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20 questions to ask your cruise ship cabin attendant


Though I love exploring new ports of call and enjoying the ship's amenities, part of my pre-cruise excitement is knowing I'm days away from unloading the dishwasher and making the bed one final time before some time off. 

Instead of being responsible for day-to-day tasks, I know I'll be attended to by friendly crew members, from the Main Dining Room wait staff to my cabin steward. 

Making the bed and removing trash graze the surface of the responsibilities of stateroom attendants. They'll also perform tasks like refreshing used towels, cleaning the bathroom, leaving important disembarkation documents, and more. 

Cabin Attendant

Additionally, they can typically accommodate special requests that standard hotel housekeepers cannot. Simply inform them of your preferences whenever you first meet them or run into them in the hallway, and you'll avoid waiting in a lengthy Guest Services line. 

From extra bathrobes and pillows to a printed copy of the ship's daily schedule, here are 20 questions you should ask your cabin steward. 

Their name


You should expect a knock on your stateroom's door on embarkation day. On the other side, you'll find your cabin steward who is popping by to introduce themselves. If, however, you don't spend much time in your cabin on the first day, do not be afraid to spark an introduction later on when you pass them in the hallway. 

Other than your travel party, your cabin steward is the only person who will be entering your stateroom daily, so it's polite to take a few moments to learn their name. 

You'll also want to place their business card somewhere so you won't lose it, as that is how you will reach them if any cabin-related issues arise during your cruise. Rather than waiting to pass them in the hallway, you can give them a call, and they'll make sure that the issue is fixed as soon as possible!


On the first day of my Quantum of the Seas cruise, my father and I entered our stateroom and noticed that the beds were pushed together. 

Since we spent the majority of embarkation day exploring the ship and gearing up for our Alaskan adventure, we didn't meet our attendant until the second morning. Instead, we scanned Royal Caribbean's QR code to let the housekeeping team know we had a request. By the time we returned from dinner, the beds were separated! 

Stateroom attendants appreciate it when guests strike up friendly conversations with them


When you pass your cabin steward in the hallway, take a moment or two to ask about their day. In fact, don't be shy to ask where they're from and how long they've been with the company! 

I've met attendants who have been working on ships for over two decades. Had I not taken a few minutes out of my day to talk with them, I wouldn't have known that, though! 

Unless you're running late for a shore excursion, dining reservation, or show, it's polite to at least say, "Hello!" 

Sharps container


Suppose you're traveling with a medical condition that requires medication to be administered via a needle. In that case, you won't want to forget to ask for a sharps container to ensure that all syringes, needles, lancets, and other contaminated objects are safely disposed of while onboard. 

Depending on what the medication is, you may have to ask for a portable medi-cooler to keep it at the specific temperature requirement. 

Guests who use a CPAP machine may also request an extension cord. If you're worried about any accommodations not being met, it's best to research your specific cruise line to see if they have a form you can fill out in advance. Royal Caribbean, for instance, has a Guest Special Needs form on their website. 

Extra towels


While your attendant will refresh your hand and bath towels daily, you may require more than the standard allowance, especially if you're sharing the room with multiple travelers. 

Some cruise lines, namely Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian, only service cabins once per day, unless you're in a suite. Typically, they'll ask whether you want them to stop by in the morning or afternoon. Before you make a decision, consider your normal showering habits. Do you want to wake up with soiled towels on the floor?

If you're unsure, let your steward know that you'll need extra towels whenever they service your room. In addition to replacing used ones, they'll ensure you have an ample supply to accommodate everyone's needs. 

Read more: Why you should get your cruise cabin serviced in the evening instead of the morning

Additional hangers


Sometimes, you may open up your cruise cabin's closet to discover there aren't enough hangers for your garments, especially if you're cruising on a longer voyage. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about purchasing foldable hangers online or throwing some from your closet into your suitcase before leaving. Instead, you can request more from your stateroom attendant. 

Of course, you should be mindful when packing for your cruise, as there is limited storage space in cruise cabins. You don't want to take up half the closet and leave little room for your companions' belongings.

Additionally, you will want to leave your steamer and iron at home, as they're prohibited from being brought on cruise ships. I recommend packing wrinkle-release spray to help remove some of the larger wrinkles from your clothes. 

Read more: I went on a 2-week Transatlantic cruise by myself and only packed a carry-on

Certain bed configuration


Sharing a cruise ship cabin with a close friend differs from sharing it with family members or a romantic partner. If you're cruising with a friend, you may want to have the cabin's beds separated, whereas guests traveling with their spouse or significant other typically sleep in the same bed. 

If you arrive to find the bed configuration isn't set up to your preference, alert your steward. You don't want to try and move any furniture yourself. Plus, they'll refit the bed with the correct sheets, whether it's for two twin-sized beds or a single queen-sized one. 

Read more: 9 mistakes to avoid while planning a cruise and sharing a cabin with a friend

Storing pullman and/or sofa beds during the day

celebration pullman bed

Passengers sailing with three or four guests in a single cabin will have to utilize additional bedding, which will come in the form of a sofa bed or pullman bed, as standard cruise ship cabins cannot fit two double beds. 

Pullman beds either jet out from the wall or pull down from the ceiling. When they're down, however, they can make the cabin feel more confined. 

Oftentimes, you cannot sit on the lower bed(s) without feeling trapped by the bunk bed-style arrangement, so you will want to request for them to be properly stored when not in use. 

Lounger for a large balcony


Staying in a room with a large balcony? Then you might be able to get the standard chairs replaced with a lounger. Though suites typically come equipped with lounge chairs, standard cabins don't. Availability will vary, but cruise lines try to accommodate such requests when possible.

