Have you ever wondered how cruise ship captains live compared to other crew members?
Spoiler alert: Captain accommodations are nothing like the videos you have seen of the tight living quarters of those who have to share rooms and sleep on bunk beds.
Keep reading to see just how luxurious Captain Faevelen lived while he was commanding one of the world's largest cruise ships.
Who is Captain Johnny Faevelen?
Captain Johnny is perhaps Royal Caribbean's best known Captain, primarily because of his flamboyant style.
The Captain known for having a parrot and motorcycle, "We were encouraged many, many years ago to pop up unexpectedly and do something funny or something memorable. I have kind of followed that idea for many, many years."
According to Faevelen's LinkedIn, he is an experienced Royal Caribbean Officer with 45 years of international sailing experience, the last 26 of which he has been a Captain for Royal Caribbean International cruise ships.
Previous ships he has worked onboard include Nordic Prince, Sun Viking, Sovereign of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and, of course, Harmony of the Seas.
When Harmony of the Seas set sail in 2016, she became the world's largest cruise ship, surpassing Allure of the Seas. Today, she is still one of the largest cruise ships at sea, followed only by Symphony of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and -- in January 2024 -- Icon of the Seas.
The ship measures a whopping 226,963 gross registered tons, 1,188 feet in length, and has a width of 215.5 feet. Any captain who mans a ship this big has to be more than experienced in order to keep everyone safe!
Let's take a look at Captain Faevelen's living quarters
A Captain's room is surprisingly large, and it provides a lot more space than most cruise ship passenger cabins.
As soon as he opened the door, we are greeted by a spacious foyer.
To the right is the guest bathroom, and directly across the hall is the Master Bedroom.
The Master Bedroom is complete with a queen bed, walk-in closet, flat-screen television, and large ensuite bathroom.
You might be surprised to find a Captain's room just as nice looking as guest cabins.
The typical crew member room is much more spartan in design than what passengers enjoy, but the captain's quarters definitely look more like guest accommodations.
The Master Bathroom has a large shower and soaking tub, as well as an expansive vanity with plenty of storage.
There are no dual sinks, though. Imagine if all cruise ship bathrooms were outfitted this way!
Non-suite cabins on a Royal Caribbean ship for passengers will have a sink, shower, and toilet.
The open concept main living area features a dining table that can seat four, as well as a sofa, loveseat, comfortable recliner, coffee table, and 55-inch television.
It is decorated with pictures and gifts from guests, which gives it a more personalized touch, rather than feeling like a suite that greets new passengers each week.
Just like a Grand Suite, Captain Johnny's room has lots of space. Part of the appeal of a suite is to get more living space (along with the incredible suite perks).
Most rooms on a cruise ship feel smaller than your average hotel room, but suites offer substantially more living space.
Plus, he has his Martin Guitar on display near the television, which allowed him to keep his brain and fingers moving when he had some free time!
If you're unfamiliar with guitars, Martin Guitars are crafted of a higher quality, and they are rather expensive acoustic guitars.
It's a brand that's been around for a very long time, and they've carved out their section of the acoustic guitar market.
The living and dining area flows seamlessly into the kitchen. It, however, is not a standard kitchen that you would find on land. While there's no oven or range, it is equipped with a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and toaster oven.
Fire is the biggest threat to any cruise ship, so open flames are major no-no. It's why you can only smoke in designated areas, and will never see lit candles onboard.
If you look closely above the counter, you will see Captain Faevelen's collection of coffee mugs!
Additional seating for two is available at the kitchen island's bar.
The amount of counter space that the Captain's quarters have is really impressive.
Next to the television in the primary living area is a door that leads directly into the Captain's Office.
Like his personal quarters, he has pictures hung throughout to make it feel more homely. The Captain's Office is connected to The Bridge, which gave him possibly one of the shortest commutes ever!
You might wonder why the Captain's room is so close to the bridge, and that's to make it as easy and quick for the Captain to reach the bridge at any time.
The bridge is where the Captain and officers navigate the ship. It's command central and somewhere passengers are not allowed to go, unless part of a pre-arranged tour.
Since the situation can change at any time, it's important the Captain be able to get to the bridge for any emergencies or important situations without having to wait for an elevator or walk up and down stairs.
Captain Faevelen's tour is not the first time a cruise ship Captain has gone to social media to give viewers an insider's look at their living quarters
In August 2020, Captain Kate McCue posted a TikTok about her living quarters! Since then, the video has amassed over 1.1 million likes.
In 2015, Captain McCue made history as the first American woman to be named captain of a mega cruise ship when she became the commanding officer of Celebrity Summit. Plus, she was only 37-years-old!
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.
Today, she is the captain of Celebrity Beyond, one of Celebrity Cruises' newest Edge Class vessels, and continues to post on social media to give viewers an insight into what being a captain is all about!
Who a cruise ship Captain works with onboard
A cruise ship Captain is the person in charge of the ship, and it's why they are referred to as the "master of the vessel".
Of course, the Captain is supported by other officers in the operation of the ship.
While on the bridge, there's always at least two licensed officers, and one lookout. Usually, there's more people there, including the Captain.
Similar to an airplane, routes are often navigated by the ship's autopilot, until manual intervention is needed.
While many people imagine a cruise ship's bridge handing where a ship goes, it's also the primary hub for the ship-wide safety operations. Any emergencies or situations are managed from the bridge, and orders are given from there.
The Captain has many responsibilities, and it's why all of that duty gets you a really nice stateroom.
Social media star
Cruise ship captains are not usually known for having a big personality, but Captain Johnny certainly breaks that mold.
He has amassed over 115,000 followers on TikTok, where he shares glimpses of his work on cruise ships, golfing, and time at home.
In one video, he shared a look at the engine control room, which is usually a restricted area. He showed what the engineer on duty has to do in order to monitor the ship's operations, with a possible 40,000 alarms to track.
He also has a video where he gave crew members guitar lessons.
Off duty in his regular clothes, he guided other crew members in learning how to play.
The variety of content has endeared him to his viewers, and catapulted his viewers considerably.