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16 things to ask your cruise ship cabin attendant

19 Apr 2024
Elizabeth Wright

While on your cruise, you won’t have to worry about daily tasks such as making your bed or taking out the trash. Instead, you’ll have a cabin attendant responsible for ensuring that your stateroom is clean and tidy.

Meet cabin attendant

In addition to making the bed and removing the trash, they'll perform tasks like cleaning the bathroom, refreshing used towels, leaving important disembarkation documents, and more. 

Unlike standard hotel housekeepers, however, they’re able to accommodate special requests made related to the cabin, saving you from waiting in line at Guest Services.

Here’s a list of 16 things you should ask your cabin steward for on embarkation day to make sure that you have a comfortable stay.

Their name


Typically, your cabin steward will stop by your stateroom on the first day to introduce themselves. If they don’t, or you miss their visit because you’re elsewhere on the ship, don’t hesitate to facilitate an introduction later on.

Since your attendant will be entering your stateroom at least once per day, it’s important to take the time to know their name.

They'll leave you with a small card that has their extension on it, which is how you can reach them if any cabin-related issues arise during your sailing. 

Extra towels


Even though your steward will refresh your towels daily, you may require more, especially if you’re cruising with more than one person in your room. 

By letting your attendant know that you’ll need extra towels, they'll refresh any used towels and make sure that you have an ample supply whenever they service your cabin. 

As of February 2023, guests staying in standard cabins (i.e., interior, ocean view, and balconies) will only have their room attended to once per day. On embarkation day, your steward will ask whether you want them to visit in the morning or evening. 

Before making a decision, consider things like when you expect to wake up, what activities you want to attend, and when you plan on heading to breakfast. 

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

Mattress topper

Mattress topper

If you like a plush mattress and find that your bed is a little too firm for your liking, ask your cabin steward for a mattress topper. 

They'll provide an extra layer of comfort during your sailing to ensure that you're getting a good night's rest. 

The toppers are also useful when keeping the two beds together, rather than separating them, as they'll help minimize how much of the crack in between the beds you're able to feel. 

Printed copy of the daily schedule

Cruise Compass in hand

Though Royal Caribbean no longer leaves physical Cruise Compass’ in cabins each evening, you can request copies from your stateroom attendant.

While it’s convenient to be able to access all of the information via your mobile phone, you may prefer the tangible experience of flipping through the pages and highlighting which activities appeal to you the most.

Having a physical copy also eliminates the need to carry your mobile device around with you all day. Cruises are a perfect time to disconnect, and having to keep up with your phone may seem like an unnecessary task.

Daily replenishment of your ice bucket


Those who aren’t purchasing a drink package may choose to take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s policy that allows passengers to bring 12 standard cans, bottles, or cartons of non-alcoholic beverages onboard on embarkation day.

Though your mini-fridge will help keep these drinks cool, you may want an ice-cold soda in a clean glass after a long day in the heat. 

When you meet your cabin steward, simply ask them if you’re able to get fresh ice each day. Whenever you return to your cabin, you’ll be greeted with a full bucket of ice. 



Unlike sister brand Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean staterooms don’t come equipped with bathrobes.

Once you accumulate 30 cruise points, you’ll reach the Platinum tier of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society. While this level doesn’t get you as many perks as Diamond cruisers, you’ll be able to request complimentary bathrobes during your cruise.

Imagine waking up and sitting on your private balcony while being swaddled in a plush robe and sipping a fresh cup of coffee. That sounds like a great way to begin any day on a cruise, whether you’re at sea or pulling into port. 

Additional hangers

Depending on how much you packed, you may need some extra hangers for your blouses, dresses, jackets, dress shirts, etc., especially if you're sailing on a longer cruise. 

Rather than try and cram some into your suitcase or purchase foldable hangers from the internet, your cabin steward will bring you more if there aren’t enough in your closet.

Speaking of clothing, this is your reminder to leave steamers and irons at home, as they’re not allowed onboard any Royal Caribbean ship. If you’re anticipating wrinkles in your clothing from being folded in your suitcase, purchase wrinkle-release spray before your cruise.

