Extroverts and Introverts: Navigating the Culture of a Cruise Ship

Apr 22, 2023

Generally speaking, if you are an extrovert, you will adjust much easier to the culture on the cruise ship. The ability to seek every opportunity to talk and create conversations is crucially important on the ship, especially when working in front of the house and dealing with guests.

You will become their favorite employee when you are open to creating friendly chats with the customers. This is because most of the guests on a cruise are curious about the crew members; they want to know everything about you, where you live, how you ended up on the ship, and how it is to live and work on the ship... Millions of questions need to be answered daily by our customers on board the ship, and being open for chat will give you a tremendous positive edge.

On the other hand, introverts will probably have a couple of issues because of their personality. Most guests expect a show, jokes, smiles, and continuous friendly conversation. If you are an introvert, working in the bar, dining room, or housekeeping, it will be very difficult to avoid the guests' complaints. Most of the guests on the ship will not like it if you are quiet and serious. Some guests would even associate that behavior with you being rude, and you don't want to talk to them. There were even cases when the members got in trouble for being too quiet while doing their job. Just because you are an introvert, it does not mean that you can't change or at least adjust that while working on the cruise ship.

I have met thousands of colleagues who used to be quiet introverts, and at the beginning of their journey on the ship, they did not want to talk to anybody, guest or crew. During this time, they adjusted to the ship culture and became more friendly; they learned how to start casual chats and conversations with their colleagues and guests.

That skill could be learned because I was an introvert when I started working on the cruise ship. Over time, I realized that it is very important to be open to communication at all times and that drastically helped me in my career progression in my working department.

People are generally classified into two personality types: introverts and extroverts. Introverts are generally quiet individuals who enjoy alone time and can be shy. Extroverts being social butterflies, tend to be very confident and love complicated, social situations where they can talk and get to know new people. But as someone said: "Everyone shines, given the right lighting."

The ways that introverts and extroverts behave in the workplace can differ. Knowing how to manage both personality types can be challenging, especially when they need to work closely together in a team.

Working space

Extroverts generally thrive and feel energized when working in a busy and loud environment. However, introverts enjoy the exact opposite; they love being in a quiet environment to get their work done. So, don't be surprised if they want to go off and find a nice spot in the office to sit down and get on with their work – it's where they will feel most comfortable and do their best work. If you have an introvert employee, let them have their privacy every now and then. Many introverts are sensitive to external factors such as noise, which can mean they often find the loud office space draining and can find it hard to concentrate.


Research has shown that two people will tend to do more than 60% of the talking in meetings with six people. Extroverts will happily speak up during a team meeting, as this comes naturally to them. They tend to feel most comfortable in meetings when giving their opinions. On the other hand, introverts tend to keep quiet during meetings. This doesn't mean they have nothing to say; usually, it means they're just taking in as much information as possible. They may need a prompt to give them a chance to speak up and voice their opinion.


Extroverts tend to respond quite well to changes involving their work or personal life. They find it easy to adjust and adapt to new ways. Whereas introverts can find change terrifying due to not knowing what to expect and not wanting to feel awkward in certain situations. If you've recently hired someone you may think is an introvert, try giving them as much information as possible before they start the role. Or if you're introducing a new system at work, maybe give those who are introverts a bit more time to get used to the program.


Introverts tend to be more reserved in social situations in the workplace, especially when meeting new people. To help them, try and firstly introduce them to all of their

co-workers in the office and encourage them to sit with other people, as this will be a chance to get to know everyone. Extroverts are happy and comfortable introducing themselves to new people. They will have no difficulty finding new friends at work and will quickly start opening up to them.

Is it fair to define the whole population by two different personality types?

Well, the short answer is no. Those who can see themselves identifying with both personality types are known as the Ambiverts. We're all humans at the end of the day, and in some situations, that shy introvert you see sitting on their own in the office could be the life and soul of a party. Equally, the extrovert you see around the office may be completely different outside of work. Ambiverts tend to adjust depending on the situation they're in. When they believe the time is right, they will speak, but they also know when to sit back and listen to what's going on.

Can introverts and extroverts work together well?

The answer is yes! Both personality types are opposites, and the strengths of an extrovert are usually the weaknesses of an introvert and vice versa. This means they can both be productive while they're working together. 

How can you manage them both?

Make introverts feel as though they are comfortable enough to speak up; at first, this may mean asking their opinions on specific topics so that they feel like their opinion is valued within the company. This will mean that the next time they have a bright idea, they will feel like they can come to you, and their opinion will be appreciated. However, also encourage the extroverts within your organization to listen to what the introverts are saying to learn something new. 

After all, 'teamwork makes the dream work.'