One of the worst things about taking a cruise alone is having to deal with the dreaded single supplement. As a solo woman traveler, your options are fairly limited. You can either pay 25% to 100% more for the privilege of having your own room. Or, you can find someone to pair up with.
Of course, this decision would be made easier if we could always take a friend with us when we set sail. Alas, this is not always an option and, more often than not, we end up sharing a cabin, either with an acquaintance or someone that we are paired with through a match-making service.
The good news is that, most of the time, sharing a cabin works out well for everyone involved. However, there are also times when your roommate’s behavior deviates from eccentric to unacceptable.
After talking with some of the women in our community, I have compiled a list of things not to do when you are sharing a room on a cruise ship. Of course, I know you would never do these things, but, hopefully, this list gives you something to discuss with your roommate before you set sail.
Here are 7 horrible blunders to avoid when you are sharing a room on a singles cruise.
Not-So-Sneaky Intimate Encounters
I wouldn’t have believed this one if I hadn’t heard it from several women in our community. Apparently, there are people out there who think that their roommate won’t notice if they sneak someone in to their bed at 2am.
Of course, we’re all adults here, but, no-one wants to be woken up to the sound of someone they barely know giggling with a stranger in the bed next to them.
Slightly less extreme, but, almost as annoying, is having your cruise partner locking you out of your own room so that they can spend time with their new friend.
Since passion is, by definition, spontaneous, it makes sense to discuss this topic with your roommate before you set off. It doesn’t have to be a serious discussion. Keep it light-hearted, but, also agree under what conditions you can bring someone back to the room.
Since your valuables are likely to be stored in your cabin, this discussion is not just about decency… it is also about safety.
Using All the Power Sockets in the Cabin
There was a time when cruises were seen as a way to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life. Heck, it’s only been in the last few years that reasonably fast Internet access became commonplace on cruise ships. No longer!
Now, most passengers come with their smart phone, iPad, kindle, laptop and a variety of additional blinking, buzzing devices. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that most cabins only have a few power sockets.
Once again, communication is key. Decide up front how you will share the electricity in the room. Or, even better, do what I do and bring a small power strip with you. As a blogger and cruise reviewer, I know that my power needs are usually greater than my neighbor’s. Having a power strip allows me to be fair to my cabin mate while still getting the charging power I need.
Leaving Smelly Food Lying Around
Everyone has a different tolerance for strong odors. Personally, I wouldn’t want to come back to a room that smells like goat cheese because my roommate left her unfinished platter on the desk.
Most women I know are pretty careful about this kind of thing, so, you may not need to bring this up. That said, if your roommate’s cleanliness or eating habits become a problem, don’t be afraid to gently raise the issue.
Working, Talking or Watching TV Until All Hours of the Morning
This is the kind of issue that is best discussed before you settle on a roommate. After all, it’s almost as unfair to ask the person you are sharing your cabin to go to bed at a certain time as it is for her to keep you up by watching the TV until 2am.
The best way to address this issue is to choose a roommate who wants the same kind of cruise experience as you do. Does your potential roommate want to dance the night away? Are they a writer who does their best work at 1am? Can they only fall asleep with the TV on while you need complete darkness to slumber peacefully?
Asking these questions will help you to find a roommate that won’t drive you crazy… and vice-verse.
Taking All the Closet Space
Gone are the days that women over 40 were supposed to dress a certain way. Now, we are free to express our personalities with bright colors, fabulous fabrics and plenty of shoes!
The only problem is that, on a cruise ship, the space is extremely limited! Most people are respectful and will leave you your fair share of space. But, if enter your room and find your closet filled to bursting with your roommate’s evening dresses, don’t be afraid to ask them to store a few items under the bed.
Many cruise ships have a laundry service, which is an excellent option if your roommate has clothes that absolutely can’t be worn with a few wrinkles.
A Thousand Little Things to Laugh About
People are wonderfully, infuriatingly, beautifully complex. This means that there are probably a hundred little things that each of us do to annoy those around us without even knowing it!
Is it rude to cut your toenails on the bed (assuming you clean up properly)? Not really, but, some people are freaked out by other people’s dirty feet. Is it a mistake to ask someone that you barely know a question about your love life? Maybe. What about walking around in your underwear? Perhaps.
In my experience, dealing with small issues all comes down to the delivery. Trust me when I say that your little habits are almost certainly as annoying as your roommate’s. For the most part, try to see your cabin time as an adventure. It is a window into another fascinating person. But, if something really does bother you, handle it respectfully and with a light heart.
Most people don’t even realize that something is bothering you until you let them know. Chances are, if you treat them with respect, they will be happy to make a few adjustments for the sake of keeping the peace.
Have you shared a room on a cruise ship recently? What small habits annoy you the most when you are sharing a room with someone? How do you make your time sharing a room on a singles cruise as pleasurable as possible? Please join the conversation!