January 20, 2002
This was my first time taking a cruise not mentioning the first time with Carnival. I must say that it was a fun trip but there are a few things i did not know about this cruise that i would like to share with you. Also, let me tell you about what i liked and did not like about the trip.
1- This is not a cruise to be taking if you are a dad taking your teenagers on. I went with myself (19) and my 2 sisters (15 and 16). There is not a lot to do that is fun for that age. Most people on the ship are either honeymooners, couples or families with young young children. Not many teenagers on the ship for you to hang out with.
2- If you are old enough to drink then the cruise would be fun. Me, on the other hand I was only 19, i was old enough to drink off the ship but not on the ship. If you are going with a bunch of friends.. you will have a BLAST!
3- It is a mess when you first get there, since this was our first cruise. We did not know what to expect. I read through these reviews and did not get any idea of what was going to happen. So let me give you the dish of what happens when you first get there. - I would recommend that you get your tickets through the cruise line because they meet you at the airport and let you know what is going on. They do meet you down by the luggage not at the area off the plane, just so you know. You get on these big buses and give them your tickets to get on the bus. Once you get to the area, your luggage is taken off the bus and set in a cement area where you go through and find your luggage and then let the Sky cap now where it is. MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR LUGGAGE TAGS FROM THE CRUISE LINE ON THEM- otherwise you will be wasting time doing so. also they say that luggage will be in your room by 8 and not to worry- it is true, don't worry, our 6 pieces of luggage were there about an our after we got to the room. Then from there you get in this HUGE line where people are waiting to meet with a lady to take your tickets and see birth cerfiticates. Then after that you go to the ladies that have the SIGN and SAIL cards that get you onto the boat and off the boat and also into your room. Then you go into another room and sit until your row is called to go to the area where you walk through the x-ray things.. then you get your picture taken. SO look good.. its the first one of you getting onto the boat. From there you go to the next area to wait in line to get another one taken which is put onto your sail and sign card. Then you enter into the atrium and people are everywhere!!! i would recommend going and finding your room and going and getting something to eat. When you get to your room read the CAPER ( a paper printed every day with items and things going on) and find out where you have to go for your LIFEBOAT drill. Yes, you have to put on life jackets and go swish into an area with tons of people.. it doesn't take too long but you have to do it. I would recommend going to the dining room dinner the first night. There you will meet your waiter and stuff. It is fun in that area. Also go to the show at night. There you will get the scoop of some things to come.
4- The one thing that is nice is that the room steward is always there for you when you need them. They are one of the best things on the BOAT!!!!!
5- Make sure to bring ENOUGH money on the trip. Sodas on the ship cost like $3.25 a bottle but what's nice is that juice- orange,apple, grapefruit,punch, lemonade, coffee, iced tea and hot chocolate in the morning is free up in the brasserie. I did not know that they had those free drinks. Also they also have a thing where you can buy a card for all your drinks and that only cost 20 bucks and you get all the drinks for the rest of the cruise. So if you plan on drinking soda a lot, BUY ONE!!!
6- Bring 2 prom type dresses for dinner and shows 2 nights on the ship, i did not know that they got SOOOO fancy, but they really go all out. Also the other nights in the dining room people are still dressed up just not in t-shirts and jeans--- slacks, shirts, sun dresses.. thats what they wear the other nights.. i also did not know that and was unprepared... so i didn't want to go up there with the wrong clothes.
7- ROOM SERVICE IS FREE.. but they would like you to tip them for bringing the food but you don't have to.
8- BRING money for tipping.. you have to do a lot of that
9- SIGN UP FOR SHORE excursions ASAP so you can get what you want. Believe me they fill up fast. The papers are in your room when you 1st get there so do it right away.
10- They do have a video diary place there that captures everything on the boat that week so you might want to buy those.. 35 bucks a piece though!!!! and the taping isn't always great. But they do play it in your room on the TV so you can preview it. Make sure to get on the video diary if you want to buy one and have you on it.
11- GET INVOLVED.. There are a ton of things you can do, but you have to have the confidence to do so. I am shy so i didn't want to always get involved with everything.
12- Don't worry about what you look like when tanning, there are every shape and size and age out there and no one really cares what you look like.
13- Jamaica is a poor country, if you go on the trips that take you back into the back and the drivers there are INSANE!!! so beware of when you get onto the road. I would recommend taking a tour with the cruise line and not going on your own.
14- Grand Cayman was BEAUTIFUL!! The best place i thought. There is so many things you want to do there. The beaches are breathtaking and the shopping is GREAT!
15- Cozumel was also nice. The beaches were pretty but not as nice as Grand Cayman. I would recommend going on a tour there and not going on your own. But if you do go on your own, its fine. Go the taxi and tell them you want to go to a beach and they have a list of different ones you can go too if you'd like. Also there are a lot of shops there, go to the shop for the cruise lines only first though. Chances are you will get it a lot cheaper there.
16- you need to know how to BARGAIN. You can get them down a lot if you keep going at them half the time. Other times just WALK away. At all 3 places they attack you, come buy from my shop. Just don't make eye contact and you should be OK :)
17- The tours are all well worth it. TAKE ONE EVERYWHERE YOU GO.
18- There was just not enough time on the cruise. There was too much on the sea time then at the port of call time. BEWARE!!!!!!
19- Leaving the ship is quite interesting. We did not know you have to have all your bags packed and outside your door the night before you leave besides your carry on. So make sure you have a carryon to take your toothbrushes and stuff. Because your luggage you don't get to have until you get off the ship after you set it outside your door. Then you have to go to a certain area that morning at like 8:30 unless you need help or have an early flight- 7:00 then... and you sit there until your color of your luggage tag is called and you may leave the ship. They have DOG SNIFFERS so don't take anything back that will get you into TROUBLE!!!!!!!
Overall, it was a wonderful trip, too SHORT and not enough time at the PORTS OF CALL. just remember to get involved and bring LOTS OF MONEY!!!!!!
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org