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Discipline onboard a Cruise Ship

Besides the Safety Training, the other first thing you will hold in your hands, when you join a ship, is a booklet of rules and code of conduct.

Rules and Code of Conduct

Some cruise lines send them to those already with the contract, others get them from the crew purser when they sign on. In both cases you must read the information and confirm with your signature, that you have read and understood the rules.

Discipline onboard a ship is strict and those booklets inform you about the code of conduct onboard. This includes what conduct is expected of you when dealing with guests, and when dealing with fellow crew members. It tells you about the dress code, where you find what on board the ship and to which areas you have access.

Some of those booklets include also information on how things work on board, such as the laundering of your uniform, of your private clothes, crew cabin cleaning and inspections.

Most of these booklets also show a diagram which displays the hierarchy on board. Emergency contact information can be found in it as well and often a short recap of what to do in case of an emergency.

Discipline onboard a Cruise Ship


Most cruise lines have a similar system in place for disciplinary action. There are certain misbehaviors, which call for immediate dismissal. Some of them are theft, gambling onboard, tempering with fire fighting equipment, fights with fellow crew members or guests, sexual harassment, being drunk etc.

Other misbehaviors which are not so severe are punished with a written warning. Some of those are: being late on duty, not performing the assigned job correctly, not following the dress code, damage to ships property or property of others (this depends on the severity – if this is a case for a written warning or immediate dismissal).

If a person has received 2 written warnings and the person fails a third time to follow the rules and regulations onboard, a third and final written warning will be issued. This third written warning means immediate dismissal.

The person in charge of the discipline onboard is the Staff Captain.