Cruising is the only vacation where you can spend the day exploring a new destination and your nights enjoying top-notch entertainment and cuisine, only to wake up in another port to do it all over again. But there also some smaller, more subtle things you can do on a cruise that you can’t really get away with anywhere else.
1. Ordering 3 entrees for dinner and taking only a few bites from each.
This is what your main dining room table should look like. - Photo by Shutterstock.com
At Sea: No one notices or cares — you’re an experienced cruiser who knows how to get your money’s worth. Order at least a couple appetizers while you’re at it.
On Land: Your waiter will give you a weird look, and you’ll feel the judgmental glances from the surrounding tables for the duration of your meal. Plus it can get really expensive, really quickly.
2. Not carrying a purse, wallet, or your keys for days at a time.
It's hard to imagine leaving home without these essentials. - Photo by Thinkstock.com
At Sea: Your cruise card pays for everything and opens your cabin door, so everything you need is around your neck on a lanyard or tucked in your pocket.
On Land: Noticing you don’t have your purse or wallet will probably give you a small panic attack after it dawns on you that you can’t pay for anything. Oh, and you’re probably locked out of your house too.
3. Wearing a swimsuit & sandals just about anywhere.
Completely acceptable cruise ship attire. - Photo by Shutterstock.com
At Sea: You won’t get seated at formal dinner (although most cruise lines have been relaxing their dress codes lately, so who knows) but you won’t have a problem on most of the ship.
On Land: The further you get away from the beach, the more people will look at you like you’re completely crazy.
4. Turning off your cell phone and not checking social media.
You don't see this screen very often, do you? - Photo by Shutterstock.com
At Sea: Cruising is one of the few getaways where you can still go off the grid. For those who love to disconnect, this excuse will be harder to use as cruise ship WiFi becomes faster and faster, but for now, you can still get away with leaving your phone in your cabin.
On Land: If you don’t answer your phone for a couple of days, your friends & family might alert the police and launch a search and rescue mission.
5. Staying in a room without a window.
It's not often you see a bed in a windowless room. - Photo by Celebrity Cruises
At Sea: You’re a frugal cruiser who only uses your cabin for the three S’s — sleeping, showering and well, you know…— so you don’t mind living in what’s essentially a large walk-in closet for a week.
On Land: You’re broke or living in New York City (which is kind of redundant).
6. Packing your own alcohol, soda, or water in your luggage.
Bringing your own water is not as crazy as it sounds. - Photo by iStock
At Sea: Bringing your own drinks on board is a tried and true method of saving money on a beverage package. Lines do have different rules and regulations about what can be brought aboard, so it’s worth checking before you lug that case of bottled water to the cruise port.
On Land: Anyone who sees your bag will think you have a serious alcohol or soda addiction, or an irrational fear of your plane crashing in the middle of a desert. And good luck getting that vodka past the TSA screener.
7. Eating room service breakfast, breakfast, morning snack, lunch, second lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and midnight snack. All in one day.
This is a typical cruise ship "snack". - Photo by Carnival
At Sea: The idea of “three square meals a day” goes right out the window on a cruise. Everyone else is doing the same thing, so no one is going to bat an eye at your afternoon snack, which could very well be a full burger with extra fries. Don’t worry, be happy.
On Land: If you try and continue this habit on land, it won’t be long before your friends organize an intervention or gift you a Weight Watchers membership.