Questions about the boat?
The immediate weeks before SFDC “D-Day”, I began researching some basic features normally expected from a hotel stay because I’ve never been on a cruise and had small ideas from other experts on what to expect. I am now capable of answering these questions and posting some pictures to support my answers.
- How big is the bathroom?
- Are irons allowed on a cruise ship?
- What about food and beverages?
- Will there be activities before and after daily conference activities?
- Will there be special Dreamboat resident parties only?
- How far is the conference from the boat?
- What types of attractions are near the boat?
After receiving a lovely welcome drink, I made my way onto a slightly Salesforced venue. [Yes, I created a verb out of Salesforce ^_^. It’s a perk of understanding the continual evolution of the English language.] Through the dramatic use of strategic lighting and marketing material placed throughout, the ship was transformed into what I like to call the beta version of Salesforce’s Dreamboat. How can you plan something if it has never been done?
Now that the beta version has been piloted, I’m pretty sure the Salesforce team is already making plans to release the first phase next year. I just wanted to provide some feedback in a release of sorts to the community by answering the above mentioned questions.
How big is the bathroom?
Here it is in all its glory. Imagine the shower stall on your right in the space not photographed. For me, it was a little confusing when I first stepped into the bathroom because I thought the toilet was missing a seat cover. I thought, “Is someone playing a joke on me because this toilet looks like my son left the seat up and that rim looks really cold?”
Once I got over that little shock, the bathroom served its purpose for a single room occupant. The ship has a water conservation program, so you could hang your towel up if you wanted to re-use your towel more than once. If you chose not to re-use your towel, then you would just place it on the floor. I was kind of freaked out about throwing stuff on the floor because I run around like a drill sergeant on my own family about that behavior, so it was weird.
The room itself was a pleasant space. I had a window view of the water, bridge and an island. I was on the third deck, so I wasn’t too worried about someone looking into my room. Until, one morning I woke up with my curtains wide open to a beautiful sunrise and some ship cabin bobbing in front of my window. Luckily, the guy sleeping in the cabin wasn’t eating popcorn and staring at me or we would of had a problem.
Are irons allowed on a cruise ship?
To the horror of my fellow co-workers and myself, we learned the week before that irons were not allowed on cruise ships. The ship did provide a fee-for-service option that would press your garments for you. I am not a woman of means, but a woman of resource; thus, I discovered a temporary fix for this small problem.
I brought my hair straightener with me, but not for my hair. I have never pressed my clothes with a hair flat-iron and the crazy thing worked very well to press the wrinkles out of my clothes.
As I walked around Target after Dreamforce, I came upon a travel steamer on a clearance end cap. Of course a travel steamer would appear AFTER I needed it for my trip. To all future Dreamboat occupants who do not have the budget to afford room service garment pressing, be on the lookout for travel steamers or ladies just bring your flat-irons.
Food & Beverages, Activities, Parties AND the shuttle
I’d learned from previous Dreamforce attendees that there would be no shortage of available free food around the convention, but the Dreamboat was another story. Each day a daily document with a list of Dreamboat events/activities as well as food options would be left in my room.
If one is really hungry, you can always call room service. The service was offered all day and night, but you better believe there was a fee for such a service. One morning I woke-up wanting some much needed caffeine. My colleagues and I were under the impression Pardot was sponsoring coffee at some spot on the ship. I ordered a caramel macchiato similar to my Starbucks fix. I was asked for my room key and spent $6 on a small caramel macchiato. It was an excellent coffee, just a little too pricey for me. There were plenty of options nearby in the area offering a nice selection of meals.
Fisherman’s wharf is a pleasant ten minute walk and several local market areas with an assortment of restaurants. It was nice to be far away from all of the Dreamforce congestion near the convention center, but a pain in the buttocks to travel into the thick of things.
Activities on the ship always seemed to occur around the same time as on-campus events, so you had to chose because the odds that you could make it to both events did not exist. The shuttle ran every 15-20 minutes, but you still had to wait up to 20 minutes for the shuttle to leave if you made it to the shuttle when it just arrived at the pier. The shuttle also did not run between the hours of 11:29 to 3:30, which was a bummer if you didn’t know about the F trolley. If you were lucky, it took about 40 minutes on the shuttle. The F trolley took about 20 minutes to 4th and Market, but you have to have exact change. I lost fifty cents to the trolley and I am okay with that loss because my ROI was time gained.
Uber and Taxi services made bundles of money off of ship residents during the week of Dreamforce. I found myself checking for surge pricing with Uber because that automatically defaulted me towards taxi service base flat-rate of $3.50 versus an Uber surge base rate of $6. All in all, depending upon which route a driver would take, it was about $12 to campus from the boat.
Want to be healthy and walk from the Dreamboat? It’s a good 20 minutes to the outskirts of Chinatown and probably another 20 minutes to Moscone West. Bring a sweat towel, some body spray and lather-up well with deodorant. The urban mountains called hilly streets in San Francisco will have you dropping lungs in front of unknown residences as well as making your thighs swear revenge promises to get you the following week. I normally love walking through a city because it gives me a real sense of culture within a city, but my Boston steep hill walking days are behind me.
Night-life on the Dreamboat
The Dreamboat had several lounges that were open until pretty late on the boat, but you better believe the prices of those drinks were a very pretty penny. Some were noisy with multiple conversations and clinking, while others were laid back and sometimes you got to watch Cinemax at night in shady corners around the lounge.
The Constellation lounge on the eleventh deck held a dance floor and you could always find a couple willing to shake their thing on the dance floor. The greatest feature of the Constellation lounge for me were the views. They were stunning and I kept wishing I was an expert photographer, so I could capture the view.
Twinkling lights from the city reflecting a net of shimmering stars upon the ebony blanket of water. I watched several cars racing to and from the city across a golden lighted bridge, while I wondered how often they took those trips and marveled at the beauty of their commute.
Overall, staying on the ship was interesting and peaceful. I think I expected some sort of grown-up party boat, but instead I enjoyed a peaceful stay with gorgeous views. For this Dreamforce first timer, my biggest complaint ended up trapping me in a catch 22 state of mind. The tranquility of the location would be compromised if the boat were closer to the convention center, but a closer proximity to the convention center would have made it easier to enjoy more of the ship versus early mornings and late nights.
For this Dreamboat occupant, it was memorable to say the least.