So I lastly did it …
After years of skepticism, I joined Nomad Cruise 9 from Barcelona to Recife, Brazil.
Soooooo … what did I consider the Nomad Cruise?
Properly, on this Nomad Cruise overview I’ll offer you a fast abstract of my private expertise and my ideas on whether or not the Nomad Cruise is value your time.
PS – Should you’ve taken a Nomad Cruise your self, please share your individual perspective within the feedback under!
What’s the Nomad Cruise Anyway?
The Nomad Cruise is strictly what it appears like – a cruise ship stuffed with lots of of digital nomads.
In the course of the cruise, there’s a convention on board that includes keynotes and workshops from varied digital nomad entrepreneurs.
There are additionally many unofficial “meetups” protecting all the things from skilled matters like like social media, journey writing, or online marketing to hobbies like acro-yoga and varied types of dance (I realized the Lindy Hop!).
The parents behind the Nomad Cruise often run a pair cruises per 12 months, and appear to at all times use the Pullmantur cruise line, which is a funds cruise line that runs on older ships.
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In addition they have a tendency to select repositioning cruises (i.e., the place the cruise line has to maneuver a ship between areas to account for seasonal demand).
It is a sensible transfer, as many digital nomads are likely to additionally transfer seasonally between continents, so you need to use the cruise as transportation between locations.
All of this implies the cruises are literally fairly inexpensive contemplating they embrace meals, alcohol, and lodging for the size of the cruise.
If you wish to give the Nomad Cruise a attempt, the following one leaves in April from the Caribbean to Portugal.
Apply to affix by means of my referral hyperlink and point out my title (“Nate Hake”) for a faster utility AND 100 Euros off your ticket worth!
Why I Was Skeptical (And Prevented the Nomad Cruise For Years)
I’ve been a digital nomad for practically three years (right here’s my story of changing into a digital nomad), and I can’t let you know what number of instances individuals have advised me in regards to the Nomad Cruise.
However I resisted becoming a member of for thus lengthy as a result of I’m often tremendous skeptical of applications like this (as long-time readers of this weblog will know, I’m a very vocal critic of distant work applications – which I feel often provide horrible worth for what they supply).
A part of my subject with nomad applications usually is that they generally are typically dominated by “wantreprenuers” and “bro entrepreneurs,” which I candidly discover to be essentially the most nauseating nook of the digital nomad neighborhood.
I additionally personally resist something that encourages group assume or homogenization.
I feel that there are numerous paths to the digital nomad way of life, and I fear that too usually these sort of occasions lead to a “lemming impact” that daunts free thought, innovation, and individuality.
And so at first I lumped the Nomad Cruise in with these different nomad applications on the market, pondering it should be the identical.
I solely signed up for Nomad Cruise 9 after listening to nothing however rave evaluations from previous cruisers for years, and largely as a result of I wanted to go from Europe to South America anyway.
So I figured it was value giving it a shot.
And, because it seems, I used to be (largely) flawed in regards to the Nomad Cruise …
My Nomad Cruise Assessment
I joined Nomad Cruise 9, which ran for 13 days from Barcelona to Recife, Brazil, stopping in Gibraltar, Tenerife, and Cape Verde alongside the best way.
What the Nomad Cruise Does Properly
The Neighborhood is Unmatched
I initially organized this submit with a “professionals” and “cons” strategy to evaluating the cruise, however shortly realized that this doesn’t pretty signify how I really feel in regards to the cruise.
As a result of, whereas I might most likely listing extra cons than professionals, the reality is that there’s one professional that by itself far outweighs all of the cons in my thoughts:
The individuals behind the Nomad Cruise has executed a very outstanding job of bringing collectively an unbelievable neighborhood of like-minded individuals and placing them in an atmosphere that enables natural connections to flourish in unexpectedly lovely methods.
The Workers are Actually, Really Fantastic
I actually can’t say sufficient good matters in regards to the individuals who organized the Nomad Cruise.
Each single one of many employees members was sort, caring, useful, and doing this as a result of their coronary heart was in the correct place.
I additionally discovered it heartening that the organizers had been so myopically targeted on offering a top quality product, versus upselling individuals at each flip (as I had anticipated them to).
Heck, aside from a single bus trip on the finish of the cruise, there have been hardly any upsells on provide in any respect – the value you pay for the Nomad Cruise principally covers all the things you’ll want.
