You’ve boarded your ship and it is setting sail. Bon Voyage! You’re on your way to a great new adventure! It is such an awesome feeling! Nothing like sailing away from your home port and heading out to sea. I get chills every time!
Since we’re talking cruising….let’s get real for a moment. There are a few things you encounter onboard that might make you a little less giddy. You know it’s true, no matter how many times you have cruised, some things just rub you the wrong way. You can’t help it, it just is. For those of you in denial, you are asking yourself, “What the heck is she talking about“? Thank you so much for asking. Read on!
Always Feeling Lost ~ After years of cruising I still find that I am prone to turning the wrong way when I get off the elevator to find my stateroom. Or go to the wrong end of the ship to find the theatre. The tiny map you get when you check in is not always a big help. Solution? We have made it a point for the first day of every cruise we take to walk the ship front to back and get a sense of where everything is located. If you have a cabin in the aft or forward this makes things easier. But if you’re like me and like a mid-ship cabin you have a 50/50 shot of getting lost. (Ask my husband….)
Slow Internet ~ Okay, I can see some of you nodding your heads up and down! Internet on most cruise lines is notoriously SLOW. Or doesn’t work all together. Even though there have been recent improvements – For instance Royal Caribbean’s VOOM, it is not perfect. Solution? Find time when you are in port for a cocktail or lunch and connect on the free Wi-Fi offered in almost all portside restaurants or shops. **Remember to keep your phone or tablet in Airplane Mode to avoid exorbitant data charges**.
People That Do Not Wash Their Hands OR Use The Hand Sanitizer ~ And trust me, there are hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to every dining venue and also ship staff spraying sanitizer on your hands. But yet, people slip by without sanitizing anyway. These are probably the same people that never wash their hands when using the bathrooms, too! Solution? Go to a different buffet line than they do or eat in a sit-down restaurant.
Cruise Ship Photographers ~ You know, the people always trying to snap your photo when you’re at dinner. Every night…. Or as you disembark at your ports of call. You know, they have the giant parrot with them? Jeese….don’t they know I am having a bad hair day? Solution? Say no thank you. It’s okay to do that, you are not under any obligation. Or just smile pretty and never go to the photo gallery to find your $20 8×10 bad shots. I can tell you in all the years I have cruised, I have not bought very many ship board take photos. Honestly, for professionals they always get my bad side!
Next-Door Cabin Neighbors ~ Blaring TVs, slamming doors, talking loudly or the worst is smoking on the balcony completely disregarding the non-smoking policy. I have noticed a lot of these things in more recent cruises I have taken. People tend to think more about themselves these days than others, which I find very sad. I really try to be a good neighbor. Solution? A call to the Cabin Steward or Ship Security might help. Or earplugs if you can stand them. Not much else can be done, unfortunately.
The Chair Hogs ~ You know who I am talking about. The ones that spread their towels out over all the prime lounge chairs at 6am. And they never show up until noon. This is so lame and it drives me nuts. Same goes for people sitting at large tables in the buffet that won’t share their space – EVER. Hey guys, we are all on this ship together, let’s get along! Solution? Consider paying for space in the exclusive sun-deck or adult only areas that come with a priority loung chair assignment. Or eat only in the sit-down dining areas.
The Announcements ~ Sometimes they come over the loud speaker outside your cabin and you can never hear them unless you open the door to your stateroom. OR they come over the speaker right over your bed and scare the daylights out of you. And what is so important about the daily activities that you can’t read about in your daily newsletter? Solution? Don’t open your door or wear earplugs when you go to sleep. It is is an emergency, you will be more than aware when they repeat if over and over. Honestly, the only thing more annoying is when the captain on your airplane is making his routine announcement and you cannot understand one word he says.
Children ~ If you are on one of the mainstream mega ships, kids are everywhere! Of course, the mega ships cater to families of all ages, so if you sail on one, be prepared. They’re in the hot tubs, or running up and down the stairs. Where are the kids clubs? Solution? You have a few actually. If you do not have kids of your own, work with your Travel Agent to find cruises that are more geared to adults with less children board. OR if the itinerary is so perfect you are taking the cruise anyway, hang out in the adult only areas of the ship.
Over-Priced Drinks ~ And you can’t smuggle your own liquer onboard anymore, either. Even if all you want is a great cup of coffee or a soda, what is the deal with paying a couple of dollars and a gratuity on a food-inclusive cruise? Why are the cocktails so darn expensive? What happened to the good ole days when you plunked down a $20 bill and you could get a few good drinks? Oh yes, I remember the days of cash on cruise ships. Solution? Book a cruise where the cruise line is offering a FREE beverage package so all your drinks are included. Or book a premium to luxury cruise where everything is included, sometimes even a shore excursion in every port like Viking Ocean Cruises. Yes, you pay more up front. But you also are not nickel and dimed for everything and you don’t have a huge onboard bill at the end of your cruise. Really in the end the cost is about equal.
Long Lines ~ If you opt to go to the buffet or choose anytime dining, you might have a bit of a wait for a table. Getting on and off the ship can be a challenge if you’re in a hurry. Lines are a part of the cruise life, right? Not necessarily. How can I say that with a straight face? Solution? If you are loyal to one cruise line you will build status with them. That status comes with extra perks. Perks like priority restaurant access and priority boarding. If you don’t have cruise line status, then book a suite and you will get the priority accesses as well. If you do not want to spend the extra money, try to avoid the peak times in the buffet. Also, if you can wait a bit, take your time getting off the ship in port. And don’t wait until the last minute to get back on.
I may sound like I am complaining, but really I am not. I think everyone that cruises has felt some of these irritations at one time or another. Don’t get me wrong in the least ~ I LOVE CRUISING!!! And in reality, you can let your emotions get the better of you anywhere. This is a tongue-in-cheek look at the best vacation you can possibly take. Okay maybe my opinion, but myself and several thousands of other cruise passengers can’t be all wrong. I’ve said it before and still believe CRUISING ROCKS!!!!
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