Crew rooms are never as nice as passenger rooms – of course they aren’t. Crew rooms are generally located below decks – meaning below the water line – and usually lack windows. Musicians are typically paired with 1 roommate.
I would argue that crew rooms really aren’t that bad. I think what makes crew rooms suck is having a roommate. I don’t care how great your roommate is, it still blows to have to share such a small space with another human. Especially if they snore/smell/never leave the room.
Here are two pictures of the room I had on my first ship.
You’ll notice a few things. There’s a desk with a TV. The crew channel is on the television, showing (if I remember right) the movie 6 Days, 7 Nights. There’s two bunk beds and a folding chair. Under that bottom bunk is the storage area for your luggage (you have to flip the mattress up to get under there). There’s a bookshelf and a full-length mirror mounted on the wardrobe. There are two spaces in the wardrobe for the two different crew members. The mattresses are regular foam (mostly uncomfortable) mattresses with cheap bedding. The ladder is to get to the top bunk, but it’s rarely used. There are privacy curtains mounted on each bunk. If you’re roommate wants to sleep and you want to read, you can turn your light on and close the curtain.
The bathroom for this crew cabin is behind the camera, and I never did take a picture of that. To take these pictures I think I was probably standing in the bathroom, which might give you an idea of the size of the room. The bathrooms are the same in both crew cabins and passenger cabins. Toilet, sink, mirror, shower. There’s nothing special about the bathrooms.
This is a regular crew cabin similar to what many musicians would find on a ship. If you are a headliner, or a music director, though, you’d get an “officer cabin”. These sometimes have small windows, usually have a full-size bed and sometimes a fridge.
If you are a guest performer, you usually get a passenger cabin. Here’s a picture of a passenger cabin.
You’ll notice it’s much larger, and in this case has a window with a wonderful view of a lifeboat. These kinds of cabins are called “obstructed view” cabins, and they are sold to passengers at a cheaper rate (although still more expensive than rooms without windows at all). Having a window is a huge value to a room because of the natural light and because it often allows you to have cell phone service in your cabin (if that’s important to you).
You’ll notice this room has a couch (where my suitcases are sitting), a desk, a TV, full-size bed. There’s also a fridge behind that small wooden door. The bathroom is, again, behind the camera but is exactly the same size as the one in a crew cabin. There’s also a wardrobe behind the camera. Look – there’s even a hair dryer! Remember, this is a normal passenger cabin, so there is also room service and a passenger room steward (read: mints on your pillow), and (on this ship) beach towels are provided. Obviously, having a cabin like this is one of the best benefits to being a guest performer on a cruise ship.
Also: no roommate!
Below is another passenger cabin, this one from a different cruise line. The basic difference here is the mattress (that’s a hella comfortable bed you’re looking at).