FYI on Cabin Selection
Good 2 Know
Cabin & Cabin
Dining Room &
Camp Carnival & Kids Clubs
Spa & Workout
Other Areas (including Laundry Areas)
Past Guest Perks
Laundry and Dry
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I found this
on a cruise message board and thought this is the perfect way to start off
this informative package. Here it goes.
For all the first timers, I thought
that those of us that have been on a few cruises could "break down" the ugly
truth about cruising for you, so your expectations are realistic. Here are
a few things I thought of:
Embarkation is NOT ENJOYABLE, so, just make the best of
it. Once you are on the ship, it will be a distant memory.
Muster drill is equally not enjoyable. It's over in 15
minutes, and again, a distant memory. You'll appreciate it if you need
You will experience long lines occasionally. This will
be especially evident when trying to get off the ship in port, or standing
in the buffet line.
Tenders are not fun. They can be hot, overcrowded and
smelly, but again, a necessity.
The food is sometimes good, sometimes great, and
sometimes not great at all. Don't expect 5 star restaurant quality all
The mixed drinks are weak. Order beer.
The pools can be overcrowded, people will save chairs,
and there will most likely be some kids in the hot tubs. If you want them
out, call security.
Elevators can be slow, take the stairs sometimes.
The casinos are tight, don't expect to win, but hey,
you never know.
You will smell cigarette smoke in the public areas;
it's a fact of life.
You will feel the ship move. It's a moving vessel, on
WATER. Bring bonine, and enjoy yourself.
In spite of all this, you will STILL HAVE THE VACATION
OF A LIFETIME!!!!! If you go with realistic expectations, you just may
enjoy it even more!!
You will most likely love cruising so much that you
will become addicted. Be prepared.
Everything contained is from my
perspective and may not be the same as someone else. Everything is subject
to change. The information is to be used as a reference guide only.
Proper identification is required. Anyone not having proper
documentation will be denied boarding at the port of embarkation without
the benefit of a refund. U.S. security procedures require
all cruise line passengers 16 or older to present official photo I.D. upon
Check with the
US Department of State on recent changes to the mandatory passport
requirements. Also check
Carnival’s Website on their policy concerning travel documentation.
If a minor is traveling without one or both parents the
absentee parent(s) must sign a statement stating that the child is allowed
to leave the country. I have provided samples in the Cruise 101 section
under Parental Authorization Sample Forms. They are in word format and
can be changed to suit the situation. You may not even be asked for the
form but better safe then sorry. If you are unable to prove the child can
leave the country Carnival can deny boarding without refund.
As soon as you book register by going to
and clicking Register on the top toolbar. You
will see a link for the Fun Pass at the bottom of the Home Page. By
registering on‑line you can get through the boarding process quicker.
Carry-on bags are limited to
a maximum of 16"h x 24"w x 30" length. Bags larger then this will have to
be checked-in with a curbside porter. Keep in mind that any bags you
carry on before approximately 1:00 may have to stay with you. They often
times will block off the cabins until the stewards are done cleaning from
the prior cruise.
Guests who have any medical,
physical or other special requirements are required to contact our Guest
Access Services at 1-800-438-6744, ext. 70025 or TTY (for hearing
impaired) at 1-800-972-4386 to discuss the details of their needs. An
accommodation form can be found
Carnival Cruise Lines has a limited supply of
wheelchairs on board each of their ships that are to be used for emergency
purposes only. For guests who require the use of a wheelchair, they should
plan on bringing their own rather than relying on the availability of
shipboard equipment. There are a few places that rent wheelchairs. One
place that delivers to the cabin is
Care Vacations. Shipboard wheelchairs are for on board use only and
may not be taken off the ship. All wheelchairs and scooters must be stored
inside the stateroom.
two weeks prior
to sailing you can order items from the Carnival
website and select
GIFTS from the top toolbar – these items will be delivered to
your cabin or your table (depending on the item) on the first day of the
cruise or at a time you designate on your request. If you have a special
request that requires a personal touch (cake delivered a certain day) then
be sure and call instead of purchasing online. You can also purchase
cakes once onboard by speaking to your waiter or by stopping by the
If you plan on renting a tux
from the cruise line you need to do this in advance. Go to the Carnival
website and select GIFTS from the top toolbar. Then select
Formal Wear Rentals . Print off the rental form. For the best fit
you can take this form to a local tux shop for fitting. They may charge a
slight fee. The form must be returned to Carnival by the deadline
Some good web sites to
Carnival – Click on the Fun Ships link and select your ship. You can
get information on the ship and view Deck Plans.
