“It was there when I moved in”: 7 of the most random things found in cruise ship crew cabins

While there are a number of blogs online that show you the inside of a conventional cruise ship crew cabin, here is some insight (and pictures) into some of the stranger less-conventional crew quarters I have seen in my years on board. 

Cruise ship crew bicycle

When you are a crew member on a cruise ship, the best thing about your cabin is that the walls are metal (seriously, that’s the best thing!), and you can, therefore, decorate them with magnets! All your walls can look like the average fridge door. (And, if your air-conditioning is broken like mine was, it can feel like a fridge too!) You can even buy souvenir magnets in all your ports (how fridgey is that?), and befriend photographers who might give you the occasional print of you hugging that creep from the photo department wearing a dolphin suit, for free! 

Yeah, there’s nothing all that fun about having to share a tiny space with another adult who has a different schedule to you and different habits to you. Yes, they will probably become a close friend over time (while probably having to listen to people fornicate in the room next door through the thin metal - but well-decorated walls), but they start off a stranger most likely from a culture very different from your own.

So yeah, you really have to look at the positives like the whole magnet thing! Despite this, some people feel the need to personalise their cabins in other ways. Now, if you work on a new ship there probably won't be too much evidence of the occupant who lived there before, but if you move to an old ship (like the one I started this contract on), you suddenly notice all sorts of weird crap stuck in fun places. 

During my first contract, there was a towel duct-taped to the TV. I couldn’t quite understand its purpose - apart from intentionally trying to collect dust and being a fired hazard maybe?  This contract, I have been on two ships and each time I moved cabins. In my travels I discovered a unique collection of all things ‘what-the-eff?’ and thought I would document some of them for you here:

1. Jenga

Yes, my friends, that there is a Jenga block superglued vertically to the wall between the bunk beds. And no, I have no idea what purpose that could possibly serve, but if the ship isn’t rocking, it’s a great place to keep ones Zambuck. 

2. Lego

That is a piece of lego taped to a light switch. If I hadn’t moved from an identical cabin, I would have thought the occupants had a weird fetish for sticking toys in strange places, but actually, this one serves a purpose. You see, this piece of lego prevents you from accidentally turning the bathroom light off when opening your cupboard door, and getting shouted at by your cabin-mate who’s taking a shower.  

3. Gum

I’m not sure if they’re saving it for later (perhaps another contract?) or if it’s an experiment to cultivate a new strand of the ebola virus and investigate its effects on dust bunnies. Maybe it’s just gross? Let’s go with that one

4. Tape

I’m going to guess the previous occupants may have had some disagreements about what space belonged to whom. 

5. One of those things

I’m not sure what that is. I think maybe it’s where the TV may have once been mounted. Now it is used to hang one's adapter thing on it.

6. A Bicycle

We used to have a joke: “Which of these things will you not find on a life jacket: a whistle, a light or a bicycle?” - We were poking fun at how ridiculous some of the safety exam questions were (when I worked for a different cruise line, of course.) You would think the same joke could apply to the average crew cabin too, but apparently not! This was waiting for me when I moved to this ship. 

Apparently, it belongs to a youth counsellor who went home on vacation but is coming back at some point in the indefinite future. (I hope they don’t change her ship assignment.) The youth program manager asked my previous roommate to keep it for her in our “large” cabin while she was staying there alone. Fortunately (or unfortunately, I’m not really sure), they found another place for it before I got to ride it up and down the I-95 (the busiest crew corridor) and got it confiscated. I appreciate the welcome aboard gift and everything, but I specifically requested a pony!

Shortly after the bicycle found a new home, they decided to move me too. 

7. A tree

Well, for starters it’s not a bicycle. 

Every time you move to a new cabin it’s like opening a lucky packet of awkward quirks. Usually, your hopes are higher than the reality of whatever situation you find yourself in, but every now and then you find one that truly blows your mind. Yes, they moved me into the best (crew) cabin on the ship. We have a tree! 

I’m not entirely sure what the story behind it is, I believe it may have been a Christmas decoration and they were either disposing of them or removing them from the ship when my current roommate and a previous roommate of hers decided to adopt it. I’m pretty sure somewhere someone is still wondering what happened to it. (They should read my blog.) 

The girls bought fairy lights for it (which are never ever turned on if anyone from the Safety department is reading this …except for in this picture...) and decorated it with other fun things. It’s like feng shui or something, everyone needs some greenery in their life, right? And okay, yes, we failed the last cabin inspection, but the rail in my roommate's cupboard fell down and her clothes exploded all over the cabin so I’m hoping that’s why. If they try to remove it they may have a hippie-tree-hugging-(yes,-I-know-it’s-plastic) protest on their hands. And, for the first time on any ship, Rodrigo has a proper place to perch. 

(Also, did you notice how fridgey the walls are?)

In other news

Remember that weird guy who likes to take photos of himself juggling in exotic locations?

He’s back. Well, he came to this ship too.  

Tim juggling in Mexico 6 weeks ago (with Rodrigo)

Tim juggling in Norway this week (with Rodrigo) 

Me juggling in Norway this week (with Rodrigo)

Rodrigo’s adventures 

Since my last blog, Rodrigo has added Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Norway to his list of countries visited, bringing the number up to 33. He hasn’t left the ship in Warnemunde, Germany yet but he has been to Germany before. We were also on Port Manning in Finland the other day so that will be 34. 

So far, if he had feelings, he’d be loving this itinerary. He would have had a whole lot of fun exploring the Medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia. I did.  

Rodrigo in Tallin

And for those of us with the ability to think, St. Petersburg was quite fascinating. Russia, in general, is pretty strange. The people are weird. We took a bus through a really ‘interesting’ area and then we took a subway (which one of the deepest subways in the world - so that’s an experience in itself) downtown where we visited the Church of Spilt Blood, built on the site that Alexander II was executed. The ornate walls inside are not frescos but mosaics. It was quite something (and inspiration for my next arts and crafts afternoon). We also went on a boat tour which was beautiful. I took lots of pictures of lots of buildings that I’m sure were very significant but I’m not sure why because it was in Russian. 

We actually overnight there but there’s this long complicated annoying visa issue that makes it almost impossible for the crew to get off on the second day.

Since the transatlantic cruise, we’ve done one Baltic run and one Norwegian Fjord run. I hope no one was hoping for more stories about our amazing new itinerary when they clicked on this blog but more of those will be sure to follow. 

And that’s about it. My life rocks!

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