What Does a Cabin Steward Really Do? - Cruise with Leo

What Does a Cabin Steward Really Do?

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Cabin steward cart

If you have ever been on a cruise, you may have noticed that cabin stewards are kinda like ghosts.

You leave your cabin for half an hour and as if by magic, when you return, you find everything neat and tidy.

But what do cabin attendants actually do when they enter our cabin? Do they have specific duties besides cleaning?

Actually, yes, they do quite a few things, and I want to share them with you to unravel the mystery behind this profession.

Cabin check

Carnival cruise cabin with a window
Carnival cruise cabin with a window

First, they should always knock on the door before entering, this is to respect passengers’ privacy.

If the cabin is empty, they move on to the checking stage. Usually, they do a general check of the bathroom, cabin, and balcony to see if there are any particular issues.

For example, if there is something very dirty, if food has fallen on the floor, or if a child has thrown up (hopefully not).

Stripping and Re-Making Beds

Cabin bed
Cabin bed

If everything is fine, they strip the beds of used linens and replace them with fresh sheets, pillowcases, and sometimes duvet covers.

On most cruise lines they don’t do it every day but usually change them every 3 days.

In other cases, they simply adjust them, fluff the pillows, arrange the decorative cushions, and ensure the bed looks inviting and tidy.

You know, sleeping well on a cruise is a crucial part of the vacation, that’s why I gave you the 10 tips to sleep like a baby on a cruise.

And of course, stewards must follow strict hygiene standards, and it is very important to check that all bedding is free from stains and that there are no hairs or any other foreign objects.

Check if you have taken anything from the cabin

Cabin mini-bar
Cabin mini-bar

Another important thing that the cabin steward has to do, is to check if you have taken anything from the cabin.

To avoid any mistakes, refer to the list of 13 free things you can take from a cruise cabin. Generally, you’ll need to pay for anything not on that list or simply can’t take it with you.

For instance, drinks in the minibar are usually not included, even if you have a drink package.

Reporting Maintenance Issues

broken railing cruise suite
Broken railing in a suite

One thing many people don’t know, is that cabin stewards play a crucial role in maintaining the functionality and safety of the stateroom.

Ideally, they should report any maintenance issues even before passengers do.

They are trained to identify problems such as faulty lights, plumbing issues, broken fixtures, or hazardous electronic devices.

Upon discovering a problem, they should promptly notify the ship’s maintenance team to ensure repairs are conducted swiftly.

For example, a few months ago, I was talking with a lady who had managed to take an iron on the ship.

As you probably know, they are among the items that are always confiscated when boarding, but mistakes can happen. Somehow, she was able to get it on board.

Confiscated steamers
Confiscated steamers

The next day, the cabin steward saw the iron and alerted security, who then knocked on the cabin door to confiscate it.

The woman was so angry with the cabin steward because she considered him a “snitch.”

I had to explain to her that it is among the cabin steward’s duties to ensure everything in the cabin complies with the rules. He could have been fired if her iron had set off the fire alarm.

Handling Special Requests

Cabin stewards are usually accommodating with guests’ special requests. Don’t go overboard, though. Remember, they are not butlers (that’s a different service)

The requests can range from providing extra pillows and blankets to arranging specific sleeping configurations, such as converting twin beds into a queen bed.

Guests might also request additional amenities like bathrobes, ice, or specific toiletries.

One funny thing I saw online was that someone used the metal bathroom bin as an ice bucket (the one you see in the picture below).

toilet waste basket
Toilet waste basket

First, I hope they washed it. Second, there is no need to do that. Simply ask your cabin steward to bring you the ice bucket.

Replace a few things

Mini size products on cruise
Mini size products on Royal Caribbean

When they enter your cabin, cabin stewards also replace a few things. In the bathroom, they typically replace mini-sized shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, and any other amenity kits, or they refill the bottles if the cabin has dispensers.

In addition, an important part of their work is to replace the towels.

Be very careful: usually, if you leave the towels on the floor, it means you want them replaced, whereas if you leave them hanging, it means you want to keep them.

Unfortunately, some time ago, there was news about a cabin attendant who had hidden a camera in a cabin.
It was quite shocking for everyone, but fortunately, it was an isolated case.

Can someone force the door of your cabin?

Yes, someone can enter the cabin, even without your consent, for security reasons.

This has happened a few times before and I told you about it in detail in the article where I explained to you why someone can enter your cabin at any time.


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