Total expenses for April were $679. As it’s the first month of my new contract, some expenses are a bit higher than expected.
On The Ship:
Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks $42
Includes coffee, sodas, bottled water and junk food bought on board.
On board tips $47
Being part of the service industry, we are expected to tip bar staff and our cabin attendant.
This one is OK I guess. I spent much less than in previous contracts!
Off The Ship:
This one was pretty high because it included a taxi that I had to take to the airport. Normally I loath taxis and rather walk, just on principle. Hard to avoid in the Caribbean though.
Eating out $127
This one was higher than I wanted. Eating out in the Caribbean is actually quite expensive and the food is usually your dissapointly average North American fare (apart from in Curacao). Still, it’s how crew members socialize with each other and sometimes a necessary evil in order to avoid being a complete hermit.
Includes snacks and things I needed from supermarkets and vendors, while in port.
Online shopping $171
Includes vitamins, gym supplements and stuff bought from Amazon.
I managed to avoid paying for Internet on board and waited till I was in port to find free wifi. However, I have mixed feelings about spending my time online, when I could be frollicking in the sand at the beach. Having said that, I recently made a wonderful discovery. My 2 year-old Kindle allows me to check many mobile sites including Facebook and Twitter, absolutely for free anywhere in the world! It has to be one of the free 3G wireless models and you need to have cellphone reception. The great news is it piggybacks the Cellular@Sea signal, which provides signal while at sea. All this time I’ve just been using my Kindle for reading when it had this Stargate-like capabilities. Mind you, it’s ridiculously slow but at least you can check and respond to messages. (Gosh, I would have saved hundreds of dollars on Internet charges had I realized earlier)
I spent quite a bit on supplements as well, because I feel it’s important to get extra vitamins while living in such an artificial environment. I probably spend more on online shopping than the average crew member but it’s suprisingly convenient to get things sent to the ship and usually cheaper than buying things on land. And it feels like Christmas, when your parcel arrives!
EDIT: This is in response to the question about receiving mail on the ship. Florida is the cruise line capital of the world so many cruise lines have that as their mailing address. Many US-based online retailers have free shipping within the US, so that means free shipping to the ship! (It has to be only for personal use though) It may take 1-2 weeks longer than usual but we still get it. Now this is simple when the ship does laps around the Caribbean and return to Florida. However when a ship is based on another continent, the crew mail will be redirected from Florida to the new home port. So that means another 1-2 week delay. But it’s still free, yay! I guess this is similar to how the US Army has free shipping globally using an APO address.
This post was sponsored by How To Work On A Cruise Ship – complete eGuide and the Kindle 3G