Summer is officially here. Not only is summer here, but the searing heat and soupy humidity are here, too. Without delay, mother nature has wasted no time bestowing her heat and humidity upon the traveling public. Summer may be the best season of all, but it does come with advantages and disadvantages. Specifically, cruising is the best example for how the summer heat and/or humidity can be a best friend or the worst foe imaginable. Yes, summer comes with its exciting side. No, because cruisers often ignore the hidden dangers what heat and humidity pose on a daily basis. So, how can heat be cruisers’ best friend? How is heat a cruiser’s worst foe? Believe it or not, heat can be both. Here’s how, and all cruisers should be steeled for it.

Embarkation (friend): Every cruise vacation starts on sailing day, or embarkation day. Before leaving their home for the cruise terminal, guests should watch the weather report on the news. Having done so, it’ll help them decide what they should wear. It could be a hot day, or a really humid day with overcast skies. Guests should carefully decide based on the details. Sailing day dress code is a big to-do. If over-dressed, guests are caught unaware of what the heat and humidity can do. On embarkation day, it pays to be best friends with the heat, not making it the worst foe.

Sailing time (foe): At either 4 or 5 pm, comes the zero hour. It is the time when the ship pulls in its lines and the vessel moves away from the dock. As opposed to embarkation, sailing time is the time which all guests have been waiting for all day long. It is the moment when the ship sails beneath the Verrazano Bridge (New York Harbor) or the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco Bay), or sailing past Los Angeles Harbor Light. Either way, the excitement is at its very peak. Guests are flooding the bars, getting their hands on the “drink of the day” or that much coveted bottled beer pail deal. The one thing guests pay no attention to is the sun up above. They may be sailing out to sea, but the searing heat is still present. At sea, the sun is much higher, making its rays all the more harmful. Sailing time is the point of the cruise when the heat can be guests’ worst foe. The moment guests turn their backs to the sun and the heat, heat becomes not only a foe, but an all-cruise-long nightmare. Guests must beware of heat come sailing time. The heat has two faces, friend and foe. When the heat becomes a foe, all guests must be fortified for it. Sailing time is a time for the heat to be avoided, before becoming a torturous foe.

Sea day (friend and foe): The next day, normally, is a sea day. On a sea day, guests are well settled into their cruising routines. Guests are already indulging in all the opportunities before them. They’re attending cooking demonstrations, attending port-of-call talks in the theatre, taking bartending classes on the pool deck, participating in drinking games and sports activities, and lastly-participating in poolside competitions. Yes, it’s all good! Simultaneously, on a sea day, the heat poses as a best friend and foe. It depends on guests being prepared for either one. Guests who are adequately lathered up in sun tan lotion are perfectly ready for both. Guests who pick and choose in between friend and foe often ignore the potential dangers of the sun. They’re out on the open decks at their own risk. In the eyes of all guests, a sea day is the best day. It’s the day which they’re free to do just about anything. While indulging in everything, guests need to consider the heat as a foe, not idolizing it as their best friend. Sunbathing may sound like a tempting and exhilarating ‘warm-up’, but suffering a horrific sunburn early can be another.

Swimming pool and Jacuzzi (friend): What is a cruise ship without the massive variety of swimming pools and Jacuzzis? A swimming pool or Jacuzzi onboard any cruise ship makes for the perfect daydreaming experience. Whether just hanging by the edge of the swimming pool, swimming non-stop laps to keep fit, or just bobbing between the surface and underwater, the pool is the best place to be. On any cruise, the Jacuzzi is the ultimate relaxation tool. The heat is what lures guests to the swimming pool and the Jacuzzi. The heat makes any guest say “Time for a dip!”. When the weather is right, and the sun is in the right spot, the swimming pool or Jacuzzi are the perfect places to enjoy the sun and the heat all together. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi are both known for taking guests’ minds off the stresses of the day, and of course-the heat. Whether there are poolside activities going on, bartending games in progress, or volleyball tournaments in play, the heat is the perfect invitation for all guests onboard. It doesn’t matter what kind of cruise guests are on. It could be the singles cruise, the adults bliss cruise, or the Bare-Necessities nude cruise. In either situation, the heat is undoubtedly guests’ best friend when non-stop, old fashioned fun is in progress.

Ports-of-call (foe): During any cruise, the ship stops at various ports-of-call. Ports-of-call depend on where on the globe the cruise is destined for. Pacific ports-of-call include Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. The Caribbean features a wide variety of ports-of-call, including St. Maarten/Martin, Barbados, Ocho Rios-Jamaica, and private island destinations like Coco Cay, Ocean Cay, or Castaway Cay. When guests proceed ashore, it’s predominant that they don’t pay attention to the heat. Not only is the heat present, but the humidity can be mixed in, too. Heat and humidity make the worst mixture when at ports-of-call. Regardless of which ports-of-call, guests seem to be ready for neither, making both heat and humidity simultaneous foes. Guests should always take along sun tan lotion, sun glasses, and bottled water from their stateroom refrigerators. Aside from sun tan lotion, they should also take proper headwear and cover-ups. On the pier, or at the bars, the bar staff may be selling the cruise line’s official insulated cooler bag along with a six-pack of bottled water. Guests should not and must not shy away from this opportunity. There have been guests who suffer from dehydration, because they “cheaped out”. They let the heat become their worst foe. At ports-of-call, it’s very simple. The heat can either make or break.

Summertime is the right time for getting away from home, work, and school. It is also the perfect time to go cruising the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Mediterranean. Wherever on the globe, cruising is the ultimate traveling experience. Whether with a friend or family, a cruise is the perfect getaway. Whatever the cruise line, ship, itinerary, or time of year, guests must be primed for the main obstacle-the heat. Heat is everywhere a cruise ship sails. Whether on embarkation day, or at sailing time, on a sea day, or at ports-of-call, heat is here to stay. Humidity, too, along with heat create the perfect storm. When guests prepare for their cruise, they must do their homework by packing all the necessities to live in harmony with the heat and humidity. It’s vital that guests be prepared to welcome the heat as their best friend, while being ready for it as their worst foe. It doesn’t matter what kind of cruise they’re embarking on. Whether a themed charter cruise or not, guests should follow a routine packing list that enables them to be ready for the heat at all times. The heat may pose as the perfect invitation for fun and excitement, but it doesn’t have to be guests’ justification for visiting the ship’s medical office. It’s always best to cruise with a friend, than with a foe.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, David also writes for the publication On, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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