21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

After every dive trip, I review any lists I have in my notes, and add to them, subtract from them, and strive to make the next trip even better by jotting down a “Cruise Ship Dive Trip To Do Next Time List.”

Although we have organized Cruise Ship Dive Trips in the past, every time, there is room for improvement in our system. We just returned from an eight-diver cruise ship dive trip, and on the drive home, I already was making my list of how to even further improve our system. Here’s what I came up with:

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

1. My NUMBER ONE need is a means to communicate with everyone in the group easily, quickly, succinctly, and instantly.

Example; a message like “We are getting towels; will be off the ship and meet you in two minutes.” saves a lot of worry from the rest of the group who has already loaded themselves and gear onto the tender and wonders if you are going to make it too.

Yes you can leave messages on cabin phones – if anyone is swinging by their cabin, they will get the message. Otherwise…

So, $118.93 for one person to have high speed Internet on one device for a seven-night cruise; is it worth it? I understand some cruise ships now offer passengers the ability to text for under $10 for the entire cruise. I need that.

Still agonizing over this – some of the newer ships are offering a plan for $7.99 for the week. We would gladly pay $20 per couple to have one cell phone that could use the ship’s wifi for texting only.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

2. Cruise bring 220 adaptors to use other plug – especially for the Go-Pros

On a recent cruise, we had one laptop, two Go-Pro’s and two cell phones. Even with plugging cell phones into the laptop to charge; we ran out of USB charging slots.

I need to research – if the cabin steward can plug his 220 vacuum cleaner in; is there power to those plugs? Can we use them?

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

3. Multi USB plug thingy – see above.

Multi usb thing – want to plug in two cell phones and two go pros? And a Kindle and a laptop and an iPad? You need more slots. I found one that can hold up to 24 items. Oh, yeah!

4. Getting sneaky now. We’re going to try to swipe some Internet!

Bring cat 5 cable to test the Internet connection and wireless adaptor. Bring the wifi thingy that makes your own personal wifi. Does anyone already know if this works? It works in some hotels… hie hie hie!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List
, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

5. Snacks – who ever thought we needed more food on a cruise?!

Bring enough Cliff Bars for everyone for after a dive – that’s my dive partner’s favorite. My personal favorite, healthiest choice available bars are from Health Warrior. The mint chocolate are amazing, and even healthier than his choice. Then again, I spent a LOT of time researching mine!

If any protein bars are left over; jettison them at the last dive – give to the dive leaders to save weight in your bags. It’s no fun being peckish after a couple dives, then a long wait for dinner.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

6. Bring enough reef-safe sunscreen for all

Just as my dive friend Robbin did for me; I’ll pay it forward and bring enough reef-safe, coral-safe sunscreen for everyone. I noticed not everyone remembers to bring sunscreen at all! The only one that is completely reef-and human-safe is, of course, Stream2Sea, and it lives in my dive kit.

In advance, plan to research the islands you are visiting, the cruise ship ports, and look up what sunscreen bans are in effect there. Help your travel mates avoid having to pay a fine for having / using banned sunscreens! (Not to mention – save the environment!)

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

Stream2Sea has generously given me a discount code “KimW” for you to use at the checkout at checkout to save 10%. Using my link does not increase your price. You actually get a discount, and I receive a small portion of the sale. This allows me to buy more sunscreen for myself and my sailing crew.
Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it!

Here’s the link to eco-friendly Stream2Sea sunscreen. It comes in spf 20 and spf 30, tinted and non-tinted, and I can’t say enough about the company, their commitment to reducing our damage to coral reefs, and the quality of their products. There are other sunscreens nearly as good, but not quite, and not packaged consciously. If you have any questions, they probably are answered here on their Frequently Asked Questions page. It’s very interesting reading!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

7. Get a group photo

We were so busy waving the photographers away, that we didn’t get a group shot of our dive club members having fun together!

