What Personal Services Are Available At Sea? 12 You Can Expect on Your Cruise Ship

Many people take short cruises.  According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), 40% of cruises are seven days and 38% are shorter. It’s unlikely you will need a haircut or laundry services until you get home.  Some people take longer cruises.  Others want to be pampered.  What types of personal services can you expect to find on your cruise ship?

  1. Haircuts. Many people like getting dressed up for formal evenings, a tradition aboard many ships.  Some people want their hair to be perfect, especially if they are having professional photos taken.  There are hairstyling services for women and men aboard most cruise ships.  On longer cruises, some passengers might get their hair cut or styled onshore while in port.
  2. Personal training. You have an exercise routine back home.  You might attend spin class.  Perhaps you are more focused and work with a personal trainer.  This service is also available at your gym at sea.  There is usually literature or signs with the details as you enter the gym.  If not, ask one of the attendants, who are also likely one of these licensed personal trainers.
  3. Professional photos. Ships have professional photographers aboard.  They perform a range of services.  A cruise is often a cause for celebration, like a major birthday or anniversary.  You are dressed up for a gala dinner and want to have a memento to bring back home.  The staff usually have several backgrounds designed for this purpose.  The staff also takes impromptu photos on tours or during activities.  Today’s technology may include facial recognition software:  Follow the screen prompt and tell who you are. They will gather and display the relevant photos.
  4. Spa services. This can include manicures, massages, pedicures and other treatments your day spa back home can provide.
  5. Dry cleaning. If you are like me, you get food on your clothing.  My wife is convinced bread rolls explode when I touch them.  She doesn’t let me get near paint!  I often joke the price of spinach salad should be increased by the cost of dry cleaning my tie.  For these situations, the ship has dry cleaning services with pretty fast turnaround times.
  6. Luggage transport. You do not need to carry your own luggage.  In some cases, you can have it shipped home for you by the cruise line at an additional cost.  This can be a benefit if you do not want to lug it through airports or try finding overhead luggage space on the plane.
  7. Laundry. Ships have self-service laundries discretely located on passenger decks.  Your cabin should also have a cloth sack you can put soiled laundry into and have it professionally washed onboard and returned to your cabin.  This comes at an additional charge.
  8. Private tours. You want to explore the port, but mobility might be an issue.  Perhaps you place a high value on your privacy.  Maybe Covid has you wanting to avoid crowds.  Your ship’s shore excursion desk should be able to offer private tours.  You get your own car and driver, who shows you the sights.
  9. Transportation to the airport. Getting to the ship and back home can be a hassle, even if you are not flying and sailing from your homeport.  Some cruise lines should be able to arrange pickup and drop off service.  You walk out your door and get into a private car.  The process is repeated in reverse at the end of the trip.  There are costs involved.
  10. Wedding services. Yes, you can get married at sea!  Bring your wedding party and guests with you!  Ships are looking at ways to deliver this experience.  On one Cunard voyage we met a small wedding party having the wedding onboard and celebrating afterwards.
  11. Privately catered parties. You want to host a cabin party.  Instead of buying supplies in port and sneaking napkins and glasses into your cabin, you can simply let the ship do it for you.  If your group is large enough, they might even find a nice private venue.
  12. Florists. We like fresh flowers in our cabin.  How about you?  We learned the Purser’s office has a catalog of arrangements you can buy.  You can often order them before the trip via the cruise line’s website as a gift or choose from a catalog in your stateroom.

There are lots of services available onboard.  Some may come as a surprise to you.  Bear in mind most are operated as profit centers, or little businesses run by the cruise line.

Cover photo: Flowers in our Queen Victoria stateroom

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