do cruise ship employees get free food

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Cruise ship employees are often seen as being in an enviable position due to their ability to travel and explore different places around the world. However, what many people don’t know is that along with this privilege comes a great incentive – free food! That’s right, cruise ship employees get free meals while on board the ship. In this article, we’ll take a look at what types of food cruise ship employees get for free and how much money they can save by eating on board.Cruise ship employees have access to a wide variety of food options. Onboard, they can enjoy meals in the employee cafeteria, which typically serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu may include a range of international dishes as well as traditional favorites. In addition, most ships provide a late-night snack station that offers snacks such as sandwiches and pizza. Off the ship, employees may have access to restaurants in ports of call, depending on length of stay and local regulations.

Do Cruise Ship Employees Have to Pay for Meals?

Cruise ship employees typically do not have to pay for meals while they are working on board the ship. Generally, most cruise lines provide their staff with a daily allowance to cover the cost of meals. This is usually a set amount per day and can be used in the main dining room, specialty restaurants, or the crew cafeteria. The allowance will vary depending on the cruise line and job position, but it should cover all of an employee’s meal expenses while they are working.

In addition to the daily allowance, many cruise ships also offer free snacks and beverages throughout the day. Employees may be able to purchase additional items from vending machines located in crew areas or from speciality food carts that are located around the ship. Some cruise lines even offer discounted meals at certain restaurants onboard for their staff members so they can enjoy a more varied selection of food.

There may also be certain occasions where employees are invited to join passengers for meals or other events. In this case, cruise lines often provide free meals for their staff members so they don’t have to use their own money. All of these perks make working on a cruise ship an attractive option for many people who want to see the world but don’t necessarily have a lot of money saved up.

Are Cruise Ship Employees Allowed to Bring Food Onboard?

Yes, cruise ship employees are allowed to bring food onboard as long as they meet certain guidelines. Cruise lines provide employees with a set of policies and procedures that they must follow in order to bring food onboard. Generally, these procedures include:

  • Employees must declare any food items they are bringing on board the ship.
  • Food items must be properly packaged and sealed.
  • Food should not require refrigeration or heating.
  • Any food brought on board must be consumed within the employee’s cabin or room.
  • No outside food is allowed in public areas or in the galley (kitchen).
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In addition to the above guidelines, there may be additional rules depending on the cruise line. For example, some cruise lines may require employees to obtain prior permission before bringing any food onboard. These rules are designed to ensure that all passengers and crew members remain safe and healthy throughout the duration of their voyage. By following these procedures, cruise ship employees can enjoy tasty snacks and meals without risking their safety or that of their fellow passengers.

Do Cruise Ship Employees Get Free Alcoholic Beverages?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask and what cruise line they work for. Generally speaking, most cruise ship employees are not allowed to receive free alcoholic beverages while on board the vessel. There are usually policies in place that prohibit staff from consuming alcohol while on duty. However, there are often exceptions, such as allowing crew members to have free drinks in designated areas, such as the crew bar or lounge.

In some cases, cruise lines may offer their staff free alcoholic beverages as part of employee benefits packages. These packages may include special discounts or complimentary drinks at certain bars and restaurants. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines offers its employees a 15% discount on alcoholic beverages purchased during their shift hours. Royal Caribbean also offers a similar program for its employees.

Some cruise lines may also permit their staff to consume alcohol in designated areas after hours. This is usually done in order to foster a sense of camaraderie among crew members and provide them with an outlet to relax after long workdays. However, these privileges may come with certain restrictions, such as no drinking while on duty or no consuming alcohol in public areas of the ship.

In general, most cruise ship employees do not receive free alcoholic beverages while on board the vessel. However, there are often exceptions made depending on the company’s policies and employee benefits packages. It is important for all staff members to understand and abide by any rules regarding alcohol consumption that are set forth by their employer.

Are There Any Special Deals or Discounts on Onboard Dining for Cruise Ship Employees?

Cruise ship employees often enjoy a variety of discounts when dining onboard, including the chance to save money on meals. Depending on the cruise line, these discounts can range from 10-50% off select menu items or buffets. Some cruise lines may also offer free meals in certain restaurants for employees. Additionally, many cruise lines offer discounted meals in their employee lounges, where crew members can enjoy a meal and relax after a long day at work.

Employees may also be eligible for discounts when dining at ports of call during the cruise. For example, some cruise lines offer discounted rates at local restaurants and attractions that are frequented by crew members. Other perks may include access to exclusive events or activities that are only available to employees.

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In addition to the discounts already available, some cruise lines allow employees to purchase special meal packages that provide even more savings on onboard dining. These packages typically come with coupons or vouchers that can be used to purchase food and beverages throughout the voyage. The cost of these packages varies depending on the length of the trip and the number of meals included in each package.

