Taking your ukulele aboard a cruise ship

I inevitably make the wrong choices with these sorts of decisions. If I bring the uke, I don't play it. If I don't bring it, I spend a lot of time thinking about playing it and wishing I brought it. Only rarely have I gotten this right. This includes cruises, vacations, backpacking trips etc.

I think I've got a half dozen cruises under my belt and have to say that I have not found them to be ideal for playing uke. First, as others have noted, there is music EVERYWHERE. I suspect that they don't want to allow their guests any quiet time to contemplate how much the drinks actually cost. Next are the crowds. I'm not necessarily shy about performing in front of people, but with so many people on the boat, I'm conscious that my desire to play music should never trump someone else's right for silence. If there is enough space, then I would play somewhere where someone could move closer if they wanted to hear, but trying to find a spot where there aren't people can be a challenge.

If you've got a balcony on the room, I suppose this could be just the right kind of place to play. I've never had that luxury, our rooms have always been way way way down there at the bottom of the boat, tiny little cramped spaces that I really didn't want to spend any additional time in.

As to the excursions, we have always filled every minute with exploration. Finding a nice park or bench somewhere would alleviate a lot of the issues above, but would cut into my exploring time, which for me is as much the point of a cruise as the unlimited smoked salmon or similar perks that others have mentioned.

I'm not really talking you out of it. Just letting you know that you might make the wrong decision despite your best efforts. Given that possibility, would you rather bring it and not play or not bring it and have uke music streaming through your head that you can't get out until you get back home?
 
Who would think about an annual UU Ukulele Cruise (or Cruises) to Honolulu and other islands for the Ukulele Festivals in Hawaii over the Northern Summer? Maybe there is an opportunity for someone who is willing to do the work and fit in with UU formats?

Or the reverse journey, starting in Honolulu and travelling to the West Coast USA Festivals, via some islands?
That would be AWESOME!!
 
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My better ukes are insured as rider on homeowners insurance. I take a good one in soft gig bag, I want the enjoy of great sound and play. Many cruises -most- I took two ukes, one soprano or smaller version and concert or tenor as the second. I got an idea early in cruising to take a uke on the excursions or walking off ship in a world port, then the game begins with actually playing it in that country or city , I would then hit sovinior shops for embroidered patch of that place to be put on my gig bag when home, like an old trunk/suitcase with travel stickers. I then could tell people who ask about my patches on gig bag that I actually played in those places-FUN-FUN times for me, I now have two big boxes of patches not on gig bags and memories of playing there. Side note, I most always had someone take a photo of me playing at those places, which leads to another box-photos with dates on back. HOPE I GAVE SOME IDEAS TO YOU ALL THAT A UKE CAN BE USED FOR OTHER FUN THINGS.
 
My better ukes are insured as rider on homeowners insurance. I take a good one in soft gig bag, I want the enjoy of great sound and play. Many cruises -most- I took two ukes, one soprano or smaller version and concert or tenor as the second. I got an idea early in cruising to take a uke on the excursions or walking off ship in a world port, then the game begins with actually playing it in that country or city , I would then hit sovinior shops for embroidered patch of that place to be put on my gig bag when home, like an old trunk/suitcase with travel stickers. I then could tell people who ask about my patches on gig bag that I actually played in those places-FUN-FUN times for me, I now have two big boxes of patches not on gig bags and memories of playing there. Side note, I most always had someone take a photo of me playing at those places, which leads to another box-photos with dates on back. HOPE I GAVE SOME IDEAS TO YOU ALL THAT A UKE CAN BE USED FOR OTHER FUN THINGS.
Such a wonderful travel idea!!! Love this.
 
Take your best uke-you will love playing more, insure it first, covers stepping on it, stolen, any breakage mosley, dropping etc, mine 100% coverage, no deductable
 
I am off to Ecuador, Panama and Mexico for five weeks. I am going to take my 1920s winner. During my three month sabbatical trip I took my 1920s Weymann. I would not consider traveling without a uke, and a good one (the Winner/Harmon is more cool and amazingly playable than good sounding) as it brings me so much joy. Life, is short.
 
