Not-Your-Average Top 10 Cruise Tips!

Kayaking in Grand Turk


  1. Take a backpack instead of a cute beach tote – while I certainly love to look stylish on vacation, my husband complains of shoulder pains from over-stuffed shoulder totes.  One our last few cruises, we decided to take a backpack and our lives were simplified and our hands and arms were free!


  1. Buy your own snorkel gear – A typical snorkel excursion starts at $40 most of the time.  While many of the Caribbean ports have beaches within walking distance, you can purchase your own snorkel gear and go at your leisure.  I got mine  from the clearance section at TJ Maxx for $7!  Total score and I don’t have to share germs with the person that used the communal one before me.


  1. Take a refillable water bottle – Bottled water can be super pricey on some of the cruise lines.  Purchasing it in port is usually much cheaper.  But, it is very convenient to take your own refillable bottle to tote around on the ship with your and to fill up before you get off of the boat in port.  The water and ice machines on the ship are always open.


  1. Have an early day? Order breakfast right to your room – You can order your breakfast by putting the provided menu on your door before you go to bed just like in a hotel. But here’s the secret: you don’t have to order a full breakfast.  You can just order coffee so that you don’t have to leave your room in the morning just to grab a cup of Joe.  And this way, you don’t have to wait for it; you pre-select the time you want it to be delivered.  If you wait to call for coffee in the morning, you’ll be waiting a long time which is why the schedule system works so well. You can also order light sandwiches and bagels. So, so convenient.


  1. Always take a wrinkle releaser –  A lot of ships don’t have irons or they have them all the way at the end of the ship, which is really inconvenient. I always take a coat hanger from the closet, spray the garment, and then hang whatever I need to steam in the shower. Turn the hot water on and in a minute — air presto! — It’s ironed. In the event that you really, really need something ironed and the shower trick simply won’t do, you can drop your item off at the laundry service and they will take care of you for a small fee. Guys — you can also rent suits here in case you forgot your own!


  1. Prepare for seasickness – If you feel sickness coming on, eat a green apple and the sickness will go away almost immediately. Also, don’t wait until you need one of the seasickness patches because once you’re already sick, the majority of patches won’t work. So if you think you’re prone to seasickness, just take it from the beginning. And if you do get sick, try to get something in your stomach – ginger ale, green apples, crackers, etc. It’ll make all the difference in the world. A lot of people assume they won’t get seasick because they don’t get car sick… but it can totally sneak up on you at the worst times!


  1. Pack a notebook or bring pen and paper –  I always take a camera, sometimes a few, but I’ll probably forget why I took a particular picture. I always want to take lots of pictures, so with a notebook I can take notes and remember everything about the moment. I also keep a travel diary, but I know that’s not for everyone!


  1. Talk to everyone – You get the opportunity to meet so many people from so many walks of life and such different parts of the world. I feel fortunate that I can look through my contacts and find someone I know almost everywhere in the world.  I’ve kept in touch with countless cruise friends and truly treasure each and every one of them!


  1. Traveling with a baby? Bring dish soap and a bottle brush – It’s the only way to clean bottles in your stateroom sink without having to ask the kitchen staff for supplies or track down your empty bottles after entrusting the staff to clean them for you.  I don’t have children, but I know this from speaking to other guests on the ship!


  1. Traveling with a group? Bring Walkie Talkies – In order to communicate with each other while on the ship, this is the cost free way to do it since calling or texting will cost you a fortune. It is a great idea if you have kids, or like us, get separated from our group quite easily! We’ve done this multiple times. Some walkie-talkie brands work better than others, but it is still such a cost-free, simply way to communicate.