Cruise Ship Staff

From the moment passengers arrive on the ship, an army of support staff takes care of their needs. Because most cruise ships are flagged outside the United States, most crew members are not U.S. citizens. Like seamen aboard a vessel 300 years ago, the crew of a modern cruise ship is an international mix of people and backgrounds.



Cruise Ship Hospitality

The hotel department is one of the largest aboard a modern cruise ship. Hotel workers handle a wide range of tasks, from welcoming passengers and opening doors to serving breakfast pastries and cleaning staterooms.

Cruise lines design uniforms for their workers to project a special image. Holland America Line emphasizes its Dutch heritage, including the former colonial holdings in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.



Cruise Ship Sailor

A sailor working in the nautical department of a modern cruise line performs a wide range of duties—driving the tender, the small boat that carries passengers to shore for excursions; working the mooring ropes; and cleaning, painting, and maintaining the boats, life rafts, and other deck equipment.


Doorman’s jacket, name tag, and hat

Gift of Holland America Line

Sailor’s shirt, name tag, and hat

Gift of Holland America Line


Cruise Ship Keepsakes

Like ocean liner passengers in the past, cruise ship customers often save mementos to recall their experiences. From a special dinner menu to a souvenir stuffed toy, cruise ship keepsakes evoke memories of being pampered, having fun, and relaxing for a few days on the water.

Gifts of Doris Craig, Marlys Johnson, Matthew MacArthur

Dinner Menu

Courtesy of Holland America Line