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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Of Mattress Pads and Empty Fridges

An appetizer on Celebrity's Equinox
There have been times in the main dining room that an appetizer has overshadowed the main dish and I wished I had a bit more of that tapas-sized tease.

Then on a blog one day, someone suggested that if you want an entrée-sized appetizer, the ships will do that.

There are quite a lot of things the ships will do for you if you simply ask. After all, they’re in the people-pleasing business and—within reason, of course—they’re often willing to accommodate. They just don’t advertise this, for obvious reasons.
Here are a few of the other things I’ve asked for and received over the years:
·       Padding the mattress—Perhaps Princess wants to get as much mileage out of its mattresses as possible, or they think we’re a nation of bad backs. Their mattresses are hard. Since they’re not about to change the beds, they’ve stocked their ships with pads that are available on request

·       Less of a cover up—I’ll never understand why the ships all line their beds with heavy duvets in the Caribbean. I don’t know about you, but the idea of sweating all day and all night isn’t particularly appealing. However, there is a solution—one of the first things we ask our room steward for on Day 1 is a thin blanket

·       Cold and cheap—The mini-fridge in the cabins on every ship are designed, of course, to increase your spend by tempting you with treats only an outstretched arm away. But on some ships, if you ask your room steward nicely, he will empty the frig of those $8 peanuts and $6 M&Ms to make room for what you squirreled away from the cafeteria. Which brings me to my next topic—
·       Takeout—I don’t know why, but I was always a bit shy about carrying food from the cafeteria. Until I saw others doing it. Even with food available somewhere nearly all the time, it’s still nice to have a few nibbles in your room in case you want something with your wine on the verandah. Think nuts and raisins from the salad bars, cheese and crackers from lunch, or cookies for coffee later. I’ve even started bringing my stainless steel coffee mug on board to keep me caffeinated between meals

·       Wine and water—If you bring your own wine (be sure to check cruise line BYO policies—they all differ), you can ask your room steward for wine glasses. And if you want water and/or ice every day, you’ll need to ask for that as well (some of the lines give you one or the other without asking)
·       Wine and cheese—If you order a bottle of wine at dinner and don’t want to drink the whole thing at one sitting, your waiter will keep it for you for the following day. One woman who sat at the next table from us on one trip brought her own supply of cheese onboard, had the waiter hold onto it, and it appeared at her place every night on schedule 

·       Not your neighborhood restaurant —On land, you wouldn’t ask for a second entrée unless you were prepared to pay for it, so many of us wouldn’t think of asking for one in the cruise ship dining room. But if you’re not happy with your meal—or even if you just want to try something else on the menu—the dining rooms are okay with that. They’ll even sometimes grant your wish for something not on the menu. One person I know asked and received a dish from the menu of a few days back
Dessert plus on Celebrity's Constellation
·      The final scoop—One of our favorite treats is topping that dessert with ice cream—every day. We wouldn’t dare do it at home, but hey, we’re on vacation.  The waiters don’t generally offer; again, you have to ask
Hope this gave you one or two tips to make your cruise just a bit more comfy and indulgent. If you’ve had success with a request of your own, please fill us in!