Officers are usually the marine department with stripes on their uniforms.

Think of the structure/classes of the military – the more stripes, the more responsibility, privileges, pay, etc.

The hotel department has ‘officers’ with stripes as well, but generally the term refers to the marine department.

Officers do not like to be called “staff” or “crew”, as their ranking makes them higher than both.

Other Glossary Terms


Staff are the hotel division of the ship, like guest services, cruise division/entertainment, shops, spa, casino. They often have their

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This term is often used for all the workers on a cruise ship, but it actually refers only to a

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A Little About the Author...

Rob Lilley is passionate about working on cruise ships, and spent 5 years of his life travelling the seven seas and touching ground on all 7 continents.  With the experience of 2 different job positions in multiple contracts with different cruise lines, from explorer ships to full-sized cruise liners, Rob is keen to share his insider insights with all of those interested in working at sea! More…