What Looks Can Crew Members Show Off – Beards, Tattoos and More?

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Ship navigation, experienced captain, old sea dog with grey hair and beard on his working place, ship navigation cabin
(©iStock.com/Aleksandar Milutinovic)

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You see them in all different colors, shapes, heights and origins, yet, you might have noticed certain things in common when it comes to the way most crew members look (excluding the musicians, in most cases). If you haven’t, sorry to ruin the fantasy. If you have, here’s a little explanation as to why. 

Cruise lines often have guidelines as to what their crew members can wear… and show. Here’s a few examples:

  • Beard

While crew members are allowed to wear beards, there’s a few considerations the on board management will keep in mind when doing their rounds. Crew members are welcome to KEEP their beards, but they can’t GROW new ones during their contract. And yes, that means if one of them shaves completely, that will be the last you will see of their beard until they sign off. Also, those who do wear beards must keep them trimmed and neat at all times in order to keep a professional look.

  • Tattoos

Different Cruise Lines will have different restrictions as to whether crew members are allowed to have visible tattoos. In most cases the tattoo can be shown as long as they are below the neck and, of course, contain no offensive, discriminating, sexist or in any way negative message. 

  • Earrings

It’s only recently that cruise lines have started to allow male crew members to wear one or two earrings. However, they must normally be a simple stud, not a dangling one, and only in the earlobe, not anywhere else.

  • Jewelry

Both male and female crew members are in most cases allowed to wear one ring per hand or a wedding band, one bracelet and one necklace that is not visible outside the uniform. There might be additional restrictions for crew members who work in places like the galley or any food preparation areas, where these jewelry pieces could be a potential safety hazard. 

  • Grooming

As incredible as it sounds, there’s only a number of haircut styles that men and women can wear. When crew members get a haircut on board, the barber will be very familiar with what is and isn’t allowed. This includes haircuts too short on the sides, any kind of patterns and even unnatural color dying. An exception to the rule… Haircuts attached to religious beliefs, like the Rastafari styles of many Jamaican musicians.

  • Hygiene

It should come as no surprise that most crew members look their best while at work. This has to do with several requirements regarding their cleanliness, how tidy their uniform must be at all times, shiny shoes, and even body odor, which is why there are strict guidelines regarding personal hygiene, including the use of deodorant, daily showers and a strong recommendation for anti-dandruff shampoo. 

Bottom line is cruise lines want to present a professional look and the crew is part of that image. While there is some small leeway of personal expression it needs to be in check when you are wearing the company uniform onboard. The way to stand out as crew is by providing top notch service to our guests, not by our choices in grooming. – ThatGuy (onboard)

 

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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