How Many Staff Are on a Large Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

A large cruise ship typically employs a crew of anywhere between 400 and 900 people. This can vary depending on the size of the ship, the number of passengers it is carrying, and the type of cruise it is operating. The crew is made up of a variety of personnel, including officers, engineers, medical staff, deckhands, cabin stewards and housekeeping staff.

Officers – Officers are responsible for the safe navigation and operation of the ship. They are usually hired from maritime academies around the world and are assigned to a particular rank based on experience and qualifications. The most senior officer onboard is typically the Captain or Master; other ranks include Chief Officer, Second Officer and Third Officer.

Engineers – Engineers are responsible for maintaining all mechanical aspects of the ship’s operations. This includes engines, generators and propulsion systems as well as life-saving equipment such as fire alarms and emergency lighting systems. Senior engineers will oversee all engineering operations with assistance from junior engineers.

Medical Staff – Medical staff onboard a cruise ship helps keep passengers healthy during their journey by providing medical advice and treatments to crew members or passengers as needed. Medical staff usually consists of at least one doctor who is assisted by nurses or other medical personnel depending on the size of the vessel.

Deckhands – Deckhands work to maintain the exterior areas of a cruise ship including decks, patios, balconies and public spaces such as pools or hot tubs. They are also responsible for setting up outdoor activities for passengers such as watersports or excursions ashore when in port.

Cabin Stewards – Cabin stewards provide personalized service to passengers in their cabins by cleaning rooms daily, replenishing amenities such as towels and linens, helping with luggage delivery upon arrival or departure from port stops, providing information to guests regarding onboard activities or excursions ashore when in port stops among other duties.

Housekeeping Staff – Housekeeping staff work to maintain cleanliness throughout public areas onboard a cruise ship including restaurants, lounges, bars and entertainment venues. They also provide assistance with setting up tables for events such as formal dinners or special events held onboard a vessel during cruises.


In total there can be anywhere between 400-900 people working on board a large cruise ship depending on its size and number of passengers travelling aboard it at any given time. Each person has their own role to play in keeping passengers safe during their voyage while also providing an enjoyable experience throughout their journey!