I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year.
Our cabin is tiny but perfect for us, though I wish the bathroom were bigger.
The wraparound private veranda is probably the best part — but so is not doing laundry.
Hi, I’m Christine — I live on a cruise ship for half the year and share my experience on TikTok (@dutchworld_americangirl).
My husband is the cruise’s staff chief engineer, so I’m his “wife on board” and we live on the ship with a schedule of three months on, three months off. When we aren’t living on board, we call the Netherlands home.
I used to be a cruise director, and between the two of us, we have over 45 years at sea. Many people would find our 336-square-foot crew cabin to be cramped, but it’s perfect for us.
Let me take you inside our space.
When you walk in, you can see our bed and built-in storage
Our crew cabin is on deck seven, right on the bow of the ship. Not all crew cabins are the same, and they can be divvied up depending on rank and position. Some people get their own cabins and others share. Fortunately, we have the space to ourselves.
Our room has a queen-size bed with storage underneath and a TV mounted in front of it.
There are two TVs in our room (the other is above our wine fridge), and the ship provides hundreds of movies for us to watch as well as access to many TV networks.
We spend many nights here being rocked to sleep by the waves while watching our favorite shows.
Room service is free for us on the ship, and the menu is on the TV. We order in regularly so we can have quiet time away from guests and the crew.
While I’m happy with the size of our cabin, the bathroom is pretty small
Our bathroom has the basics: a toilet, mirror, shower, and sink.
To shave my legs, I need to place a towel on the toilet, sit, and extend a leg into the shower. But, hey, it gets the job done.
The toilet, like most on cruises, flushes with a loud vacuum sound you can never forget. It’s quite scary at first.
We also need to be very careful with what we put in our toilets so we don’t clog them, toilet paper only — no paper towels or sanitary products.
We don’t have a closet, but we do have a wardrobe, couch, and dining table
As far as closet space, we have one wardrobe divided into three sections. You can bet that I use most of the closet space.
Steamers and irons aren’t allowed on board, so I try to keep our clothes hung up and wrinkle-free.
We also have a small dining table with two chairs, a desk, a wine fridge, and a window with a ledge large enough for me to use it as a makeup vanity.
We don’t have a washer and dryer, so our laundry is picked up twice a week
I put all our laundry in a cloth bag and insert a paper detailing our name, room number, date, and which items are inside.
Our laundry is usually cleaned and returned within 24 to 48 hours. I tip my room steward a couple extra dollars every time he picks up our laundry and drops it at the onboard cleaners.
The clean clothes come back on hangers, so all I need to do is place them back in my cupboard. Our room is also regularly cleaned by staff.
The best thing about our room is the private wraparound veranda overlooking the bow of the ship
The bridge of the ship, which is sort of like the control center, is one deck above us, and we have a wraparound balcony partly under it. On many at-sea days, it’s too windy to sit outside. When the wind dies down, I’m the first one to grab my towel and bask in the sun.
In my opinion, we have the best room on the whole ship. I haven’t seen a better view.
Overall, there are many things I love about living on a cruise ship
I love not having to cook or do laundry. I also love living debt-free and without a car payment.
Living like a minimalist is also pretty nice, especially since we don’t have the space not to.
It’s just four suitcases, us, and the ocean.
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