Trying to keep in touch with your family or group on a cruise ship can be difficult. After all, your cell phone will not work (and even if it does it will cost you way too much to use it), and walkie-talkies generally don’t work that well either (and even if they do you will make a lot of enemies with a loud and squeaky radio ruining everyone’s peaceful vacation).
Here are some tips for keeping track of your family and communicating when sailing the high seas on a cruise ship:
Have a Basic Itinerary Ahead of Time
This is the easiest way to keep everyone together at the right times. Make sure everyone knows what you plan on doing and write it down. Give the schedule to everyone in the group so they can see exactly when you plan on getting together for dinner, meeting on the boat for some games, or gathering in a certain lounge for an excursion. You can always make changes to it later, but it will help to keep everyone on the same page, literally.
Use Post-It Notes on the Doors
This is an old-school method that many cruisers still use. Throughout the day you will probably go in and out of your room a lot for brief periods of time, so having a not on the door letting you know that your group wants to meet is one way you can stay in touch. Of course to do this, you need to know everyone’s room number so make sure you know this ahead of time as well.
Use the in Cabin Phones
It’s best to give everyone in your group a call in the mornings before the day begins. This way you can let everyone know what is going on and when and where you would like to meet. From there you can have other call times when people will usually be in their rooms. It’s not a fool-proof approach but it’s cheaper than using cell phones.
Use Walkie-Talkies with Texting Options
Please don’t be loud and obnoxious with your walkie-talkies if you use them, and you if you do bring a set, try to get the ones with texting. With these special devices you can actually send text messages through the radios and it’s MUCH less intrusive than asking “Hey, where are you?” every 5 minutes.
Use a Designated Meeting Place
This is the old stand-by. Just pick a place that will be a generally meeting place for whenever you are bored or are looking for someone in your group. You can also use this place for meetings in the morning or before dinner each day so you can catch up and get together.
Some of the newer ships actually have cordless phones you can carry around to keep in touch (like Disney), and some are even offering iPads to use on your trip to keep up with the ship’s itinerary as well as stay in touch with your group. Hopefully it won’t be long before free WiFi that is actually fast enough to be usable will be introduced to ships as well, but I am guessing that some cruisers like the idea of being away from all of those modern distractions while vacationing. What do you think?