Cruise ship journaling is a special type of experience. Your hotel is traveling for you. There is no need to pack and unpack at each new place. Your journal is right there.
PAPER JOURNALING ON A CRUISE
Use paper schedules as headers.
A few years ago, cruise ships heavily transitioned away from paper schedules and maps, which were once waiting in stacks on every corner of the ship, it seemed. If you left your schedule in the stateroom, you can pick up another one and remember where the art lecture is held.
They now offer apps for your mobile devices to keep track of the events on board. However, they still have paper schedules at the information desk.
Use the paper schedule of events as headers. E.g. Did you salsa on the 10th floor? Cut out that event from the schedule, affix it to the journal page and write about how that went.
It’s up to you if you want to bring more than one journal on your trip. Some keep a large scrapbook style journal on board the ship, and take a smaller, more portable journal on excursions.
It might be unusual to have time to journal when wandering around a port city for a day if one is the type to try to pack in as many events as possible.
If you don’t have a moment to journal during your time off the ship, either take photos to write about later, and/or use your senses to savor the moments to remember later (e.g. What do I smell? What do I taste?, etc.)
Places to journal on-board ship
~The ship’s library is rarely occupied. Gather your journal, your adhesive photos, your paper schedules, your scissors and spread out on one of the tables in the library to remember the trip so far. This is a great thing to do during those days at sea when there are no ports, no excursions.
~Another place to write on the ship is the back of the Lido deck during a day at sea. Why? Because it is so windy and chilly there, no one is nearby. However, you can people-watch from afar, or just be with your thoughts and fresh air. It’s difficult to write there because of the updraft, but not impossible.
~Strewn throughout the upper floors are banquettes with ocean views. Perfect for journaling, if you don’t mind the hubbub of people walking to and fro along the nearby pathway.
~At times, there are events in small rooms with small tables. Yours truly has stayed behind after everyone has left to journal a little and was never told to leave. Do this at your own discretion.
~Of course, there is always the stateroom for journaling. It’s nice to get up early, ring for room service, have a cup of tea on the balcony (if you have one) and write about your plans for the day.
DIGITAL JOURNALING ON A CRUISE
Cruising might be the perfect time for digital journaling, especially the digital apps on your phone or other mobile device.
Whether onboard or on excursions, more than likely, your phone is there. Using the Day One journal for Apple devices, or the Journey app for Android, you can jot down your experience on the go while embedding images.
One of the best things about digital journaling is key word search options, finding specific words when reading it all later.
Another advantage to digital journaling is syncing more than one device. You can use your phone on excursions and use your tablet onboard and not need to retype or transfer your words.Whatever you’ve written is on the cloud and on both devices.
Digital journaling is also a great option should your device become damaged or lost on vacation.
Print your digital journal
You can also journal digitally for the purpose of printing later.
Create a concise photo journal on your phone or online and print it.
These days, printing photos into hardcover personal books is fairly easy. Take photos on the cruise, then upload them with brief caption underneath to, for example, Google Photos print store, or Shutterfly.
This professionally printed captioned photo album can become your succinct travel journal with minimal fuss. Your luggage is also slightly lighter from not carrying around a physical journal.
However you choose to journal and cruise, have fun.