Cruise Ship Life Part 5: Living with a roommate

 

Dear Reader,

Does the crew live on the ship? Yes, this is a very common question people ask and most tend to be serious. Of course, they know we are in the middle of the ocean, and in a different city every day, but somehow it is still hard to imagine how the crew lives on board the cruise ship. To answer your question, yes we live on board. We share a cabin with a roommate from our department and this can lead to some funny situations, stories and so much more. Today I am here to tell you about those, and also share some tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.

I had three roommates during my six month contract and I got along with all of them, which was lucky. I have heard some stories of friends of mine, where it did not work out, but most of the time the two at least got along. In the best case, you have just met your best friend on board.

a small room with two twin beds
The room I was sharing with another girl while working on board

Mutual respect

One of the biggest issues tends to happen when the two people do not respect each other. Most of the time your roommate will be from your department, and if you work in one of the smaller departments, such as guest services or excursions, you will be working with your roommate as well. Therefore you will spend almost 24 hours together. Respect when your roommate is sleeping, pick up your things from the floor, and anything else that could disturb your peace. If something is bothering you, bring it up and get through it. Respect their privacy by not going through and taking any of their things. Give them space if they need it. Let them rest when you are the one that finishes later. You be good to them and they will be good to you.

Rules

a notebook with a list written in it

If you live so closely with someone, you are bound to run into some conflict. It could be anything from leaving the lights on to never making the bed. Whatever it is, it will get very annoying over time, so it is easier to just make some simple rules. For example. we had an arrangement with my roommate that she would take out the trash and I would vacuum. This might not be relevant to your situation, but you get the idea. Just think about what could cause problems and set up boundaries. I had a roommate who was not okay with friends over after 10 pm (which on a ship is very early). However, since she never really stated this until once a friend of mine and me were hanging out in our room later, so it caused some conflicts until we stated that rule clearly.

Significant Others

This is a major point in my opinion. If you are roommates in college or on a ship, this might come up, since people are hooking up and getting into relationships. So decide for yourself what you are okay with and how you want to deal with this. Are you okay with your roommates SO sleeping over in your cabin? Are you okay with them hanging out in your cabin at all? One of my friends lived with a girl who didn’t allow any boys in their cabin, so they were always hanging out in his cabin. Whatever you decide, just make sure you communicate it to your roommate at the beginning, otherwise, it can lead to a lot of fights.

Also, many couples try to arrange their roommates to match up with a different couple, so they can basically have single cabins. If your roommates want to do this. try not to stand in his/her way if you have no real problem with it since it can lead to tension. One of my friends tried to move in with another girl since their boyfriends lived in the same cabin. Her roommate was against it and blocked the move for almost one month. This lead to huge tensions which was a nightmare since the two also worked together. Just make sure you make each other’s life as easy as possible.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness is one of the most important when living with someone. You would not want to walk into a room to relax, where everything is messy, dirty and uncomfortable. I was lucky enough to always have very clean and organized roommates. I am not trying to say you have to be the neatest person if that is not who you are, but just be conscious. All people ask is that you do not leave all your dirty clothes on the floor, or making a mess in the bathroom. It may take as little as vacuuming once a week, taking out the garbage when it is full, or changing the sheets on your bed. Such small things can go a long way to ensure you have a peaceful life with your roommate.

You don’t have to be best friends

two girls with best friend shirts

If you and your roommate become best friends that is great. If you do not, that is okay as well. Some people really click, but as long as you are not hating each other you have a successful roommate. Some people would even argue that it is better to not live with your best friend because then you two would be together all the time. I have lived with three different girls during my six months and while I got along with all of them, only one turned into my best friend.

If this doesn’t happen for you, that is okay. You decide how much time you spend in the time in your cabin after all. Spending time in the crew bar with friends is always an option, which you will do anywhere. It is just if you can like your roommate enough to be able to talk about your days a little and spend some quiet time in your room if that is what you want. No pressure to become besties.

Speaking about roommates I have a funny story to tell you. One of my roommates and I became besties and we can talk and laugh for HOURS. One night we talked for so long and laughed loudly during the night, that the girl next to us started knocking on the wall, to get us to quiet down. Somehow that just made us laugh even harder, so it was really counterproductive. We did quiet down, but I did hear all about the next day since I worked with this girl living next to us. We became quieter after that, at least until this girl finished her contract.

Hope this helped you a little. I have lived with many roommates in the last three years and really like it. If you have any funny stories about roommates, I would love to hear about it either in the comments below or on social media.

If you missed the previous parts of my series. Part 1 talks about all you need before you come on board. In Part 2, you can read all about the first week on board. Part 3 is all about ports. You can read all about friendships and love in Part 4. Also here are some answers to many people ask, which you might have been wondering as well. Lastly, if you need some ideas about what to do in ports, read my port guide here.

Kisses,

Juli

6 thoughts on “Cruise Ship Life Part 5: Living with a roommate”

  1. Those are such helpful tips! There’s no better way to really get to know someone and their true character than to live in a single room with them for extended periods of time. I definitely agree that rules and clear boundaries take the headache out of many issues and prevent misunderstandings before they blow up.

  2. Those rules really do sound sensible. Although I am not on a cruise ship it still helps to have a tidy space, especially when it’s so small. Traveling in a camper van it really does get messy quickly. We have a full tidy up every morning after breakfast and start the day with a clean van!
    Thanks for the tips!
    Em

    1. Wow, living in a camper sounds like an adventure. And yes, I could imagine the rules work very similarly although the person you live with might not be a complete stranger at the beginning

  3. Really interesting read! My friend works on a yacht and often talks about how tired she feels. Must be weird not being able to fully get away from work, as you live there!

    1. It is kind of weird, because you can never turn off completely. On the other hand afterwards you get about 2 or 3 months off away from everything.

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