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Things You Really “Should” Buy On A Cruise

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Some people are just naturally shoppers. They just enjoy being consumers; at times with no regard to if they have a need for it or not.

Others only shop when they feel a need to; they want to make the purchase; at times with no regard for whether they are getting the best, or the best price.

But whether we admit it or not, spending money is a part of the cruise experience.

On the ship, with the cashless society model (except in casinos) they do make it seem easy to part you from your money.  All you are required to do is present your room key and you can buy anything you want, from drinks, to sundries and incidentals, to expensive jewelry.  Sometimes, when you buy things on board it does seem that you aren’t spending real money. Of course you are! There is always a bill to be paid at the end.

In this week’s blog I want to offer my suggestions for a list of things I believe everyone should buy, just to make certain you don’t miss out on making them a part of your cruise experience.

1. Water- We all understand that water is life sustaining. Consumption of water alone can sustain you for quite some time even if food is unavailable. Tainted water is capable of making people quite ill, and even kill. A multi billion dollar industry has popped up based on that fear; bottled water.  I know you are going to want to do your share  to support this growing industry, so be sure to buy bottled water on board.

I know it seems a bit odd to buy bottled water, when you are on a ship surrounded by water, but no doubt everyone knows salt water is not consumable. However, it shouldn’t matter to anyone that cruise ships all have their own desalinization plants on board, and actually produce water as pure as is produced by any water bottling manufacturer on land.

Yes, if you wished to you could take your own empty bottle or thermos, and quite easily refill it at no cost, from any water dispenser on the ship.  However, if you want to do your patriotic duty to support the free enterprise system, while making yourself feel as though you do are contributing to your own good health, and satisfy that human need to buy stuff, I highly recommend buying bottled water at every opportunity. Just forget about considering if it is actually physically better for your health or not; just buy it up, and drink up!

2. Inch of Gold –   Gold is a rare commodity, at present selling for over $1700 an ounce. Aside from being useful in some applications, gold is a metal that for some reason draws rather inexplicable decorative attraction for human beings.

One rarely sees “inches of gold” available for sale on land (other than perhaps at faires, and small kiosks at malls). However on cruise ships it is amazingly available to purchase daily. The opportunity to purchase such an expensive commodity for as little as $1 an inch seems too good to be true to many.

I urge you to disregard the fact that what’s sold on ship is metal with gold plating on it, rather than being solid gold. Disregard the fact that the gold plating will most likely begin to wear off of the metal it is bonded to, and that metal will begin to oxidize before your cruise is over.

Just take pleasure knowing you were able to buy something that appears to be rather expensive jewelry, at least for a few minutes, for so little real cost to you. And remember, it’s a wonderful gift which allows you to temporarily impress the person you might gift it to.

3- Cold medicine –  Few of us find it necessary to think we should have to protect ourselves against getting a cold, particularly on a cruise to tropical destinations. Therefore we don’t give much thought to packing over the counter medications that might help with the symptoms, should the need arise. Especially with the limited amount of space available in our luggage, it is much more important to make sure we have enough space left for our rum runners.

It really doesn’t have to be much of a concern, as these are over the counter medications that will always be available for purchase on any ship. And it gives us great satisfaction being able to buy it on board for $13 or more for products we could buy at home for $3-$4.  Feel good about contributing to the economic health of the cruise lines while you try and stop sneezing.

4. Art – The chance to purchase works of art on board have been diminishing somewhat (because of the scandals with some of the businesses which supply art and art auctioneers to cruise ship). However, if available on your cruise, you should take the opportunity to learn about art, it’s history, and about the original artists from trained auctioneers.

If you think about, it makes very good sense to purchase artwork (sometimes very expensive artwork) while you are on board a ship, where they then ship your artwork from their land based warehouses. You’re able to make your choices from the limited art they have on board, without the troublesome effort of visiting various art studios or shops. And on the ships they will serve you complimentary cheap champagne while the auctioneers educate you on the products.

