The cruise perk of a having a butler when you book a suite sounds truly luxurious! But then you start thinking...what does a cruise butler actually do? Traditionally, a cruise butler helps make your vacation extra special. Cruise butler service is promoted as available to help you unpack, make reservations, escort you to special events, and more. A cruise butler does the work so you don’t have to. As wonderful as that sounds, most people still aren't really sure what to ask a cruise butler.
Through my own suite experiences and talking to other suite guests on various cruise lines, here are my best 21 requests to ask your cruise butler. Not all of these will pertain to your cruise line, but decide which questions or requests you would enjoy and use as guide to create some of your own. You've paid for the suite life. Take advantage of your cruise butler's expertise and get the luxury suite experience of cruise butler service that you've been dreaming of!
21 Requests To Ask Your Cruise Butler
1. In Suite Sail-Away or Cocktail Parties
If you are cruising with friends and family, sharing the sail-away experience is a fun way to start your cruise. Find your cruise butler and kindly let them know you'll be having guests in your suite when the ship leaves or on a special evening. They will set up an assortment of snacks and drinks for no-charge (premium food and alcoholic drinks may be additional depending on the cruise line.) They will even clean it up afterwards!
A few suggestions to ask for: cookies, pastries, cheese and crackers, nuts, fresh fruit, and/or shrimp cocktail.
2. Extra Hangers
Who doesn't need more hangers in their closet? Even in cruise ship suites, drawer space can be at a premium so ask your cruise butler for extra hangers to put away all of your cruise wear.
3. Extra Bath Towels
Don't be shy. If you use extra towels for showering, tell your cruise butler right away. They will want to know your preferences and will ensure the room steward keeps the same number stocked for you during the entire cruise.
4. Extra Pillows and/or Pillow Type
Multiple types of pillows are often available and here's your opportunity to mix and match to find the most comfortable ones. This is part of cruise butler service. I've found a variety of pillows such as:
5. Mattress Topper
Not all mattress are the firmness or softness you desire, or a roll-away bed might be a little worn. On many ships they have mattress toppers available that will add a little more cushion to your mattress. Ask your cruise butler what is available. You want to make sure everyone in your suite gets a good night's sleep. It IS vacation, right?
6. A Throw Blanket For The Furniture On The Veranda
Especially in Alaska, a blanket is a treat to have on chilly days. Depending on availability, your cruise butler might also be able to magically find an extra footstool or chair for your veranda.
7. Reservations For Specialty Restaurants
If you haven't made your specialty restaurant reservations yet, your butler will be able to assist. Specialty restaurants book up quickly at the most popular times (from about 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM) but often they reserve a few tables for suite guests. If you are on a cruise line that also features a dedicated suite concierge, your cruise butler may work with them or you can visit the suite concierge directly to book reservations and see menus beforehand.
8. Empty Out The Mini-Fridge
If you are cruising in a suite, you most likely already have a drink package. Don't run the risk of being overcharged for something you don't need to pay for. Ask your cruise butler to empty the mini-fridge and use this space to store a late-night snack.
9. Stock Drinks In The Mini-Fridge
Higher level suites may come with an empty refrigerator or you've asked the butler to empty it (see 8 above.) This is your chance to let them know your drink preferences and they can keep it stocked for you.
10. Food Delivery At Off-Hours
On Celebrity Cruises, suite guests have complimentary 24-hour in-stateroom dining. (All guests have 24-hour room service available but will pay a small fee between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM.)
Joyce Lopez, a Market Sales Representative at Celebrity Cruises, enjoys the suite life and tailors her in-suite dining around her schedule. She says, "I personally asked to have club sandwich, fries and cookies delivered at 1:30 AM if I know that I am staying out late dancing at Sky or in the casino." That's the way to do it!
11. Deliver Afternoon Tea, Hors D'oeuvres, Or Meals In-Suite Or On Veranda
You can order room service any time but if you know ahead you'll want it, your cruise butler will certainly appreciate the heads up. Afternoon Tea is lovely on the veranda during the day. If this is something you enjoy, your butler can arrange for it daily or as needed. I've heard from many suite guests they request cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in their room while dressing for dinner.
12. Order "Off The Menu"
On many cruise lines, if there is something not on the room service menu you are craving, just write it in. Or ask your butler for an item or meal that may be available "off the menu."
In Norwegian Pearl's exclusive The Haven, Jeffrey Feddersen has fond memories of his suite class experience where they will cater a meal based on a moment's whim. He recalls his most unusual request was "roast pig and sisig, a Filipino dish, that was off the menu. In fact many of my family's requests came from off the menu. And it was amazing because our butler Peter from last year's cruise delivered every request."
13. Expedite laundry, dry-cleaning and/Or pressing services
Spill on an outfit you planned to re-wear tonight? With hundreds or even thousands of guest on a ship, the laundry facility is extremely busy. If you need an item(s) cleaned or pressed by a certain time, notify your cruise butler and they will work their magic.
Many butlers are trained the proper way to shine dress shoes. Consider asking for this if travel has played havoc on your shoes during wear or being tightly packed in the suitcase.
15. Help With Booking Shore Excursions
You may have booked shore excursions before you boarded the ship, but ask your cruise butler for suggestions if you want an activity at the last minute. Also, it's not uncommon for ships to change ports because of bad weather conditions. If this happens, your butler will point you in the right direction to book another excursion and confirm your refund.
16. Ask About Special Events
Often cruise ships have activities that are available to only a select number of people. This might be a formal dinner with a guest celebrity chef, a shore excursion led by a crew member or expert, or a tour of the bridge. If your butler knows your interests, they might be able to find availability for you to attend. (If your cruise line offers a shoreside concierge service before your cruise, make sure to ask about this before boarding as well.)
17. Draw A Bubble Bath To Be Waiting For You
If you are celebrating a special occasion or need to regenerate from an adventure excursion you had earlier in the day, take advantage if you have a soaking tub in your suite or hot tub on your private veranda. Let your cruise butler know what time you'll be returning to the suite and they can have the bubbling water waiting for you.
18. Plan A Family Movie Night
This is my favorite tip for families cruising with younger children! Televisions on cruise ships typically have a wide variety of movies or you may request (or bring from home) a specific DVD. Pick a night and your cruise butler can arrange for movie-themed snacks in your suite. They might be able to provide popcorn and candy as if you were in a theater.
Usually you will find items such as binoculars, umbrellas, slippers and more already in your suite. If multiple people want to use these, ask for extras. Also, don't hesitate to ask the cruise butler for items you might not think they readily have. On our last cruise, we asked for an extension cord and it immediately appeared.
20. Local information
This is not your butler's first cruise. They can give you port information on where free WiFi can be found, highlights to visit, or best places to eat close to where your ship is docked.
21. Special Occasions
If you are celebrating a special occasion onboard, such as a birthday or anniversary, make sure to mention it to your butler. You'll get treated like royalty! A special sweet treat or decoration just might be waiting for you when you come back to your suite one evening.
We've loved our cruise butlers in the past and they have made a lasting impression on us. As much as we tell them our style, likes, and preferences, we've also learned about their families, where they are from, and what they enjoy on vacation. By talking to your cruise butler and learning about cruise butler service, you'll gain even more from your vacation as they have traveled that same route over and over and know what to expect and experience.
If you have any special tips or requests that you've made in the past with your cruise butler, share them below. I'd love to hear!
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About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic young men. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels while enjoying upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable! When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
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