Who Is the Highest Paid Person on a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

Cruise ships are floating cities, complete with their own staff and hierarchy. The highest paid individual on any cruise ship is the Captain. Captains of large, luxury liners can earn in excess of $150,000 per year.

Underneath the Captain is the Cruise Director, a role which is responsible for ensuring passengers have an enjoyable experience onboard. This role can range from organizing onboard entertainment and activities to dealing with customer complaints. The Cruise Director can earn over $100,000 annually.

The Chief Engineer is next in line in terms of salary. This role involves maintaining the ship’s systems and machinery and is one of the most important positions on board. Depending on the size of the vessel, Chief Engineers can take home salaries ranging from $75,000 to over $120,000.

Other High-Paying Jobs:

Hotel Managers are also well compensated for their work on board a cruise ship. They are responsible for managing staff and ensuring that all hotel services run smoothly. Salaries for this role range from $60,000 to $90,000.

The Maitre d’Hotel oversees all food service operations onboard a cruise ship.

This includes everything from staffing restaurants to menu planning and ordering food supplies. Maitre d’Hotels typically receive salaries between $50,000 and $80,000.

Finally, Pursers are responsible for handling administrative tasks such as passenger check-in and money management. Pursers make between $40,000 and $70,000 per year.


It’s clear that those working in high-level positions on cruise ships can expect to be handsomely rewarded for their efforts. However it’s worth noting that these figures do not include additional benefits such as free or reduced priced accommodation or meals onboard.

In conclusion, the highest paid person on a cruise ship is the Captain who earns an average salary of over $150 000 per year followed by Cruise Directors who earn over $100 000 annually