Remember that question: If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you would bring? This same question can be asked about cruising. Experienced cruisers have that one thing they always bring with them, no matter what else is packed. For some it’s all about hygiene so they pack up some Lysol spray, for others it’s about relaxation so they pack a great hat, and for others it’s all about practicality and they pack a passport pouch. These are all great things (and things we bring with us as well) but this is not our MUST HAVE/CANNOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT item. Nope. Our must have item is a portable bluetooth speaker. Yep, that’s right. Throw all of our luggage and belongings in the ocean and as long as we have our speaker, life is perfect for us.
WHAT? Seriously Stef? A speaker? Yes. Yes. And yes. Keep reading to find out why a portable speaker is my go to item for cruising.
What price do you put on a good night’s sleep? For me, I put sleep in the priceless category. Sleep for me is the most important thing because without it, well let’s just say “unpleasant” is not a strong enough word to describe my personality (send Sean a DM, haha). Seriously, think Oscar the Grouch mixed with Grumpy Cat and yep, that sums up how it is to be around me.
On a cruise ship, sleep is harder to come by. There are late night parties, the alcohol is flowing freely and it’s the only time where it is acceptable to eat no matter what time of day it is. Your body gets thrown off with all the excess so that one thing you need, when your head hits the pillow, is a good night of undisturbed rest.
Undisturbed rest may be easy for someone who can sleep through a tornado rolling over their home but for someone who is a light sleeper (and has watched too many horror movies in their lifetime), every single noise a ship makes can keep them awake. And that is totally me! I hear everything. I hear the creaks. I hear the hangars slightly hitting the closet as we sway. I hear the neighbor come back to their cabin at 3am and find the need to rearrange the furniture on their balcony. I hear it all. And there I am, staring straight at the ceiling wondering if I should just start tomorrow in a trash can (get it, that’s an Oscar reference 😉). WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO?
I’ll tell you what I do. I plug in my portable speaker, pull up a free white noise app on my phone, push play and then ahhhhh, I am off counting sheep…or ships…or….well, you get the picture. Blissful slumber. Now the neighbor can build a new room, the hangars can throw a closet party and the ship can be attacked by a Kraken, and I would sleep right through it.
My bluetooth speaker was especially important on our last cruise when we had an interior promenade cabin on Symphony of the Seas. We actually booked an inside guarantee room and we were upgraded to an inside promenade cabin. It was an amazing upgrade and we were very excited.
If you are not familiar with Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships, they have a promenade deck which kind of resembles a mall. It’s a big open, covered hallway with stores, bars, a pizza restaurant and lots of other cool places to hang out. One other neat thing they have on the promenade are parties and with those parties, there will be bass from the music (come on now, it’s a party).
Inside our interior cabin we have a large picture window that looks down into the promenade area. Pretty cool, right? But the one question on everyone’s mind: Will you hear any noise from the promenade? The short answer is yes, we did hear noise but the only noise we heard was during parties/parades and we only heard the bass from the music. When we were awake this was great. We had the best people watching spot on the entire ship. But when it came to sleeping, that bass would not work for me.
Insert our handy dandy bluetooth speaker. You want to know how great this speaker really works? Check this out…
The first night on Symphony they had a huge balloon drop party that started at 10pm and lasted until 12:30am. We went back to our cabin at 10pm, watched a little of the goings on down below on the promenade but by 10:30pm, I was ready for bed. At this moment, the bass was pumping and I was like, well speaker, this is your moment to shine. And shine it did. I turned the speaker on, pushed play on the white noise app on my phone, and the bass was magically gone. I kissed Sean goodnight and it was off to dreamland for me. You never would have known there was a full blown rock concert going on, right outside our window.
We absolutely LOVE our speaker and white noise machine. It has allowed me to sleep on all of our cruises (and in big cities as well). If you are interested in the bluetooth speaker and white noise app we use, check out this link on Amazon (any bluetooth speaker will work as long as it is loud enough) and search your app store for a white noise maker.
If you are wondering how we power our speaker, we use a usb wall charger. This let’s us keep the speaker plugged in and we can charge phones and camera batteries all at the same time. Check out the Anker 10 port USB wall charger:
Here’s to a great night sleep for everyone!
Thanks for reading!!
Stefanie Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CFO & Customer Service ninja of Rampant Design, Inc. She is a talented painter and former Walt Disney World parade performer. Stef is married to the AMAZING Sean IRL.