While all the members of a cruise ship crew work hard to assure that passengers experience a wonderful vacation, one crew member in particular is essential to a fine cruise experience – your cabin steward.
Your cabin steward is responsible for cleaning your cabin each day and ensuring that it has everything you need for a comfortable stay. When you first arrive in your cabin, expect your steward to stop by and introduce himself or herself. Remember his or her name – he or she is the person you can count on to bring you extra towels, fresh ice or more shampoo throughout your cruise.
Stewards seem to have built-in radar that alerts them when you leave your cabin in the morning. When you come back, you’ll find that everything is clean and fresh, with beds made and towels back on the racks. While you’re out at dinner, your cabin steward will refresh your cabin once again, turning down the bed, leaving a treat on your pillow and perhaps an adorable “towel animal” on the bed.
On some ships, cabin stewards are responsible for delivering room service to you. They will also collect any clothing that you want to have laundered or dry cleaned, then will return it to you.
Stewards are usually responsible for multiple cabins. If you have a special request, you may be able to find your steward in the hallway or working in a nearby cabin. If not, simply call on the in room phone or leave a note on your door or bed.
Some cruise lines take steward service a step farther by providing butler service. Butlers do what cabin stewards to, and then some. To provide a few examples, they can pack and unpack for you; make reservations for you in the ship’s alternative restaurants; mix you a perfect martini; or prepare an indulgent bubble bath. Some butlers take care of more than one cabin, but if you reserve a large suite on a luxury ship you might have your very own butler.
Keep in mind that it is an accepted – and in most cases, expected – part of the cruising culture to leave a tip for your steward at the end of your cruise. I, as your “personal cruise expert” can tell you more about what to expect from your cabin steward or butler and the other helpful crew members on your next cruise.
Until next time,