Spending time on your private verandah can often be one of the highlights of your cruise, as you can read a book, enjoy the scenery, and soak up the sun away from the lido deck's crowds. If you're able to get your hands on a lounge chair, it can be a great way to enhance the experience. 

Read more: 8 best balcony cabins on cruise ships that you will want to book for your next vacation

Opening the balcony dividers


On the topic of balconies, cruise ships feature balconies equipped with dividers to help ensure passengers have some privacy. Sometimes, you can ask your attendant to open them if you're cruising with family and/or friends in neighboring staterooms. 

While it's a great tip for families who can't book adjoining staterooms and don't want to walk into the hallway to enter the other, it is not possible on every ship. Some have balcony dividers attached to the hull and cannot be moved. 

Mattress topper

mattress topper

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to how firm or soft they like their mattress. Cruise ship cabins usually come equipped with mattresses that cater to a general comfort level, so if you like a plush mattress, you should ask your attendant for a mattress topper. 

In addition to providing an extra layer of comfort when sleeping, mattress toppers can be useful when guests choose to keep the beds pushed together, as they'll help minimize how much of the crack between the two mattresses is felt. 

Extra pillows

NCL Prima Cabin

Though you will normally find that your cabin has enough pillows, some may prefer a specific type or number to maximize their comfort at night.

You can ask your stateroom attendant for extra pillows to help create a plush sleeping arrangement, as well as pillows that are softer or firmer to meet your needs. 

While nothing is guaranteed, don't hesitate to make requests to ensure you have the most comfortable sleeping experience possible during your cruise

Maintenance concerns


If something isn't functioning properly in your cabin, inform your stateroom attendant as soon as possible. They'll direct any concerns to the maintenance team, so they can promptly address the issue. 

Whether it's a clogged toilet, leaky faucet, broken shower head, or problem with outlets, your cabin steward is your go-to contact to make sure your stateroom is comfortable and fully functional during your sailing. 

When my finacée and I were on Freedom of the Seas, we had some issues with our toilet. We informed our steward, and maintenance arrived a few hours later to ensure it was flushing properly! 

Printed copy of the ship's schedule, if not already provided


Some cruise lines no longer automatically provide paper copies of the daily schedule. They are, however, available for those who prefer to highlight activities they're interested in or simply don't want to carry their cell phone around the entire sailing. 

If you find that you're not getting a hard copy of the schedule, ask your stateroom attendant, and they'll leave a copy whenever they service your room. You may also ask Guest Services for a copy. 

Daily replenishment of ice bucket


Though you cannot bring unlimited beverages onboard, you're often allowed to bring limited quantities of wine and/or soda. 

If you aren't purchasing a drink package, this is a great way to enjoy your favorite drinks while on your cruise for a fraction of the cost. Sometimes, however, the mini-fridge doesn't keep beverages as cool as your refrigerator at home. 

Requesting fresh ice guarantees that your beverages are refreshingly cool at a moment's notice. 



Speaking of beverages, if you bring wine onboard, you may need a corkscrew. It's best to ask for this as soon as possible, so you don't have to hunt your attendant down or wait in line at Guest Services when you're ready for a pre-dinner drink. 

Plus, opening your wine in your stateroom will help you avoid the corkage fees charged to your onboard account if you take the bottle to-go. Carnival Cruise Line, for instance, charges $15 per 750ml when consumed in the Main Dining Room, specialty restaurant, or bar. 

Of course, before purchasing any pre-cruise beverages en route to the terminal, consult with your cruise line's policies. Some, like MSC Cruises, don't allow anything to be brought onboard on embarkation day, whereas others allow limited quantities of wine and soda. 

Wine glasses


Like corkscrews, wine glasses are essential for enjoying your wine. If you're in a hurry and cannot locate your attendant, you can always go to the nearest open bar and ask for glasses to take back to your cabin. 

If, however, you ask in advance, you can have fresh glasses whenever your stateroom is serviced, making it easy to enjoy an afternoon beverage while on your private balcony. 



Some cruise lines, such as Celebrity Cruises, provide complimentary robes while onboard the ship. 

Typically, they're found in your cabin's closet on embarkation day, whereas guests sailing on Carnival must request them from their stateroom attendant unless sailing in a suite or Cloud 9 Spa cabin. 

Picture yourself waking up and sitting on your balcony swaddled in a plush robe and sipping a fresh cup of coffee as you pull into port or watch the sunrise over the ocean's seemingly endless horizon. 

Removal of furniture


Cruise ship cabins aren't the most spacious accommodations, especially if you're sailing in an interior room, which tends to be the smallest category onboard. 

With limited floor space, you'll want to maximize every inch of available space, meaning you may be inclined to get rid of bulky furniture you don't plan on using. 

Instead of leaving the coffee table or nightstand in the hallway, inform your cabin steward. They'll let you know if it can be removed and, if possible, take care of getting it out of your stateroom. 



Each cabin is equipped with a thermostat, allowing guests to tailor the temperature of their stateroom to their liking; however, it's common for passengers staying in the same room to have different preferences, particularly when it comes to sleeping temperatures. 

If you're cruising with someone who prefers to sleep in the cold, while you typically don't dip any lower than 72°F, you'll want an extra blanket to make sure that you aren't kept awake shivering throughout the night. 

Emptied mini-fridge


Many premium cruise lines stock their mini-fridge with soda, alcoholic beverages, and water. Even if you have a drink package, these beverages aren't included, so you'll want to be mindful of the additional charges that could rack up just to satisfy a late-night thirst.  

If you arrive to find a full mini-fridge, don't be afraid to ask your steward to remove the contents, so you can store your personal water bottles, soda cans, or bottles of wine. 

Celebrity Cruises used to have a "Drinks & More" package that included drinks in the cabin's mini-fridge; however, the package has since been discontinued and is no longer available for booking. 

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