5- Luggage- After you’ve successfully purchased enough stuff during your cruise to know it can’t possibly fit in the luggage you brought with you, there is a solution available. Thankfully the ships don’t sell real luggage which can be quite costly. But they all sell various types of shopping or duffel type collapsible bags made of some type of clothes or materials which will normally make it all the way to your home; even if you do pay an extra fee to the airlines for carrying it.

It does make you feel good  that you managed to buy the bag (or bags) for a cheap enough price, that it’s almost irrelevant  you’re likely to never use that bag again.

– A View From The Kuki Side Of Cruising –

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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time November 14, 2012 at 5:38 am

I liked the above “tongue in cheek” parady of the inane things passengers often do on a cruise.

Just wanted to point one thing out that contemporary cruisers may not be aware of, WATER.

Years ago drinking water was not desalinized, it was brought on board in port as needed. Imagine bunkering water in port from a filthy tanker, perhaps, where, where everybody got the “trots” from it. Even into the 80’s some ships had “not potable” signs in cabin and public bathrooms, only drinking water in the MDR and bars.

Same want for fuel, some was brought on in ports, contaminated, whereby the ship closed down, no power, and had to be flushed out of the boilers.

Now today, bottled water is poured into your glass in the dining rooms and then you are charged for it – how nervy us that? Ask for non bottled, its free.

When my son was younger he wanted some bling, so, we bought him a necklace and bracelet “inch of gold” I asked if it could be worn in the pool, YES, well, it disintegrated into pieces – tried to return it – the nerve they had – no luck.

Comment from Trip
Time November 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Loved every word;)

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time November 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

Just a short word on art auctions during a cruise.

Art as everything near and dear in life, is in the eye of the beholder.

Same is true for the art and auction houses on cruise ships.

Some of the art is trash, some mediocre, some really nice – it is all there to see.

Some cruise lines employ nice art houses, with really handsome and collectable pieces of art, other, not so.

In all fairness, art auctions and the ships they are on is absolutely personal taste.

As for the champagne, it too is a reflection of what the traffic will bare- good – bad -or worse in quality.

Nobody, NOBODY forces any passenger to participate in an art auction.

Some ships actually have art galleries for art purchases, avoiding the pesty auctions.

Comment from Kathryn Basden
Time November 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

At first I thought you were serious and I couldn’t believe my eyes!! Then I realized this was a joke, especially about the art. We have bought a bag several times on ship, not too expensive and then donated it to church rummage sale later where it was appreciated. Only time we buy water is when going ashore and we find take our over the counter meds with us. We love and always sale on Holland America. Also love your blogs!!!

Comment from Paul Motter
Time November 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

A “gold” necklace disintegrating in the pool. Ha – that’s a good one, never heard that.

You forgot the unlimited soda package for your kids – what could be more fun than getting your 10-year-old amped up on caffeine and 5000 empty sugar calories every day of the cruise?

Of course, if you have the package its a shame if you don’t drink as much as you possibly can. For that matter, get the alcohol package so you can get snockered every day, too.

I’m just kidding – whatever people want to do is their business. I actually do buy plenty of water on every cruise.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time November 22, 2012 at 5:42 am

The inch of gold, or gold by the inch, is not real gold, and the links are not metal, they are elastic, sort of like a hair scrunge, only thinner. Better quality could come oput of a Cracker Jack box! LOL

Jason learned his lesson on that buy.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time November 22, 2012 at 5:47 am

Before the turkey goes in and Macys parade begins, how about Carnivals new vending machines that will be installed with over 100 combos of soda flavors, and kids using their cabin card to get a drink, whos making $ there, and who is getting those empty cals, and rotten teeth? Doubt its all no cal.

Comment from Amy
Time November 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm

lol, thanks for this post. At first I thought this was serious (having never cruised before, what do I know). Once I got to the gold, I realized it was indeed, a joke. Good to know about the water though..I probably also would have bought a ton of the bottled stuff not realizing the desalinization happens. Also, thanks for the reminder on the OTC meds..will definitely pack those if we go ahead with this Disney cruise!

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