Sea U Onboard GOOD 2 KNOW



Good 2 Know


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Before You Go

FYI on Cabin Selection

Embarkation Day

Cabin & Cabin Steward

Dining Room & Other
Food Choices


Beverages & Alcohol

Camp Carnival & Kids Clubs


Spa & Workout Center 

Internet Café

Other Areas (including Laundry Areas)

Past Guest Perks

Parental Authorization
Sample Forms

Photo Release

Laundry and Dry
Cleaning Prices

Sample Menus

Fun Things


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  • You will want your S&S (Sail & Sign) card on you at all times.  If you don’t have pockets or don’t want to carry a purse I suggest purchasing a lanyard before the trip.  When you get onboard you can go to the Pursers Desk and ask them to punch a hole in the corner so you can attach it to the lanyard. 

  • Some places sell pocket pouches that are attached to a lanyard.  These are nice as you can put your S&S card and an ID inside.  You will need to take your S&S and an ID with you when you get off the ship.  A word of caution – DO NOT punch a hole in your Drivers License – it will make it invalid.

  • If you plan on doing some laundry (and even if you don’t – you just might anyway), there coin operated laundry room.  No need to bring quarters as they are readily available at the Pursers Desk or the Casino. Bring along pre-measured detergent in Ziplocs (or store bought packets or tabs) and some fabric softener sheets.  While you can purchase these items on board I have found that if the machine is broken it usually stays that way the entire trip.  In some ports the laundry room is closed due to restrictions. There will be a notice in the Daily Caper.

  • There are two or three washers and dryers, and one iron and ironing board in each launderette. The cost is $2.00 per washer load and $2.00 per dryer load. Vending machines dispense small boxes of detergent and water softener at $1.00 per box.

  • They also offer laundry service for a fee (see Laundry & Dry Cleaning Services under Cruise 101).

  • The ships usually have a deal at some point in the cruise where they will launder one bag for a flat fee.  The steward will leave the bag in your cabin. 

  • As mentioned there is an iron in the laundry room, but don’t wait until a half-hour before dinner on formal night to iron anything – it just isn’t worth the wait.  If you know something is going to need ironed take a few minutes the first day at sea and you won’t have any problem getting to the iron.  Travel irons are restricted and should not be taken onboard.    I prefer to use Downy Wrinkle Releaser or the generic, which works just as well. Do not iron a garment after applying the wrinkle releaser unless you put another item in between (bandana).  It will mess up the iron and your clothes. You can also hang your clothes in the bathroom while taking a shower to get the wrinkles out. 

  • Take a sweater or some long sleeve shirts to wear in the showroom and for the dining room – both are cool.

  • Take cash to tip the porters, room service delivery and your tour guide.

  • Shopping and travel are given in the main showrooms (consult the ship’s daily paper – Carnival Capers).  They are very informative, but you can watch them on TV at your convenience in your cabin.  They will replay it several times.

  • Get to the shows early enough to get a seat.  When traveling at a peak times you will find the seating limited just before show time.

  • The Pursers deck can help you with just about anything, but they can be difficult to get on the phone.  Also the line at the desk can be long.  You will learn when the best time to stop by.  They have a VIP line for Platinum cruisers (sailed 10 or more times).  They usually have free postcards.

  • The Pursers Desk also carries stamps from each port of call for mailing.  Don’t plan on your mail getting to it’s designation before you return.  I find that most of the time I’m home for days before people receive their postcards.

  • Instead of regular postcards you can set up virtual postcards for delivery while gone.  There are a lot of free ones available, and you can set them up to be delivered any date you select.

  • Attend the Captain’s Cocktail party.  It is held during the first formal night.  They will serve hors d'oeuvres and free cocktails. If you don’t see a cocktail you like just ask.

  • Take some sunburn treatment.  It is expensive on the ship. You will be surprised just how fast you can burn in the Caribbean sun.

  • If you plan a long day off the ship take some prepackaged snacks for off the ship.  Be sure it is still sealed, as you can not take opened food off the ship. This includes items in Ziploc bags (sandwiches and such from room service). Items such as beef jerky can come in handy.  The pre-packed factory sealed boxes of cereal are nice to feed the fish when snorkeling.

  • Pack things in Ziploc bags.  They fit anywhere in your suitcase.  In addition, take extra - you never know when you will need one.  I also take the disposable re-sealable containers.  They work well for those left over chocolate covered strawberries (one of my favorites from the bon voyage department).

  • Strollers are available for rent on a first come first serve basis.

  • Other rentals that might be available once onboard are Motorola Radios, Snorkel Equipment, and Golf Equipment.

  • Smoking Policy –

    Smoking is prohibited in the lounges, both dining rooms and the entire port side of the open decks (left side when facing the front of the ship).

    No smoking in the Lido deck restaurants’, the elevators or in the hallways in the cabin corridors.

    Cigar smoking is permitted only in designated areas (check the Capers).

