Rylan wrote:sidenote - are cruises really that fun?
More relaxing than "fun".
I hold a number of technical certifications, one of my favorite ways of preparing is to go on a three or four day Bahamas cruise prior to sitting for the exam.
Total solitude. It's an awesome way to study for the exam. Multiple meal choices only a few steps away. The ability to lay in the sun and get through hundreds of pages uninterrupted by anyone except maybe the cocktail waitress. Distractions when you need them.
I've never failed a single exam when studying this way.