Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clocking In For Your Cruise

Everyone who knows me has heard how much I depend on my BlackBerry. It's become almost a body part since I was laid up with a broken leg last year. In fact, I sleep with it beside me on the nightstand. Why? One of the BlackBerry functions I use often is the alarm.

When was the last time you depended on a wake-up call that didn't come and almost missed an early shore excursion or a breakfast meet-up with friends? And when was the last time you saw an alarm clock provided in your stateroom? I know that many of my fellow cruise passengers pack their own travel alarm clock. Yes, I have one and yet I often leave it home because it's nearly as confusing to set as the clock radios now found in most hotel rooms. (Note to hotel management: provide an instruction sheet for your guests!)

Happily, on two recent cruises aboard Silversea's Silver Wind and Regent's Seven Seas Mariner I found alarm clocks on my bedside nightstand. I must add that the first time I encountered a ship with clocks was when aboard Oceania Regatta. It wasn't there initially, but promptly appeared when I mentioned it would be nice to have an alarm clock.

Granted, most cruise ships don't provide an alarm clock and offer wake up calls instead. However, it's nice to have the assurance of a personal alarm for a back-up and I always set my BlackBerry for such instances as when the ringer on my cabin phone was set so low that it failed to awaken me. Most people have mobile phones these days and many phones have alarms. Check yours and see if it can function as an alarm clock. If so, that's one item you can check off your packing list.

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