Take a look inside a cruise ship captain's living quarters

08 Jun 2023
Elizabeth Wright

We have all seen the videos of how crew members live onboard cruise ships. They live in tight quarters and often have to share a room with another member in their department. 

Captain Kate shows what her cabin looks like

Cruise ships captains, however, live a little bit more luxuriously. A captain oversees all onboard operations to ensure that the ship is safely operating during each and every sailing-- it is not an easy job! 

While captain of Celebrity Edge, Captain Kate McCue posted a TikTok showing what her living quarters looked like. The video, which was published in August 2020, has amassed over one million likes! 

Keep reading to see Captain McCue's living quarters while captain of Celebrity Edge!

Who is Captain Kate McCue?

Captain Kate at the helm

Captain McCue made history as the first American woman to be named captain of a mega cruise ship. In 2015, she became the commanding officer of Celebrity Summit at only 37-years-old. 

During her time at California State University, she landed an internship with Chiquita Brands International, where she worked on one of their cargo ships and helped to transport bananas between Ecuador and Los Angeles. 

After graduating with her degree in business administration, she moved to Hawaii and worked as a general deckhand on a catamaran. When Captain McCue began to apply for positions with cruise lines, it took her nine months to be offered an entry-level third mate role by Disney Cruise Line. 

In 2003, she moved to Royal Caribbean after being offered the role of second officer, and only one year later, she was promoted to first officer. 

Her dream was to take command of a vessel one day. In order to accomplish this goal, Captain McCue knew that she needed to further her education, and in 2009, she earned her Chief Mate and Master's License from the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies

By 2011, she was working as a staff captain for Royal Caribbean. This position is second-in-command! 

Celebrity Cruises asked Captain McCue to consider applying for a captain’s position in 2015, and she accepted the job of commanding officer for Celebrity Summit, making her the first first female commanding officer of a mega ship in the United States. 

As of June 2023, she is captain of Celebrity Beyond, the cruise line's newest ship that is sister to Celebrity Edge. For those interested in following along on her journey as a cruise ship captain, you can subscribe to one of her social media platforms. On TikTok, for instance, she has around 3.5 million followers on TikTok, as well as a total of 8.6 million likes!

What does the main living space look like?


"Welcome to my humble abode also known as the Captain's Quarters!" says Captain McCue as she began the video and opened the door to her cabin.

There is no shortage of natural light in this stateroom thanks to the amount of windows and infinite veranda. 

Immediately, viewers get a sense of how important Bug Naked, an elf sphynx cat that lives with Captain McCue onboard the ship, is to her! You see a plush bed directly under the infinite veranda, perfect for Bug. 


The room is furnished with a large couch and coffee table, media console, and television. As she continues on with the video, she shows a framed picture of Saint Nicholas on one of the built in shelves. 


"Because we're superstitious," she says, "there's somebody we never travel without; this is our patron saint of seafarers, Saint Nicholas." 

What do the bedroom and bathroom look like?


Overall, the bedroom feels pretty standard for Celebrity Cruises. She shows a king sized bed, night stands, and another television. As soon as she walks into the bathroom, however, you realize that this is no ordinary stateroom. 


There is a double sink, rain shower, and even soaking tub, which is great for Bug! The bathroom even connects directly to the primary entry hallway, as well as the bedroom. 

Let's take a look at the main galley and office


Directly across from the bathroom is the main galley, and yes, there is another television in here! It is also home to Bug's litter box and stroller.  

Despite not having a fully equipped kitchen, Captain McCue's Captain's Quarters does have a full-sized refrigerator that is stocked with water and Bug's cat food. Likewise, the drawers of the galley are packed with snacks, such as gummy bear and candy bars. Plus, there is a large table that is able to seat six guests. 


Connected to the main galley is Captain McCue's office, which in turn is connected directly to the ship's Bridge. 

The Bridge is where the ship is commanded, and it is located at the forward of the ship. This is where the captain and other crew members carry out navigational duties. 

"We have a minimum of three very qualified and licensed officers manning the bridge at all times," said McCue. 

"Three different teams rotate every four hours on and eight hours off....[and] the teams are made up of an officer of the watch, assistant officer of the watch and a quartermaster look out."

How do other crew members live?


Kristine Kugler is currently a dancer onboard Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas, and she posted a video to her YouTube channel in March 2023 showing what her living situation is like. While Captain McCue has her own stateroom, Kugler shares a stateroom with another crew member. 

Depending on the crew member's position onboard, they, too, might be able to have their own cabin, albeit not as luxurious as Captain McCue's. 


Kugler shows a bunk bed, large television, drawers purchased from Amazon for additional storage, closer, and foldable table.  

While the room itself is in no way a spacious suite, Kugler provides the most commentary about the size of the bathroom. "The first time we stepped into these bathrooms, it was definitely a culture shock," she said.


"Because it's a lot tinier than really anything we're used to, and we have to share it with another person."

At the end of the day, the stateroom that a crew member is assigned to is based on their position. Since Captain McCue is the ship's highest responsible officer with decades worth of experience, she has earned the right to one of, if not, the best possible accommodations onboard. 

If you are interested in learning more about Captain McCue, check out her social media pages! She has a TikTok and Instagram and posts content regarding operational duties onboard and ports of call. 

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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