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Cruise Tips? Carnival Sunshine Login/Join 
Alienator
Picture of SIG4EVA
posted
I'm taking the family on our first cruise and was wondering if you have any tips or suggestions? 6 days 5 nights Nassau and Half Moon Cay.

I've been on 2 cruises back in high school but that was 20 years ago. I've already ordered bottled water and wifi. We have one excursion booked to snorkel with sea turtles in Nassau.


SIG556 Classic
P220 Carry SAS Gen 2 SAO
SP2022 9mm German Triple Serial
P938 SAS
P365 FDE

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it"
 
Posts: 6607 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No, not like
Bill Clinton
Picture of BigSwede
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Get a set time for dining, the show up when you want "your time" dining sucks. If you have a set time, the same staff will take care of you every night, they get to know you and your likes

Boooo on the wifi. One of my favorite things about cruising, no cell service and no wifi. I understand though if you need it for work.

Buy a parking pass for the cruise port ahead of time, if you're driving

If you like a drink, definitely visit the Alchemy bar. They make a Caribbean Old Fashion that I love. Usually the most talented bartenders are there

If you want to see a comedy show, get there 30 minutes early, the seats fill up fast



I'll add more if I think of other things


*********************
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
 
Posts: 4462 | Location: GA | Registered: September 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ignored facts
still exist
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If possible, handle your own luggage. Sometimes luggage does not make it from the port drop point to your cabin.

Same with departing. Try to drag your own luggage off the ship. It's a zoo trying to claim your luggage again at the port.

Mentioned in another thread Smile but worth repeating. If there is some family or personal emergency and you need to fly back from the Bahamas, then you need a passport book, and not passport card Smile

I bring a little portable Grundig Shortwave Receiver and use it on the balcony. First, it's fun to listen to the local radio stations as you get near the ports. Second, it's a good way to get news, if you desire to do so, but then again, if you have wifi, you can just look on sigforum Smile

Our last cruise, the room only had about 2 available USA style outlets, so if you need more, bring a little outlet splitter thing.

Emergency prep: Bring a flashlight and one of those collapsible water things to store a couple gallons of water. Small FAK, since the medical office is the only place you can get a band-aid. Bring any meds you MAY need including aspirin, Pepto Bimal, etc. These things can be difficult to get on the ship. And if you go to the medical office and ask for Pepto Bismal they will ask a lot of questions don't ask me how I know this Smile .


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Let's Go Brandon!
 
Posts: 9991 | Location: Salem. No, not that Salem.  | Registered: February 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bookers Bourbon
and a good cigar
Picture of Johnny 3eagles
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Please, please, please hold your cellphone in the horizontal mode when using the camera.

When this occurs!



BUCK FIDEN

“Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.'
The warrior whispers back, 'I AM THE STORM."


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Posts: 6604 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SIGfourme
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On our family cruise, my son discovered room service. I didn't know room service was included in the cost of the cruise.
 
Posts: 2084 | Location: Southeast CT | Registered: January 18, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 229DAK
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It's a Carnival cruise...the McDonalds of cruise lines.

Set your expectations accordingly.

Watch the video Johnny posted. Figure out where NOT to be on the ship. It's not difficult.


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“A man’s treatment of a dog is no indication of the man’s nature, but his treatment of a cat is. It is the crucial test. None but the humane treat a cat well.”
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Posts: 8362 | Location: Northern Virginia | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alienator
Picture of SIG4EVA
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BigSwede, good call. We signed up for early boarding to make sure we set everything early on. The ONLY reason we are doing the wifi is so my wife and kids can talk to the grandparents in Taiwan. The entire purpose of the trip is to be a real vacation where I can disconnect and relax vs. coordinating, driving, and doing everything.

FYI, I chose Carnival because they were the only cruise line coming out of Charleston. This makes it a lot easier since its a 3 hour drive from Charlotte vs. driving/flying to FL. We are driving in Sunday to enjoy Charleston before heading out.