Read more: 115 item Ultimate Cruise Packing List (Printable PDF)

Certain bed configuration

If you’re traveling with a friend, you may prefer to have the beds separated. Likewise, those cruising with their spouse will most likely want the beds placed together. 

Rather than try and move the furniture yourself, tell your steward that you’d like it to be changed. 

Telling them on embarkation day is the best way to guarantee that the beds are arranged to your liking before bedtime rolls around. 

Sharps container


Those with medical conditions that require medications to be administered via needle will want to ask for a sharps container.

This will ensure that the needles, syringes, lancets, and other objects are properly disposed of during your trip.

Similarly, if you’re traveling with a CPAP machine, you may request an extension cord from your attendant. However, it’s best to fill out this form in advance, so you do not run into any issues while onboard.



Royal Caribbean allows guests to bring a limited amount of wine onboard on embarkation day. For those who don’t have a drink package, it’s a great way to save a little money on your trip.

Though having the bottle opened in public areas, such as the Main Dining Room, typically incurs a small corkage fee, you can have your cabin steward bring a corkscrew to your room to open the bottle for free.

While the corkscrew won't be anything fancy, it'll get the job done, and you will be sipping on your wine in no time. 

Read more: How much is a Royal Caribbean drink package?

Wine glasses


Rather than drink the wine out of the cups provided in the bathroom, you may request fresh wine glasses daily. 

I did this while sailing onboard Liberty of the Seas and received clean glasses each day during my short 3-night cruise. 

I appreciated never having to leave my cabin for a fresh glass. Instead, I was able to pour some wine while getting ready for dinner, as the cabin was always serviced by the time I returned from my afternoon activities. 

Extra pillows


Most beds onboard Royal Caribbean ships will come with two pillows. Guests who sleep with more than that can ask their attendant to provide them with extras.

Additionally, if you think the provided ones aren’t comfortable, you can ask your steward if they have any different ones that they can bring you. 

While not guaranteed, it doesn’t hurt to see what else is available.



Your cabin onboard will come with a thermostat that will allow you to adjust the stateroom’s temperature to your liking. 

Let’s say, however, you’re traveling with someone who prefers to sleep in what seems like the freezing cold, whereas you prefer a comfortable setting of around 72°.

If you find that you’re shivering during the night, see if your attendant can bring you an extra blanket to ensure that you’re getting as much rest as you need. 

Removal of furniture


Cruise ship cabins aren’t the most spacious rooms you’ll ever stay in. With floor space being so limited, you may want to get rid of any pieces of furniture you don’t plan on utilizing, such as the coffee table.

Rather than leaving it out in the hall, ask your attendant if it can be removed. If it’s possible, they’ll take care of getting it out of your way.

Read more: I tried the best inside cruise ship cabin hacks to see how well they worked

Storing pullman and/or sofa beds during the day

Pullman bed

Another way to maximize the limited amount of space that you have is to request that the pullman and sofa beds are stored when not in use. 

Unlike standard hotels, cruise cabins cannot accommodate two double beds. Instead, guests traveling with three or four passengers in their room will either have two pullman beds or one pullman and a sofa bed. 

Pullman beds are those that pull down from the ceiling or wall of a stateroom, allowing more guests to sleep in a single cabin without taking up more floor space. When down, however, they can make the room feel more confined, so you should inquire about seeing if you're attendant will ensure that they're properly stored during periods of non-use. 

Opening the balcony dividers

Connecting balconies

On Royal Caribbean ships, each balcony comes with dividers to help grant passengers some privacy. If you’re sailing with a group and have cabins that are located next to each other, it may be possible to remove the dividers to create a larger outdoor space. 

It's a good hack for families who were unable to book connecting cabins and don't want to have to walk outside of one stateroom to enter the other.

To figure out if this request can be accommodated or not, ask your stateroom attendant. Sometimes, it cannot be done right away, and you’ll be told that you have to wait until after the ship has set sail. 

Note that it’s not possible on every ship, as some dividers are attached to the hull and cannot be moved.

Read more: Guide to balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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