What is a Pullman Bed on a Cruise Ship and does it work?

Pullman Bed: Every cabin on a cruise ship features a different style of bed. A Pullman bed is a popular kind of bed that will be useful if you are traveling with kids. But what is a Pullman bed really, and which cruise ships are equipped with them? Continue reading to learn more about this inventively made sleeping solution.

What is a Pullman Bed on a Cruise Ship?

On a cruise ship, a Pullman bed is a style of bed intended to maximize space in a cabin. Pullman beds descend from the ceiling or wall. The Pullman Company, which created these beds initially for use in train compartments, is honored in their name.

Pull-man beds expand the sleeping area in the cabin without taking up all of the small floor space. Together with couch beds and convertible beds, Pullmans—also referred to as “upper berths”—allow cruise ships to reconfigure rooms to accommodate varying numbers of guests.

Pullman Bed on cruise
(Credit: Cruise critic)

With the help of these beds, cruise lines can quickly convert a two-person stateroom into a four-person one.

Pullman beds can be tucked away out of sight when not in use, as in the case of two passengers reserved in a four-person cabin.

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When not in use, a Pullman bed can be folded up against the wall or into the ceiling, creating extra room and improving the cabin’s versatility and comfort during the day. These beds are particularly helpful in larger, more costly cabins that house families or parties, as they offer additional sleeping spaces without requiring a larger space.

The Oceanview Cabin 1024×500 on Carnival Splendor has an upper bunk with a ladder. A higher cabin on the Carnival Splendor
Safety is a top priority in the design of the beds, which frequently include guardrails to keep the sleeper from falling out.

One or two Pullmans with a convertible bed on the floor may be found in a cruise ship stateroom. A convertible bed can be made into a queen-sized bed or two twin beds when combined.

George M. Pullman created Pullman beds to find a more compact way for people to sleep on trains. In sleeping cars on trains, the design of beds was initially established in the late 1850s. They were referred to as “upper bands,” “bunk beds,” or “pull-down beds” at the time.

Modern cruise ship Pullman beds are not considered a luxury, even if they were once thought of as such.

Compared to ordinary beds, the beds are far less comfy and smaller. It’s hard for an adult to get a decent night’s sleep on the cramped, uncomfortable upper Pullman bed aboard cruise ships.

Your cabin attendant will be able to raise and lower the bed for you. You can always ask your stateroom attendant for help if you need it.

Weight constraints are common with Pullman. Additionally, there isn’t much space between the ceiling and the bed. Smaller people and children make the best use of the beds because they won’t bump into their heads when they sit up.

Pros

  • Allow cruise lines to fit more passengers in a cabin
  • It is best for families on a budget who require a four-person cabin
  • Fun for kids

Cons

  • Some ships have low guard rails, which may be unsafe
  • Some Pullmans are smaller than a single bed
  • Uncomfortable for sleeping

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What is the Pullman Bed’s weight limit?

(Credit: Banco)

The weight restriction for a Pullman bed on a cruise ship may differ based on the particular bed design and the cruise line. But these mattresses often have a weight limit of 200 to 250 pounds or roughly 90 to 113 kilograms.

The weight restriction is established to guarantee the bed’s structural integrity and safety while in use.

It is crucial to remember that this is only a general guideline and that you should always check with the cruise line directly or refer to the literature given in your stateroom on the ship for precise weight limits and safety guidelines. Cruise lines frequently include information on the facilities in the cabin, such as rules or limitations regarding the use of Pullman beds, in their brochures, on their websites, or in the materials that are available in the cabin.

Here are some cruise lines’ weight limits:

Cruise Line Pullman Bed Weight Limit (kg) Pullman Max Weight Limit
(lbs)
Carnival 113 kg 250 lbs
Royal Caribbean 136 kg 300 lbs
Disney Cruise Line 100 kg 220 lbs
Norwegian Cruise Line 163 kg 360 lbs
Virgin Voyages 136 kg 300 lbs
Celebrity Cruises 90 kg 200 lbs
Princess Cruises 113 kg 250 lbs
MSC Cruises 150 kg 330 lbs
Cunard 130 kg 285 lbs
P&O Cruises 115 kg 287 lbs

Child Safety Considerations

There are size variations across ships, even though the higher bunks have protection rails. The guard rail sizes of cruise ships even differ significantly across those of the same class.

Here are some safety measures you may take if you’re concerned about your youngster slipping out of bed:

  • Children under 6 should not use Pullman beds due to the risk of falling out.

  • Make sure the Pullman bed has sturdy guard rails so the kid doesn’t roll off. Ask for an extra guardrail or an inflatable one.

  • Take the upper berth with your kid if you switch places. Adults won’t like the small bed.

  • You can bring an inflatable bed as a backup if you feel the Pullman bed isn’t safe.

  • When your cabin has a sofa, your kid can sleep on it.

What’s the size of a Pullman bed?

Though they vary in size, Pullman beds are typically the same size as a single bed. They are rarely larger than a single bed and may be somewhat shorter or narrower, depending on the cruise ship.

It is challenging for people to sit up completely because the mattresses are so close to the ceiling. Although Pullman beds are ideal for kids, it’s usually preferable if the smallest adult uses one if you are traveling with adults.

Can the Pullman Bed Be Raised or Dropped?

Only on cruise ships may the stateroom attendant elevate Pullman beds due to safety concerns. You can call guest services or ask your cabin steward for assistance if you need it with the bed.

Do Pullman beds provide comfort?

Even though they were seen as opulent at the time, the contemporary equivalents of these beds are infamous for being smaller and less cozy than regular beds. There are frequently weight restrictions on upper Pullmans, and the space between the top of the bed and the ceiling is typically somewhat small. Thus, the bunks are perfect for kids or lighter, shorter people who don’t want to bump their heads when they sit up in bed. Despite these drawbacks, since they employ conventional mattresses, which provide greater support, they are typically more comfortable than couch beds.

What cruises offer Pullman beds?

Although most popular cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises, provide Pullman beds, the arrangements differ from ship to ship, so if you require an additional berth in your stateroom before making a reservation, check the deck plans or consult a travel expert.

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