Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What to Expect- Cabins

A cruise cabin is not quite like your average hotel room. It’s very similar but with a few subtle nuances of a difference so I wanted to give you a quick rundown of what to expect with your cabin.

Standard Oceanview Cabin

Most importantly, depending on which deck and which cabin you booked, you will generally find the room to be smaller than your average hotel room. It’s completely livable, but not quite as spacious as you would hope for. The cabins have all your standard hotel items- seating area, tv, storage, desk, beds, etc. Most will have twin beds, which you can push together upon request if you’re traveling with a significant other (or you just like to be cozy with your roommate) If you have any more than 2 people in your room, don’t be alarmed when you only see 2 beds in there upon first walking in. Any remaining beds will actually pull out from the ceiling, to create a sort of bunk bed.  However they are generally not pulled down during the day so the room doesn’t feel as cramped.

Other points of note. There is a safe in the room if you want to lock up your valuables. I’ve never actually used it before but its operated with your credit card or a driver’s license. In the room you should also find bathrobes. If you like them, you can purchase them to take home, but they are free to wear during your stay on the cruise. There is generally 1 or very few outlets in the room. Plan accordingly.

There will be a TV in the room that generally broadcasts a few of the major US networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), several channels with ship information, and 1 or 2 movie channels. I find that they work better when you’re in port, but not as well when you’re at sea. Another nice feature of the TV is that it is interactive. You can now check your shipboard account from the TV, order room service, and order pay per view movies. But when you’re on a Backstreet Boy cruise, the only channel you really need to worry about is the Backstreet Boy channel.

Oh the bathroom….what to say about the bathrooms. Cozy does not even begin to describe the bathrooms. It can only fit 1 person, and I wouldn’t even say 1 person comfortably. You can practically take a shower, brush your teeth at the sink, and go the bathroom all from the same spot in the bathroom. While cozy, it does have everything you need.  If this is your first time on a ship, be warned the toilet flushes different than what you’re used to- remember you are on a ship. Basic toiletries will be provided every day including a shampoo and conditioner dispenser in the shower as well as soap. They may have a few other goodies in there as well. Most bathrooms are also equipped with a hair dryer, though its notorious for being pretty weak. So if you need a heavy duty blow dryer to look your best for the boys, Id suggest bringing one from home. One other tip with the bathroom is that there is generally a clothes line hidden in the wall of the shower that can be pulled out to hang wet clothes.

You will have cabin stewards clean up your room twice a day. Once in the morning to make your bed and replenish toiletries, towels and such. And once again in the evening before you go to bed they will turn down you room, which is where the cabin steward basically gets your bed ready for you, puts a chocolate on your pillow, and turns your towel into a fun sort of animal. In my cruising experience, the cabin stewards are usually fantastic. You rarely see them actually in your room, yet every time you return to your cabin its spotless. My only tip when it comes to cabin stewards is that they will be in your room at least twice a day so just be cognizant about leaving valuables out in the open. And not even just valuables. There job is to keep the cabin clean, so sometimes they will move your things around which may cause some confusion later.

Towel Animal!

While I’m rarely in the cabin, the key times that you will actually find me in there are when I’m sleeping or getting ready. Discuss with your roommates what their shower schedule is. My biggest piece of advice when it comes to the cabin is to coordinate getting ready with your roommates. There really isn’t enough room for more than one person to get ready at the same time, plus there aren’t extra mirrors and outlets. So for example if you all wanted to shower and change before dinner, I would suggest you assign times for people to get ready. 5:00- girl #1 gets the entire cabin. 5:30- girl #2 gets the entire cabin; etc.

My last tip for you interior cabin folks is to take advantage of the cruise channel that is a live feed of the outside of the ship. Otherwise you have no concept the weather outside when you’re getting ready. I like to keep this channel on overnight so I can still wake up to “sunlight” and not oversleep. Otherwise that cabin is pitch black and you have no concept of what time of day.

 Standard Interior Cabin

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