Bottled or tap, sir?

When you’re on your next cruise, don’t be afraid to make suggestions to ship staff if you have a problem and you know how to solve it. I mean, many of you are very experienced cruisers and in all honesty there is a very real possibility that you know more about the product you’re sailing on than the person on the other end of the phone or the other side of the desk.

It’s not surprising that this is possible considering many cruise lines, Princess included, put their most inexperienced people on the reception desk. Princess at least provides a comprehensive training program to provide a solid knowledge base to new employees, but many other lines do not and new people often have to learn on the job. So if the person you’re dealing with doesn’t know the answer, and doesn’t pursue an answer for you, it doesn’t mean there ISN’T an answer.
This isn’t to say all reception people are inexperienced, but when it comes to people on the desk they might be brand new, or they could be 5th contract. Even if they are experienced people it’s still possible you might know something about cruising that they don’t.

A perfect example of this happened just two days ago. A passenger required some “distilled water” and for whatever reason only “distilled water” would do. The person they called on the purser’s desk just happened to be Sue, a very determined individual. The first thing Sue did was ask if bottled water would be ok. The passenger said no, that it had to be distilled water. So Sue went in search of distilled water. After calling the bar department, the food and beverage department, room service and accommodation she had really exhausted all her possible options. Sue asked her superiors, she asked her friends, she asked everyone if there was any “distilled water” on the ship and no one could help her. I certainly would not know the answer. In fact all of us thought bottled water would be ok. So after having tried everything possible to find some distilled water she had to call the passenger and regretfully tell him that we were unable to get distilled water for him. The passenger then offered up some advice that might have saved the poor reception girl allot of trouble.

He said to her – “Did you call the engine room?”.

Now I am telling you, not one of us thought about the engine room as a possibility for getting distilled water. It was a very unusual request and in this case the passenger had done it many times before. In fact he had gotten the distilled water on every cruise he had ever taken, so his experience in this matter was greater than all of ours put together. Had he simply mentioned this tidbit of information at the start it would have been much better for everyone. So when you’re cruising, if you think you know something that the staff you’re dealing with doesn’t, don’t let the “system” scare you off. Don’t be afraid to say right from the start that you know what can be done, or who to call, or what to do. Make the suggestion and ask that it be looked into. It might just make your cruise, and the crew member’s day, go allot smoother.

Free Form Forum:

I am starting to have trouble keeping up to all the emails and comments, so I started a forum. It’s not a typical forum like the one cruise critic; it’s more specifically tailored to this blog and the whole “behind the scenes” thing. Please feel free to post your questions about ship life, ship employment, and anything else and I will respond to them all. Of course the joy of a forum is that we have many regular readers of this blog who are also crew, or were crew, and many experienced cruisers and I am hoping they will all be willing to respond to forum posts with their knowledge and experience and stories as well. The forum is brand new and a lonely, empty place right now so please start posting!! You can still email me with your questions, I just might take a little longer to reply now. Who will be the first to post? Look under links on the right of the page for the entry to the forum or click this link;


  • CREW OFFICE FORUMS: CLICK HERE
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  • Regal down under?

    I got this picture of the Regal Princess sent to me by a friend. It depicts her as she will look in her new P&O Australia colours when she goes down under!

    Anyone else want a blogger in the house?

    Since I started this blog, and so many readers have been frequenting my posts, I have been offered positions with two other cruise lines! One was a shore side position and one was onboard. It makes sense that someone would think to do that. I mean it would be a win win situation really. I would get a nice new job and the lines who hired me would get a good employee and some extra publicity as I blogged on about my experiences changing lines and talked all about the new line, how they operate, the new job and etc. After all, a little extra publicity certainly never hurts anyone these days. Well, I am still considering both offers, and waiting to see if any others come sailing in ( no harm in waiting a bit is there?). Anyway, it surprised me so much to receive these offers that I thought I would mention it in case any other cruise lines wanted to think about hiring a blogging cruise ship worker. I mean, it never hurts to mention it… right? Then you guys would all really be in for a great read because then I could finally publish my scandalous “tell all” article series that I couldn’t talk about all this time. It’s all about … Ahem! Never mind. You’ll find out one of these days! ;0)

    4 Responses
    1. Anonymous Says:

      When I was in the U.S. Naval Reserve (years ago), we did a (mandatory) fire watch whie on our 2-weeks active duty. How many people do you have at night, walking around, doing the fire watch? Thanks, so much, for all your very helpful information.


    2. drops Says:

      ever find out why he wanted distilled water? lol


    3. tlb Says:

      I don't get why that fellow thinks that the cruise line needs to supply him distilled water on demand (and it HAS to be distilled and not just purified). I'll bet he didn't want to pay for it either.

      IMHO, unless this was a completely unexpected MEDICAL requirement (which I doubt since he had enough experience to know the engine room could provide it), he should bring his own supply on board, or arrage for it before hand, and not drop this demand unexpectedly in the laps of the ship crew to go hunting for a supply. Afterall, people who need oxygen bring their own supply even though the ship's hospital probably has it on hand, and people bring their own medications. We just should not expect the cruise line to supply such off beat requirements without any warning.

      Just because the engine room can make distilled water doesn't mean that people can just willy nilly demand it.

      Hmmm. On the other hand... Maybe I'd like the tub in my suite filled with distilled water on my next cruise--and don't forget the bubbles... Should be gentle on the skin:-)


    4. Anonymous Says:

      More than likely he suffers from sleep apnea and needs the distilled water for the humidifier on his cpap machine. And yes only distilled water will do. This water is being added to the air he breathes through his mask at night to keep his mouth and or nose from drying out. Distilled because you don't want to breath is any bacteria which may be present in other water. I have requested it for my cruise on the CB October 29. I have no problem with paying extra for it if I need to.


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