For those that are leaving from Galveston and
arriving by car I recommend either EZ Cruise Parking or Lighthouse
Parking. I have used both and think they provide a great service.
If you reserve online the cost is reduced.
They even have a detail service through
They shuttle you to/from the pier.
Directions on their website
EZ Cruise -
- if you are going on the Conquest. I have used them and I think they
provide a great service. I have heard that if you are on the 4 and 5
night cruises aboard the Ecstasy that they send you to a secondary lot
that is not as nice. You might want to consider Lighthouse Parking
(more info below).
Lighthouse Parking –
– also offers shuttle and reduced rate for booking online.
Some hotels offer cruise parking as part of
your stay. Check local hotels for cruise specials.
FLYING IN - If you have arranged
transfers with Carnival from the airport
Guests will be met by the Meet & Greet Staff
either at the Baggage Claim area or just beyond the security check point
area, depending on the airport.
Guests will be led to the Baggage Claim area
where he/she will claim their own luggage.
The Meet & Greet Staff will lead guests
(with their luggage) to the awaiting motor coaches. The motor coach to
leave once it has reached full capacity. Keep this in mind as you may
be waiting for a while before leaving.
Upon arrival at the terminal, guests will
debark the motor coach and claim their luggage. Guests will then give
the luggage to the Porter.
Many rental car agencies offer great drop off
services for cruisers – this may help if you have more then 2 but less
then 4 needing transportation.
Call the travel hotline at 1-877-TVL-HTLN
(1-877-885-4856) or 1-305-406-4779 with any last minute questions or
emergencies. The representatives are there to assist you 24 hours a day.
Get to the
pier early. They will start boarding passengers as soon as the ship is
ready. We have been on board by noon eating lunch on the Lido deck. They
have to wait until all prior passengers are off the ship before boarding
can begin. Depending on what is happening from the prior cruise this
could be anytime from 10:30am to 1:00pm. Usually the cause for late
debarkation of a prior cruise is when foreign nationals do not go to the
INS station to pick up their passports in a timely manner. You MUST
check-in at least 1 hour before departure.
When you get to the
pier pull up to the curb and unload the bags. If a porter is not
available have one person stay with the luggage while the other person
parks. Parking can take some time at the pier as people are trying to
leave the parking lot at the same time.
Luggage larger than
16"h x 24"w x 30"l will not be permitted through the security
machine and must be checked-in with a curbside porter.
DO NOT carry through coolers with ice.
Maximum cooler size is 12” x 12” and must be dry (you can have sodas in
the cooler – no ice).
Be sure that
whoever is left with the bags has tip money for the porter. Tip between
$1 and $2 per bag/box. This is also true if you use the motor coach
service. The one-dollar bill can be your friend on a cruise.
Make sure you have
your documentation in your carry-on bag BEFORE handing your luggage
to the porter. Once your luggage goes into the processing area, you will
not have access to it. Make sure your carry-on includes at least one
change of clothes and any medicines or toiletries you may need – extra
underwear is a plus.
Once you get inside
you will check in. A copy of your Fun Pass is helpful but not necessary.
VIP boarding is available for passengers
booked in Suites (Category 11 & 12) and Platinum cruisers (10 or more
Carnival cruises) which is basically an expedited check-in. Be sure to
let someone know you are eligible for the service if it applies. They
will USUALLY extend this service to everyone in your party even if all of
them are not VIP status. I say USUALLY because every port is different.
I have found a way to ensure everyone boards together. When filling out
the online documents if you use the same credit card for everyone you are
required to check in together. So when arrive at the port you check in
then once on board the parties can go to the Pursers desk and switch out
the credit cards.
Depending on the
time of day, you may be directed to a waiting area. You will go through
the scanner and get your picture taken. SMILE!
Keep in mind that
if you get on the ship prior to 1:00 you MAY have to keep your carry on
luggage with you. Many ships restrict access to the cabins until the
stewards have had time to prepare the cabins. Others request that you not
remain in your cabin but you can drop off your luggage. It really is on a
case by case basis and can vary by ship. Just keep this in mind before
you decide that you have to take everything on board with you.
Spend some time on learning your way around
the ship. There aren’t many activities going on until the ship sails so
this is a great time to learn the lay of the land. You should find a mini
layout card of the ship in your cabin. They are also available at the
Pursers (Information) Desk. Personally I prefer to print off a larger
version at home and bring it along as the cards are quite small and don’t
show everything that is available.
There is a mandatory lifeboat drill at the
beginning of the cruise. You MUST attend. This is for your benefit.
They will actually search cabins to ensure everyone attends. Don’t go as
soon as they announce it though as the first to get there are pushed to
the back and are the last to make their way out of the area. It can take
a while for them to go over everything and you could be standing for a
while. The later you get there – the earlier you can leave. Just don’t
wait until they have announced it 4 or 5 times. Be considerate. Watch
the flow of people and when you see it starting to die down then make your
way to the area. Some ships do the drill in the showrooms while some
actually do them on deck. Young children will be given a wristband that
corresponds to their Muster Station. This is in case of an emergency. For
example: your children are at Camp. They prefer that you not try to find
them but it go directly to your Muster Station. The camp counselors will
bring the children to your assigned Muster Station. You are asked to
bring the child’s life vest with you if this were to occur.