Most ships have two dining rooms with the exception of
the Spirit Class ships which have only one.
Main seating is held at 6:00. This time is good for
kids, as the Camp closes down during this time and reopens around 9 every
Late seating is held at 8:15, if you like to eat late
then this is where to be.
Carnival is starting to integrate “anytime dining”.
The program called Your Time Open Seating Dining. You call that day
and request a time between 5:45 and 9:30. The bottom level of both dining
rooms is used for assigned seating and the upper level for those that wish
to have flexibility in their dining time. Currently Liberty, Legend,
Sensation, Paradise, Miracle, Elation, Conquest, pride, Fantasy,
Imagination, and Spirit offer Your Time Dining. Coming soon: Inspiration
7/9, Dream 9/18, and Ecstasy 10/13.
If you select assigned seating you will have that
assignment for the entire cruise.
Once you’re paid in full you
will be able to view your documents online. You will want to print the
documents. Included is a page with your luggage tags. Print as many as
needed. They don’t have to be in color. Log in the same as for the Fun
Pass and click on MY RESERVATIONS on the top – this will take you to
details about your trip. MY DOCUMENTS will have your cruise documents.
Effective for sailings
after August 25th, 2009, Carnival streamlines the delivery of cruise
documents. All guests, or their travel agents, can print documents
Instead of filling each tag out make address labels
with all the information on it.
Be sure to take extras in case you have more bags when
you get off or a tag gets damaged going on.
If it looks like rain, place a piece of clear shipping
tape over the label to protect your information.
It’s not a bad idea to place a label on a sheet of
paper and place it inside each bag in case the tag becomes removed. There
is nothing worse then having a missing bag.
If you have a 45 day out letter for complementary gift
- be sure to claim it. This is a letter that Carnival sends to say thank
you or sorry. Usually past cruisers will receive one of these if they
have contacted Carnival customer service for some reason. Selections
range from photo coupons to wine.
Once you are paid in full and
up until 5 days prior to sailing you can book Carnival excursions online
by visiting the Carnival website. In most cases you will do better
if you book your excursions on your own prior to the cruise. There are
many reputable vendors out there but be sure you check them out before you
book. The advantage is that the excursions will cost less and in most
cases the groups are much smaller which makes the excursion more
enjoyable. Do what you feel most comfortable doing. If the excursion you
wish to do involves distance or traveling by ferry then I would consider
this a good reason to book directly through the cruise. For example: If
you want to go to the ruins while in Cozumel you must take a ferry to
Playa Del Carmen or if you want to go to Dunns River Falls from Montego
Bay this would be the time to book direct with the Carnival.
For a great map of Cozumel – go to
If you are thinking about taking pre-paid gift cards to
use like a credit card (you can have several loaded with small
denominations so if you lose it you’re really not out much) you can get a
great deal through Simon Malls. Simon Malls carry different names so be
sure to go to their website to find a location near you –
www.simon.com. The cards are accepted anywhere a Visa Debit card is
accepted – even outside the United States. The cost depends on the type
of card you want. The total cost is the amount you choose to give — from
$20 to $500, plus shipping and handling charges. Shipping and Handling for
the Simon Gift Card is $5.95 and $6.95 for the custom cards, such as the
Longhorn Gift Card. Go to
http://www.simon.com/giftcard/how_it_works.aspx for more details.
Be sure to check any cash card before purchase to
ensure you can use it outside the United States.
If you plan to use a credit card outside the US you may
want to consider calling your credit card company to inform them you may
be doing so. You will want to put some safeguards in place (just for the
trip). This will ensure that if the number does fall into the wrong hands
there won’t be any unauthorized charges. Talk to your credit card company
about the best line of defense. If you’re not going to make many
purchases I suggest you leave the credit cards onboard, pre-pay your
excursions, and take small amounts of cash and/or a debit cash card with a
pre-paid cash limit, as I stated above.
Private parties onboard. If you would like a private
party contact the Bon Voyage Wedding Department at: 800 933-4968 (doesn’t
have to be for a wedding). Cocktail party is for a minimum of twenty
guests; the minimum purchase for a party must be at least a one hour of
Open-Bar. The party will be based on lounge availability and must take
place on a day while the ship is at sea; the party cannot conflict with
formal nights, dinner time or embarkation day.