Carnival Cruise. Embarkation day and things to do on the ship. Also lets talk excursions!

I’m back and its Embarkation day or ITS CRUISE DAY BABY TIME TO BOARD YOUR SHIP.

  1. put yourself in a position to be on time for your boarding time. They give you a window to be there. Keep that time in mind you don’t want to be too early and defiantly not too late. We departed out of Galveston Tx, it’s about 3 1/2 from where we live so we went a day ahead and stayed in a hotel which was great because I didn’t have to rush in the morning. If you know me personally you know I’m terrible with mornings.
  2. Let me talk about parking. Shit it is confusing!!! There are a ton of people on every corner trying to get you to park in their lot. I was completely confused. I drove past the carnival lot entrance because of the amount of traffic trying to get in and opted for one of the other lots. I want to say parking for the week was about $80 the loaded our luggage on a shuttle and took us to or ship entrance. It was all of a 5 minute ride not bad.
  3. We arrived five minutes before our time window closed our window was between 1:30-2pm. There are people outside the port that will take your luggage for you. I made sure I tipped. it was much easier letting them take our luggage than standing with it in line.
  4. I’ve heard horror stories about getting on to the ship, however for us it was literally 20 minutes (make sure to keep your passports and Id on you, if you’re using birth certificates have those too. I kept all those in my bag back that I took with me. you will need those to get on the ship. Have lanyards for your room card. You need it on you at all times it’s how you get in and out of your room and purchase things.)and we were through the line checked in and on our way to find our room.
  5. The vista ship is magical! one thing that seemed like a inconvenience but honestly is great is the meeting they make everyone on the ship go to. There are thousands of people on the ship so they split you up into different areas, but everyone hears the same message.
  6. Things to do….literallly everything! from spas, to casinos, to kids clubs based on their age groups, basketball courts, pools, sky rides, golf, pool etc the itinerary is always filled with things to do. If you’re a single parent there is also single night. One thing I enjoyed with my pre-teen was movie night on the pool deck. Make sure you google your ship ahead of time and check it out! It’s also a fun way to get your kids excited about going on a cruise
  7. Dont be afraid to let your teenagers wander without you. I purchased the chat app its $5 per person so for us it was $20 bucks not bad and you can stay connected by texting each other. My teenage sons were honestly only with me about  20 percent of the entire trip. They played basketball, spent time at their club and made friends. I don’t think they ever made it to the room before 1am any night. Trust me its ok they’re fine. Now my sons are also 14 and 16. My 12-year-old went to her club some but spent the majority of her time with me. Which was fine. I love spending QT time with my princess .
  8. Make friends talk to people and drink. I got the bottomless bubbles for my kids. You can carry on a 12 pack of cans a piece but I didn’t want the inconvenience. They have an adult beverage drink package also. I didn’t buy this because I had my kids with so I brought my drinks secretly it was cheaper that way. However when I take a adult only cruise…please believe I will purchase that package.
  9. We took a 8 day cruise which had 4 stops Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize my favorite, and Mahogany Bay…which we didn’t get to port at due to weather (yes that part completely sucked and I was bummed but we made the most of it and they took us back to Cozmuel again which was nice, though I would of rather went back to Belize.
  10. ok back on track. Excursions. You have the opportunity to buy excursions so we had 4 ports. You can buy an excursion through carnival or you can wait til you get to the destination to get an excursion. Be careful not purchasing through carnival however because if something happens and you don’t make it back to the ship on time the ship will leave you and you’ll be stuck finding your way back to the States.
  11. I wish someone would have told me not to buy an  excursion at every port. As fun as they are they take away from shopping time and meeting the locals. I”m a writer so I’m kinda obsessed with humans. Also getting up early after not going to sleep til late can make for fussy kids,
  12. For all four excursions we did I think it totaled to around an extra $1,700 next time if we do four stops we’ll only do two excursions. I will say this snorkeling in Belize is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you should defiantly try it.
  13. Make sure if you purchase your excursions ahead of time (which I suggest because they come with discounts) that when you enter your room the first day you look for the envelope with them in them. They will be with our paper work on the desk. You will need your tickets for everything you purchased when you get to that destination so make sure you take them off the ship with you so you can be on time.
  14. The food is spectacular. If you’re in the dinning room we did my time dinning we could eat from 5:30-9:00pm we aren’t early dinner eaters so this worked out perfectly.  We made our reservation on our chat app and our table was always ready in about 10 minutes. So make sure you are dressed and ready to go when you are reserving your table. Once in the dinning room order more than one entre and appetizer I mean you are on vaca! As awesome as the dinning room in after day 4 my kids and myself were over it. We did the lindo buffet, pizza, five guys burgers etc. There are so many options. I didn’t do any of the restaurants you had to pay for, there really isn’t a need with the amount of food on the ship.
  15. Also make sure you leave room in your luggage to shop. I’m quite sure my luggage went from 60 pounds when I boarded to about 100 pounds from my purchases.
  16. Have cash, or your credit card most places took credit cards also when shopping. I would never suggest using a bank debit card when out of the country.

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