We recently went on a cruise with my husband’s family, and today’s post is all about how to maximize your time on the ship and make the most of your experience. I have been on two cruises, and I can attest that it is the easiest vacation you can have. Everything is laid out nicely for you, and you can decide how much or how little you would like to do. It is basically an all inclusive resort on wheels. Although there are a few food items (alcohol, soda, more expensive food items) and activities (excursions, casino) that you have to pay extra for, you can still have an extremely fulfilling vacation without any of the extras.
My favorite things about our most recent cruise were:
- The chocolate chip and sugar cookies. They tasted like buttery shortbread goodness. I’m not really a sweets person, but I had some seriously delicious desserts on the ship! We tried so many different cakes and yummy treats.
- The towel animals + the turn down service. What a luxury it is to have your bed made in the morning after you leave your room, and then again after you come back after a long night out. Plus, the sweetest towel animal was always waiting for us on our bed. I love those so much. I’m weird.
- The entertainment. Every night, there are multiple forms of entertainment, including some song and dance shows and live music. One night, we sat in on a Love and Marriage game show, which we got many laughs out of. We also participated in a Friends trivia game. There is literally always something to do on the boat!
- The timeline. Along with our towel animal, we would get a print out itinerary of the following day, and ya’ll know how much joy schedules give me. I wish someone would plan out my day for me and leave it on my bed when I am at home.
- The ocean. Being out on the ocean (or the Gulf of Mexico) with no sign of any land is thrilling. In a way, it is a productive way to vacation. Traveling whilst relaxing…
Here are essential packing items you do not want to forget:
- Waterbottle–you will want this to stay hydrated throughout your trip.
- Earplugs–walls are thin. If you are a light sleeper, these can be helpful.
- Sunscreen–because skin cancer is no bueno.
- Something to do–I like to bring a book or small project to work on during your down time.
- Camera–to capture all of your memories.
Things to know about our experience:
- We traveled with Yung’s mom, dad, and older brother.
- It was a 5 night cruise.
- It stopped in Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico.
- We stayed in an interior room, and it was perfectly okay. It would be very cool to have a room with a balcony, but we tried to cut costs by staying in the bowels of the ship, just like Jack Dawson. People say “you don’t really spend that much time in the room,” or “you can see the ocean from any angle of the ship.” Both statements are technically true. However, I think it would be nice to have a private balcony to sit on to read or just relax. It can be hard to find a secluded spot on the boat with a nice view and not be too sunny/hot/windy/crowded. On our last day, we found a nice sitting area on one of the lower decks to sit and read. By then, we were done with the sun, and this area allowed us to sit and be near the water, and also be in the shade.
- We did not pay for any excursions. During each port day, we spent a couple hours off the ship, and returned for a late lunch and more boat time in the afternoon. This was actually refreshing, because during my previous cruise, it was always an exhausting day at port with a full schedule of activities before coming back on the boat.
- We took cheesy photos that we ended up loving. Every night, they set up various photo backdrops that resemble the Olan Mills studio photography from the 80s and 90s. We took tons of photos and had ourselves a good laugh at the silly poses they would put us in.
Ultimately, you can personalize your cruise to your liking. There were 20 couples on their honeymoon and countless couples celebrating an anniversary. There were lots of families and friend groups as well. You can stay as busy from dawn to dusk, or do nothing but eat and sleep if you’d like. It is literally like a little town on the ship, with everything you could want or need. I miss it so much!
My favorite part of the week was people watching. There were so many individuals from all walks of life on board. All of the employees seemed to be from different parts of the world as well. Did you know that they train for an entire year and then have to be away from their families for up to 6-8 months at a time for their job? Everyone we met was very gracious and welcoming, and we received excellent service each day.
I also loved that I felt like I didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything. I finished an entire book and read several magazines. Does anyone else have trouble doing that at home because you feel like there’s always something else you “should” be doing?
Have you ever been on a cruise? Tell me about what you loved and what you didn’t love!
Happy Cruising! Can’t wait until our next one!
Photos by Yung