SIG556 Classic
P220 Carry SAS Gen 2 SAO
SP2022 9mm German Triple Serial
P938 SAS
P365 FDE

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it"
 
Posts: 6607 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too soon old,
Too late smart
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Cruise Critic is a good resource. Check this out.

https://www.cruisecritic.com/r...eview.cfm?ShipID=658


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Posts: 1426 | Location: NoVa | Registered: March 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 71 TRUCK
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My wife and I have done 14 cruises over the last few years, mostly Disney so thing may be different on Carnival. These are a few thing we have learned.

First and foremost buy good travel insurance with good medical coverage and medical evacuation. We do this any time we cruise no matter who we cruise with.

If you prepay your tips try to bring some extra cash. You can use this to give the servers like bartenders or room stewards a little extra if they go above and beyond.

Some cruise lines do specially dinning this is something they may charge extra for. If you are going to do any of the specialty dinning Try to sign up as soon as you can. Reservations tend to go quick for the popular restaurants.

As far as room service, I have heard some cruise lines may now be charging either a flat fee for or they may be charging al cart per item. Before ordering you should check.
Years ago room service was included in your cruise price however some cruise lines are trying to cut wasted food because people would order way more than they would eat.

While on the Island try not to wear expensive jewelry or expensive watches. Try not to draw attention to your self especially if you like to venture on the island on your own.

Most cruise lines will host a port shopping talk. Some cruise lines hire an out side company to do the talk (not sure about Carnival). Most work for a company that is paid by business in the port a fee to direct you to their business. This is not necessarily a bad thing however be cautious.

If you are looking for jewelry or watches on the Island do not be afraid to negotiate prices. One thing, it is very important to know what you are looking at especially when it come to jewelry. It is very easy to be told something is worth more than the asking price only to find out when you are home it is not.
If looking for a watch make sure you only visit the authorize distributor for that brand.
Don't forget you may owe Duty when you get back to the port you left from depending on how much you spend while on your cruise.

If you are on your own on the Island keep track of the time. When the ship says they are leaving at a certain time they will leave with or with out you.
Check the ships time against your time before you get off. If you go into a different time zone they may not be the same. Make sure you know exactly what time you need to be back to the ship. My wife and I always make sure we are back to the ship early.
Look up cruise pier runners on Youtube.

If you do excursions try to do the cruise sponsored ones. If for some reason the cruise sponsored excursion is late getting back the the ship they are supposed to wait for you.
If you take a non cruise sponsored excursion, if you are late getting back to the ship it may be gone.

You said family, do you have kids and how old are they?
Most cruise ships have kids clubs that are age oriented.

The idea is to not stress out and have fun however do not leave your head on the pier parking lot. Remember just because you are on vacation does not mean stuff can not happen.

This is all I can think of for now. If I think of anything else I will post it or if you have questions just ask.




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A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State



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Posts: 2085 | Location: Central Florida, south of the mouse | Registered: March 08, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
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Don’t drink Long Island iced teas on the night before disembarkation in the piano bar.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 11694 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No, not like
Bill Clinton
Picture of BigSwede
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quote:
Originally posted by 229DAK:
It's a Carnival cruise...the McDonalds of cruise lines.

Set your expectations accordingly.

Watch the video Johnny posted. Figure out where NOT to be on the ship. It's not difficult.



Y'all need to calm down, the stimi money has ran out


*********************
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
 
Posts: 4462 | Location: GA | Registered: September 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Distinguished Pistol Shot
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the best two things on a Carnival ship are Guys Burgers!
 
Posts: 741 | Location: South Central MO | Registered: August 25, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Its a Carnival cruise so, standby for WalMart-level of creatures and stupidity. Buffet craziness, pool idiocy and late-night inappropriateness, all highly likely.

I get it, the entire trip fit the budget, just keep in mind that there's a fair amount of folks who think going on vacation means free-for-all, zero responsibility, fully entitled. Hopefully, your cruise is uneventful and you and your family get the most out of it.

