Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

rinsing drying dive gear cruise, Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

On a cruise ship, cabin space is limited. Working out a method for rinsing and drying your gear might take a bit of thought.

An average cabin size of 180 square feet of space for both sleeping, living, and bathing is normal on a cruise ship. There are smaller cabins, there are larger cabins. With two people living in one 12 x 15 foot room, doing everything but cooking, you are forced to experience the planning required just to navigate around the coffee table, or open the closet without trapping your cabin mate in the head. Cruise ship cabins are about half the size of the average hotel room, with roughly the same amenities.

Last week, luckily, we were upgraded to a balcony from the standard oceanview cabin we had booked on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise. While that extra space made a difference in comfort, great views, and experiencing the breeze; we realized that not having it actually would not have been a deal-breaker as far as rinsing gear is concerned. The decision might be between pay less for a view, and cruise more often, or pay more for a balcony, and cruise less frequently.

rinsing drying dive gear cruise, Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

Rinsing and Drying Gear: No Balcony Version

If possible, rinse dive gear right at the dive shop from where you rented tanks. Enjoy the post-dive camaraderie and compare notes with other divers about the conditions, what you saw, and even update a few notes for your dive log for later. Dry gear right on the spot as you socialize. There’s always more to learn from listening to the dive masters and guides rehash the dive. This is the perfect time to discover if there is a fantastic local ceviche spot!

If you are rushing to meet a tender or navigate a long pier back to the ship; toss all gear into your dive bag and roll. When you get to the ship, head for the pool deck. While the pools might be salt; if the showers are fresh, perform a quick rinse there, spread gear out of everyone’s way, and start making notes for you dive log while you wait for your gear to dry. It’s possible the pool deck attendants might discourage you from spreading out all your gear right next to the pool, however, there are vast areas of deck space further from the pool that could meet your needs. The less intrusive you are, the less likely anyone is to complain about or be inconvenienced by your gear. If anyone complains bitterly, you might simply consider rinsing gear in your cabin shower. Cruise ship showers usually have a removable shower head, so it’s pretty easy to direct water right where you need.

rinsing drying dive gear cruise, Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

If your dinner reservation is upon you, forego the on-the-deck drying. Toss the gear in your bag, roll to your cabin, and spread it out in the head – after you shower for formal night! The heads on cruise ships usually are themselves waterproof and feature a drain, so they are a decent-sized drip area. The shower is a great place to hang wetsuits; I had to learn how to operate the clothesline. Once you pull the line across the shower, there is a nut on the originating spool that must be tightened or everything ends up on the floor. We used a Trident and a XS folding hangar we found on Amazon. I can’t say one performed better than the other; both are bulky but fairly light and very sturdy. The Trident version was designed for BCD, the XS version for wetsuits. Our gear did not complain when we cross-purposed them, although I can see that the BCD hangars could possibly poke into the wetsuit shoulders and make marks if it’s a very wet, very thick wetsuit.

rinsing drying dive gear cruise, Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

Rinsing and Drying Gear: Balcony Version

A balcony does not necessarily increase the gear drying effectiveness as you think it will! Having a balcony does mean you can spread items out to dry, possibly with some sunlight, however, different balconies with different configurations might allow items to slip overboard, blow away, or get drenched in a downpour – which is very likely in the tropics. Also, balconies tend to get more and more salty as the days progress, so it gets more difficult to keep salt off your rinsed gear. With performing faster rinses than you would at home; all the salt is not removed from your gear. That means while on the balcony, your gear can become damp just from residual salt as well as salt spray from high winds.

rinsing drying dive gear cruise, Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear While on a Cruise

Surprisingly, even our tiny balcony was large enough to hang our wetsuits from overhead beams, and hang our BCD’s from the chair backs so everything could drip. If you scatter your gear strategically, you can leave your seat and the table free for hanging out to watch the sunset and enjoy your sundowners.

Very humorous; those weights we had been dragging around? Turned out to be the perfect item for securing spf shirts and swimsuits from blowing away!

What We Learned: Rinsing and drying your gear on a cruise takes some planning and organizational skill, and a bit of humor. You can wash and dry at the shop, at the pool, in the cabin head, or on a balcony. It all works. We had considered not bringing folding dive gear hangers in order to save luggage space, but we ended up being very glad we did.

What insider tips do you have for getting your gear rinsed and dried while cruising or in tight spaces?

Now, from the experts on all things diving, here’s a great article that is more about the science of the wash. While I gave you some useful tips and techniques, Scuba Equipment Care – Rinsing and Cleaning Diving Equipment published by Diver’s Alert Network is a thorough explanation of the intricacies of rinsing cleaning gear.


Atomic Aquatics Blade Fins
Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas
ScubaPro Wetsuits
Trident Scuba Diving Travel BC/BCD Folding Hanger
XS Scuba Travel Wetsuit Hanger
Zeagle Ranger BCD

Pictured in the Background:

What to Read Next: Rinsing and Drying Dive Gear After a Cruise

Updated: June 18, 2019



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