Cruise Ship Doorman’s Name Tag

This plastic name tag was pinned to the uniform worn by a doorman who worked aboard the Holland American Line’s cruise ship Zuiderdam in 2007. The name Dadang, printed on the name tag, is a popular man’s name in Indonesia, the wearer’s country of origin. The uniform also included a red jacket with brass buttons, dark blue trousers, and a hat of the type traditionally worn by hotel bellhops.
As a food and beverage worker in the ship’s hotel department, Dadang reported directly to the dining room manager. His primary job was to welcome passengers into the dining room by opening the door, to ring the dinner chime, to serve breakfast pastries, and to perform other services in the restaurant arm of the organization. In 2009, a cruise ship job similar to this paid about $1,200 to $1,400 per month, with room and board provided on the ship.
Taking a cruise has become a popular leisure activity for many Americans. In 1980, 1.4 million Americans took a North American cruise and by 2005, that number had increased to 9.6 million. As both the number and size of cruise ships have grown, the number of people required to keep them running smoothly and to serve the needs of passengers has increased as well. Aboard the Zuiderdam, 800 crew work around the clock to fulfill the needs of 1,848 passengers.
Cruise ship employees are recruited from around the world for a wide variety of jobs, from waiters to chefs, housekeepers to hair and nail technicians, and excursion leaders to fitness instructors. For the many jobs requiring interaction with passengers, workers must have a good command of English, and English-speaking workers from the Philippines or Indonesia (like Dadang) fill many hospitality jobs aboard modern cruise ships. Americans are not typically attracted to most cruise-ship hospitality and service jobs because of low wages, long workdays at sea, and the hardship of having to be away from home and family for long periods of time.
date made
ca 2007
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 1 in x 3 in x 1/4 in; 2.54 cm x 7.62 cm x .635 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Holland America Line
Sailing Ships
related event
Contemporary United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Clothing & Accessories
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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