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Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board

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A cruise ship is an unusual work environment, keeping employees away from their homes for months at a time. Some workers sign contracts that have them working on their ship every day for over six months.

That means cruise-ship workers need to be thoughtful about what they pack, since they might not have the opportunity to return home for an essential item for over six months.

Six former cruise-ship workers told Business Insider what they couldn't live without during their contracts. They worked for Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and American Cruise Lines. Four asked for anonymity due to a fear of reprisal from their former employers. Their identities are known to Business Insider.

Here's what they said.

Makeup remover

cruise ship worker
Loic Venance/Getty Images

"Being able to wash your face at the end of a 16-hour day just felt so good," said Abigail Segner, a former regional training manager for American Cruise Lines.

Clean and comfortable socks

cruise ship worker
Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Having good socks was essential because her job required her to move a lot, Segner said.

cruise ship employee
Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images

Like Segner, a former photographer for Norwegian Cruise Line said she was on her feet a lot, so it was important to have shoes that were comfortable and easy to put on.

Items that remind you of home

Princess Cruises crew cabin
Anonymous Princess Cruises employee

"You are away for so long and it gets lonely," the former Norwegian photographer said.

Carnival Victory cruise ship
Alan Diaz/Associated Press

"You have roommates walking in and out all night because their schedule is different than yours," said Kapri Hockaday, a former waitress for American Cruise Lines.


cruise ship food
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

"If you're not good at making friends or you don't have people to hang out with, it can be very isolating because you're thousands miles away from your family and friends," said a former bar server for Norwegian Cruise Line. 

cruise ship passenger
Carlos Barria/Reuters

"If you can't talk to your friends or your family once in a while and say, 'Oh my god, this is what's going on then,' then what?" said a former learning and development manager for Princess Cruises.

cruise ship employee
Don Ryan/Associated Press

A former Carnival Cruise Line youth staff worker said she would not have been able to sleep as well if she didn't bring a pillow from home.

"I don't think the pillows on the ship were that comfortable," she said.

By Mark Matousek, Business Insider
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com

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I give these crew members a lot of credit. I can’t imagine being far away from home for months at a time without seeing my family. Crew that I’ve spoken with rely on FaceTime and Skype to keep in touch. The waitress that said Sleeping Pills? How does she wake up and go to work without being groggy? I would tell her to replace them with an eye mask and earplugs.🙂

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