Welcome back to another month of cruise tips from cruise ship passengers part 6 with Jen from the travel blog ‘The Places We Live’.
Jen has cruised with Carnival (8 cruises), Royal Caribbean (2 cruises), and Norwegian (1 cruise).
Her voyages have taken her to the Caribbean (nearly every island), Belize, Honduras, and Mexico.
Let’s see what cruise tips from cruise ship passengers part 6 brings with Jen’s interview.
Cruise Tips From Cruise Ship Passengers Part 6 with Jen
What is on your cruise wishlist?
I would love to cruise the Suez Canal and another one that dips down into Antarctica. My cruising goal used to include a transatlantic itinerary as well, but now it’s booked and I’m going! YES!! Miami to Rome, here I come!
What dining options do you prefer onboard?
Call me old-fashioned, but I love the traditional dining option. It is a great opportunity to try new foods and interact with the other guests. After 11 cruises, the server performances get a little stale, but it offers a rare moment to see the crew let loose a little bit.
What do you do on the days at sea?
I know it is supposed to be a vacation, but I go into full-blown organization mode when I cruise. Each night, I collect the schedule for the next day and highlight (that’s right, I bring a highlighter for this exact purpose) all the activities that I’m interested in.
Then I write myself a schedule. My family and friends are always amazed at the things I end up doing. I almost always come home from my cruise with a ton of prizes from contests and new dance steps from the classes I took.
I’m really using my days at seas for personal growth. To be fair, my schedule also includes things like “Lay by the pool” or “Read a book”. It is a vacation after all.
What were your most memorable shore excursions?
Most of the time, I end up doing my own thing once we hit land. However, there were a couple of cruise-supported excursions I just couldn’t pass up.
My absolute favorite was Sting Ray City at Grand Cayman. This adventure took us out into the ocean with wild sting rays! I have never been so scared in my whole life.
The best part happened once I got over my fear though. Not only were the stingrays crazy soft, but the people-watching made me pee my swim pants!
I saw someone literally run on water. It was amazing to watch their reactions to this other-worldly experience.
Do you have any crazy cruise stories?
I was on a ship during Hurricane Erin in 1995. I know this is everyone’s nightmare but, honestly, it wasn’t that bad. There was fair warning and the cruise line did everything necessary to keep us safe.
The boat rocked a little bit more than normal and most of our ports were cancelled for the duration of the trip. However, the ship’s crew went all out to keep everyone in high spirits with plenty of activities and lots of free or discounted amenities.
As a teenager, I hardly noticed that anything was wrong. It was one of the most fun pair of days I’ve ever had at sea. My parents took more notice of the situation, but also admitted to having an amazing time. Years later, this is still a story we tell regularly around the dinner table.
What are your disembarkation day tips?
I’m a budget traveler. If I am on a cruise, it is because the price was cheaper than flying (yes, that’s a thing!). It also means I need to take advantage of the opportunities I have.
If you are not in a hurry, stay on the ship on disembarkation day for as long as the crew will allow. The buffet serves food until the last minute, the lines to leave are short, and the best seats in the sun are now open. My suggestion is to fill up on the free food and sunshine for as long as you can.
Do you have any cruise tips?
I know everyone says that cruising is all about the food, but I have been amazed to hear how many people don’t realize that you can literally eat as much as you want.
Most ships include at least one night that serves an escargot option for an appetizer. It isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it is mine. When I am dining in the regular dining room on escargot night, I order three plates. Yes, three!! AND soup AND dinner AND dessert. What?! I love escargot!
My niece, on the other hand, doesn’t eat anything even mildly ethnic. On escargot night, she orders a hot dog. It isn’t on the menu, but she does it anyway and, most of the time, they bring it for her!
Moral of the story, if there is something you want, just ask. It is totally normal and you deserve it!
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More about Jen
Jen and Josh quit their jobs and hit the road in the fall of 2017. They have been on the road ever since house sitting their way around the world.
They travel cheaply and slowly. The blog is an honest telling of their adventures. One of our next major jumps is a 14 day trans-Atlantic cruise from Miami to Rome!
Jen shared some great cruising stories and cruise tips and I’m sure you will take away some of her cruise advice for your next cruise.
I hope you enjoyed reading Cruise Tips from Cruise Ship Passengers Part 6, next month we will feature another interview with a cruise ship passenger.
If you would like to be interviewed and share your cruise tips, please fill in the form on my contact page and I will get back to you.
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