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Favorite Cruise Hack/ Tip


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56 minutes ago, bmhightower said:

Well my mind is definitely blown away by this tip! ?  I don’t own a flat iron but may be in the market for one before next weekend! 

Yeah, you can buy a cheap level for $15.    My hair is short, but thick.  I use their hair dryer, but take the flat iron with me.  I have done this for yrs now.  My husband laughed at 1st, bc he knows I don't use one at home, so why would I take it on the cruise.  Now, he is the one that makes sure it is packed in our luggage.  We, as in all of our family and friends call him the 'pretty boy" or metro-sexual.  Love that man, but the flat iron is for him.

For me, I purchase my clothes from Chico's.  They are expensive, but you can get great deals.  Just like Jos. A. Bank they have what they call a travelers collection.  You can roll it up in a ball and it will be wrinkle free.  Target also has great sun dresses. 

If you are going to take a sun hat make sure it is foldable.  I have 2.  1 is black and large brim.  The other is khaki with a smaller brim, but it says in script on the back of the brim...talk to the sand.  You want this impo from the aspect that it will shade your shoulders.  You also want it if you are like me and have your hair colored...the sun will bleach out the color and highlights very quickly.  I am a brunette.

 

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I bring towels, cheap Wal-Mart kind,  for a couple reasons. Have checked out towels aboard ship and at first class resorts before, returning them properly but still getting charged. I caught on at the resort that people overheard us either overheard my account number/ name or simply said "we're with them". Had it happen with drinks there as well. Aboard with seapass that shouldn't happen but being asked to shell out $100 extra and having to plead my case with receipts in hand shouldn't have to take place... 

The second reason for bringing them is I can wall off between dirty clothes and clean in my suitcase when repacking to move on. On that note turning dirty clothes inside out is good marker for whats been worn or not when in a rush... 

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On 4/22/2019 at 9:40 AM, Pima1988 said:

Go on FB and search to see if there is a group set up for your cruise.  

This is a great tip, especially for the classes with reservable entertainment. I found the group for my August Harmony cruise, and this morning someone alerted that the entertainment reservations were open. Now we have everything we want when we want it (well, I'd schedule everything an hour earlier, but they're not running the ship on cranky first grader time, are they?).

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For those that just to be in contact all the time, small hand held portable radios work well. Some are more expensive but basic units come in in various packages of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and even 20 radios for about $10-11 per radio. The range is pretty good onboard. This is not such a bad option for 2-4 people as long as you keep up with the radios and keep them charged.

Phone and Voom is going to cost as well. Putting phones in airplane mode turns off phone service but maintains WIFI or data/Internet. Voom is basically $50 a phone and allows unlimited text. If you want data, then its $100 per phone.

Connection back to the mainland will depend on your phone service provider. Most charge about $2 per minute or offer some kind of package deal.

Your phone is constantly checking for new texts and e-mails. Those checks are connections you get billed for. If you just have your phone turned on, its racking up a bill that can be $100s. It's not much fun having your provider text you that excess charges have reached $200 when you were not expecting it. Been there, done that.

Unless you just have to have all that continuous communication or have deep pockets, I'd suggest turning off your phone and putting it inside your room safe for the duration. 

If you want to use your phone camera, think about putting it in airplane mode and turning off WIFI. You can still take pictures and play Bluetooth music on your phone (not streaming) to your wireless ear buds if you want. You could also read e-books and play some games and use some apps that do not require data or Internet.

 

 

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I know @Matt never EVER talks about it but attend the shopping seminar. You'd swear they don't exist with matt around...jk.   I think it is helpful and informative about each port and many times you get a little hook-up.  Free taxi to the downtown Cozumel area once. Cut the very long line and discounted ferry at St. Thomas another time..  Plus free swag! If it's free, it's for me!!

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13 minutes ago, MotleyCruiser said:

I know @Matt never EVER talks about it but attend the shopping seminar. You'd swear they don't exist with matt around...jk.   I think it is helpful and informative about each port and many times you get a little hook-up.  Free taxi to the downtown Cozumel area once. Cut the very long line and discounted ferry at St. Thomas another time..  Plus free swag! If it's free, it's for me!!

+1 on this!  I enjoy the extra info from the shopping seminar, especially about the port itself, and freebies!