It’s tempting for organizers of occasions like this to make use of them as a possibility to squeeze each dime out of their individuals, so I used to be actually impressed to see that the Nomad Cruise individuals clearly have a “product-first” strategy that actually values their friends.
The Pre and Put up Meetups Are Actually Cool
The 13 days on the cruise itself represented solely about half of the time I used to be immersed within the Nomad Cruise, as a consequence of the truth that each earlier than and after the cruises there are numerous official and unofficial meetups organized on land.
From having dinner with 20 cruisers I’d by no means met on my first day in Barcelona to exploring Brazil with my favourite associates from the cruise afterwards, my Nomad Cruise expertise actually stretched over a full month in the long run.
It might have gone even longer had I opted to remain in Brazil, however finally, I made a decision that I wanted to jump over to Argentina to deal with work.
Even right here in Buenos Aires, nonetheless, I nonetheless see individuals I met on the Nomad Cruise nearly each single day!
The Cruise Gives Respectable Worth for Cash
I feel the Nomad Cruise is a steal contemplating how a lot you get for what you pay.
I paid 1600 euros to have my very own outdoors cabin, which works out to about 125 euros/day.
And I paid greater than many as a result of it was potential to get in for at little as 1,000 euros in case you shared an inside cabin.
That’s a very whole lot in my thoughts as a result of it contains housing, meals, alcohol, a convention, a number of pre and submit occasions, plus all of the onboard facilities just like the pool and fitness center.
Plus, it contains transportation between continents (I wanted to get from Europe to South America anyway, so even an affordable worldwide flight would have price me about 500 euros).
Oh, and although it is best to seek the advice of along with your tax adviser in your personal circumstances, many individuals I met meant to deduct the price of the convention on their taxes besides.
How the Nomad Cruise Might Enhance
Total I used to be enormously impressed with the Nomad Cruise.
I give a ton of credit score to the organizers, as I can solely think about what number of transferring items an occasion like this should entail.
Contemplating the scope and breadth of the occasion, it was remarkably properly run and exceeded my expectations by rather a lot.
Nonetheless, nothing is ideal.
And also you learn this weblog for direct and sincere evaluations, not advertising and marketing materials.
So, within the spirit of candor, I do wish to word a number of strategies the place I really feel there may be room for enchancment:
Pay The Audio system
I’ve to be sincere that I didn’t attend a lot of the speeches, as a result of I personally felt that I received extra worth out of the meetups and spending time connecting with different nomads on the boat.
However I do have to notice that I feel the cruise could possibly be improved by paying its audio system.
Actually, the Nomad Cruise apparently not solely doesn’t pay its audio system, however truly requires the audio system to pay to attend the cruise.
I imply, give it some thought:
What number of A-list audio system are going to be prepared to spend two weeks on a ship to present a chat, and PAY for the privilege?
I’d personally be prepared to pay extra if it meant the audio system received paid. Personally, I simply assume individuals needs to be paid for his or her work.
Have Extra “Free” Days
The Nomad Cruise convention schedule was PACKED.
Despite the fact that the cruise was a whopping two weeks lengthy (waaay longer than a standard convention), that they had keynotes and workshops practically each single day for a lot of the day. They even had speeches throughout the days we had land excursions!
However the true power of the Nomad Cruise, a minimum of in my thoughts, is just not the programming in any respect – it’s the natural connections that occur among the many unbelievable individuals on board.
The one “free” day that they had on the schedule was, for my part, one of the best day on the boat as a result of it allowed these natural connections to flourish.
Now, in equity, no person makes you attend the speeches (and so I fortunately skipped most of them), however they DO stop you from organizing meetups throughout the official programming.
Which brings me to my subsequent level …
Give Extra Time for Meet Ups and “Reveals”
The most effective a part of the Nomad Cruise programming wasn’t the official speeches, however the much more participating unofficial meetups.
Anybody can manage a meetup, and practically 100 individuals on my cruise led meetups on a surprisingly various array of matters.
A few of these meetups additionally function organizing springboards for participation within the glorious reveals and competitions that the Nomad Cruise runs, together with a expertise present, a speaker problem, and a Shark-Tank knockoff referred to as the Piranha Tank.
