Upholding a positive work environment is always hard. Managers have to consider everything from decor to working hours to both utilize their workforce and find good employees in the first place. In some environments, though, achieving employee happiness is even harder.

On a cruise ship, for example, your team members have to leave everything to pursue a position. Far from just painting the office the right color, this level of commitment requires a little extra effort from you, too. At least, it should if you want to save your team members from feeling lost at sea during their time with you.

The good news is that many cruise owners manage to keep a happy team which comes back time and again. In fact, many cruise workers consider this to be a career for life. And, believe it or not, a sound rota system is the best way to make sure of it. Rotas always matter, but they’re less of a pressing issue when everyone works 9-5. When it comes to your cruise ship, though, they’re the most important thing. If you assume your team can work at all times just because they’re on board, they’ll soon become unhappy and could even start falling foul to the following issues.


Burnout is one of those words which we often band around, and it’s a significant risk to any worker. Without enough downtime, even a member of an office team could reach this stage. And, this risk only increases where cruise staff are concerned. 

If you rota members of your team on at every waking hour just because they’re present, it should come as no surprise if their mentality and performance start to suffer. The fact is that even cruise staff need regular breaks. Make sure, then, that you respect this free time by arranging your rotas to accommodate it, and leaving staff alone when they aren’t working. That way, you can guarantee they get time to relax and can then approach their next shift feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Health and safety strife

Overworking any team poses health and safety risks, but this is especially the case in a potentially hazardous environment like a ship. If your team members are stretched and tired, there’s more chance of mistakes. And, on a cruise ship, mistakes can prove costly. We aren’t just talking about your drivers, either. Everyone from entertainers to shop staff need to be alert enough to spot hazards so they can protect themselves and passengers.

If a team member received an injury because they didn’t have a night off for the whole cruise, you would certainly fall foul to the wrath of highly rated maritime accident attorneys like Hoffman Law Firm and others like them. If a passenger had an accident because you worked staff too hard, you might even face complete closure. So, make sure that your team are ready to meet any health and safety situation by making sure they get plenty of rest and time off. 


Leaving everyone and everything you know for work is tough on anyone. Still, your team members are obviously dedicated else they wouldn’t have taken their positions. The fact remains, though, that no one is above homesickness now and again, especially if they never have time to contact their families. If you don’t rota different shifts for each person, then, you may soon find this sweeping through your employee cabins.

This is especially the case when traveling in areas with differing time zones to those back home. If you only ever give out limited time off during the same shifts each week, staff members may be left entirely unable to contact their loved ones. Instead, keep your rota rolling so that everyone is guaranteed a call to keep their spirits high. 

Cabin fever

Even when your ship is in port, you’re going to want some members of staff on board. Yet, expecting everyone to stay at all times is sure to lead to cabin fever, and that could soon worsen all the risks mentioned in this post. Everyone needs time to stretch their legs and get a little fresh air, especially on a lengthy cruise. 

Make sure this happens by accounting for shore time during your rota planning. Make an effort to ensure every member of staff is able to get off at least once every two or three times you port. You’d be amazed at how much difference this can make to work mentality and performance on the whole.