    DO NOT throw cigarettes from the ship.

  • Keeping in touch with home

    • You can call home from your cabin – United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are $6.99 per minute.  International calls are $9.99 per minute. 

    • Most cell phones will now work at sea but the cost is steep ranging from $2.49 to 7.99 a minute.  Check with your service providers’ international department before leaving home.  A list of cell phone providers can be found at Wireless Marine Services - “Cellular At Sea” -

    • Some cell phones work while in port.  Again check with your service providers’ international department before leaving home. 

    • You can call from port with pre-paid phone cards.  Be sure the card can be used outside the US. 

    • There are several places on shore to use the Internet at reduced prices. 

    • Be careful making calls with a calling card from phone booths on shore as they can really rack up some charges.

  • If you have smaller children, you may consider an umbrella type stroller for around the ship.  The halls are narrow and sometimes filled with carts and other passengers.  The smaller stroller is easier to maneuver.

  • The height of the balcony rail (glass rail) is 45" high. The stateroom door leading out to the balcony has a safety lock that is located approximately 65" from the floor. Applicable ships: Destiny, Triumph, Victory, Conquest, Glory, Legend and Sensation.  

  • There are Art Auctions onboard.  They serve free champagne.  Be sure to sign up for a bid number – you don’t have to actually bid on anything but anyone who has a bid card is entered in a drawing to win free art.  Beware – if you do win the art you will be responsible to pay the handling costs, which at one time was $35.00 for up to 3 pieces.  They do give out small samplings of the artwork to anyone who has a bid card after the auction.  You will use the same number all week.  So, if you don’t bring it with you – just be sure to know your number. 

  • You will be instructed to place your luggage outside your door before a certain time on the last night onboard.  Be sure you keep your toiletries and a change of clothes for the morning (including shoes).

  • Different ports operate differently when it’s time to depart.  Most section the luggage off by tag color.  This is why it is important that if you don’t self-assist off the ship that you wait for you number / color to be called as sections are opened only at that time. To find your bags easier tie color ribbon on the handles (we usually pick two colors and use the combination). 

  • The ships offer self-debarkation, where you can take your entire luggage off with you.  Check the Capers on the last night for the procedures.

  • Carnival has a Reverse Gratuity Policy - For guests' convenience, they automatically add the recommended gratuities to the onboard Sail & Sign account on embarkation day. Guests will have the discretion to adjust these gratuities based upon the level of service received during the cruise. This includes the option to adjust gratuities (up or down) for any individual on the Dining or Housekeeping staff. In order to do so, the guest will need to visit the Purser Desk onboard.

  • The total amount for tips will be $10 per guest, per day, which breaks down as follows:

    • $5.50 pp/pd for Dining Team Service (Headwaiter and Waiter)

    • $1 pp/pd for Bistro Service (Waiter/Cooks)

    • $3.50 pp/pd for Cabin Services (Cabin Steward)

  • Tipping the Maitre D' is strictly at guest's discretion, based upon services rendered. For guests who wish to extend this gratuity in cash, an envelope will be available on the last evening of the cruise.

  • Tipping still applies regardless of the dining options selected, such as eating at the casual dining restaurant or utilizing room service. The folks who wait on you in the dining room are the same ones that clean up the Lido area when they aren’t working in the dining room.

  • Guests under two years of age are not required to extend gratuities. (Note: this may have changed.  To be honest a little one can be quite messy so you may consider giving something).

  • Read the Capers carefully.  Some things are in small print.  Example “Tea Time” is not announced in the big separate section, just in the listing of the day’s activities.

  • If you have sailed with Carnival before make sure you get your invite to the Past Guest Party.  Basically it’s a cocktail party and they hand out past guest pins (some ships put the pins with your invite – others you have to go to the party to get it).  The only occur on 5 night or longer sailings. (Rumors are running rampant that Carnival is no longer giving out pins.  If you get one consider yourself lucky.)

  • When available, a clergyman will be on board for Christmas, Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; this is subject to availability of booking clergymen during their most holy days.

  • Carnival has implemented a "No Visitors" policy for the entire fleet. This applies to all ports of embarkation and ports of call. Guests will not be permitted to have visitors on board to see them off. The only exception to this policy is Wedding Guests attending a passenger’s ceremony/reception.

  • If you have problems sleeping and want to drown out noise then a air purifier or white noise machine might do the trick – but don’t forget that extension cord.

  • Wear sandals with good traction.

  • Print off maps of the ship and take them with you.  I good site for deck plans is at  Lots of other great stuff there also.  He updates a little more frequently then I do when it comes to menus and such.

  • The ice cream bowls always seem to be hot.  Run a few pieces of ice around inside before you dispense the soft serve – or grab a bowl as your leaving the dining room – to use later.

  • The elevators are often busy.  Use the stairs so you can eat dessert every night.








Please send corrections and updates  - Site last updated 8/21/09