Cruise ship employees should check with their employer for more information about any special deals or discounts that may be available on onboard dining. By taking advantage of these offers, crew members can save money while still enjoying delicious meals throughout their journey.

Do Cruise Ship Employees Receive Tips From Passengers?

Yes, cruise ship employees do receive tips from passengers. Cruise lines are known for providing excellent service and the crew members often go out of their way to ensure all guests have a wonderful experience. As a result, many passengers choose to show their appreciation by leaving tips for the crew. This is especially true for those who receive exceptional service from a particular staff member.

Most cruise ships have an automatic tipping system in place. This means that a daily charge is added to each passenger’s bill for gratuities. The amount varies from one cruise line to another but usually ranges between $10 and $20 per person per day. The money is then distributed among the crew members based on their positions and the level of service they provided during the voyage.

In addition to the automatic tipping system, many passengers also choose to leave additional tips at the end of their cruise in recognition of exceptional service they received throughout their trip. This is entirely optional and at the discretion of each passenger, but it is greatly appreciated by crew members who work hard to make sure every guest has an enjoyable experience on board.

Cruise Ship Employees Benefits

Cruise ships employ thousands of people to provide a great experience for travelers. Many of these employees receive more than just free food and a place to stay. Cruise ship employees can also receive a variety of benefits, from medical and retirement plans to vacation and leisure benefits.

Medical and Retirement Benefits: Cruise ship employees can receive comprehensive medical and retirement plans that cover both in-network and out-of-network services, as well as pre-existing conditions. Most cruise lines offer 401(k) plans with employer matching contributions, helping employees save for retirement. In addition, some cruise lines offer tuition reimbursement for continuing education or other training opportunities.

Vacation and Leisure Benefits: Cruise lines typically offer vacation benefits such as paid time off or flexible scheduling. Some cruise lines also offer discounted tickets on cruises or airfare for their employees. Employees may also be eligible for discounts on hotels, rental cars, spas, resorts, restaurants, tours, attractions, and more.

Additional Benefits: Most cruise lines provide uniform allowances to their employees so they can wear the company’s designated uniform with pride. Some companies even provide bonuses for length of service or extra incentives for achieving certain goals. Other additional benefits may include relocation assistance and discounts on merchandise bought in the ship’s stores.

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Overall, cruise ship employees can enjoy a wide range of benefits beyond free food and lodging while working on board a vessel. These benefits help make life at sea more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone involved in the cruise experience.

Maximizing Food Perks While Working Onboard

Working on a cruise ship comes with a range of benefits, including access to food perks that can make working and living on board more enjoyable. Most ships provide their employees with free meals, snacks and drinks in the staff mess hall, as well as discounts in the onboard restaurants and cafes. To maximize these food perks, here are some tips for cruise ship employees:

Take Advantage of Free Meals

Cruise ship staff mess halls usually offer free meals throughout the day. Employees should take advantage of this perk as it allows them to save money on their food costs while still enjoying the variety of dishes prepared by the ship’s chefs. Employees should also be sure to check out any special events or buffets that might be held in the staff mess hall from time to time, such as themed meals or special promotions.

Utilize Discounts

In addition to free meals, most ships also offer discounts in their onboard restaurants and cafes for employees. Employees should take advantage of these discounts whenever possible, as they can save money on their meals while still enjoying the variety of dishes offered by the restaurants and cafes. Employees should also be sure to check out any special promotions or events that may be held at certain restaurants from time to time for additional savings.

Bring Your Own Snacks

Most ships have vending machines or snack shops where employees can purchase snacks and drinks at discounted prices. However, bringing your own snacks from home can be a great way to save money while still having access to snacks throughout the day. This is especially helpful for those who have dietary restrictions or preferences that may not be available at onboard snack shops or vending machines.

By taking advantage of free meals, utilizing discounts in onboard restaurants and cafes, and bringing their own snacks from home, cruise ship employees can maximize their food perks while working onboard. With these simple tips, employees can enjoy delicious meals while saving money at the same time!


The overall consensus is that cruise ship employees do get free food while they are working. The quality of the food varies depending on the cruise line and the budget they have for their staff meals. It is likely that a majority of cruise ship employees find that their free meals are sufficient to meet their needs.

Cruise ships may offer additional benefits such as discounts at restaurants or bars or other amenities to their crew members. This can often make up for any lack of variety in the food provided.

In conclusion, it appears that cruise ship employees do get free food, and it is often enough to meet their needs. It is important to remember, however, that this can vary depending on the cruise line and budget allotted for staff meals.


I am Lucia Verse and my wish is to give you the best experience about the food.

The article is written by me where I share my passion for this topic and I hope I have shed some light to you on this topic.

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