This has been my get-ready-for-Christmas weekend: company holiday party, writing out Christmas cards, shopping for the perfect gifts, etc. As I was making out the list of said gifts I started to think about how many of these things I would have loved to receive during my time on ships.
This photo looks like a sweet, intimate date, right? This is NEVER reality especially on ships. In real life you and your date will be squished on a twin size bed with a laptop sitting on a chair. The laptop may or may not be propped up on a few books for better viewing, and God forbid your cabin mate comes in and has to maneuver around the chair that takes up most of the room. Things would be a lot simpler if you could just connect your laptop to your cabin’s TV. Consider this one from Barnes & Noble. It’s retractable so it’s easy for traveling and containing the clutter in your already tiny living arrangement.
Along those same lines, there’s no wi-fi onboard – at least not any that are cheap or strong enough to stream anything. Yes, that means Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go are not a thing in the life of a crew member. How do we keep ourselves entertained? We live on downloads. We download music, we download movies, we download the latest TV episodes we’re missing at home. That fills up a computer’s memory pretty quickly. A crew member can never have too many external drives. If you’re feeling extra generous, do some of the downloading for them. Fill it up with the latest episodes of the show they’re missing at sea.
They probably already have some, but a full season in the Caribbean requires more than one bottle. Plus, they’re cute and tiny and obviously perfect for a crew Christmas stocking.
For those holiday hangovers. This is not specific to ships. All of your friends will likely need these magic pills to take care of the copious amounts of alcohol that inevitably come with the month of December.
A nice complement to the Advil is hair ties. Ya know… for the messy buns you’ll be rocking on the gangway.
Sorry parents out there, but your little angel is no angel at sea. Condoms are available in the medical facilities onboard, but in the heat of the moment no one’s going to run down the I-95 for a rubber. Plus, it’s shocking how some cultures completely ignore the importance of protection. They’re important. Very important.
Lastly, top that stocking off with something every crew member needs, but few have. I kept journals during my years on ships. I filled two of them, and I still wish I had written more. For most people, working on cruise ships is a formative and completely amazing time in their lives. Write it all down! It will help you sort out the crazy drama occurring around you, and you’ll have a lovely keepsake from your time around the world.
I love Christmas stockings. Whether you’re on ships or land, I hope you all have a beautiful season!