Cruise ships are HUGE – ever get lost on one? Not me. I’ve learned a few tricks about how to get around a cruise ship like a NINJA and I’m going to share them with you.
One thing I’ve never struggled with is finding my way around a new ship. I happen to be blessed with an outstanding sense of direction and usually by the second day aboard, I can find my way around easily. However, for those of you who aren’t as directionally blessed on how to get around a cruise ship, I’ve got some handy tips.
Get a Pocket Map and Keep it Handy
First of all, stop by the purser’s desk on the first day aboard. Every ship I’ve ever been on has these handy little maps available at the purser’s desk. They’re just the right size to fit in a your lanyard with your Sign ‘n Sail card. If not, put your phone to good use. There are typically large maps located on the walls all around the ship. Take pictures of them so you can easily call them up when needed.
Take a minute to check out the map and note your particular areas of interest as you typically spend 90% of your time in these places. Take a minute to figure out where they are in relation to each other. Maybe they are at the same end of the ship, or are above or below each other?
- Your dining room or the main buffet areas
- Your preferred pool area
- The location of your stateroom
- The Kid’s Club – if you have little ones
- Your favorite bars or entertainment areas
Find some landmarks – they’re all over the ship
Another tip is kind of a clever one, if I do say so myself. If you’ll notice around a ship, there are dozens of pieces of unique artwork. They’re all over the place. Find the ones closest to your room and snap a picture with them with your phone. Same thing for the dining room, your favorite pool, the hallway to the kid’s club. They’re like little breadcrumbs to lead you home. On our last ship, there was a sculpture of a weird looking fish in the hallway outside our room and every time I saw that ugly fish, I knew we were just about “home”. Wish I’d taken a picture of the silly thing!
How to get around a cruise ship QUICKLY
Here’s another smart tip. Let’s say you are coming back from an excursion and you’re late for the dinner seating. Or you’re trying to get to the evening’s show to get a good seat. The way most people go is through the heart of the ship. It’s very slow and very crowded.
That’s on purpose. The ship is strategically laid out to take slow passengers down and route them past the maximum amounts of shops, casinos, and places to eat. Never forget that the cruise designers are strategically trying to reach every bit of cash out of your pocket any way they can.
But if you want to get some place fast, get off the main decks and move off to one of the residential decks. There are almost always two long, straight, blissfully uncrowded corridors that run the entire length of the ship. You can easily shave 10 minutes or more off a bow to stern trip, and also save yourself the temptations from all those flashy shops! It’s still a lot of walking, but you’ll have a quieter, faster trip.
I hope you found these tips helpful to get around a cruise ship on your next voyage. Look for some pictures from our recent cruise to Aruba soon!