If you’re new to cruising, consider joining a cruise cabin crawl. A host organizes and launches the event, and having attended a few, they’re rather fun. With a minimum number of participants, cruisers walk (not crawl as the name suggests) from one cruiser’s stateroom to the next.
It’s an excellent opportunity to see other layouts and categories of staterooms. Like viewing a home, it’s hard to envision a plan from seeing a diagram online.
It’s much easier to walk through a show home and see the layout firsthand. The concept of a cabin crawl is much the same.
If you’re considering choosing a ship-within-a-ship suite on a future cruise, the crawl allows you to view one before booking. That’s provided someone in a suite has offered their cabin for the event.
On one of my cruises, two different suites were shown. Although they were similar in size, I was amazed at the unique layouts and found one was more functional than the other.
How To Start Or Join A Cabin Crawl
Sometimes cruise lines host the event, especially when launching a new ship. It’s a way of promoting their luxury suites or newly styled staterooms. But most of the time, the passengers arrange the informal gathering.
To participate in or start a crawl event, search the Cruise Critics boards. Look for your cruise ship and date of sailing on the Cruise Critics roll call.
Cruisers will usually plan a meet and greet on the first sea day and do an informal meet on they day they board the ship. A cabin crawl is a spin-off from the meet and greet, and those interested will join a list.
A selected group of staterooms is seen from those offering their staterooms for viewing. These will usually include an inside, outside, balcony, sometimes a suite or mini-suite, and maybe an aft stateroom.
On a cruise crawl, attendees are not required to show their cabin. A minimum number of cruisers is required to start a cabin crawl. However, if there are too many sign-ups, you may want to limit the number of participants because cabins can only accommodate so many people.
Before embarkation day, the host will set a date, meeting place, and time. Sometimes, the host notifies the cruise line about the cabin crawl.
Other ways of joining a cabin crawl are through Facebook groups or arranging one onboard at a meet and greet.
The Benefits Of A Crawl
The one thing I enjoy about this sea day event is that I get to see other categories of cabins in person. It sure beats trying to imagine a cabin’s size and layout from an online mock-up.
The cruisers in those cabins will tell me the pros and cons of their stateroom. I can view the amount of storage, bathroom size, and overall room layout. Balconies make a difference too. Some are small, obstructed, or have no privacy.
By seeing a stateroom in person, I can decide whether it’s a fit for me. However, if it’s noisy, or has a bad layout, I can avoid that cruise cabin in the future.
The cabin crawl event is a great way to share experiences and meet other cruisers, especially if it’s your first time on a cruise ship. Cruisers have told me about cabins on other cruise lines, and I’ve learned tips on creating storage in tiny spaces.
Some groups also turn the cabin crawl event into a fun activity by providing games in each room. We are on vacation, so why not create more fun, right?
Planning The Event
From those that have offered their stateroom for viewing, select a variety for the crawl. You don’t want four insides and no balcony cabins. I’ve been to a few events where several of the same categories were shown but had variations.
It’s good to see a balcony cabin with an angled deck and a stateroom with a coved balcony. From the selected staterooms, plan a walking route from the bottom up or vice versa.
Strategically plan the walk so you’re not walking back and forth across the whole length of the ship on each floor. After all, this is a cabin crawl and not an aerobic workout.
Print out copies of the route to hand out to each participant. While I took the stairs on my cabin crawls, some cruisers had mobility issues, so they used the elevators. Having a printed route meant the group could easily find each other again.
Bring two door stops so you don’t have to hold the door. Use one to hold the first door. Once some cruisers have headed off with the second doorstop to the next room, the first is removed for the third room. That way, you’re never waiting for the doorstop to arrive.
I always take a camera on my cabin crawls and ask to take pictures of other staterooms. Most crawlers are happy to accommodate my request.
First, I take a picture of the cabin number, then the stateroom layout. That way, I can review the design later and know exactly what kind of stateroom I viewed.
Cabin Crawls Hosted By The Cruise Line
During one of my cruises, the group notified our cruise line of our gathering. To our surprise, complimentary food and drink trays were placed in those cabins just before our planned event.
My stateroom had a fruit platter, filled with fresh strawberries, grapes, melon slices, and apple slices. We were pleasantly surprised at our cruise line’s generosity.
The next cabin had a delicious meat and cheese tray with crackers. Another had yummy chocolates and pastries, and the last one with soft drinks, juices, and bottled water. Sorry, no alcohol, folks!
Cabin Crawl Games
The fun crawlers who participate regularly turn the event into a game. Some play poker by having a set fee (say USD 5 per person) to join. Each participant chooses one card from each stateroom and then tries to make the best poker hand.
The winner gets the pot of money. If the group is large, the pool could be divided into first, second, and third-place prize money. Alternatively, some guests provide cruise-related stickers, small trinkets, or cruise souvenirs to add an element of fun to the crawl.
Other cruisers provide drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in their cabins. On some crawls, participants offer snacks or a treat from their home towns.
Should you consume too much alcohol from room to room, you might be crawling. Hence, the name ‘cabin crawl!’
Cruising after the pandemic, most cabin crawls are not being organized for obvious reasons. It might be some time they take place again.
Happy travels ~ Karen