Cruising with Carnival Cruise Lines
There are a variety of different cruise lines that you can choose from, and depending on your area, some may offer better destinations than others or a certain route that you want to go on. But chances are, you have heard of Carnival Cruise Lines and may have even looked into cruising with them. No matter what the answer to those questions are, I am going to give you a breakdown of the biggest factors that I feel will affect your trip and by the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding on whether or not you should choose them for your next vacation. Also, keep in mind, this is from someone who has been on almost every single ship of theirs (some more than once), and having experienced other options as well, you are getting sound advice [in my opinion, lol!].
Boarding is fairly easy here. If you haven’t cruised with them a bunch of times, then you can either pay for easy boarding, which is basically just going straight through without waiting in the lines, or you can try to go at the best time. In recent years, they have made boarding much better, so I suggest you save your money for other things, and just try boarding around 2-4pm (if the ship takes off at 5-6). Most people think getting on early and getting settled in is the best way, but since most people think that way, that is when it takes the longest to get on. Also, a side note: If you don’t have too much luggage, you can opt for carrying it on yourself, that way you don’t have to wait a few hours to get your stuff.
The Spas are usually quite nice and quiet. They are a little on the pricey end of the scale, but what do you expect when you go to a spa anyways, right? Plus, if you gamble enough, sometimes they give you free massages, facials, etc.
Also, Carnival is kind of known as the “Fun” cruise line. In fact, they have a “Fun Squad” which is a bunch of crew members dedicated to creating and running fun activities. Some of those are: trivia, mini golf, dance parties, art shows, comedy shows, a hairy chest competition, among other competitions, and many more! So, the “Fun” amenities can’t be beat. However, once you cruise it a few times, you tend to get used to them, because they don’t completely change every single cruise. That would be too much work. But they do create new ones here and there and change it up over time. Oh, and for the men, if you don’t know what the hairy chest competition and are easily embarrassed, be sure to keep your shirt on and don’t volunteer for this particular part. If you like to be the center of attention and have some chest hair, definitely volunteer for this part. That is all I will tell you, because it is fun to watch and I don’t want to ruin it for you!
This depends on the ship, but if you are a gambler, Carnival does do a great job with their casinos. The machines are tight, but what do you expect? There’s a plethora of slots and table games alike, and on top of that, they have tons of different competitions and tournaments to participate in, so be sure to check those out! A few people have asked me about their Drink program. You could purchase a drink package for the whole trip. But it is still a little costly, I believe around $55 per person per day. If you gamble a lot, you may want to hold of on purchasing that, because once you gamble to a certain point, they give you a drink package for free! Whether it is worth the money just depends on if you are winning or not lol. If you are losing, it isn’t worth it and is smarter to just buy the package. Your choice though!
The food options are actually quite vast with Carnival. For starters, they always have an open buffet for you to grab food from. The food changes out every day, but I believe it stays the same for night options. The other place that is open 24/7, besides room service, is the Pizza Bar. Here, you can get a personal pizza anytime day or night, and they are pretty darn good! Better than the buffet, but that is my opinion. I’m a fatty for pizza. Depending on which ship you are on, you will also have other “buffet” style options at Burgers, a Deli for sandwiches, a Burrito bar, and more, all of which is free. The main dinner every night is optional, but I recommend them because that is where you are getting quality food, that is different every night, and also where you can mingle with other groups you don’t know! Also, the Seaday Brunch is really tasty as well! If you are willing to spend some extra $, you can always go to one of their non-inclusive restaurants, which usually feature Sushi or a Steakhouse. The food on Carnival is above average, except for the buffet. Sometimes it is bland. But just plan to hit up every different option, and decide for yourself! P.S. Definitely get the Melting Cake for Dinner. No questions. Just do it.
This is probably where Carnival shines the most. They have ships all over the place! You can cruise almost anywhere with them, which is pretty awesome because you get points for their reward program, and the more you cruise with them, the more amenities you receive.
This is another amazing part of Carnival Cruise Lines, the Crew is absolutely incredible! Why? You ask. Well, right from the start, from the minute you first walk into your cabin, you will meet your main Host for any room cleaning, problems, questions, etc. That person will remember all of your names for the remainder of your trip, without question. Not only that, but all the wait staff at dinner will do the same! How they do it is beyond me. But they do. And it makes everything so much more personal, it makes you feel like you belong there. This is one of the main reasons we use Carnival for the majority of our cruises.
This is always a problem, one of the main reasons we dislike Carnival. Debarkation is a nightmare. It takes hours to get off the ship if you are on a lower deck, which we prefer since hubby gets kinda seasick. [The lower decks move and rock the least.] Anyhow, it takes FOREVER to get off the ship from down there and is really quite ridiculous, but that is just how they do it for now. One way around this is if you are flying early on debarkation day, they will get you off first so you can make your flight. Then it is a breeze. Otherwise, they need to figure out another system, cause what they got going on now is awful.
Cruising is one of the best and most affordable ways to travel, so check it out and decide for yourself which cruise line you like the most! If you have cruised with Carnival, or with more than one, leave your thoughts below! We love hearing from you! Thanks for reading! And check back periodically, maybe Carnival will give me a discount code for you guys! Lol. Wishful thinking!