Cruise secrets: Never do this one thing on a cruise holiday reveals former ship officer

Cruise ships see holidaymakers living on board the vessel for long periods of time so it’s unsurprising some passengers are keen to nab a cabin upgrade for the journey. However, a former cruise ship worker has revealed what passengers should not do if they’re after something special. Cruise ship officer Jay Herring went into detail about cabin upgrades in his 2011 book The Truth About Cruise Ships. He explained that complaining too much can work against passengers in this instance.

Cruise ship worker reveals why you should never do this if you want a cabin upgrade

Herring recalled an episode when two women asked to be upgraded when checking in at the embarkation terminal.

He wrote: “‘I’m sorry but the ship is fully booked,’ the embarkation woman said.

“’You can check with the purser’s desk after the ship sails to see if there are any cabins available.’

Herring went on to reveal how an upgrade could be made possible on a cruise ship.

“Any time the ship was fully booked, the only way to get an upgrade was if there were no shows,” he said, “as in passengers that paid for the cruise but didn’t show up to take it, and the pursers didn’t know if there were any no-shows until the ship sailed.

“This wasn’t good enough for these two women. So before they even boarded the ship, they made a scene until the embarkation manager was called over.

“They were rude and argued for fifteen minutes before giving up and boarding.

“I stood there as the embarkation told the chief purser about it. ‘Those passengers in cabin E96 were total b*****s,’ the embarkation manager said.

“’Do not give them a cabin upgrade even if you can.’ ‘You got it,’ the chief purser said without hesitation.’”

In short, making too much of a scene over demands to be upgraded could backfire.

However, there are occasions when complaining can pay off – and Herring observed those who complained the most did manage to get the most compensation.

Yet he added that this was rarely much of an achievement on the cruise ships he worked on.

The SECRET life of a cruise ship officer

Eye-opening images expose the SECRET life of a cruise ship officer.

The SECRET life of a cruise ship officer

“The compensation wasn’t much and usually consisted of a free bottle of champagne that was about ten dollars on land,” he wrote.

“A passenger might spend thirty minutes waiting in line, another ten minutes complaining and spoiling their vacation mood, until the purser, now miserable, finally caved and offer the champagne. In my opinion, a ten dollar bottle of champagne just isn’t worth all that.”

If cruise passengers are looking to save money, being savvy with when you visit the spa could help, an expert has said.

Simon Hoe, Global Head of Marketing at Cruise1st explained that when the ship arrives at a port, the cruise lines will dramatically cut their price points on spa treatments. That’s because many of the guests are likely to disembark the ship for some time, in order to explore the area. 

With demand for the spa treatments dropping, the team can sometimes offer the guests who have chosen to remain on-board a huge discount.

Simon explained: “Cruise lines tend to ramp up the discounts, offers and reductions on things like spa treatments and dining when in port.

“If nothing takes your fancy onshore, staying in port is an excellent way to treat yourself without splashing out.”

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