Funny!! I had to read this message because I'm a "Regular" person and I recently went on a cruise to mexico aboard a Carnival ship. I had THE BEST time EVER even though I went with my mother, aunt, and uncle. I'm 27 years old by the way. 8)
Anyway, I met the lead singer of the band there who put it in simple english for me since I was totally falling for an officer I had spent 3 nights with... "People that work on a ship are totally different than Regular people. They can, if they want, be a different person every week. If the person you "connect" with contacts you on the outside, then fine.. but when you're on the ship.. you're just the pick of the week.
Luckily for me, I've been in contact with my "friend". And it's true what they say about the officers, they don't have the same rules as the rest of the crew and they can have "visitors" without suffering much consequences.