So, don’t forget on one of the evenings, to take a photo with everyone in it. One photo is free for Diamond Members on RCCL; might as well take advantage.

Better yet, take it after the dive, in front of the dive shop. RCCL you missed out on this one – we are wet, we don’t have our cell phones in our hands, families or dive clubs need a group shot, and we just did the most interesting thing – even better than the formal dinner night shot!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List
, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

8a. Everyone get with it – roll!

Rolling dive bags – smallish, lightweight ones. This one above from Blackhawk is among the most reasonably-priced and toughest available anywhere. However, we learned that it is a tad too wide for passing oncomng traffic in cruise ship hallways. I’ve been using an Akona Bag, the one far above, and it’s working great! Here’s my review of the Akona Adventure Dive Bag.

Here’s a quick link to some other good choices: Rolling Dive Bags.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

8b. Rolling clothing bag – if it can sit on top of your dive bag; all the better

Friends traveling with us recently had a rolling bag, and the bag that piggy-backed on it also was a rolling bag. They could roll separately with something else strapped on each, or they could piggyback. Samsonite has a really good two-piece set with both bags being able to roll independently, or stack and roll as one. You can’t beat that!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

9. First Aid Kit and Training

We are considering carrying our own First Aid Kits with us on future trips. With most dive boats not having any requirement to carry First Aid Kits, we believe it will be worth it to go to the trouble of bringing our own. One of the benefits of bringing our own is familiarity with the contents.

The Boat Medic First Aid Kit above is housed in a waterproof, crush-proof container; very desirable on a dive boat. For 10% off at MyMedic, use the link here to save yourself just a bit as a reward for thinking safety first.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

Both my dive partner and I have taken the DAN Prepared Diver course. Our dive club safety officer just gave us some statistics further encouraging us to be prepared. With almost half the diving fatalities involving stroke, and the other half drowning; we wanted more training.

Go to the link above, click on “Education,” then “Online Seminars,” and that takes you to a lecture series. If you click “Education,” then “Courses,” you can see a listing of courses and locate an instructor. Much of this is free!

10. There are 62 stateroom attendants with 20 cabins each.

I forget why I made note of this – I guess to think about their work load? I think I was simply impressed how they remember names of people visiting in 20 separate cabins. Or, the thought of cleaning 20 cabins every morning and evening. I’m always amazed how efficient they are. Then again, we don’t spread out much when we travel.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

11. Assist or self-departure?

Normally, with one small roll-on clothing bag; self-assist departure is easiest. You can wait until morning to pack, you can pack your final night’s dirty clothes in your bag, and you don’t have to lay out your last day’s clothes before dinner on the last night.

Also, you can make last-minute changes in what you wear that morning. How many times have you spent a week in the Caribbean, left out something summery and light for the departure, arrived back in Florida to discover it got COLD while you were enjoying the island sunshine? And your bag got taken right before midnight, with your jacket inside.

So, clothes bag out night before – try to put all but last day’s clothes in it.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

12. Dive gear bag out the night before

It’s heavy. Putting it out the night before is only going to save you rolling or carrying it from your cabin to the elevators, then from the departure deck to the staging area right before customs. You’re going to have to pick it up at customs anyway. Why not let someone else deliver it to there? Plus, on disembarkation day; any less stress is good!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

13. Backpacks for embarking and disembark – large enough to carry last evening’s worn clothes.

Plus, then you can use them for daytripping on the islands, for grabbing a few essentials to take to the pool, for your gym/shower bag – indispensible!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

14a. This could be a very important one; WiFi locations

In advance, do some research. Find all the WiFi places near the cruise ship terminal for every port – you might want to get away from reality, but others might have children or pet that they wish to connect with during the trip.

Provide a list to everyone in advance so they can let their family know when they might be re-connecting with them wirelessly.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

14b. Start that cruise ship port wifi list right now!

