Regardless of how many cruises you are on, each ship’s elevators create new challenges. It’s SOOOOO easy to get off of the elevator (especially when you are going back to YOUR cabin) and proudly turn to go where you think you are going only to notice halfway there that you are going the WRONG direction. Ooops
When you get off of ANY elevator, confirm that you are on the deck you WANT (when the door opens, the deck number is usually always on the side of the elevator shaft), so just give it a quick glance to make sure you’re on the right deck.
Immediately outside each bank of elevators will be a “You are Here” map with that deck’s floor plan and where you are on that deck. Especially when you are trying to get to XXXX, it’s easy to get turned around as to where XXXX really is, so the floor plan for each deck by the elevator is extremely helpful (you won’t always have your pocket deck plan with you).
That map will indicate where things are in relation to where YOU are, so you can find your way easier. If you DID get off on the wrong floor, do not worry – another elevator will come along momentarily, so just get back on (making sure you are going the right direction) and double check before you get off again … or just take the stairs! (If you DO get back on and it is going the wrong way, just enjoy the ride as it will eventually return and go the other direction anyway!)
When you DO get off the elevator, it is a good idea to double check which way you THINK you should go EACH TIME you get off the elevator. Each ship is laid out differently and you’ll be getting off elevators from both directions (sometimes you’ll need to go to the right, and other times you’ll need to go to the left to get to the same place), so it’s easy to go the wrong way, even though you THINK you are going the right way!
ALSO, on all ships, even cabin numbers are cabins on the one side and the odd numbered cabins are on the other side of the ship – generally speaking, the even cabins are on the port side and the odd numbered cabin numbers are starboard, but each cruise line is different. Knowing this can also help you make sure you are going down the correct corridor to get to your cabin.
In an effort to minimize this confusion, sometimes the carpeting is laid out to help you – on the Carnival Splendor, there is a big number of the deck number facing you when you get off the elevator and on NCL’s Pride of America, the carpet has fish swimming in the water (at least it used to), so if the fish are swimming forward, you will be going forward. If you want to go aft, then you’ll need to go opposite of how the fish are swimming. They may also have one color hall carpet on the port side and a different color on the starboard side.
One thing to note is that sometimes not all elevators go to all floors – especially the elevators near the center of the ship (atrium) – those will generally go to the middle floors, but will probably not go to the lowest and upper most decks.
This means that sometimes you either need to go up/down a deck to get to the deck where the elevator starts/ends OR walk down the hall to catch the elevator.
ALSO, as you’re standing waiting for the elevator, pay attention to the ‘ding(s)’ – there will be one ‘ding’ when the elevator is going up and ‘two dings’ when it is going down (or visa versa). Knowing this will help keep you from running to the elevator only to find out that it’s going the other direction.