50+ Tips To Know Before You Cruise on Carnival Cruise Line

I have a secret to share with you. We will be going on a Carnival Cruise in a few months and my son has no idea! I’ve been on a cruise before, but not Carnival, so this will be a first experience for me and a new experience for my son as he hasn’t been on a cruise before at all. As I was researching the cruise and any tips that may be good to know, I figured who better to ask than previous cruisers. Luckily I’m apart of the Facebook Group Carnival Cruisers: Past, Present and Future and my friend is apart of the Facebook Group Black Cruise Group because I have over 50 tips before I cruise and now so do you!

Carnival Cruise Tips

Tips Before You Cruise on Carnival Cruise Line

This list is in no particular order.

  • Pack light. This was the most popular tip. Pack light but also pack smart. Bringing flip-flops, sneakers, items that can be worn more than once and a sweater for the cool nights.
  • Fast To The Fun (FTTF). This allows you to get priority check-in, allows you to access the dining after VIP and priority luggage. It does come at a cost.
  • Don’t try to see the ship all in one day, it will only tire you out. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the ship.
  • Research the ship before you go. This will allow you to get acquainted with it prior to boarding.
  • If you want to save money, book excursions off the ship, however, if something were to go wrong and you got stuck at the excursion, the ship will leave you.
  • If you book your excursions through the cruise ship, they’ll make sure you’re taken care of if there is a problem during your excursion.
  • Play Carnival Quest. This is an adult game and several people mentioned they were mad at themselves for not playing it before
  • If you’re going to drink a lot, but the drink package.
  • If you only plan on a couple of drinks per day, then it may be better to just pay for the drinks as you go.
  • Bring an insulated cup to carry with you at the ports
  • Bring a backpack to bring with you at the ports
  • Don’t forget a power strip. This was another very popular tip!
  • Air Freshener. Another popular one
  • Bring a small fan
  • Bring a battery operated light or candle to place in the bathroom at night
  • There was several comments about curing iron/flat-iron not working in the bathrooms, someone mentioned theirs worked by the vanity.
  • Dining room is included in the price of the cruise. A lot of people mentioned not realizing this at first
  • You can eat breakfast in the dining room

More Tips To Know

  • Pack patches or dermanine for motion sickness. Purchasing on the boat could cost you $10+
  • Bring extra brush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and soap, sunscreen and medicine. Purchasing these items on the ship will be expensive.
  • Also bring feminine products, just in case
  • Want more food? You can ask for more
  • You can order from the kid’s menu
  • Only buy the pictures if they have a deal
  • Bring plastic baggies if you want to take some fruit from breakfast/dinner for a snack later on
  • They offer room service 24/7, but it is only free 6 AM-10 PM
  • Stay at a hotel near the port the night before to eliminate any travel issues
  • Don’t travel during election (a lot of things will be closed at some of the ports)
  • Read the newsletter every night. Bring a highlighter to highlight the things you want to do. Or,
  • Download HUB. Which is Carnival Cruise app that will let you know about all the fun
  • Choose alternate dining so you’re not setting yourself up to miss your dining time
  • You can bring a 12-pack of pop/person
  • You can bring a bottle of wine/person (21+)
  • Bring a corkscrew. It can cost you $15+ to get one-off the ship
  • Bring extra money for souvenirs, taxi fare, and if you want to participate in an excursion.
  • Items/souvenirs on the ship will go on sale the last day.
  • You can purchase liqueur from the ports but will have to check it in. You will likely get it back the last night after dinner.
  • Prepay for internet. It will cost less
  • You don’t have to bring a beach towel, but if you don’t return their then it will cost you.
  • The Captain’s Ball is always the second day
  • You don’t have to attend the Captain’s Ball
  • There is a clothesline in the shower
  • Bring shoes that aren’t tight, your feet could swell
  • Bring chewing gum. Apparently they don’t sell it on cruise ships
  • Bring hand soap for your bathroom
  • Make sure you allow enough time to return to the ship, they will leave you if you don’t make it in time
  • Arrive early, wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you can enjoy the pool while you wait for the room to get ready

Some Other Things To Remember

  • Bring wrinkle release
  • Get up early to watch the sunrise
  • Use a reloadable Visa/Mastercard so you don’t get yourself in trouble using a credit card
  • You have to pay gratuity, whether it is before you sail or before you can exit the boat. You have a specific amount you have to pay but can always tip more.
  • Usually they’ll offer deals for the spa once you’re on the ship, so don’t purchase ahead of time
  • Bring your own snorkeling gear
  • You can drink water, tea and lemonade for free (but bottled drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are more)
  • Purchasing a case of water prior to sailing is cheaper and they’ll deliver the case of water on embarkation day. (it looks like the add 15% it you get it through room service).
  • If you want to save money, collect sand and seashells for souvenirs (another reason to bring Ziplock bags).

Following this list can create a more relaxing cruise for yourself. Being prepared but not over packing and bringing the power strip was the more popular posts from the threads. Pace yourself and don’t over do it. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the ship and all its festivities.

I’ll keep updating as I learn more tips!

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Hi, I'm Stacey, the face behind Seeking The Weekend. I was born and raised in Michigan, currently reside in Atlanta. I'm a full-time working mother who loves to travel and explore my city, of which often only happens on the weekends. Follow along if you're trying keep life going all the while trying to enjoy it.

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About Stacey

About Stacey

Hi, I'm Stacey. Welcome to Seeking The Weekend! If you're like most working parents, your time off is the weekend. Follow along to see how I pack my adventures into a weekend. Here on Seeking The Weekend, I'll share tips to weekend/ short trip travels, good eats, projects and Atlanta area events and activities! Want to connect? Email me at seekingtheweekend@gmail.com