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1 hour ago, Ditchdoc said:

For those that just to be in contact all the time, small hand held portable radios work well. Some are more expensive but basic units come in in various packages of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and even 20 radios for about $10-11 per radio. The range is pretty good onboard. This is not such a bad option for 2-4 people as long as you keep up with the radios and keep them charged.

Phone and Voom is going to cost as well. Putting phones in airplane mode turns off phone service but maintains WIFI or data/Internet. Voom is basically $50 a phone and allows unlimited text. If you want data, then its $100 per phone.

Connection back to the mainland will depend on your phone service provider. Most charge about $2 per minute or offer some kind of package deal.

Your phone is constantly checking for new texts and e-mails. Those checks are connections you get billed for. If you just have your phone turned on, its racking up a bill that can be $100s. It's not much fun having your provider text you that excess charges have reached $200 when you were not expecting it. Been there, done that.

Unless you just have to have all that continuous communication or have deep pockets, I'd suggest turning off your phone and putting it inside your room safe for the duration. 

If you want to use your phone camera, think about putting it in airplane mode and turning off WIFI. You can still take pictures and play Bluetooth music on your phone (not streaming) to your wireless ear buds if you want. You could also read e-books and play some games and use some apps that do not require data or Internet.

 

 

 

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Better yet power down the phone and put it in the safe till the cruise is over.  The peace and tranquility is amazing.  A dry eraser or post it notes work great. We tell everyone if their is an emergency just call RC and they will contact us.  Don`t worry be happy.  And ENJOY the cruise.  

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18 hours ago, MotleyCruiser said:

I know @Matt never EVER talks about it but attend the shopping seminar. You'd swear they don't exist with matt around...jk.   I think it is helpful and informative about each port and many times you get a little hook-up.  Free taxi to the downtown Cozumel area once. Cut the very long line and discounted ferry at St. Thomas another time..  Plus free swag! If it's free, it's for me!!

Sorry, but the reason I never talk about it is because I feel, in my not-so-humble opinion, to be at best an unsolicited sales offer and at worst a border-line racket.

The shopping seminar is more about which stores have paid RC to advertise as stores to go to, rather than an educational overview of which areas of the city/island truly represent a good place for value or deals. Any store that is mentioned in these seminars have paid to be mentioned. Moreover, there is often a kick back for sales referred.  Not to mention that "little hook up" is a ploy to get you into the store.

If you want to learn about the port you are visiting and/or the best areas to shop, I recommend utilizing the internet and getting recommendations from other cruisers who have gone to these places.  

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Think of whatever you need to make you comfortable at home, and consider bringing that. 

I travelled with my father who was having knee issues, so we brought a small folding camp stool, which he used to elevate his leg when relaxing.  We also used it to hold the room service tray during breakfast on the balcony, etc.  I don't always take one, but in this case it was great. 

My husband likes to sip on coffee all morning long so I bring an insulated mug from home for him so he can carry it around with him wherever we go.  I wouldn't take it for me, because I would never use it. 

If you get chilly easily, bring a wrap for dinner.

I have a small black jeweled coin purse that I carry to dinner.  It is just big enough for my room key, a lipstick, and a mint.  It is small enough to put on the table beside my plate.  I stow my receipt from any drinks at dinner, reapply my lipstick, then off to the show!  When I cruised alone I had a small purse that was large enough to hold a paperback and I carried that around with me all day so I could read while waiting.

Think of your comfort items and bring them for yourself!  Enjoy your cruise!

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24 minutes ago, SweetHomeLady said:

My husband likes to sip on coffee all morning long so I bring an insulated mug from home for him so he can carry it around with him wherever we go.  

This is a good one - we did this one year and brought some insulated cups for our coffee - but we got sorta held up at the security scanner while the guy looked at them.  Of course, they were both empty - but still.  Make sure to have them handy before you get to the security bag check ?  will save you a little time from someone question what those thing are, if they are still in your bag.

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I saw mentioned somewhere in here about calling back home. I do get the voom package and when in its range I leave my phone on. To make calls or text I use WhatsApp. All my family and friends are instructed to contact me via that only. Any other calls come in  I likely don't want to hear from them anyway... ?

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6 hours ago, Matt said:

Sorry, but the reason I never talk about it is because I feel, in my not-so-humble opinion, to be at best an unsolicited sales offer and at worst a border-line racket.

