Six Ways to Ensure the Smoothest Carnival Cruise

February 10, 2017 Baltimore, MD, USA

Not quite a year and a half after our last cruise (and my first one ever), Sean and I decided to book our second one through Carnival. We are looking forward to fun on the ship and in four fun ports!

I mean, how can you be sad when you find a towel lobster awaiting you in your cabin?

We enjoyed our last Carnival cruise and learned a lot that we're putting to use for this upcoming one. Here's our advice for the smoothest cruise:

Complete Check-in Early

Be sure to have the online check-in completed and all documents printed and placed appropriately before embarkation day. This is a great time to check your passports and confirm they are up to date. Checking in at the terminal will be much quicker if your documentation is ready and your luggage tags affixed before your arrival.

Utilize Faster to the Fun

Possibly my biggest regret of my first cruise was not purchasing "Faster to the Fun." This option provides priority embarkation and debarkation. I did notice during my online check-in that there is now staggered embarkation (you select a time), which hopefully helps with check-in crowds, but I have to say...nothing is as bad as having to wait to leave your vacation...except our case of having to wait in the smoke-filled casino to leave your vacation (Carnival, please look into this. Not a fan of second-hand smoke). I feel like this year's trip will be a breeze now that we see the value of Faster to the Fun. 

Manage Motion Sickness

Even if you don't think you get motion sickness, it's smart to have a remedy on hand just in case so you aren't forced to see a doctor or pay a premium for products if needed on board. I feel like I have pretty strong sea legs, but I make a point to take a motion sickness pill the night before or morning of the cruise to help with the transition. I also bring the bottle on board in case of choppy seas. I prefer this formula as it uses ginger and is a little crunchier, but find what works for you whether it be a pill, a sea band, or even a prescription patch from your doctor. On the same note, packing different basic over the counter meds (painkillers, anti-histamines, anti-diarrheal, etc.) is always a good idea.

Carnival Dreams Studio Portrait
Bonus tip:If your Carnival ship offers a Dreams Studio, DO IT! They took amazing photos of Sean and me.

Have Enough Water

I'm generally a reusable bottle kind of girl, but for the cruise, I order cases of bottled water to our cabin ahead of time. This makes port days especially easy as we don't have to worry about lugging around or losing a nice bottle, and we don't have to hit up the dining area to fill up before excursion debarkation. This is especially helpful on those 7:30AM port arrivals if you are not a morning person (like me!). Also, it's great to have clean water in certain ports if you aren't confident about the drinking water quality.

Pack Conservatively

Two formal nights? No one will know you wore the same dress. Fashionista? Match one or two pairs only for all your outfits. Beach towels? Save your luggage space, I promise Carnival provides. Plus, with laundry available on board (you can request laundry services or visit one of their self-laundry facilities), you can certainly get away with packing less than you need. Except for sunscreen. Pale girls like me need all the sunscreen!

Be Kind

The ship's crew are working hard to give you, along with thousands of other passengers, an enjoyable vacation. Acknowledge them with smiles and common courtesy. It's amazing how positively crew responded to simple things such as greeting with "hi, how are you?" before asking for service or seating.

What are your cruise tips or questions?


  1. Great tips! We always do laundry on vacation, but never thought about on the cruise!

    1. Yes! They ran a mid-week special for a bag of laundry when we were on board which we took advantage of, but it's great to know self-service is also available.

  2. Great tips! Now I want to try a cruise!

    1. Go for it! I think everyone should cruise at least once!

  3. These are awesome tips! I'd love to go on a cruise one day! Sounds like there's so much to do!

  4. I love cruising! These are some great tips.

  5. These are great tips Bekah! You look amazing by the way! :)


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