Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Cruising - The Stateroom

Our stateroom was very small. Good thing neither of us is claustrophobic! We had inside accommodations meaning that we had no window. Not that it was really necessary considering that we used it mainly for sleeping. I caught a glimpse of the rooms across the hall. They seemed to be slightly larger, and had a balcony! Now, that would have been nice! Imagine having a pre-breakfast or a late night cuppa on the balcony.

As you walk into the stateroom the bath was to the left and closet to the right. This little entryway led to a sitting room with sofa and coffee table on the left and desk and TV on the right. Straight ahead was the king-sized bed. To my way of thinking, the bed was the best part of the room. Finally! A bed big enough for both of us at one time! Now to be honest, our queen bed at home is large enough, but we usually have a Chihuahua and one or two cats in bed with us. Wyatt (the Chihuahua) wants to be wherever I am; Oliver, our male cat wants to be wherever Dale is, and Dollie, the female cat wants to be in bed during winter months when she gets cold, or whenever she feels the desire to be in our bed. The king will accommodate all of us very nicely. Something I will be looking into come tax return time.

Actually, the bed itself was a bed. Period. Not much different from your average hotel-type bed. It was shoved against the wall so the only way to get in was either from the one open side or crawling in from the bottom. We could have had it moved or even separated, but it wasn't worth the effort. I just crawled in and fought with the sheets and spread until I was comfortable and then slept the sleep of the exhausted.

We had a stateroom attendant named Kerwin. If we wanted or needed something, he was the one to go to. Because Dale's wheelchair wouldn't fit inside the stateroom with us and the luggage, he told us to leave it outside in the hallway where it would be safe. I wasn't too sure, but he was right. It was fine.

Kerwin took care to talk to us the very first day. He introduced himself to us and got our names and from then on, he called us by name. He made sure we had the number to call him if we needed anything at any time, day or night, whether it was his duty hours or not.

Every morning after we left for breakfast, Kerwin made up the room, and every evening turned down the bed. The last four nights when we came back from where ever we had been, there were towels and wash cloths in various shapes: an elephant, an anchor, a monkey, and a lobster. I wish I had taken pictures! I just wasn't smart enough to think of that. A copy of the next day's itinerary and chocolate mints were also left for us.

Several times we would be leaving or coming back to the room while the housekeeping carts were in the hallway. Dale had an extra wide wheelchair which made navigating the hallway a little tight. If Kerwin saw us, he would insist on either moving the housekeeping cart or pushing Dale through the hallway. A few times, I would have Dale walk the hallway (it was good for him to walk as much as he could, but not over do it), and Kerwin would watch to be sure that Dale was able to walk it.

Yes, you could say that he was working for his tip, but he earned it by not only doing his job, but doing it cheerfully, with class, and going above and beyond.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your cruise posts . . . My parents used to cruise on the QEII years ago, but at the time I never thought to ask them re details of life aboard ship. They would talk about the fabulous and ubiquitous food, of course, but your descriptions are making the experience come alive for me. I especially love the images of the staff marching around the dining room and the napkins in the shape of animals. Also, re tips, they DO work -- as you point out -- as great incentives for good service!

Sissy Willis
http://sisu.typepad.com

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