Things to Bring on a Cruise You May Not Think Of

25 Jul

Cruise ships are amazing. They have everything you can think of to keep you well fed and entertained 24/7, but there are some simple things I’ve discovered that cruise ships often don’t have. Maybe the fancy suites have these things, but the rooms for the common folk do not. Also included are some other things you might find helpful to bring along. Here is the list:

  • Alarm Clock – I haven’t seen one yet on the dozen cruises I’ve been on. Don’t rely on your cell phone to tell the time. If it’s in airplane mode (which I recommend you do unless you want a whopping surprise bill with roaming charges), your clock will not update. Bermuda is one hour ahead of Boston. While we are on the subject of time, bring a watch as well and be sure it’s set to SHIP time. You will need to keep a close eye on the time while on the island if you plan to take the ferry and, most importantly, so that you’re back on the ship before it leaves on the last day. Again, you cannot count on your cell phone having the ship’s time. It doesn’t matter what the actual time is, it only matter’s what the ship’s time is.
  • Bar of Soap – NCL, for some reason, only has liquid bodywash in the bathroom. If you like that sort of thing, then great. You’re all set, but my husband and I like an old fashioned bar of soap.
  • Conditioner – They have shampoo on board, but not conditioner. So, ladies, bring it with you.
  • Electrical Outlets – These are in short supply. You’ll find one, maybe two if you’re lucky, and they are never where you want them. If you have a lot of electronic devices or use a CPAP to sleep, be sure to bring a power strip and an extension cord with you.
  • Dollar Bills – If you get room service, it’s nice to tip them. Of course, it’s optional, but the crew on the Dawn is so fantastic that most of us want to give them a little extra. There is nothing like having a nice pot of coffee delivered to your room first thing in the morning.
  • Sweater – Believe it or not, you get cold at night. The indoor venues are all air conditioned so I often find I need an extra layer in the theater or the dining room, At night, while sailing, it gets breezy out on the deck. You’ll be glad you have one along.
  • Bottled Water and Diet Coke – Most cruisers find the ship’s purified tap water to be just fine, but if you’re a bottled water fanatic, or loyal to particular type of soda, you will want to bring a case of your own stuff. NCL currently serves Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, and Gingerale, so if you can’t live without your Diet Coke, be sure to bring a case with you. Soda also isn’t free on board. You can get free water, juice, milk, coffee and tea, but soda and adult beverages cost extra. Bottled water is also expensive on board. Save yourself some money and bring your own. You can check the case with your baggage – just put a luggage tag on it and hand it to the porter.
  • Refrigerator – I think most rooms on the Dawn have a refrigerator, but if you need one to store medicine or breast milk, double check before you go.
  • Wheelchair – If you have trouble walking, bring a wheelchair. The ships is huge and things are scattered from one end to the other. The theater is at the front of the ship, the restaurants are in the middle, the spa is in the back, and your room may fall anywhere in between.
  • Motion Sickness Relief – Every so often, the sea can get rough. The North Atlantic is unpredictable. Even the most seasoned cruisers can get seasick when that happens. Don’t get stuck. Ask your doctor if you can get a prescription for the Transderm-Scop patch. There are also over-the-counter pills like Dramamine, but they can make you drowsy (even the non-drowsy ones). I like the patches best, but they are prescription only and not everyone can take them if they have certain medical problems. Some people swear by all natural things like wrist bands, green apples, and ginger. I personally have never gotten relief from these, but everyone is different. Just don’t leave it to chance. If you know gingerale always works for you then that’s perfect, but if you’ve never been on rough seas, bring some medicine just in case it isn’t enough.
  • First Aid Kit – Have some bandaids, pain reliever, cold remedies, and aloe along with you. Sure they have all these things in the gift shop, but it’s expensive.
  • Wrinkle Release Spray – Cruise ships do not allow you to bring an iron on board (it’s a fire hazard). The laundry service will press them for you for a pretty penny. Most things do just fine with the wrinkle release spray. You’ll be glad you have it along.

I think that about sums it up. Let me know if you think of anything else.

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