My Favorite Working Vacation

Posted By Debbie on May 10, 2018

Sometimes you want to get away. Or have to get away. Shake things up. Change scenery.

But you have so much work to do. How do you accomplish both?

Take a cruise and buy the unlimited internet package.

I have done this. If you don’t hate cruises, this is a super fun “remote working” week. I didn’t get off the ship at all the ports. I just did a couple.

I have become loyal to Norwegian Cruise Lines, having “sailed” with them three times since March 2016. My experience is about them and I do recommend them!

Options.

Hey, want food available 24/7? OK that can lead to some serious weight gain. So there is a gym open until 11pm most nights. Go there at least daily!

Unlimited internet can cost up to $30 per day. That means it’s a few hundred dollars for a week or so cruise. Budget for it.

Try to not drink more alcohol than you would if you were home and working. It will cost a lot on the ship and you might be chipping away at that working week.

You also have lots of cabin options, which can affect the pricing. Norwegian has ‘studio cabins’ on some ships. These are about 100 square feet and barely fit more than your bed. These are inexpensive, but NOT a great place to spend time and work. They are inside cabins with only a window out to the hallway.

Just above that are “inside” cabins, which are slightly bigger but have no window to anything. I think that would feel like working in an elevator. Next up are “outside” cabins, which have a window to the outside but it doesn’t open. So it feels less like a closet and more like a hotel room.

I chose a balcony cabin. It was great to have my own decent-sized room with a sliding glass door out to a balcony. Work from the balcony or work looking outside at the sea or port. Work with the sound of the ocean or sea and some fresh breezes.

What really made my week work was that I bought the cruise last minute, which NCL considers in the month before the sailing date. I also found a cruise where NCL doesn’t penalize people traveling alone by charging them for 2 people in the room. Look for those!

Other humans.

For a working week, I cruise alone so that I can really get my rest, get things done, and just focus on my own world. If you bring a friend or loved one, the cruise easily becomes social time with them… and there goes your working week.

I did sing karaoke at night on the ship. When I did my working week in 2016, I did spend some time with the “Singles and Solos” group, which are other people cruising alone (or not alone but single and looking). Made 1 very good friend there who has stayed a good friend, so that was worth it.

Speaking of other humans, if the cabin you picked isn’t a great place to work, the ship has lots of public spaces. There are indoor spaces like the library and atrium as well as outdoor spaces near the pools. The outdoor buffet has tables with chairs and I did some work there sometimes.

How good is the internet?

On my 2018 cruise, I was getting good bandwidth. 30 up and 14 down. On my 2017 cruise, I did Google Hangouts calls as well as WhatsApp video calls. The video was a bit grainy but everything worked really well.

Cool, what do I need to do this?

A valid passport since most cruises go to other countries and require a passport.

Some money.

Some time when clients or work is OK not seeing you in person. Some time when the people or pets in your life will be OK without you for that week or so.

Some work you need to get done. In 2016, my project was editing a huge amount of spoken audio I had recorded. I ended up pushing 10G of traffic on that cruise ship internet. It truly was unlimited.

Keep your eye on Norwegian fares for people traveling alone. This of course is easier if you live near any of their departure ports. My only problem in 2016 was that while my last minute cruise fare was low, my last minute flights to the port in Texas were NOT.

Get out there and enjoy your work!