5 Cruise Cabin Hacks That Will Change the Way You Cruise Forever

04/10/2015 02:37 pm ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015
Jeff R Clow via Getty Images

Your cruise ship cabin is your home away from home when you're at sea. But unlike your own bedroom, you can't tweak the space given to you by the cruise line if you find something lacking.

Or can you?

Here are five great cruise cabin travel hacks that will change the way you cruise forever.

1. How to Create More Hanging Space
Cruise ship cabins tend to be stingy when it comes to wall- or door-mounted hooks; two hooks are pretty much the norm, which means if you've got anything more than two jackets to hang up, you're stuck throwing things over the edge of a chair or on the couch. But with all cruise cabins made of metal, it's easy to bring your own hanging space. Before your next cruise, head out to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a pack of strong magnetic hooks. Just stick 'em on your wall and start hanging your windbreakers, baseball hats, swimsuits and whatever else you've been struggling to find space for.

2. How to Create More Drawer Space
Unless you're an overpacker (and if you are, here are some tips on what to pack for a cruise), you should be able to find enough drawer and closet space in a standard cruise ship cabin to unpack the belongings of two adults. But add a third person, whether adult or child, and finding space is a bit more problematic. Never fear. There's an easy fix that will cost you nothing. Just slide one of your suitcases under the bed, but leave it open. Now you've got convenient under-the-bed storage space, without having to fiddle with zippers. We suggest putting items you know you won't need as frequently in your new "drawer." (It's also ideal for stowing dirty laundry.)

3. How to Air-Dry Wet Bathing Suits and Clothing
With the dearth of hanging space in cabin showers, and the cruise lines asking passengers not to leave items out on balconies to dry (assuming you even have a balcony), finding a spot to air-dry your bathing suit or sink-washed clothing can be nigh on impossible. A very easy solution is to bring along a few deflated balloons. Blow one up, drape your wet clothing over it in a corner of your cabin (or in the bathtub or shower) and, voila, you've got an individual drying rack.

4. How to Separate a Room in Half for Privacy
In the vast majority of cruise ship cabins nothing separates the sitting area from where the bed is situated, making sharing a cabin with a third person (or more!) more intimate than you might like. Whether you're traveling with your child or friends, you can give yourself a modicum of privacy. All it takes are a few magnetic ceiling hooks and a shower curtain to hang from them. Even just two friends sharing a cabin can use this trick to put a little more "distance" between the two twin beds.

5. How to Prevent Losing a Room Key
Unless you always have a wallet with you -- or, at the very least, a pocket in your clothing somewhere -- it can be difficult holding on to your cruise ship keycard without worrying about losing it. An easy solution is to pack a lanyard, then visit the purser's desk with your keycard when you get onboard and ask to have a hole punched in the corner of the card. You can pop it onto your lanyard and wear it around your wrist or neck; no need to worry about losing your card again.

--By Dori Saltzman, Cruise Critic Editor