Ultimate Guide For The First Time Carnival Cruiser
My partner bugged me for years to go on a cruise with him. He is an experienced cruiser, while I have never been a boat before. Finally, he just decided to go ahead and book us one, and I am so happy that he finally dragged me on a ship because we, especially me, had the time of our lives. We decided after years of dating it was time we took a trip without our boys and we had a blast.
It is SUPER important to take a trip with your significant other, whether it is yearly, bi-yearly, or whatever is feasible for you two. Time alone and away with your main squeeze is a NEED, and we truly felt what we were missing on our first trip together to Miami and on our cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.
As a first time cruiser, there is a lot that I learned while being on the ship that I thought was important information to pass along to other first-timers. So here you go!
Ultimate Guide For The First Time Carnival Cruiser
Before the boat
Pack Two Outfits Per Day
Yes, you will need two outfits per day; one for day events and one for the night events. That may be dramatic for some, but I am not a person who likes to sweat in the sun all day and then go into indoor, close-knit places without a shower and change of clothes. (Don’t forget to pack multiple under garments as well )
For your daily wear, make it light and comfortable. Clothing such as tank, t-shirt, and shorts with comfortable sandals and or shoes are great options to pick. Nightwear, pick something casual that you would wear on a night out or you can get all dressed up. Do your thing according to your plans for the night. (Night time activities include their nightclub, karaoke, bars and casino.)
If you plan on going on excursions, bring a pair of closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. Swimming shoes are recommended by me when participating in excursions. Swimming shoes dry quickly and are meant to get wet.
Bring more than one swimming suit.
Depending on the length of your cruise you may want to bring more than one swimming suit. The ship has A LOT of swimming pools that I am sure you will take advantage of. (there are washer and dryers there for your convenience as well) If you plan to spend most of your days swimming, or sunbathing on the deck, having two outfits per day may not be necessary. You can wear your swimwear around the boat during the day if you want. Just plan accordingly to save yourself the hassle.
Bring Sunblock, lots of it.
You are going to spend a lot of your time outside on the deck, protect your skin by any means. You don’t want to end up having to buy sunblock from the gift shop. We all know how pricey supply on demand can be.
Toiletries are a must.
I wasn’t a big fan of the toiletries they offered, because I like what I like. So I highly suggest bringing your own for your convenience.
The sun beams so hard out there on that ship. I highly suggest bringing a pair or two not only for protection but to complete your vacation look.
Comfortable Sandals/ Shoes
My partner and I walked so much on the ship, by the end of the night our feet were tired! Bringing comfortable shoes are a MUST not only for the ship but for the stops you make. When you reach a port, they let you off the boat, and you can venture around. Pack a pair of shoes that will not have your feet screaming by the end of the day.
Pack a light jacket
The boat tends to get a bit chilly at night inside and out. So a light jacket should do some justice.
Motion sickness pills (just in case)
You may or may not need this; however, it is great to have. I, fortunately, didn’t need to take motion sickness pills; however, my partner did. If you forget this piece of advice, you can always buy some from the guest service booth. I think we paid one dollar for two pills.
You will want to bring a book bag for multiple reasons. They are good to have when you are out venturing at each of your ports. Book bags help you to remain hands free so you are able to walk and eat or drink without a hand bag weighing you down. Book bags are also a great way to carry the souvenirs you purchase for your loved ones.
Bring a water bottle.
The room will supply you will two water bottles; however, you will need more water than that. Water is a MUST when walking around the boat and when you reach the ports. You can purchase a reusable carnival cup for around $10 if you want to have a souvenir while staying hydrated.
If you are a drinker PURCHASE THE DRINK PACKAGE (preferably in advance but you can always buy on the boat)
Some may say this is a waste of money, however, for my partner and I it was WORTH EVERY PENNY. We love a good drink or two (okay maybe be three lol) when our kids are not around. So we used that package to its advantage. With the package, you will receive 15 drinks per 24 hours. Trust me, we were nowhere near reaching 15, but after calculating, we got our money’s worth and more for the three days we were there.
Keep necessary documentation within reach.
When entering the ship, you will need your id, passport, and or birth certificate. Make sure you keep those documentations safe and within reach when entering and exiting the boat.
Bring cash-for card
When you are on the ship, you are not able to pay for things with cash, debit, or credit. You will need to bring some money and load your cruise card. I suggest loading it with cash, instead of attaching your debit or credit card to the cruise card.
The only items that take cash on the ship are the slot machines. If you are a big gambler, bring some money for the machines and the tables.
On the boat
There’s not really much you need to prepare for when on the boat as long as you packed and prepared accordingly. However, there are two pieces of advice I have for you when you are on the boat.
Download the Carnival HUB app
This app is super helpful in keeping you in the loop of what’s going on around the boat. Every day you will receive an itinerary of what’s going on, but it is not as detailed as the app. We found most of our entertainment through this app and it kept us busy and entertained.
Enjoy free entertainment and food.
The entertainment was great, from the comedy show, couples game show, and beer pong tournament. Most of the entertainment is free, but there are things such as bingo where you have to pay to participate.
There are a few places to eat that are complementary. There are also food places where you have to purchase, and they are super inexpensive. We probably spent about $80 on food upgrades, and it was worth it.
One of the most disheartening things is they have a burger bar on the cruise, but they do not have turkey or veggie/vegan options. My partner and I were crushed! Mainly because the burger bar looks super delicious, and almost EVERYONE had a burger or two in hand.
Make sure you soak in all this complimentary food and fun! Maximize your cruise experience!
Have you been on a cruise? What are some tips you have for first time cruisers?