Cruise Ship Crew Rankings

Cruise ship job titles such as captain, first mate, second mate, etc. come of course from a long history of naval vessels - often involved in whaling or warfare. Note that I use "he" here for convenience, but the people can of course be female!

At the top is the Captain. He is the ruler on the ship. Everybody ultimately reports to him. As the legend goes, the captain will go down with his ship. The name traces all the way back to Latin - capitaneus, for "leader".

First mate / First lieutenant comes next - he is in control when the captain is not around.

The Second mate tends to keep track of navigation and charts. The third mate pays attention to safety issues.

There are also other members of the "officers" club. There are usually a radio officer, to maintain communications, and an electrical officer, to keep an eye on the systems in the ship. There is a chief medical officer to oversee the hospital area.

The actual crew roster varies from ship to ship, so be sure to investigate what will be on your cruise!

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