A few years back I cruised on a seminar at sea for business and chose to share my cabin with a complete stranger to save money. As it turned out, we got along great, but it got me thinking - what if we weren’t compatible cabin mates? Most of the time, we share cabins with family or good friends. We know their habits and idiosyncrasies, compromises are made, and for better or worse, it usually works. But what if we’re spending a few days or a week with someone we don’t know well? Even when we think we know someone, a week-long cruise will reveal how little we really know. Here are a few tips to co-habitate peacefully.
1. Divide and conquer. Equally share drawer, counter and closet space, and keep your stuff in your space. Not only will it keep you organized but prevent your cabinmate from re-packing something of yours by mistake at the end of the cruise.
2. Admit to snoring and early-to-bed or early-to-rise habits early on. Offer your mate a pair of earplugs if you are a snorer. If you like to wake up to the sun rising over the ocean, but your cabin mate likes blackout curtains, some compromises will need to be made. Learn to tiptoe and keep noise and light to a minimum when necessary.
3. Take turns recharging devices. I brought my charger - my roommate lost hers. The outlets were few and in an awkward location on our ship. We had one charger for all our electronics, but with some planning, we made it work.
4. Be aware of any perfume or aroma therapy scents and the effect they might have on your roommate. My roommate brought a supply of oils of various scents, which had my eyes watering and my head spinning. A carefully worded request to ease up on them worked, and there were no hard feelings.
5. Bathroom etiquette. Avoid spreading your cosmetics all throughout the limited shelf space. A hanging cosmetic bag works wonders for me. I unfold it from my suitcase and hang it directly on the bath door hook. Speaking of the bathroom and sensitivity to smells, a squirt or two of Lysol will help minimize objectional smells. To take it further, you might want to agree to use a public restroom for the “big jobs”.