Know before you go, 16 cruise hacks and tips that every cruiser should know about before they embark on their next cruise.
1. Use the ship’s WIFI while in port – Some cruise ships will connect to terrestrial broadband while in port. This will give you increased internet speeds compared to when the ship is at sea and connecting to satellites 20,000 miles away.
2. Free WIFI in Port – Looking for a place to connect to free WIFI while in port? Just ask a crew member. They know all of the free WIFI spots in each port. You may also notice a group of crew members outside of an establishment with tablets/phones out, it is a sign that there likely is free WIFI there.
3. Avoid Cruise Ship’s ATM Fees – The ATM machines on cruise ships will charge you a fee of around $5 to withdraw cash. To bypass this, simply go to the casino, sit down at a slot machine, insert your cabin card and deposit the amount that you want to withdraw. Once the money is loaded into the slot machine, simply hit the “cash out” button and take the ticket to the cashier to get your money. Your onboard account will be charged and you will not have to pay any credit card or ATM fees.
4. Power Strip with USB Outlets – Available on Amazon.com for under $20. This power strip will not only take up little room in your luggage, but it is great for charging phones, tablets, and e-readers via the 2 USB outlets. The power outlets rotate 360 degrees for flexibility with large plugs.
5. Ziploc Bags – Bringing a few Ziploc bags on a cruise can come in extremely handy. Use them when going on shore excursions so you can keep water and sand away from your phone, camera, cash, passport etc. Have you ever been stuck in a Caribbean downpour while waiting to re-board your cruise ship? Ziploc bags can keep important things dry.
6. Rolling Clothes – Rolling clothes before putting them in your suitcase will help prevent wrinkles and it will also take up less space. Don’t go to dinner the first night in wrinkled clothes because you did not have time to iron before the early seating.
7. Dryer Sheets – Put a dryer sheet in each suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
8. TV Charger – Need an extra plug to charge your phone? Use the USB outlet on your TV to charge your phone or tablet.
9. Portable USB Charger – Never run out of power while in port with this handy USB mini phone charger. It will give your phone 100% extra battery life and is available on Amazon.com
10. Delete Tourist From Your Photos – A nice little trick we found on Reddit that can get you great shots of ports and of the cruise ship without having to worry about other passengers/tourists getting in the way.
11. Place a Belt Inside a Collar – This will keep the collar crispy when packing a dress shirt in a suitcase.
12. Pill Container – Use a pill container to keep your jewelry organized and untangled.
13. Shoe Rack – A shoe rack is a great way to keep things organized in the tight confines of your cruise cabin. It takes up little space in your suitcase and can be hung on your bathroom door. Photo credit: mom247.com
14. Travel Alarm Clock – There are no alarm clocks in the cabins on cruise ships so bringing a small, travel alarm clock can come in handy especially to those staying in inside staterooms.
15. Shopping Lectures – Want to get some free stuff at shopping lectures? Always sit near the front of the theater. The staff will often throw things out (tshirts, bamboo necklaces etc) into the crowd and they normally do not throw very far.
16. Check the Bible – Passengers have been known to leave unused complimentary drink coupons/cards in the Gideon Bibles that are in the desk drawer.