For the past two weeks I have been on a much-needed vacation with my family, one that forced me to go completely unplugged for at least a week. We started our journey flying into Miami and boarding the Carnival Glory the next day. This was my fifth cruise with Carnival and let me tell you I am ready to book my next one!
There seemed to be so many new people (or blue cards as I call them) on this cruise, and I was constantly giving my advice to those lost or confused around the ship. For this blog I am sharing with you my tips for cruising!
Research the Islands
Picking your first cruise may seem easy and fun! There are so many islands and ports to choose from and chances are you haven’t experienced any of them! My advice is to research your ports of calls before you step onto the ship! Half Moon Cay is my favorite! It’s a private island owned by Carnival and the best part is that it’s uninhabited! It’s the only island I have been too where the staff come ashore and make a giant beach barbecue!
Rethink your Packing
I can almost guarantee you that you only need half of what you are going to wear! I practically live in swimsuits and sundresses when I am in the Caribbean. Personally we like to do laundry during our sea days when we need to get out of the sun! Also if you’ve never really been on a boat before I would look into the motion sickness patches before you find out you need them. Just ask your doctor about them and they can get you a prescription! Its better to be safe than sorry.
Get to the ship early!
Carnival started boarding around noon, and we were there by 10:30am! By the time you get through security, drop off your luggage and check in to get your keys they will start boarding before you know it! As soon as we are on board we like to walk around the floors to get a lay of the land. You might want to stop by the lido deck for lunch before it gets crazy busy! This year I went straight to the spa deck and scheduled a hot stone massage for right after lunch! I was pampered and relaxed before we even set sail at 4:00pm!
I ALWAYS eat in the dining room whenever possible
I personally do not like lido deck food. For those of you that haven’t been on a cruise before, the lido deck is where the all you can eat buffet is! It also is home to the main pool, 24-hour ice cream and 24-hour pizza! I always eat in the dining room whenever I can! Unfortunately the dining room is closed for lunch when you first board as well as lunch on port days. I prefer to eat where you can sit down, be served and you are given more portion control fresh options that are made to order!
Don’t skip breakfast! I always make sure to eat breakfast in the dining room every morning! The menu is the same except for sea days (then you get brunch!) But trust me, you will feel a lot better with a good breakfast! And I am one to not normally have breakfast!
This cruise happened to have homemade pizza made to order on the lido deck and it was AMAZING! When the dining room was closed I was eating pizza all week for lunch!
R-E-L-A-X the last morning!
If you thought getting on the ship took forever, just wait until you have to get off the ship! With Carnival, the last night of your cruise you are given debarkation numbers and you are not allowed off until that number is called; that way thousands of people aren’t trying to get off the ship at the same time! Also it coordinates with your baggage claim. We have a tradition of taking our time and enjoying breakfast in the dining room before our number is called. It usually forces us to relax and take our time. Not to mention it helps the housekeeping staff get started on turning your room over for the next guests that are getting ready to board.
Have you been on a cruise? If so, what would you recommend?
It was a wonderful two weeks of nothing but sunshine! Stay tuned to the following weeks as I tell you more about where I’ve been!