5 Secrets From a Crew Member: How to Make Your Cruise Even More Awesome!

Holland America Cruise Ship in the Port of Vancouver

Whether this is your first cruise, of your tenth, while you are on board, you might find yourself missing some of the “comforts” of home.  We recently sat with a former cruise ship employee and asked them their secrets on how you could make your cruises even more awesome.

So lets get right too it!

1. WiFi

These days, unless you are travelling on certain ships WIFi is pretty slow.  Beyond checking email, its almost unuseable.  And like many, when you arrive in port, you use the opportunity to connect to WiFi as it’s nice to be able to connect with the world at a decent speed.  But sometimes finding the right place with a good WiFi connection is not that easy.  And sometimes, when you do find free WiFi, its entirely possible that there are fifty other people connecting to it, making it nearly impossible to use.  Crew members will know where the internet works best. Just ask! Pretty simple right!

2. Bring a First Aid Kit

Bring the common items you would use at home for headaches, upset stomach, motion sickness etc.  Also, bring bandaid’s for cuts and blisters. Visiting the doctor on board is expensive and finding those necessities, in some exotic destination, might not be simple. Not only that, you might have to deal with language barrier etc.

3. Consider Alternate Modes of Transportation

Some attractions in port have free shuttle busses or public transit at a fraction of the cost you find on board. This is a secret cruise lines won’t tell you as they want you to book the excursions directly- and sometimes its not such a bad thing!  So do your research, or even ask a crew member how to get around.  We heard that crew members who work at the casino, gift shops etc. often have time off in port and they can explore – these guys will have the best tips!  One example is in Juneau, AK.  An excursion might cost $60.00 to take to the Mendenhall Glacier.  But, now I know there’s a public bus that goes there every half hour for about $4.00 return.

4. Always Bring a Change of Clothes in Your Carry On

If you travel with checked luggage, it’s important to consider that sometimes “Life Happens” and your luggage doesn’t arrive in the cabin till after dinner, or perhaps even the next day.  This has happened many people over the years, and will continue to be a challenge.  By having a change of clothes, at least you’ll be more comfortable and ready for your first evening.

5. Bring a Little Local Currency With you for Every Country You Visit

Bring some local currency with you, or at least some US dollars. On a recent trip to Asia, I visited 7 countries and bought $50 worth of Thai Baht, Vietnamese Dong, Malaysian Ringet, Singapore Dollars, and Hong Kong Dollars.  This made getting in to town super simple as we had the cash ready to go. Also consider that using the ATM on board and in exotic destinations can also be problematic and expensive.  So for for small amounts of money (i.e. coffee, or taxi fare), consider taking some local currency – especially if the currency is not widely used, (like the Eastern Carribbean Dollar) or at least USD as it can help go a long way if the vendor doesn’t accept credit cards… because not every place in the world does!

I hope you’ll find these tips useful, let me know!

-Happy Cruising




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