Yes, they are staggered. In a perfect world I should have ran them perpendicular as well. But that would have added more seams kind of negating any benefit. Catch 22. To be honest the ceiling was way easier than the walls. All of the plugs, sconces, speaker terminal boxes and conduit chases made for a full day of messing around last weekend. I'm very lucky to have someone on board who is handy with pretty much all aspects of construction. I have more respect for the guys who hang drywall everyday. Awkward work for sure on ceilings.