Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
1.) it makes your cabin door stick out among the long hallway of cookie-cutter doors, and
2.) it's an easy way for your family to communicate their whereabouts.
Before going on your vacation, attach heavy-duty magnets to the back of the board with a glue gun. Because cabin doors on cruise ships are metal, the board stays put. Instruct your family members to write where they'll be on the ship ("Headed to the pool!" -Nicole) when they leave the room.
Because your cabin key functions as an on board credit card, it's easy to go overboard with your spending. If you're not careful, you could end up with a hefty bill when your cruise ends. Here are a few tips to save money while on board a cruise ship.
Stay away from on board gift shops.
If you're trying to save money on the cruise ship, staying out of the ship's shops should be your first line of defense. Duty free shops are always tempting. After all, there's no sales tax!
It's easy to get carried away, but keep in mind that, while the items are tax-free, the prices may be inflated. A small-ish, inexpensive memento is fine, but if you go on an all-out shopping spree, you may get home and wonder, "Why did I buy this?"
Don't use the phone or Internet services.
Many of the convenient technologies we depend on in our normal, everyday lives are nearly nonexistent on a cruise ship. You're not going to have cell phone service while at sea, and Internet services are priced at a premium, by-the-minute fee, usually around $0.75 to $1.00 per minute. (This isn't even counting the one-time "activation fee.")
Unlucky Ski Lift Operator
Since skiers aren't always alert, ski lift operators must always be on their toes. This poor ski lift operator can't seem to get a break -- as soon as he's ushered one fallen skier out of harm's way, another tumbling skier dismounts from the chairlift. Either that slope is really icy -- or happy hour just ended.
Ski Lift Face Plant
There's a reason chairlifts have official dismount locations. Don't try jumping off the lift just because you feel like it, or you might end up like this poor snowboarder. Ouch!
Life on The Islands runs at a more relaxed, laid-back pace than most Americans are accustomed to. Plan accordingly -- dining at a restaurant in the Caribbean can take 20 to 40 more minutes (or more!) than you're used to back in the United States. To deal with this, either budget more cushion into your meal times ... or don't plan anything, and just go with the flow.
Remember -- your server isn't being lazy or ignoring you -- a slower pace is simply the way of life in the Caribbean. Enjoy it, Mon. You're on vacation!
In general, sodas are sold individually (usually $2 to $4 per glass). Alternatively, you can purchase a soda card. Passengers purchasing a soda card receive unlimited amounts of soda for the duration of the cruise. At as much as $60 to $80 per card, though, the price tag could send you into sticker shock! How do these soda cards work -- and are they worth the hefty price?
How does a soda card work?
Soda cards go on sale as soon as you board the ship and usually include a souvenir cup. Save some money and avoid paying sales tax just by waiting to purchase a card until the ship splashes into international waters (
Soda cards are sold per person and cannot be shared. Most cruise lines place the guest's name on the soda card when purchased. Sodas are available at the bars, and bartenders serve one soda per visit. (Pro tip: Of course, there's nothing stopping you from giving that soda to another family member to enjoy. Cruise lines don't have security officers patrolling the decks, looking for soda card abusers, so it's up to you on how ethically you use the card.)
Note that that $60 to $80 price tag doesn't buy you a very wide selection. Cruise lines offer a limited range of soda flavors. Check with your individual cruise line for details, but typically cruise lines only serve Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite, along with ginger ale, fruit juice, and club soda. If these options don't appeal to you, don't purchase the card.
Right before crawling into bed, pull back the comforter and iron the sheets. Set the iron on its lowest setting to avoid potential scorching.
The sheets and mattress pad will lock in the iron's heat for several hours, allowing you to get a good night's sleep in a cold hotel room!
Sure, you brought along your digital camera and snapped some awesome shots, but remember -- images can accidentally be deleted and memory cards can be lost or corrupted.
To make a postcard an even better keepsake, write a little note about what you've done on vacation so far and mail the postcard home. Your postcard will be waiting for you when you return, complete with a special postmark/cancellation stamp from your vacation spot -- perfect for tucking away in a scrapbook!
Before boarding the cruise ship, stop at a grocery store and purchase a few cases of your favorite pop or bottled water.
You don't even need to sneak it on or hide it in your luggage -- almost all cruise lines allow you to bring a reasonable amount of non-alcoholic beverages on board the ship.
If you chose to use a cybercafe in India, be prepared to hand over your passport and give your home address -- some cybercafes will even fingerprint you!
Criminals in India have abused cybercafe computers, prompting strict regulations for India's cybercafes. The extra layer of red tape is just not worth the trouble -- besides, many cybercafe computers are infected with viruses, and that's NOT the kind of souvenir you want to send home to friends and family.
Instead, consider bringing your own computer and using your hotel's Internet access. Alternatively, just unplug!
Shoes are bulky and take up precious suitcase space. However, this space shouldn't be lost! To conserve even more space, chose underwear and socks made with lightweight fabric. Remember to roll underwear and socks tightly before placing them inside the shoe.
Also consider stuffing other smallish items -- like batteries, phone charging cables, spare camera lenses, etc. -- inside the shoe until it's full.