Ship’s Time! Don’t miss the Boat!!!!
Ok, we all know to call it a ship not a boat. But the saying still goes! Ship’s time versus local time is one of the most confusing things for new cruisers. When the ship travels through different time zones the ship will tell you when to change your clock forward or backwards. They usually have you change it at about 2:00 Am on a particular day. Unless you are a major partier this means that you need to do it the night before, when you go to sleep.
Now the tricky part is when you get to the ports. Often times the ship stays on THEIR time, or “ship’s time” when it gets to a new port. They do not change the clocks to local time as it gets too confusing, especially when traveling through many time zones and many different ports on a particular cruise. That means that when you get to a port and ask a local what time it is, it could be a totally different time than what you think it should be.
Check that all of your watches and phones are set to the “ship’s time” before you get off the ship. And most importantly find out what time, SHIP’S time you need to be back onboard. The ship will list the BE BACK ABOARD TIME on ship’s time. So, don’t miss the boat! Dang… we mean the ship!
Sunsets and Sunrises
We live for the sunsets and the sunrises on the ships. There is nothing like a sunset over the ocean, or walking the deck really early in the morning and seeing the sunrise. Talk about photo ops! We actually plan our evenings around the sunsets. That means we decide where we want to be to catch the wonder, the colors and the romance of the sunsets.
Sometimes it is on the top deck, camera in hand. Sometimes it is on our balcony, wine glass in hand. Sometimes it is in a lounge with the big band playing martini in hand! Now let’s talk about sunrises at sea. You will never experience a true cruise until you have witnessed this beauty.
Try to get up at least one morning early to see the sunrise. The decks are usually empty as people are still asleep. The only ones wondering the ship are the staff getting everything ready for the day. It is peaceful and magical and not to be missed.
Thunderstorms at Sea
So we may be a little crazy, but we love the excitement of a thunderstorm at sea. It is so exciting to watch the sky light up with the flash of lightning and hear the clap of thunder as it rolls across the ocean.
We stay protected either on our balcony or watching from a protected deck or lounge. But we never miss it when it happens. The ship will rock and the heavens will shake and you will get to live life on the ship the way the old sailors did in days gone by. Enjoy it!
Spotting sea life on your cruise
Don’t forget to watch the ocean for all of the wonders of the sea. You are not on a floating hotel. You are on a cruise ship sailing on a mystical ocean that we rarely get to experience. Look down! There is an amazing world to see! If you are out at sea and spot a whole lot of birds diving into the water, keep watch! Chances are the dolphins will show up! The birds are fishing for food in a fish buffet and the dolphins are never far behind!
We keep binoculars handy at all times to watch for sea life. You can be standing on a deck and look down to see a turtle swimming by! Often the Captain will make announcements when there is something special close to the ship, like a school of dolphins or a whale in the distance.
Whether we are in the dining room or in a lounge during the day, we position ourselves near a window to remind ourselves that we are at sea and nature is everywhere! Sea life can visit you on your balcony! Those seagulls have gotten really great at grabbing food off your plate, even when you are out to sea! But makes for some great photo ops!
If you have not gotten your sea legs yet here are some tips! Many people get motion sickness or seasickness just driving in a car. Many people never get seasick and many people who have never gotten sick get sick if there are really rough seas. We have been a board a ship where the waters were so rough that even the Cruise Director was sick. Not typical but it can happen!
Nowadays there are so many new ships with amazing stabilizing engineering that the heave ho of the ships ain’t what it used to be! But if you happen to get hit with those moments here, get fresh air! Don’t just sit in your cabin! Yes, it is true, if you can look out at the horizon to maintain your equilibrium, do it! Eat green apples and saltines. You can ask the dining room for them or room service. Drink Ginger ale. Ginger helps in any form! Sleep the right direction in your bed. Even if you have to remake your bed, make sure that you are sleeping so that you are being rocked to sleep. Not in the direction that is making your head and feet go up and down. Often the ship is giving away free seasickness meds at the Doctors Office or at the front desk. Don’t suffer, ask! If you are inside, go to a lounge that is midship and on a lower deck. That is where the ship will get the least movement of all.
Sea legs – Cruising at port
You may get off the ship and feel like you are still moving! This is normal. Don’t freak! Your equilibrium has done such a good job of stabilizing you while cruising that it is still at work when you first step on land. We kinda like it! Especially when we get back home. It is a little reminder of the amazing cruise we just experienced. You will rarely get sick from this. But if you feel queazy, use the same seasickness remedies…green apples, saltines and ginger!