Do you often promise yourself that you’ll remember all the important lessons you learned from your cruise and then when the time comes, you don’t remember any of it? That’s totally me, but this time I’m writing it all down and sharing it with you.
1. Sometimes I still feel like I’m on the ship even days after I’m home. Known as “Mal de debarquement,” this usually goes away on its own, but if it should persist for longer than that, contact your physician.
2. I seem to forget where the cutlery is at home. I go to get something to eat and expect the table to be set and a menu presented.
4. If your cruise line, like Celebrity Cruises, offers a drink package — take it! I thought it was ridiculously expensive and I would never fully utilize it, but it was well worth it. Between our bottled water, Vitamin Water Zero, Red Bull, coffees, and wine with dinner, we were less concerned with price, which was a good thing. Plus when we hit the Martini Bar or Molecular Bar, we didn’t fear the bill on the last night of the cruise.
5. No matter what they tell you, the bread basket at any meal on a cruise ship is not your friend. If you partake of any of it on day one, you won’t be able to stay away from it the rest of the cruise. Vow to avoid the bread and you will be the victor.
7. Even if I put all of my dirty clothes in a paper bag and leave it at my door, no one will wash my clothes for me like they do on the ship. I need to do my own laundry. I love being a Captain’s Club member with Celebrity Cruises because we get two coupons for laundry. That’s up to 30 articles washed, dried, and folded at no cost to us.
8. Make sure you have a neighbor check on your house/apartment while you’re away. The weather changed considerably while we were gone and when we returned, we needed to turn the heat on. However, the furnace wasn’t working. It is now officially warmer outside my house than it is inside.
9. Despite my best intentions, I always overpack. I usually realize this by day two of my cruise and then I spend the last few days yelling at myself because I have to jam it all back inside my suitcase.
10. However, do pack enough clothes that you might not automatically consider. This includes extra items such as more than one bathing suit, workout clothes, and easy to slip into clothes for breakfast. Why? Let’s say, for example, that you stay out late all night having a great time. Morning comes and you might not want to go all out getting dressed, doing your hair and makeup, and picking out the perfect outfit. Something comfortable and easy to put on will be all you can think about when you’re craving a hot cup of coffee and breakfast. Believe me on that one.
11. With regard to overpacking, I will make a packing list immediately upon my return which will allow me to remember exactly what I need to pack and to avoid becoming overzealous with the idea of being a fashion icon on my trip.
12. When thinking about my cruise vacation, I’m thinking about myself. I usually find myself filled with regret for not thinking more about the crew and what I could do for them. This time I came prepared with candy, which I wrapped in one dollar bills as a tip and also additional candy for Halloween. I also brought a Boston Red Sox t-shirt for my cabin steward. It felt really good to do something nice for someone else, but next time I plan to bring more. Maybe Red Sox hats to pass out in port?
13. I wish I had prepared for my return home in advance a little better. For example, if we had some food ready so when we came home we’d have something to eat, warm clothes laid out, or a chocolate on my pillow.
14. Don’t avoid the scale! It’s best to jump on as soon as possible so if I have gained any weight, I can get it off as soon as humanly possible.
15. Exercise! This helps with getting my land legs, but also helps me feel better especially after layovers and long flights. Get moving and you’ll feel better.
16. If you’re flying from the cruise port home, put everything you need in your carry on bag and make sure it’s accessible. I can grab my little bag with my goodies and sit down and not hold up a long line. Usually, I have to get up several times to get all the things I need, but no longer. Nothing is worse than waiting to board a plane when people can’t seem to get it together. Have your headphones, travel pillow, book, iPad, iPhone, snacks, beverages, and whatever you need handy because I promise you, the bag I am carrying needs to get stowed and I am not going to be happy if I can’t find space in the overhead bin. And don’t even think about arguing with me about putting your bag in my overhead bin when your 10 rows behind me because you will not win this argument.
17. Cuddle with and love the towel animals, but pass on the chocolates left on your pillow. Considering all of the food and drinks you’ve had onboard, do you really need the extra chocolate? Why not bag them up and take them into port with you? This way you can share your goodies with others, especially children.
18. Enjoy the scenery and the view without always needing to take a picture. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment. Now this is easier said than done as I almost always have a camera with me, but instead of viewing the world around me through a lensfinder, I really want to enjoy it while it’s happening.
19. I better have another cruise vacation planned because otherwise I become somewhat despondent at the thought of not having something to look forward to in the future. Yes, I travel often, but usually cruising is something I do with my husband and son so it is family time and I do like that special time.