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I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony. I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

By Christine Kesteloo

Key Takeaways

  • I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year.
  • Our cabin is tiny but perfect for us, though I wish the bathroom was bigger.
  • Our wraparound private veranda is probably the best part (but so is not doing laundry).
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Christine Kesteloo via Business Insider
I spend half of my year living on a cruise ship with my husband.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Hi, I'm Christine — I live on a cruise ship for half of the year and share my experience on TikTok (@dutchworld_americangirl).

My husband is the cruise's staff chief engineer, so I'm his "wife on board" and we live on the ship with a schedule of three months on, three months off. When we aren't living on board we call the Netherlands home.

I also used to be a cruise director and, between the two of us, we have over 45 years at sea. Many people would find our ship crew cabin to be cramped but it's perfect for us.

Let me take you inside our space.

When you first walk in, you can see our bed and built-in storage

white bed in beige room

I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't make my own bed, and I don't do laundry. Christine Kesteloo

Our crew cabin is located on deck seven, right on the bow of the ship. Not all crew cabins are the same, and they can depend on rank and position. Some individuals get their own cabins and others share. Fortunately, we have the space to ourselves.

Our room has a queen-size be with storage underneath and a TV mounted in front of it.

There are two televisions in our room (the other is above our wine fridge), and the ship provides hundreds of movies for us to watch as well as access to many TV networks.

bed facing tv on wall

We have two televisions in our room. Christine Kesteloo

We spend many nights here being rocked to sleep by the waves while watching our favorite shows.

Room service is free for us on the ship and the menu is located on the TV. We order in regularly so we can have quiet time away from guests and crew.

Although I'm happy with the size of our cabin, the bathroom is pretty small

Our bathroom has the basics: a toilet, mirror, shower, and sink.

To shave my legs, I need to place a towel on the toilet, sit, and extend a leg into the shower. But, hey, it gets the job done.

The toilet, like most on cruises, flushes with a loud vacuum sound you can never forget. It's quite scary at first.

We also need to be very careful with what we put in our toilets so we don't clog them. Toilet paper only — no paper towels or sanitary products.

We don't have a closet, but we have a wardrobe, couch, and dining table

beige couch and small wardrobe

Most of the wardrobe contains my clothes. Christine Kesteloo

As far as closet space, we have one wardrobe divided into three sections. You can almost bet that I use most of the closet space.

Steamers and irons aren't allowed on board so I try to keep our clothes hung and wrinkle-free.

We also have a small dining table with two chairs, a desk, wine fridge, and a window with a large enough ledge for me to use it as a makeup vanity.

We don't have a washer and dryer, so our laundry is picked up twice per week

I put all of our laundry in a cloth bag and insert a paper detailing our name, room number, date, and which items are inside.

Our laundry is usually cleaned and returned within 24 to 48 hours. I tip my room steward a couple extra dollars every time he picks up our laundry and drops it at the onboard cleaners.

Our clean clothes come back on hangers so all I need to do is place them back in my cupboard. Our room is also regularly cleaned by staff.

The best thing about our room is the private wraparound veranda overlooking the bow of the ship

cruise ship deck

Our view is so peaceful. Christine Kesteloo

The bridge of the ship, which is sort of like the control center, is located one deck above us. On many at-sea days, it's too windy to sit outside. When the wind dies down, I'm the first one to grab my towel and bask in the sun.

view of waters from cruise ship

I love soaking up the sun out here when I can. Christine Kesteloo

In my opinion, we have the best room on the whole ship. I haven't seen a better view.

Overall, there are many things I love about living on a cruise ship

I love not having to cook or do laundry. I also love living debt free and without a car payment.

Living like a minimalist is also pretty nice, especially since we don't have the space not to.

It's just four suitcases, us, and the ocean.

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