Settling in quickly on a cruise ship can make your vacation much more relaxing. It’s nice to know your way around, return to a welcoming stateroom, and dine every night at a place “where everybody knows your name.” While some cruise passengers like to vacation on the same ship every year for this reason, many guests like to try something new.
Looking to settle in swiftly on your next cruise? Here are five ways to feel more at home on a new ship:
1. Pick The Right Ship. In my experience, the staff on some ships are just plain friendlier than others. Several, like the crew aboard the Carnival Miracle, are absolute stand outs. Our cabin steward on the Carnival Miracle went out of his way to make his guests feel at home by checking up on them throughout the day, offering to take pictures, and providing personalized suggestions for various ports based on their individual interests. The crew members in all the dining rooms and lounges were equally warm and attentive. Everyone onboard the ship had a special way of making guests feel like family. Research various cruise lines and ships online and gravitate towards those that are known for superb guest service.
2. Add Flowers To Your Stateroom. Flowers brighten up a room and make it feel more attractive and appealing. Most cruise lines offer the option of purchasing flowers and room decorations in advance and having them delivered to your stateroom. Another choice is to stop at a local market, such as Pike Place Market in Seattle, and pick up a lovely arrangement of colorful flowers for your cabin. Flowers also make your stateroom smell nice, but another option is to bring along a sachet or scented aromatherapy oils. Other ways to make your stateroom feel more like home include bringing along a favorite coffee mug or one of your child’s stuffed animals, putting up a message board on your door for folks to leave you notes, and putting a small family picture on your bedside table.
3. Get Your Bed Just Right. In most cabins on ships, beds can be arranged in either as two twins or one bed that’s about the size of a queen mattress. If you’d like your bed to be arranged in a different configuration, just let your cabin steward know when you arrive and it will be changed for you. Room stewards can even supply extra pillows if you desire. In some room categories on various cruise lines, however, cabins are set with either two twins or a queen bed and cannot be modified. If this is important to you, make sure to check this out before booking your stateroom.
4. Learn Your Way Around. Before leaving for your cruise, take a few minutes to review the deck plans for your ship and get familiar with some of the venues. It will make adjusting to the ship even easier when you arrive. Once you’re onboard, stow your luggage in your stateroom at your earliest convenience. Then grab a copy of the ship’s deck plan along with your camera and take a photo safari of the ship. This is a fun way to explore and many areas of the ship are likely to be less crowded at this time. Take pictures of your favorite places, preferably starring a family member or two. Use this time to check on dining room seating arrangements, specialty dining reservations, spa appointments, and kids’ program sign-ups if you’re traveling with children.
5. Dine At The Same Table. Cruise guests typically dine at the same place at home every evening – and they can do so on their cruise. There’s something so welcoming about arriving at your dining room table each night and having your wait staff call you by name. Not only that, but they typically quickly learn which beverages you like with dinner and bring them without asking, know exactly how you like your coffee, and what main courses or desserts are most likely to tempt your palate. Many cruise guests think that the only way to have the same wait staff every evening is to choose a scheduled seating (either early or late) for dinner. I thought so, too. Then I chose “My Time Dining” on my Carnival Miracle cruise and was enchanted to find that I could have the same wait staff and table every night. The main difference was that I didn’t have to commit to a specific dining time, which allowed for much more flexibility in my day. Since I don’t dine at the same time each night when I’m not traveling, “My Time Dining” made my shipboard experience feel more like home as well.
For More Information:
For more information on the Carnival Miracle, visit the Carnival website: www.carnival.com.