Before we set sail on Carnival Valor, we did tons of research. After all, this was Terrence’s first cruise ever and we wanted to be prepared.From packing for a Carnival Cruise to figuring out if you can eat vegetarian on a Carnival Cruise, we tried to be prepared for everything! Even though research is fantastic, there is nothing like experiencing a cruise for yourself. No amount of research could have prepared us for cruising carnival.
5 Things To Know Before Your First Carnival Cruise
1. Embarkation can be crazy so plan ahead
Getting on the ship can be super hectic! Carnival offers priority boarding [for an additional fee] so you can skip the long lines and have a stress free experience. If you aren’t interested in spending any more money, arrive at the port about an hour before embarkation closes. By this time, the majority of cruisers are on board and lines are shorter.
2. You will literally never be bored
Carnival is known as “the fun ship” and the staff makes sure you are entertained from dawn until the wee hours of the morning. There isn’t any one period of time between 7am and 2am that Carnival doesn’t have something scheduled. If you want to participate, feel free! Looking to opt out? Simply find a quiet area or retreat to your room.
3. Balcony rooms are 100% worth the extra money
On our Carnival Valor cruise we had a balcony room and now we would never choose an interior or port hole room. If that is the only way you can afford to cruise, by all means book inside. However, if you an splurge, upgrade and enjoy the sea breeze and epic water views. We even slept with the door cracked open so we could hear the waves as we sailed to our next port!
4. You can save money by purchasing drink packages
Lemonade, sweet tea, coffee, and some juices are provided free of charge by Carnival. That being said, if you are looking to drink your fill of soda or alchoholic beverages, opting to purcahse a drink package can save you tons of money. If you are only looking to have 1-2 drinks, pay a la carte. If you always want to have a drink in hand, definitely choose the package! You will thank us later!
5. All foodie requests are taken into consideration
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, have a food allergy, or simply want something that isn’t on the menu, don’t be afraid to speak up! Carnival waiters and cooks can accomodate for your food preferences. You can even ask for something that was on a prior menu in the dining room, as long as you ask in advance. Cooks are more than willing to take meat out of dishes or to let you try multiple entrees if your heart desires!
What is your favorite tip for a first time cruiser? Let us know in the comments!
Special thanks to Carnival and the Carnival Valor team for hosting us in the Bahamas! As always, all opinions and tips are our own!
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