that crew members are not allowed to use the casino? Keep reading to learn more about crew life from Kookie's perspective!

What does a day in the life look like for Kookie?

Kookie getting ready

Kookie's official job title is Youth Staff, which means she primarily works with children and teens in the youth clubs. 

On a particular day in December 2022, Kookie began her day by getting ready for her first shift in the youth club. Afterwards, she ate lunch before going to guard the Baby Splash Zone. 

While she would normally keep an eye on the slides to make sure that nobody was getting hurt, wearing diapers in the pool, or disobeying other rules, it was pouring rain; there were not any guests outside. 

Kookie Splash Zone

During her break, she returned to her cabin to dry off and decided to clean up a little bit. Afterwards, she returned to the youth club for her evening shift. 

Of course, this is not representative of every crew member! Stateroom attendants and dining staff, for instance, have a different schedule and set of responsibilities. 

What other responsibilities do crew members have?  

Kookie Crew

While Kookie mainly works with children, that does not mean she does not perform other job duties when necessary. 

"You have to be a team player and ready to help out in any area," said Kookie in a TikTok posted on March 9, "I've even had to bartend for a short period of time. There's been a couple times where I was a DJ for a silent disco hush party."

In other instances, she manned the spotlights during ice and theatre shows, as well as worked "doors," which essentially means that she was a bouncer for those with reserved seating. When these guests arrived at the theatre, she would guide them to their seat and even unlock a velvet rope! She is even trained to help out with registration for the rock wall!

Additionally, she would have to attend rehearsals for parades and themed nights. While she was on Adventure of the Seas, they would host the Island Frenzy parade for guests, where crew members would dress up to represent different countries, such as Korea, Mauritius, Venezuela, and Argentina. 

Kookie Parade

"Adventure of the Seas is one of the only ships in the fleet that throws on the Island Frenzy themed parade," she said, "It's amazing! We have so much energy; the guests have so much energy, and I definitely recommend you to check it out."

Rules for cruise ship crew members

Kookie Elevator Adventure of the Seas

In another TikTok that has almost 900,000 views, Kookie outlined three important rules that all crew members must abide by. First, she explained how guests always have the right away. In other words, if she was waiting in line at Starbucks or Ben & Jerry's and a passenger walked up, she would have to let them in front of her!

Second, the casino is off limits to crew members; it is for paying guests only! And finally, crew members have their own set of elevators, so they are not allowed to use passenger elevators. 

Of course, if there are no passengers around, they can take them! In fact, there is a clip of Kookie riding up one of the glass passenger elevators while on her way to the youth club to prepare for the next sailing's open house. 

What onboard activities are there for crew members?

Onboard Lounge AoTS

While crew members are onboard the ship to work, that does not mean that they cannot have fun! Kookie showed what the Crew Bar looks like on Adventure of the Seas. Here, crew can play a round of pool, video games, darts, foosball, or ping pong! There is even a computer lab where the can complete necessary trainings or surf the web. 

Plus, there is a lounge area where crew can perform live music and host talent shows, as well as bars located inside and outside.

Crew Bar Pool Table Adventure of the Seas

In a separate TikTok, Kookie mentioned that certain venues will be closed off to guests to allow for crew-only events, such as ice skating or dance parties. 

Kookie went on to discuss that since there are so many crew members onboard representing different nationalities, she has had the opportunity to try new foods. They even had a street food festival just for crew members! 

"My favorite activity," she said, "is [eating] ice cream!"

Around the holidays, crew members will have their own themed events, too. Around Christmas, they participated in a "parcel pass" gift exchange, and for Halloween, Kookie decorated the exterior of her stateroom's door. 

The "Slopchest"

Kookie Slopchest AoTS

On Adventure of the Seas, there is a crew store that is known as the "Slopchest." It stocks necessities, such as laundry detergent and dryer sheets, as well as different sweets and soda. 

Kookie Slopchest AoTS

According to Kookie, "The Slopchest is like a miniature Walmart, and we have everything in here that you can think of. There's deodorant, toothpaste, hairspray...but most importantly, snacks!" She, unfortunately, did not reveal how much these items cost!

Doing laundry as a crew member


Crew members are responsible for doing their own laundry. They are not left with a bag in their closet to simply fill and leave out for a stateroom attendant! 

Kookie posted a TikTok on March 20 that explained how she does her laundry. While Royal Caribbean lets crew members use washers and dryers free of charge, they must supply their own laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, etc. 

Kookie Laundry

"Crew members do have their own laundry facilities," she said, "But sometimes they are full, so I found a sneaky one back deck." To prevent other crew members from removing her clothes from the dryer, she said that she likes to set an alarm on her phone. 

Cabin tour

Kookie Stateroom

One of Kookie's earliest TikToks is a tour of her cabin during a previous five month contract. It was a short video that just provided a simple panoramic view of the inside cabin that she shared with another crew member. 

While not large, it does have the essentials, including closet space, a mirror, private ensuite bathroom, and, of course, tons of decoration to make it feel like home!

Kookie Cabin

Your position onboard the ship determines what kind of cabin you will receive. Some, for instance, may not have to share with others! 

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