However they solely allotted 2 hours per day for the meetups, which meant that fairly often you had been pressured to decide on between a number of interesting meetups that conflicted with one another.
Considerably decreasing the “official” schedule and leaving extra time for the meetups can be a serious enchancment, IMHO.
Discover a Cruise Line with Higher Meals Choices, Particularly for Vegetarians
This isn’t actually the Nomad Cruise’s fault, as they need to go along with what the cruise line affords, however actually, I personally actually struggled to eat properly on the cruise.
I’m a vegetarian and whereas there have been veggie choices, they had been restricted, largely tasteless, and customarily not terribly wholesome (for apparent causes, recent fruits and veggies are arduous to return by on cruise ships).
The choices for vegans had been even worse.
Additionally, I discovered it SUPER annoying that you just principally couldn’t discover ANY meals anyplace the ship for a number of lengthy stretches of the day, together with between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM (that means that waking up late might depart you ravenous for a pair hours) and after 10 PM (that means no late evening munchies!).
Total, this can be a product of the truth that Nomad Cruise at all times runs with Pullmantur Cruises, which is principally essentially the most budget-of-budget cruise strains.
Undoubtedly a primary world drawback, and never a deal-breaker by any means, however subsequent time I do a Nomad Cruise I’ll most likely carry a number of grocery baggage value of my very own meals on board.
Enhance the WiFi State of affairs
Once more, this isn’t the fault of the parents behind the Nomad Cruise and is sorta to be anticipated on a SHIP, however the WiFi was extremely costly and nearly ineffective.
Which is kind of ironic contemplating that WiFi is the lifeblood for many digital nomads.
Additionally, even in case you paid for the WiFi, it solely labored on one gadget at a time.
Which wouldn’t be a giant deal …
EXCEPT that so as to swap units you needed to come up with the cruise line’s Web consultant – who solely labored a number of restricted hours per day and often had a ~30 minute line of individuals seeking to swap units.
It was such a trouble that I by no means truly ended up utilizing WiFi on my laptop computer in any respect (to be sincere, I didn’t thoughts having a digital detox anyway).
For future cruises, it looks like they need to simply arrange a router in a convention room and let individuals join from there, although I don’t know if the cruise line would enable that.
Or higher but, they may get a greater cruise line – possibly one which doesn’t solely run ships constructed earlier than I used to be born ….
For Goodness Sake, Get Rid of the Racially-Charged and Offensive Terminology
I don’t know why, however the in any other case wonderful Nomad Cruise organizers do one matter that actually annoys me:
They insist on referring to teams of Nomad Cruisers as a part of a “tribe.”
However right here’s the matter: “tribe” is a phrase with racist, hurtful roots stemming from the colonial period.
I notice not everybody totally understands why this phrase is inappropriate, and I do know nobody intends its use with malice, however right here’s a refresher:
“Tribe, an idea that has endeared itself to Western students, journalists, and the general public for a century, is primarily a method to scale back for readers the complexity of the non-Western societies of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the American plains. It’s no accident that the modern makes use of of the time period tribe had been developed throughout the 19th-century rise of evolutionary and racist theories to designate alien non-white peoples as inferior or much less civilized and as having not but developed from an easier, primal state.”
Perhaps you don’t see an issue with the phrase, however I certain as heck do, particularly given the context.
It’s positively NOT an applicable phrase to explain a gaggle of mostly-white, mostly-socioeconomically-privileged individuals who journey around the globe and “settle,” even when quickly, in international locations which are nonetheless coping with the lingering results of colonization.
Utilizing the phrase “tribe” shuns accountability for reflecting on how the digital nomad neighborhood ought to positively relate to the locations and communities we go to, work, and dwell in.
And, fairly than acknowledging the privileges that enable us to dwell this unbelievable and comparatively new way of life (a life-style that’s solely accessible to us as a result of of our privileges), utilizing the time period “tribe” mockingly flaunts these privileges in an offensive method.
Even in case you don’t agree with me, the time period continues to be completely, utterly, and completely pointless.
The phrase “crew” would work so significantly better on a ship anyway, don’t you assume?
FAQs In regards to the Nomad Cruise
How’s the WiFi on board?
Fairly dangerous and ridiculously overpriced.
I paid over $140 for the highest stage WiFi bundle, which Pullmantur advertises as being able to streaming Netflix.
