For most of us, having the services of a butler available isn’t an every-day thing. As such when you book a cruise that includes such a service it can be a bit daunting if you aren’t used to it. It’s a common thing for people who’ve booked a cruise with a butler to say they either didn’t know how to best utilise them, or they felt uncomfortable doing so.
This post is primarily targeted at clearing up the first issue, giving you an idea of some of the services that butlers offer and how they can help to enhance your overall holiday on-board. However before I get into that, a quick note on the latter issue – butlers are hired to do their job.
They are usually promoted from within the ranks of room attendants, as those who have shown exemplary standards of service, with a passion for doing the job well. That’s right – they enjoy it. And if you don’t want to make use of their services, while they probably won’t be offended they may be concerned that you aren’t happy. Butlers like to make your stay more enjoyable, so let them. That’s not to say you should find them things to do even if there’s nothing you want, but don’t hold back if there is.
So what sort of standard services should you expect or consider if you have a butler? Well the main service usually provided is in helping you plan out your holiday and making reservations on your behalf. If you want to try a speciality restaurant or you fancy that relaxing spa treatment, give them the details and you can leave it in their hands, they’ll simply confirm to you when the booking has been made.
Beyond this, other basic services include simple tasks such as keeping your ice bucket refreshed, mixing up your favourite cocktail or taking care of your laundry. However butlers on some cruise ships may offer further services, so it’s worth doing some research or simply asking – if it’s a service the butler can’t offer, they’ll do everything they can to do help you.
One example is you may wish to dine in your room. Now this is a service widely offered through room service, but I’m referring to course-by-course dining. It’s not a common service but if it’s offered it’s a wonderful way to relax in your stateroom or suite while still enjoying the relaxing nature of a meal served in its intended courses, rather than sat there cooling while you work your way through it.
Or maybe you’ll want to throw a small party in your suite, welcoming friends for a relaxing evening or for a drink before dinner? Your butler could essentially act as support to your host, mixing drinks and serving food, decorating the room and doing the worst job of all, the tidy up afterwards.
If it’s trying to avoid the mundane that you’re most interested in, why not let your butler unpack your suitcase on arrival, and then pack for you at the end of your cruise? Some people find it therapeutic but many others hate the idea of dealing with suitcases, and a number of butler services include this option.
The luxury cruise lines that offer butlers as standard are Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea Cruises. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of a butler if you book certain suite categories with Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
By Ian Lewis