The shopping seminar is more about which stores have paid RC to advertise as stores to go to, rather than an educational overview of which areas of the city/island truly represent a good place for value or deals. Any store that is mentioned in these seminars have paid to be mentioned. Moreover, there is often a kick back for sales referred.  Not to mention that "little hook up" is a ploy to get you into the store.

If you want to learn about the port you are visiting and/or the best areas to shop, I recommend utilizing the internet and getting recommendations from other cruisers who have gone to these places.  

I was just bustin'. Sorry if it didn't come across that way.  I'm From Jersey and have an interesting sense of humor.

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3 hours ago, deep1 said:

I saw mentioned somewhere in here about calling back home. I do get the voom package and when in its range I leave my phone on. To make calls or text I use WhatsApp. All my family and friends are instructed to contact me via that only. Any other calls come in  I likely don't want to hear from them anyway... ?

I am definitely going to look into that app, I purchased VOOM for my hubbys cell because he would never be able to go that long without streaming his news. That app will be perfect for our kiddos back home to stay in touch!

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3 hours ago, RatedPG said:

I’ve been reading about the tips on door shoe hangers.   Haven’t those been banned before?  I read about them causing damage to door finishes.

I am going to have to defer to @Matt for a definitive answer for this one but I can tell you that I have had one for the past 6 cruises, our last cruise on Anthem departed on 30Mar19 and we had no problem with it!  Not saying that they are or are not banned I am just saying that we have not had any issues as of yet! ?

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57 minutes ago, Anditoo72 said:

I am definitely going to look into that app, I purchased VOOM for my hubbys cell because he would never be able to go that long without streaming his news. That app will be perfect for our kiddos back home to stay in touch!

It works as long as hes connected to wifi and the ones calling use that app as well...

 

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? I do not doubt what you are saying one bit, I just think its absolutely crazy that they have banned them, but oh well!  It is their ship and they can do as they please! Yet another reason that I plan on staying loyal to Royal for quite some time to come!  

 

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Oh boy I love tips!

1.  Break in your shoes before you cruise!  My new mantra and it saves my feet not just on cruising, but for any travel.  I know brand new shoes look all shiny and pretty, but they also come with blisters and foot pain.  I recommend wearing the shoes you're breaking in for at least 8 hours a day for 2 weeks to a month before cruising.  This goes for sandals/flipflops as well.  Dont be the person with angry feet after your first day!  In case of blisters, bring a few blister bandaids (and for the love of pete dont break the blister yourself, this invites not only infection, but it hurts WORSE!)

2. Bring medications for every forseeable onboard condition.  Decongestants, allergy, tummy upset meds (take care of your tummy and the other end as well), ibuprofern, naproxen, my list is kind of crazy what I can fit in my medicine bag, but bringing a dollar's worth of medication onboard and committing a bit of luggage space to your travelling pharmacy, its way better than paying onboard prices for the same medications.  This also goes for a small dental repair kit.  At sea even the doctor onboard is not a dentist.  They cannot handle dental issues.  Hopefully you'll never need to use the dental kit, but in case you need it, its there for you.  

3.  Packing cubes are a life changer for me.  I can pack a cube and toss it in my luggage 3 months, 3 weeks or 3 days in advance.  If its something that's not going to wrinkle and I'm not going to use it until the cruise, into the cube it goes!  It makes packing so much easier for me.  Just pack a cube rather than racing the night before travel day to pack all of your luggage.  Some cubes are waterproof so your liquids can go in there, or wet swimsuits, or dirty laundry to keep it segregated from your clean clothes.

4.  When eating onboard, do small plates if possible.  There is a LOT of food onboard your cruise.  So enjoy the wonderful tastes.  Nothing's stopping you from having some "2nd breakfast" at the MDR instead of the Windjammer.  Nothing's stopping you from eating nothing but appetizers and dessert for dinner.  I highly recommend doing a "food tour" of the ship and enjoying a small bite at each restaurant if you can.  You enjoy all of the amazing tastes without committing to a full meal.  

5. Unpack as soon as you possibly can when your luggage arrives.  Get the unpack out of the way before hending to the bars, the sail away party, the MDR for dinner.  With embarkation day being SO busy you'll likely be tired that day.  And the last thing you want to do when you're sleepy is doing the "chore" of unpacking.   

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