What. A. Joke.
The WiFi functioned sporadically for fundamental matters like What’s App and the occasional electronic mail, nevertheless it was unreliable and I shortly realized to only embrace the cruise as a possibility for a digital detox.
Backside line: don’t go on this cruise if it’s a must to be linked. However think about whether or not you actually should be, and whether or not it is likely to be wholesome so that you can disconnect for a bit.
What’s the ship like?
Omg – so extremely previous and outdated.
Nomad Cruise makes use of Pullmantur, which is kind of actually the cruise line that different cruise strains give their used ships to when they’re too previous and run down to make use of them anymore.
And, consider me, it reveals that the ship is a hand-me-down.
I went on my first cruise in 2008 after graduating faculty, and I’ve to say that although that was TWELVE YEARS in the past, that NCL ship was soo rather more fashionable than the glorified barge we took throughout the Atlantic.
With all that mentioned, you’re not happening the Nomad Cruise for the services, so in the long run I actually can’t say I minded all that a lot.
Do it’s a must to be a digital nomad already to affix the Nomad Cruise?
Actually, the plurality of the individuals I met on the cruise are not nomadic in any sense, however purely “aspirational nomads.” There have been fairly a number of who’re partially nomadic in that they’ve a base and journey ceaselessly.
However I might say that solely possibly 30% of the attendees had been true full-time nomads like myself.
As I hoped to make use of the cruise to attach with different nomads for the long run, that was a little bit of a letdown. However on the identical time, I do totally help the truth that they depart it open to people who find themselves keen on studying extra about the journey way of life.
What’s with the appliance course of?
The Nomad Cruise of us declare that they require you to use to the cruise so as to be sure that they curate of a neighborhood of the “proper” individuals.
Truthfully, I’m unsure how strict the appliance course of is in follow, as I’ve not heard of anybody being rejected, and personally I feel it could primarily perform as a shortage advertising and marketing tactic.
In principle, they may use the appliance course of to make sure that solely precise nomads attended the cruise, nevertheless it’s clear to me they’re nonetheless a great distance away from having sufficient demand to fill a cruise with simply nomads.
PS – Supposedly, you will get faster utility approval by making use of by means of this hyperlink and mentioning Nate Hake as your referrer.
Is it simply Nomad Cruisers on board the ship?
The way in which it’s marketed, I initially had the impression that the boat can be crammed completely with individuals attending the Nomad Cruise convention.
However as soon as on board, you notice that the nomads share the ship with “common” cruisers. In my case, that meant that the ship was stuffed with a variety of Brazilian households and seniors.
At first, it sort of aggravated me that this wasn’t extra clearly communicated, however to be sincere it didn’t find yourself mattering in the long run.
It’s fairly apparent who’s and isn’t a nomad (the nomads actually put on title tags), and the nomads tended to stay collectively in a method that made it really feel like we had the boat to ourselves although we didn’t.
Wait, I’ve to put on a nametag the entire cruise? WTF?
Whereas nobody goes to pressure you to put on a reputation tag (I feel, anyway), it’s extremely inspired for good cause.
Not solely do the title tags make it easier to bear in mind one another’s names, however I additionally felt that they had been vital gesture for signaling an openness to connecting new individuals even throughout the later a part of the cruises when individuals had extra established social teams.
So, certain, it’s a bit dorky, nevertheless it’s sensible and an vital a part of the Nomad Cruise spirit.
Abstract: Is the Nomad Cruise Proper for You?
Total, I’m very glad I went on the Nomad Cruise and I might fortunately be a part of a future cruise if the itinerary matches my journey schedule.
I feel the cruise is finest for people who find themselves simply beginning their nomad lives, or who actually worth the social and neighborhood features of it. At this level, I’m unsure I’d exit of my strategy to attend solely for the convention side alone.
However, hey, you’ll be able to learn Nomad Cruise evaluations like this one all day however, finally, my expertise is simply that – my private tackle it. Why not attempt it out for your self?
Additionally a fast FYI:
Nomad Cruise X1 leaves in April 2020 from the Caribbean to Portugal, and you will get 100 Euros OFF, plus expedited overview of your utility, by reserving by means of this hyperlink AND mentioning my title (“Nate Hake”) as your referrer!