7 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Cruise Vacation
My husband and I went on a Carnival Cruise for our honeymoon, so we figured why not take another one for our 10th anniversary? I love cruising. I know it's not for everyone, but I love it because with everything that I plan out in my life, it's one thing that I DON'T. I simply get on board and travel, food, and activities are all planned for me - I just decide if I want to show up or not.
Our ship, the Carnival Triumph left out of New Orleans and visited Cozumel, Mexico and Yucatan, Mexico.
They were so sweet to decorate our cabin and gift us a few items during our cruise!
Over the years, we've been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney cruise lines. We've been to a lot of ports of call (sometimes the same ones over again). And we've spent a lot of time on a ship in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. So for all you people wondering about taking a cruise, I thought I'd break it down for you with a few tips on how to make the most of your cruise.
- Pick a departure city you'd like to explore and extend your trip. My husband and I did this by leaving out of New Orleans this time. It was nice to be able to spend some time in New Orleans, eat some yummy cajun food and see the sights, and then board the cruise ship.
- When checking in online, select the first available check in time. You'll have several options, but if you select one of the first, you'll be able to get on board sooner and start exploring the ship. A pro tip is to wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you can get on and go straight to the pool!
- Download the Carnival Hub App. Most of the major cruise lines have their own apps now, and it's SO convenient! Before you leave for the cruise it serves as a count down clock for your trip (we might have looked at it every day and sent each other screen shots of how many days we had left before we departed) and once on board, it tells you everything you need to know! Through the app you can see what's happening each day, places that are currently open to eat, a map of the ship, and even chat with others on board!
- Go to different activities than the people you came with! Most people on board are super friendly and there to have fun, so if you and your cabin mates want to do something different, go make new friends! It'll also give you more to talk about while at dinner!
- Ports of call. It can be a scary thing departing a ship in a foreign country and not knowing what to do. For your first trip, I'd book an excursion through the trip. But if you're a seasoned cruiser, try renting a jeep and exploring the island or booking an excursion outside the cruise line. Word to the wise though - the ship knows where you are if you're on a cruise-ship sponsored excursion. If you decide to go off on your own and you don't make it back in time to depart, they will leave you there. One of my favorite things to do in port is to watch people run to make it to the ship on time because they cut it too close. Cheap thrills, right?
- Extras on board. There are going to be lots of things on board a cruise ship that will cost extra. Decide on a daily budget of what's important for you to do and stick to it. The last thing you want is to have sticker shock when you get that final bill at the end.
- Have fun! Leave work behind. Don't check your email. Take time to sit outside on the deck and do absolutely nothing. It's okay to not be moving 24/7.
There's plenty of places to eat on board! You'll find something for everyone's tastebuds!
Alchemy Bar was one of our favorite spots while on board. Their craft cocktails were amazing!
Cozumel's colorful buildings, turqoise beaches, and wonderful people are what make this island one of our favorites!
While at port in Progresso, Yucatan, we opted to take a new excursion Carnival was offering - a pub crawl. It was so much more than we expected! We were driven around in an air-conditioned bus to about 5 different places in Merida - all featuring local cuisine, cocktails, and craft beer. It was one of my favorite things about the entire trip! My husband and I love exploring new places and foods, so this was perfect for us! Some of our favorite places include the hidden speak easy at Apoala and the craft brewery Cerveza Patito. We tried Mezcal, Yucatecan pumpkin seed dip, and all sorts of local delicacies! My hubby even ate a cricket! I'm not that adventurous!
We were sad to see our trip come to an end, but back to reality! I'd love to answer any questions you have about cruising!