Who Is the Boss on a Cruise Ship?

By Anna Duncan

A cruise ship is a large vessel that is used to take passengers on leisurely trips to various destinations. Cruise ships are operated by a staff of employees, and each one has a designated hierarchy that governs the way in which the vessel operates. At the top of this hierarchy is the captain or master of the ship, who is ultimately responsible for the safety and wellbeing of everyone onboard.

The captain is usually assisted by a staff of officers, including a first mate and chief engineer. These officers are responsible for ensuring that all navigational and engineering operations run smoothly and safely. The captain also has a team of deck officers who are in charge of maintaining the cleanliness and safety of the decks themselves, as well as monitoring any activity taking place on them.

Additionally, there are crew members who work on board to keep everything running smoothly. This includes cooks, waiters, cabin stewards, entertainers, housekeepers, medical personnel, technical personnel and more. All crew members report to their department heads or supervisors who then report directly to the captain.

The cruise line itself also plays an important role in how things operate onboard. They provide support services such as accounting, marketing and sales teams that help make sure everything runs smoothly from shore-side operations to onboard experiences for passengers. This team works closely with the captain and other officers to ensure that all regulations imposed by law or industry standards are followed at all times.


Ultimately it is clear that the Captain has ultimate authority over all operations aboard a cruise ship. They work closely with their officers and crew members as well as various departments ashore in order to ensure that passengers have an enjoyable experience while adhering to industry standards and regulations.