Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh, The Crew Bar

Hello, Readers, and thank you for tuning in to trumptettravels - the true accounts of my 11 year career on cruise ships as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Premier Cruises and the Holland America Line.

One of the top questions I always got on the cruise was about the crew quarters and the crew bar. People are always curious about how the bar works, if they can get in, etc...

Every ship that I've been on has been different but every ship has one thing in common: a crew bar. Sometimes there is an officers bar, too, but the crew need a place to have a drink and socialize and not have to put on a show for the passengers.

The crew bar is a great place because the ship is full of young, enthusiastic people with a mind open enough to want to be trapped on a ship with a bunch of foreigners!

WHe I first started on Royal Caribbean, the drinks were $.85 for a Budweiser! We used to buy rounds (4) with a five and leave the guy a buck and change!

Officer, staff, and crew are all equals in the crew bar, even though the officers may not think so! This is the place where you can chat about work, but most chat up girls, talk about music, what they are doing tomorrow and what they did that day. Most crew are pretty adventurous so there are usually some crazy stories.

The stories abound of the crew members who passed out in a passenger hallway, who defecated on a crew elevator, who ran naked down the I95 (main thoroughfare), and who in general did some crazy stuff with some crazy people. I remember at one party talking to the saxophone player and a 19 Steiner (salon worker) came up and started rubbing his crotch. With much enthusiasm! He played it cool and did not flinch, continuing his story until the girl got bored and left. I was thinking, "What an amazing place!!!"

After the crew bar, the kitchen staff are dutifully cooking croissants, breads, and if you're in good there's a few Indian cooking a curry somewhere. As a 20 year old drunked fool it is your moral obligation to raid these facilities and take your food to the staff mess where you chow everything down, assuring you will be sleeping in to 10am the next day.

Oh those were the days! THe best part is you never spend more than 10 dollars a night! They even have the same wines passengers drink from $7-25/bottle. Passengers will pay $22-80 for the same bottles!

Some ships have what they call on Princess CAMBUSA. This allows you to purchase items directly from the ship's storage. Cases of water for $8, bottles of Jack for $18 (1L!). This allows you to fully stock an entire bar in your cabin for pennies!

We used to have a pre-game party in the cabin, go "out" to a passengers area for a drink, then hit the crew bar for a decent session before retiring to an after party somewhere.

Life on the ship is crazy - many do not know how to pace themselves. That's why occaisionally you see people walking around like zombies - although they will never admit it to you!