1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Luxury Cruises
  4. 12 Cool Things Staff Do for You on Luxury Cruise Ships
Butler Service on a Cunard cruise (Photo: Cunard Line)
Butler Service on a Cunard cruise (Photo: Cunard Line)

12 Cool Things Staff Do for You on Luxury Cruise Ships

If you enjoy being pampered, a luxury cruise is a no-brainer. Passengers who are used to the take-a-number approach of a mega-ship will find themselves delightfully overwhelmed at the personal touch they receive from staff on a luxury cruise. With attentive service from your butler, wait staff, pool attendants -- even extra staff like gentlemen hosts -- you might never want to leave.

Here are 12 cool things that luxury cruise crew members will do to enhance your vacation.

Updated December 26, 2018

1. Find Your Perfect Pillow

A buckwheat pillow to prop up an aching neck? Or perhaps a full body pillow that you can hug all night? Or one of everything to create your own fort? Whatever scenario spurs snoozing, your room steward or butler on a luxury cruise will help you find it. (And if one doesn't work, don't be afraid to send it back and try another –- that's the whole purpose of a menu!)

2. Stock Your Personal Mini-bar

Prefer wine to beer? Or perhaps you're a closet Diet Coke fiend. On a luxury cruise, your suite attendant will customize your mini-bar so only your favorites appear -- and he or she will restock it when you start running low. So, go ahead and enjoy your G & T on the balcony; on luxury cruises, it's all included.

3. Bring You Extra Bath Amenities

On luxury cruises, the bathroom comes already stocked with luxury bath brands like Bvlgari and Hermes. But why stop there? Luxury lines usually have more than one brand available, and your butler can stock your bathroom with an assortment so you can try them all. If you'd really like to indulge, ask your steward or stewardess to draw you a bubble bath --- almost all luxury cruise suites have full tubs.

4. Organize Your Schedule

Overwhelmed with all of the activity choices, dinner reservations and spa appointments? Your butler can help you figure it all out. He knows your ship backward and forward, and can also give you insight into which restaurants are most full, and at what time. Consider him your go-to expert on what makes your luxury cruise ship tick and let him help you take advantage of it all.

5. Deliver Afternoon Canapes

After a long shore excursion, it's nice to have some downtime before dinner -- and perhaps a snack. No problem! Ring room service and they'll deliver a cheese plate or yummy canapes directly to your suite. Chill out on your balcony and watch the sunset with snacks and some Champs, all served on a white tablecloth.

6. Clean Your Shoes -- and Suitcase

Exploring the off-the-beaten path and small ports that are the hallmarks of luxury cruises can get dusty and dirty. No worries. Your suite attendant will take your muddy shoes and render them spotless. Keeping it clean goes beyond shoes though; on some luxury cruises, the butler even gets your suitcase shipshape before you leave.

7. Pair Your Wines

Your room steward isn't the only cruise staff member who wants to make your vacation memorable -- excellent service prevails throughout the ship. In dining rooms and specialty restaurants, sommeliers have been trained to perfectly match your meal with the ship's wine list. Why not ask for course-by-course pairings to make dinner memorable?

8. Recreate Your Favorite Dish

On a long cruise, you can begin missing the comforts of home, or tire of typical cruise ship fare. If you've got a craving that only an off-the-menu entree can fix, just ask the dining room manager if the chef can whip it up for you. Ask for anything from your grandmother's meatloaf to a feast of Italian or Indian specialties. Special requests can usually be satisfied with 24 hours' notice.

9. Eat Dinner with You If You're Traveling Alone

Traveling solo without a dining partner? Many luxury lines employ gentleman hosts to lead dancing lessons and run solo cocktail hours. If you want company at dinner, they'll gladly accompany you to your table for conversation and even escort you to the show afterward. (Just keep in mind that other solos will likely join you; gentlemen hosts are required to mingle and avoid playing favorites.)

10. Pamper You Poolside

What makes a luxury cruise ship pool better than the one in your yard? Attendants who make the rounds with cool towels and even colder drinks. Suntan lotion can lead to smudged sunglasses, but even here, luxury cruise ships lend a hand by making the rounds with microfiber cleansing cloths so you can actually read that book in your hand.

11. Deliver Snacks to Your Pool Lounger

Feeling peckish at the pool? Sure, you could mosey over to the outdoor grill that most cruise ships have on the lido deck. But isn't it more luxurious to have your pizza delivered loungeside? We thought so. (On Seabourn, up the ante with the line's signature caviar delivery.)

12. Make Special Occasions Even More Special

If you're cruising for a milestone birthday or anniversary, you've come to the right place. The entire staff, from the cruise director to your butler to the dining manager, will go out of their way to make the occasion unique. Arrange a private course-by-course dinner in your suite, along with a special bottle of wine. Or go festive with suite decorations and a cocktail party. Crystal even does a special birthday breakfast in your suite or in the main dining room. However you choose to celebrate, your luxury cruise crew will make it happen.

12 Cool Things Staff Do for You on Luxury Cruise Ships

Find a Cruise
Email me when prices drop

Popular on Cruise Critic

8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.
How To Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or stateroom) and is akin to a hotel room, but typically much smaller. Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be fun and challenging at the same time, and not just a little bit frustrating on occasion. Cabins fall into different types or "categories," and some cruise lines will present as many as 20 or more categories per ship. Before you get overwhelmed, it's helpful to remember that there are essentially only four types of cabins on any cruise vessel: Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger; also known as oceanview Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks It's the permutations (size, view, location, amenities and price, for example) of the four basic cabin types that can make choosing difficult. In addition to knowing your cabin options, you need to know yourself: Do you tend to get seasick? Do you prefer to nest peaceably on your balcony rather than hanging with the crowd around the pool area? Conversely, is your idea of a stateroom simply a place to flop into bed at 1 a.m. -- no fancy notions necessary? Are there certain amenities you are willing to splurge on, or can you simply not justify paying for unnecessary perks? The answers will help guide you toward selecting the best stateroom for your money. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, we'll help you get started with this guide to choosing the best cruise cabins for you and your travel party.