Top 5 little things that make a cruise a cruise

It’s no surprise that the Embark team is into lists.  The biggest list that we have in our office is our product roadmap – where we list our features and to-do’s on a Google doc.  All features are noted with a simple explanation, a link to its detailed specs and target date to release.  The list is one of the biggest factors that helps move our product forward.

With that said, I created a list of the top 5 little things that make a cruise…  well..  a cruise.  Here you go…

Towel Animals – Whoever created the first towel animal should be recognized with an award because after seeing my first fluffy friend on Royal Caribbean’s Viking Serenade in the 1990’s, I fell in love with cruising.  The Embark team created a Pinterest board with a few towel animals that we came across.  Our favorite has to be the cool guy elephant pictured above.

Mints on your pillow – As a child I would come back into the cabin for the night and I would see a little green bar on my pillow.  Despite already eating copious amounts of food from the midnight buffet, I always had room for the special treat my cabin steward left me.  Over the course of the cruise, my cabin steward realized that I loved the mints and by the last night he left me large bag full of the candy.

Room service – Before cruising I never had the opportunity to try room service.  Partly because I was young and I had no source of income, but more so because the value of being served in your room was not important to me during my adolescence.  Room service was usually expensive and one that my parents did not allow me to have.  I remember before my first cruise, my friends (who have been on a previous cruise) mentioned that the cruise line offers free room service.  I thought there was a catch such as a delivery fee, but the first night I was on board a cruise ship, I ordered a sandwich and it was there within minutes.  The best part – $0 charge (but I did tip the guy).

Being recognized – On many cruises there are 2,000+ passengers, so it’s hard to believe that any individual would be special.  The cruise lines have magically been able to capture that special recognition for each passenger whether it be the way you have your soup prepared by the kitchen or the way you like two umbrellas in your drink from your favorite bartender.  I remember my first cruise, and my parents of Filipino-descent wanted Filipino food.  Cruise ships luckily are stocked with many Filipino’s in the kitchen so by the end of our cruise, our waiter served us with many Filipino delicacies such as lumpia.

The “I’m on a cruise” smile – I love happy people and it’s more than apparent on the cruise ship.  From the moment you check-in to the moment you disembark, the captain, the bartenders, the maintenance crew and your fellow passengers have that special “I’m on a cruise” smile.  Whatever problems passengers may have back at home, all of that goes away when you’re on a cruise.  One thing that came up this week that definitely would put a smile on everybody aboard is Embark’s sponsorship of Cruise 4 the Cure.  More on that on a future post.

You can reach Allan on Twitter (@EmbarkAt) or by email (  Allan is a guest blogger for Mikey’s Cruise Blog.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.