Cozumel WiFi at cruise ship port in shade at the south pier – look for group
Cozumel WiFi at cruise ship port entire terminal at the north pier
Help me out here, readers – let’s compile a list of every port in the Caribbean! I’ll keep adding to this list, so bookmark this article.

Here’s a great article about apps that help you find wifi in cruise ship ports: 7 Apps For Finding Wi-Fi Hotspots in Port.

Tru Bahamian Food Tours has a list; here is Downtown Nassau’s Top Free WiFi Hotspots.

From iCruise.com, there’s iCruise Tips: Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in the Bahamas.

CruiseRadio.net has a few more at 5 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in Nassau.

It would be fun to compile lists for every cruise ship port.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

15. A meetup place

On the first day, when you first get on the ship and get your lunch, find a table outside of the main buffet venue. Make that your meetup place – at any time, if you can’t find someone, swing by there.

You can even leave notes there – maybe sticky notes under the table? A plate with a fork pointing the direction you are going? Like Indian trail symbols?

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

16. Go old fashioned – use notes

You can leave notes on the doors of cabins, or slip notes under the door if you need to communicate changes of plans. I always keep all the cabin number information in my phone in notes so I have everyone’s cabin number with me, and I give it to everyone in our group. There are phones all over the ship. Note: Everyone’s cabin phone must function for this to work.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

17. Check with phone carrier on cruise ship plan

Need to look in advance and see – in the past I’ve researched this, increasing my plan for the few days I’ll be gone, then moving it back down upon return. I need more information about this from our carrier.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

18. Shuffleboard not to scale.

We had some serious shuffle-boarders with us. They were rather disappointed it was “just for looks” and nothing like a real court. I’ll email the retail manager, and contact RCCL. I don’t think they will repaint them all on every ship. Note: I emailed and got no response. The putt-putt golf is not to scale either, I imagine.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

19. FOR DIVE CRUISES, PRINT RELEASE FORMS FOR EVERY PERSON, EVERY DIVE AND FILL OUT IN ADVANCE

Most important to save time. Everyone can be looking out the window of the dive operator’s shuttle instead of staring at paperwork. Don’t presume that everyone in your group will print and sign theirs in advance.

I often employ a system of folders; one different-colored folder for each day of diving, and every piece of paperwork for that dive is in there. I print multiples of the generic safety sheets.

Obtain every one for every person in advance, and have a paperwork party a couple weeks in advance, or have the party, and just give everyone their folder to fill out at their leisure. Once you are on a cramped bus; it’s harder to access all the information you need to put on all those forms.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

20. Wear club dive shirts to dives.

We have club dive shirts, and that would make for very nice photos, and spread some recognition of our club, and maybe drive some traffic to our awesome dive club website! You can visit us at NAS JAX Skin & Scuba Club.

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

21. Bring refillable bottles for all

I need to find a good source for small-run personalized items. Maybe Port Authority? I’d love to produce a “commemorative” refillable bottle. I’d rather not “do” a t-shirt; everyone has too many of those, but an insulated water bottle would be a nice souvenir. I think our dive club logo would do well, and not “date” the bottle.

Because I use my refillable water bottle every day of the year, I find I actually wear mine out. Right now, I’m using one from HydraPak that I received as a present from my dive partner. It collapses to nothing!

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

I’m very conscious of what I carry, as it’s like carrying around a billboard since it will naturally appear in so many photos. And you know – people do judge you and notice if you are still using single-use water bottles! I need a Stream2Sea refillable water bottle so people will ask me about reef-safe sunscreen! Autumn? Mike? Please?

, 21 Items That Landed on My Cruise Ship Dive Trip “To Do Next Time” List

By the way – have you seen where companies will pay you to have their ad on your cell phone screen now? Water bottles are the new billboards? Ooo! There’s a blog idea!

What to Read Next: 7 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should Plan a Cruise Ship Dive Trip

Updated April 16, 2019.

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