If you're cruising the Caribbean, you may want to consider leaving your Uke at home, and buying an instrument on the trip. The Cuatros they sell on the islands are really fun, and play just like a Ukulele.
 
I've taken a uke with me on a cruise and not played it the whole time. I'll still take one though on the offchance there'll be a ukulele jam session or open mic on board, or I might bump into another uke player who wants to jam. This next holiday I might need to take my uke so I can finish prepping the setlist for our local jam session which it'll be my turn to lead soon after we return, but that's another story.
 
We just got back from an eight day trip to Washington DC and Northern VA. We were visiting family and attending a memorial service, so ukuleles were not in anyway the focus of the trip, but we wanted to play and practice, so we brought along 2 Nova U sopranos.

The good news is that they are indestructable, and we packed them in our checked luggage. Unfortunately, after playing them for a couple days, we really missed our regular instruments. The Novas aren't terrible, but I guess we are spoiled and it was simply no fun to play them--it was more like a chore to keep in shape. I'm with @richntacoma and @perep: life is too short to pass up the joy that my favorite ukes bring me when I'm traveling.

Now I am thinking about what sort of hard case I need for my good soprano so that I can confidently place it in the overhead of an airplane. I have a very well padded gig bag, but I would not trust it with the big heavy carry-ons that I see smashed together in the overhead storage these days.
 
Now I am thinking about what sort of hard case I need for my good soprano so that I can confidently place it in the overhead of an airplane. I have a very well padded gig bag, but I would not trust it with the big heavy carry-ons that I see smashed together in the overhead storage these days.
I have Xtreme cases that feel indestructible. My KoAloha Red Label came in a nice Oahu hardcase, and I just purchased a new KoAloha hard case (not sure if in stores yet... getting ready to ship them). All would work and fit easily in the overhead bins.

I brought a Flight TUS35 to Hawaii and tried to play a little that first night. Discovered I rather not play, partly because it was not my good ukuleles, but more because I rather read or walk around or sit gazing at the view, or... Two trips ago I brought this one and never played it. A trip ago, I did not bring one and did not miss it. This time I packed it back in my new KoAloha hard case. Next time the ukulele stays home.
 
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Since taking up the uke, I always take one with me when I travel. The wife insists on it because the 3 times I didn’t take one with me I ended up buying one almost immediately.
 
you have to truly love to play no matter where you are,if so there is plenty of time in a day to play on ship or wherever. NOW take your good uke, insure it & enjoy your life
 
I am off to Ecuador, Panama and Mexico for five weeks. I am going to take my 1920s winner. During my three month sabbatical trip I took my 1920s Weymann. I would not consider traveling without a uke, and a good one (the Winner/Harmon is more cool and amazingly playable than good sounding) as it brings me so much joy. Life, is short.
A little different to the OP’s situation but still very valid to periods spent away from home. A soprano doesn’t take up much space and weighs next to nothing; if you can afford to risk one then play something decent ‘cause you’ll enjoy it much more; and playing gives needed relaxation and joy so have that option if you possibly can.
 
Leave em home. Wouldn't even take one a rowboat .

Of course I have never done a cruise either. But if I did I think I's spend my time doing something other than what I do at home. Uke could do a staycation by itself at home in it's case. Others on the boat might not be appreciative of your obsession. If you do it though, I'd be careful where, when etc that you played it and be extra considerate that others might not be so thrilled as you are.

Depends on the individual I guess. If you play well, and are extra conscious of others around you maybe - but I still think I'd leave it home. Would I happen to buy one on a trip and bring it back home ? Possibly. Especially if Hawaii was a part of the itinerary. I might be game depending location of the trip or cruise. That could possibly have a bearing on the question.

Tend to think though I'd put the uke stuff off to the side and leave it home and try to enjoy everything else a cruise entails.
 
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