A Carnival Cruise is one of the best vacations you can take. Whether this is your first cruise or your tenth use these tips to make you Carnival Cruise more enjoyable. These tips are gathered from my personal experience and that of other passengers.
1. Don’t pack all of your items into one bag. Split your clothing up into a couple of bags. This way if one of the bags is lost you will still have clothing until the other bag is found.
2. Pack essentials (medicine, passports, and cruise documents) in your carry-on. You will have your carry-on with you until you get your room reducing the likely hood of these items getting lost.
3. Bring Ziploc bags with you. These are ideal for small items in that you don’t want to get wet. On the flip side they are also great for placing your wet bathing suit in after a shore excursion.
4. Bring your own aspirin, small toiletries and sunscreen. Although you can get these items onboard it is usually cheaper to purchase these items before the cruise.
5. Notify your bank or credit card company ahead of time telling them where you will be traveling. A quick call will alert them that your card will be used outside of the United States.
6. You will get a sign and sail card as soon as you arrive at the cruise terminal. This will be used for all purchases onboard and for leaving and returning to the ship while in port. Once onboard go to the casino and they will give you a lanyard and punch your card to attach the lanyard. This is a great way to make sure you don’t lose your card.
7. Take a notebook with you. This way you can document your cruise each day. With all of the activities you will be doing it is easy to forget just what you did.
8. Check your dining room seating arrangement as soon as possible the first day. If you find it is not to your liking contact the Matrade and he should be able to change your seating.
9. If you have a balcony room and have friends staying in the next door cabin ask the room steward to open the balcony divider. You can also do this yourself with a small set of pliers (Leatherman).
10. Each ship sells Monkey Head collectable drinks. The monkey heads are coconuts carved out to look like a monkey with a plastic cup inside containing the drink of the day. Although novel these items usually sell out so it pays to get yours early.
11. Get to the cruise terminal early. Although you are usually told that loading will not start until early afternoon usually you can board by noon. This gives you time to explore the ship, eat and have a few drinks. Note that you most likely won’t be able to get into your room right away but with everything you need in your carry-on there is no need.
12. If you plan to play the slots in the casino they are usually “looser” on the first couple of days of the cruise or so I’ve been told.
13. If you didn’t book your shore excursions before your cruise check to see what is offered shortly after boarding the ship. Many of the popular shore excursions will sell out within the first day.
14. If traveling with kids bring a small drink cooler. You can fill it with free lemonade and keep it in your room. This saves running to the dining areas every time you need a drink.
15. If you are a coffee drinker order coffee the night before and your room steward will bring it to your room in the morning.
16. Each day the menu changes and although there is usually something for everyone if you don’t see something you like just ask for something different. The waiters and chefs want you happy and will usually accommodate you.
17. You can order as much food as you want. If you want two of the same item don’t be afraid to ask.
18. If you drink beer it is usually cheaper to buy it by the bucket. The bucket contains four beers and is filled with ice keeping it cold.
19. Shore excursions can be a lot of fun but don’t think you have to book one. Sometimes it is fun to explore on your own or even stay on the ship which is usually quite empty on shore days.
20. The most important tip is to have fun. The staff will do their best to make your cruise enjoyable but nobody is perfect. If you have any problems just let the staff know and they will go out of their way to help you.