Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
People are enjoying cruises more and more as the years go on. And with new cruise lines, ships, and amenities on board—some ships even now have waterparks—it’s no wonder why more people are choosing to travel by ship.
If you’re planning your first cruise, or if you’re a seasoned cruise traveler, you may not know about these 11 cruise ship features—some of them may come in particularly handy on your next voyage.
I bet you didn’t know that the walls of cruise ships are magnetic. However, now that you do know that, you should add magnetic hooks to your cruise ship packing list.
Storage on board cruise ships isn’t the most generous. And if you have items that you’d like to hang or simply just get off the floor, magnetic hooks are your answer. Simply pop the magnetic hooks on the wall, hang up your belongings, and voila, a clean and organized cabin.
Pull Down Bunk Beds
Depending on the cruise line and the room you’ve chosen to stay in, there may be extra bunk beds cleverly built into the ceiling of the cabin. For families with young children who want to share one room, stewards will pull down the bed of an evening and put it back away in the morning to give you the most amount of room in your cabin during the day.
You probably wouldn’t even be able to tell where the bunk bed is unless you’re actually searching for it.
Staff Only Bars and Pools
Cruise ships have hundreds of staff on board who are there to serve you and entertain you—however, only when they’re on shift.
When crew members aren’t on shift, they aren’t allowed to socialize with guests meaning the ships will often have hidden pools, bars, and even entire decks that only crew members can access.
Similar to hotels, not all cabins on a cruise ship are the same. For additional fees, you can upgrade to luxurious cabins, which have separate rooms, larger beds, and even kitchens!
The Regent Suite on the Seven Seas Explorer, for example, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining and lounge area, a jacuzzi, two balconies, and a mini spa pool—there is even a grand piano! Wouldn’t that be nice?
Bigger Cabin Balconies
Even if you don’t pay for a cabin upgrade, there is still a way to get a slightly bigger room. When you’re booking your cabin, look for what’s called a ‘hump room.’ Hump rooms are rooms that sit on the curve of the ship, giving you a bigger balcony for the exact same price.
However, experienced cruisers know all about the hump rooms, so they do sell out fast. But if you do nab a hump room, your cruise experience will be all that more enjoyable.
Whether you’re cruising for a week or nine months—yes, that’s a thing the Royal Caribbean cruise line offers—there is just never enough room in your cabin. Once you’ve unpacked your toiletries, clothes and found somewhere to put your suitcase, you soon realize that storage is extremely limited.
As cabin designers know that space inside cruise cabins is tight, they often add hidden storage behind mirrors, under the bed, and in ottomans. You’ll even likely find USD charging ports behind the cabin’s tv.
If you don’t want to spend hours looking for hidden storage in your cabin, ask your steward for a tour and get them to point out all the hidden nooks and crannies.
Something you’ve probably never thought about—I mean, why would you—is what happens if someone were to die on board. Well, cruise ships are legally obligated to have a morgue on board the ship. But don’t worry; you’ll never come into contact with it—unless something bad were to happen, that is.
If someone were to sadly die on board, then their body would be kept in the ship’s morgue until the ship docked at a suitable port.
Wi-Fi on cruise ships can be patchy, after all, you’re in the middle of the ocean. But if you desperately need food Wi-Fi for work or personal reasons, you’ll find the strongest connection near the ship’s computer area.
Often cruise ships have internet cafes—that are right by the ship’s computer area—so head there if you’re having trouble elsewhere on the ship.
Free Room Service
In a typical hotel, room service often costs an arm and a leg. But on a cruise, you’ll often find that it is free—or with a small service charge.
Whether you want a late-night snack or breakfast in bed, room service on board the ship is a must-do at least once during your trip.
Most cruise ships have Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on board—listed under Friends of Bill W in the ship’s entertainment schedule.
Often taking place in a private room like the ship’s meeting room, Friends of Bill W offers a safe space for those who want to continue with their meetings even while on vacation.
The Chance to Save Money on Your Next Cruise
It’s almost a guarantee to catch the cruise bug after your first cruise trip. And if you haven’t even left the boat yet, but you’re already thinking about your next cruise vacation, then head down to the ship’s sales office.
In the ship’s sales office, you can talk to an agent who will help you book your next cruise for a far lower price than if you were to book at home. It’s definitely worth enquiring, even if you’re on the fence, because you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.
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