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5 Hidden Features on Cruise Ships You Had No Idea Existed

Even avid cruisers might not know some of these exist of cruise ships.

Cruise ship in crystal blue water with blue skyViktor Hladchenko/Shutterstock

The secrets on board

After you spend a week or more on a ship, you might think you’ve seen everything there is to see, but there are a few hidden features you may have never realized existed. To get even more of an inside scoop, learn about the secrets cruise lines won’t tell you.

Boat deck with round windows, luxurious furnished cabin bedroom on a cruise ship, ceiling lights and wine on the desk Cryptographer/Shutterstock

The walls are magnetic

Many people don’t know that the walls of your cruise ship cabin are magnetic. Bring some magnets the next time you hit the open seas to hang up your schedule or any other papers the cruise line might give you. If you have a lot of people in your room, you can even hang up a shower curtain to create some privacy. These cruises have crazy cool amenities

Jacuzzi on the cruise ship with ocean backgroundKokoulina/Shutterstock

Hidden pools

Flavio Serreti, former cruise ship reservations manager, says that many cruise ships have hidden pools and bars for crew members because they aren’t allowed to socialize with guests when they’re not working. Having a pool away from the guests can be a good thing after dealing with some of the craziest things cruise ship employees have seen onboard.

interior of a living cabin on a cruise ship - with bunk beds and windowER_09/Shutterstock

A secret guard rail

If your room has bunk beds, look for the hidden guard rail to keep you from falling while you sleep at night. “If your top bunk bed appears to have no rail, lift up the mattress and you’ll find the rail hidden underneath,” says Jenni Fielding who has worked in the cruise industry since 2015. “Sometimes, the rail has a large gap in the middle, meaning that children can still fall out. If this is the case, just ask your room steward for an extra rail and they will bring an extra piece that goes in the space.”

Interior of an ocean view cruise ship cabinCAN BALCIOGLU/Shutterstock

There’s probably hidden storage in your cabin

One of the most difficult parts about going on a cruise is finding a place to store all of your clothes and toiletries in your tiny room. Cabin designers know this is an issue and often add extra storage behind a mirror, under the bed, or in an ottoman. Ask your cabin steward for a tour of your room if you can’t find any extra storage. This is why cruise ships are always white.

Ferryboat corridor and stairssasaperic/Shutterstock

A morgue

This certainly isn’t a hidden benefit, but many cruise ships have a morgue on board. “Most large ships have a designated morgue in case of any deaths. The bodies are held here until the ship next reaches a suitable port,” says Serreti. “Death is more common than you would think, due to the demographics of cruises consisting mainly of elderly people.” Now learn about these hidden features on airplanes you had no idea existed.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.