Cruise ships come in all shapes and sizes and offer vastly different experiences. But what’s the minimum standard you’d like to see on every one?
Here’s my light-hearted list. I’d love to hear your feedback!
- Clear signage – how frustrating is it not to know in which direction to walk? A proper diagram to each level should be outside every lift (elevator), with a simple list inside the lifts as well, just in case you leap in the closing doors before checking which deck you need.
- Corridors should also indicate which way you’re heading – the fish on NCL carpets swimming towards the front are a great idea!
- Water stations should be widely available for refillable bottles.
- Every family-friendly ship above 2,000 passengers should have a dedicated night club – not just a lounge playing jazz, salsa or band music but a proper atmospheric darkened room with a DJ playing late-night floor-fillers.
- Larger ships should also have food available most hours of the day – who knows when you’re going to get peckish? But some buffets close mid-afternoon or early at night.
- Reliable and affordable wifi (preferably complimentary, at least at a basic level).
- Apps that work – but also please supply paper maps of the ship!
- A wrap-round, obstacle-free promenade deck.
- Generous seating in bars.
- A good observation lounge and plenty of live music.
- We need decent storage – drawers, shelves and cupboards, as well as unobstructed space under the bed for cases.
- Hooks on walls are essential for long dresses, coats or dressing gowns.
- Drinking water should be supplied or refreshed daily, preferably in reusable glass bottles or carafes.
- ‘Do not disturb’ signs that can be switched on and off from inside the cabin.
- Eye-level safes.
- Plenty of plug and USB sockets, particularly near the bed.
- Shower doors, not curtains, and no having to step over baths.
- Powerful showers and shampoo/soap dispensers, not tiny bottles.
- Large bath towels, not oversized flannels!
- Sliding balcony doors that can be left slightly open for fresh air.
- Tea and coffee-making facilities.
- Logical light switches so you don’t illuminate the whole room in the middle of the night when you just need a bedside lamp.
Of course, we’d all like cheap prices, generous casinos and lots of serious stuff like environmentally-friendly engines! But most of the above require little investment or forethought. Many would seem to be obvious – but why then do some cruise lines not have them?
Please leave your feedback and suggestions as a comment below.
Some of these ideas are illustrated in a previous blog: Things every cruise ship should have