One of my biggest packing tips might seem a little odd for sailing off in the Caribbean… Bring a hoodie! Not for island adventures of course but for the Dive In Movies late at night on deck! Sharing all about the Dive In process and my traditions for those nights.
I LOVE Dive In movies! I think it stems from my love of actually going to the movies, which I tend to not do at home because I get so busy. Since I don’t treat myself on the regular, I take advantage of the opportunity on vacation. Dive In Movies are movies handpicked by Carnival and shown on the big screen of the lido deck, or main pool if you will. These movies are normally the most recent releases to Blu-ray and DVD but often times you will get throwback movies, like Back to the Future.
Most days I found that they were showing two movies a day, sometimes three if you were at port. For those staying on the ship there is the port day matinee. I have never seen one of these as I’m too busy being an island adventurer. Then there has been the 6:00pm movie which coincides with dinner, which is why I have never been to this one either. Nope, I am the late-night movie girl. The 9:00pm showing. Sometimes they will show Midnight movies which would be those that are rated R. But let’s get back to my 9:00pm showtimes.
The movies are released a month before hand. Check out John Heald as he usually posts them for us cruisers. Which means I knew going in which movies I wanted to see, naturally I made a game plan. I did not know which days, as that is released in your Fun Times News every day, but with Carnival’s new Hub app you can see the itinerary for your whole trip once onboard. On my list was Downton Abbey, The Lion King (2019) and Indiana Jones, Crusader of the Lost Ark (Throwback night).
Let’s talk prime deck viewing. Every ship is built differently but the thing that is consistent is that it gets extremely windy on deck at night. I always joke that once the sun goes down the Captain hits the pedal to the metal. For this reason and so that you are not miserable, find a wall. Yup, find a wall with a lounge bed in front of it. You will notice that the ship has quite a few makeshift walls that are see through and high enough to protect you. Someone was thinking this through. I’ve sat front and center as well as off to the side. The screen is large enough that there really isn’t a bad seat, just make sure to find a wall and not torture yourself by being out in the open.
Next stop, blankets! The towel station turns into a blanket station at night. You can always tell who is new to the game when they get really confused on where everyone got this embroidered fleece blankets. Just use your sail & sign card to hold however many blankets you want. We often split and conquer some of these tasks, so I’ve checked out as many as 6 blankets. Then, when the movie is over give your card again and turn them in. Simple and easy! I usually wait until the line dies down so by the time I turn mine in the pile looks like Mt. Blanket. After the second movie with me the name sticks and the crew start calling it that as well.
Got a spot, got a blanket now I’m headed to get hot chocolate! This is my little Dive In ritual. Usually there is a drink station right inside the doors and that’s where I treat myself to my nightly hot chocolate. It’s really good y’all! Plus, it cool and windy so it’s perfect while I’m waiting for the movie. Now onto the salty part of the evening, the popcorn! Carnival provides FREE popcorn. Yes, you read that correctly. The one issue with this popcorn is that there is no salt on it. Practice pouring a giant salt container prior to going because it will take you a bit to get the perfect ratio. The popcorn is popped ahead of time so you can smell it, but they will not release it until 10 minutes before the movie.
My last tip about the Dive In movie before you enjoy the show is to people watch! I have seen people bring cushions down from the Serenity deck (12 or 14) to the lido deck (9) to try and make them fit. I have seen pillows, weird chairs, bathrobes, boxes of chocolates (them, I made friends with) and all sorts of weird, fun and entertaining options. Of course one of the more brilliant ideas is having a pizza delivered… I should try that one time when I’m not still full from dinner.