Crew secrets for getting the most out of your cruise holiday

If you’re looking to maximise your upcoming Princess cruise, it’s worth hearing what the crew have to say…

By Sophie Goddard

We asked some of the Princess crew to talk us through their smart, insider tips for making every moment onboard and ashore memorable. This is what they told us…

Avoid the mass exit

“There’s always a tendency for guests to disembark the vessel as soon as she comes along side, but if you’re not booked on an excursion, sit it out for a while and avoid the rush,” says Hotel General Manager Sheila Griffin, currently on the Sapphire Princess. “I’d advise enjoying a leisurely breakfast while the majority disembark, and then hop off half an hour later without the queues. Be sure to take a proper look at your Princess Patter (daily activities sheet) too – you’ll spot all sorts of activities, covering a huge range of interests.”

Know how to navigate your way around

“You’ll notice that Port side, there are red dots on the carpet and Starboard side, there are green dots,” says Thomas Stirling, Chief Engineer Officer on board the Crown Princess. “If the door numbers are getting smaller, that means you’re going forward and if they’re getting bigger, you’re heading towards the rear.” Look out for maps, too, adds Sheila. “They’re always placed at the head of each stairwell and indicate your precise location. The old paper navigational charts are still posted on Deck 14 and are updated daily by the Navigator. Alternatively, follow the ship’s progress on your own stateroom TV, along with up-to-date weather information.”

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Seek solace in The Sanctuary

“The Sanctuary is my favourite space,” says Sheila. “It’s adults-only, and has Serenity Stewards serving a wonderfully healthy food menu and attending to your every need. There are plenty of comfy deck loungers and shady areas to unwind in, and it makes a lovely spot to enjoy afternoon tea, too. Top tip – the nearby pool isn’t actually part of the Sanctuary (people assume it is) so head there for a quiet dip even if you’re not booked in. I’d also recommend a pre-dinner cocktail at Crooners before dinner – it has a great atmosphere and super-friendly staff.”

Mix up your dining options

“It’s hard to narrow down a favourite restaurant on board but a good place to start is the World Fresh Market,” says Food and Beverage Director Karen McIntosh, currently on the Majestic Princess. “Here you can explore flavours from all over the world, from Mediterranean to Asian. I’d recommend the Piazza for a coffee and light snack – it’s great for people-watching and soaking up lively music. Don’t leave without trying The Pizzeria – it’s a must at least once in your cruise for lunch or dinner and never fails to disappoint. The open deck bars are great fun if you want a bit of banter with the bartenders – they’ll show off their Bar Flair Skills as there is a bit more room to juggle the bottles. And don’t forget the busiest times on board are always around 15 minutes before lunch and dinner.”

...or chill out in The Conservatory instead

“Every ship is different, but on the Majestic, the Hollywood Conservatory on Deck 17 is a real hidden gem,” says Karen. “I’d really recommend taking a few minutes there to listen to the waves and enjoy the wind in your hair – it’s wonderfully relaxing.”

About the Author

Sophie Goddard

Sophie Goddard

Sophie is a freelance journalist who has worked at magazines including Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Grazia, writing about everything from health to pop culture and travel. Next on Sophie's travel hit-list is Dominica, where she plans on enjoying a spot of horseback riding and whale-watching, as well as testing out plenty of local rum!

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