We travel. We meet people. Now you are at sea, on a cruise ship. You’ve made friends. You want to invite them all to your home for a party. In this case, your “home” is a 262 square foot stateroom aboard ship. What do you do?
Consider 4 Other Party Location Options
Before you start planning a cabin party, think about other ways you could make this work.
- The dinner party. Your ship likely has alternative dining venues. Some might even have private rooms. You book a table, cover the cost of the meal and pre select the wine beforehand.
- The private room. In your exploring of the ship, you’ve likely found they’ve got function rooms. There might be a cigar themed room with a fireplace off the fancy bar. It closes off with glass doors. There might be a card room somewhere on a main deck. Ask what’s involved in booking the room for a party. You are paying for drinks and munchies. You’ll figure out the music somehow.
- The wine room. Some ships plan wine tastings or dinners. They’ve got a dedicated room that seems to be empty in the afternoon. What can they do for you? If you buy wine from them, the canapes might be complimentary.
- The restaurant on shore. Is there a bar or waterfront restaurant near the pier in port? This is another option. The risk of missing the ship is minimal if it docks beside the bar.
The Cabin Party Gathering
We sailed on the last leg of a 75-night voyage in 2018. We were seated at a large table of fellow passengers who were on for the entire trip! In conversation, we learned “cabin parties” were the big thing. Who is going where and when? “We can’t meet up with you on Wednesday, we’re invited to this cabin party…” Here’s another scenario. It’s your spouse’s birthday! You decide you want to hold a party.
- Plan your party before dinner on a dress up night. You are entertaining friends for an hour, tops. Everyone heads off to dinner. Invite people two or three days in advance.
- Your ship should supply stationery and envelopes in the thick binder in the desk drawer. No one probably ever opens the drawer or the binder, which is a shame because the room service menu is probably inside too. If not, ask the Purser’s office for notes and envelopes. Hand write invitations, deliver them to each stateroom, put them on the clip where you find the next day’s program.
- Food (1). Visit the Purser’s Office. Let them know you want to host a party in your cabin. You will need hors d’oeuvres. They should have price lists for different sized selections. Food (2). This is sounding expensive. You are calculating how many pretzels, peanuts and chips you can sneak from the bars or buffer restaurant. Don’t do that. When you are in port, pick up cheese, bread, chips and other interesting stuff. Bring it back to your cabin. Ask your steward for cocktail napkins and plates. Also, check out the room service menu. See if they have munchies like a cheese plate you can order.
- Drink (1). The sensible way is to buy it from the ship. On long voyages, sometimes passengers are allowed to buy one duty free bottle for consumption in their stateroom. You can order wine (sparkling is good) from your wine steward in the dining room. Soft drinks should be easier. Drink (2). When you are ashore in port, pick up a bottle of local wine. Your ship likely allows you to bring alcohol aboard in port, but in moderation.
- Plates, etc. You don’t need to drink your champagne from bathroom glasses! Build a list. You want plates, cutlery, napkins and different shaped glasses. Give your steward plenty of notice. This isn’t their first rodeo. They’ll get it organized.
- Pictures. You’ll want some. Everyone is dressed nicely. Bring your Smart phones.
- Music. Your TV probably has music channels. If there’s a bow camera channel, there might be background music. If not, you can probably access something via your iPhone or iPad.
You might think “My cabin is too small!” Ever since “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party goers have been squeezing into tiny New York apartments and having a great time! People will sit on the bed. They will stand in the bathroom door. Hopefully you have a balcony and the weather is warm.
Remember how uncluttered your cabin looked the moment you arrived? You want it to look that way tonight. Clear off every countertop and surface. Put everything in the closets. Put your toiletries back into their pouch. People will need places to sit their drinks and plates.
You and your friends will have a great time. As people get ready to head off to dinner, someone will say: “That was fun. Who is organizing the next one?”