Keep a bunch of $5 and $10 bills available should you need to tip a steward, waiter or, any staff assistance.
 
Posts: 12862 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Carnival is definitely the Wal-Mart on the Sea class of cruise. But the food is pretty good and, depending on your drinking habits, the drink package can be a pretty good deal. The land/port excursions can be great.

First one I went on, my GF and I were on the way out. I bought a Tom Clancy book and a pack of Dunhills and really enjoyed my me time, reading on the deck. Last one was just before Covid hit and I was with co-workers. Had a blast, loved Cozumel and Progresso, worth every penny. The people watching was off the charts.
 
Posts: 2738 | Location: Cave Creek, AZ | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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Carnival is not as bad as people say. You also pay tips up front these days so no need for cash except bartenders if you want better service. You can always tip more to others but you will pay for waiters, stewards, etc up front.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 11694 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Triggers don't
pull themselves
Picture of mdblanton
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Not much to add other than I agree that Guys Burgers is fantastic and go with the set dining times. We had a great time with our dining staff each night at dinner.

For Carnival, no pocket knives (even tiny ones) based on their policies updated in the last couple of years. We cruised (different ship in July). Best I could do was add some trauma shears to my first aid kit in my checked luggage and even that delayed delivery of my bag to our room a little bit.

I'm assuming your kids are younger and will be in the same/adjoining room. In our case in July, our middle son and his wife (obviously) had a separate room and were assigned a different muster station. Not a big deal until I realized when we disembarked the ship at the end of the cruise that it was done by muster station assignments. My wife and I were off the ship about an hour before they were and had to hang around the parking lot since we drove together.
 
Posts: 926 | Location: Petal, MS | Registered: January 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As implied, Carnival ships are party barges, but can still be fun. Shipboard WiFi is typically wonky. Get a specific dining time. Drink packages save sticker shock at the end of the cruise. Tip the bartender a buck a beer and you'll have a new best friend. The pools are Petri dishes, I only swim at beach excursions due to the crowds and kids onboard.

Learn how to say thank you in a couple different languages. I thanked a crew member for something in her native language and she practically blew me.

The bladeless SAK sold for air travel is worthless and way overpriced, but the only thing allowed on board. I'm liking the trauma shear idea and may give it a try.
 
Posts: 469 | Registered: June 11, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of wingfoot
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quote:
Originally posted by dgshooter:
the best two things on a Carnival ship are Guys Burgers!


I thought about taking a cruise on Carnival because I've heard so much about the burgers, but I am high up in Royal Caribbean's loyalty program so I stick with them.
 
Posts: 1793 | Location: Peachtree City, GA | Registered: January 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So, if Carnival is in the WalMart class of Cruise lines what are the levels and company's further up the choice scale?

The last Cruise I took was in the 80's on Carnival from LA down the Mexican coast.
 
Posts: 1227 | Location: Western WA | Registered: September 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 2PAK:
So, if Carnival is in the WalMart class of Cruise lines what are the levels and company's further up the choice scale?

The last Cruise I took was in the 80's on Carnival from LA down the Mexican coast.

Cruise lines today usually offer a few different levels of cruise experiences within their brands. The below are more like generalities:

Mass cruise (massive ships, price-sensitive, amusement park amenities, high-value)
Carnival, Costa, P&O

Upscale mass cruise (massive ships, nicer amenities and refinement over the mass cruise line)
Norwegian, Royal Caribbean

Premium (large ships, much more luxury options, nicer cabins, fine dining options, better organized activities onboard and ashore, more discerning passengers)
Disney, Holland America, Princess Cruise

Luxury (large/medium ships, restaurant dining, repeat/experienced cruise travelers, curated activities, country club atmosphere)
Viking, Cunard, Windstar, Crystal, Silver Sea
 
Posts: 12862 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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