Roll Call
-Helpful Info for Cruisers-

Cruise Tips...

Luggage storage - We put our two 29" bags under the bed. We also store the life jackets in them to make more space in the closets. This is especially helpful when there are 3 or 4 life jackets in the closet. Just don't forget where they are in case you need them.

Soda Card - If you buy the soda card while in the embarkation port, you pay sales tax. By waiting until the next morning, you save around $8 to $10. I suggest using a Carnival branded water bottle when ordering a soda. They will put ice in it and fill it up with soda, with large bottles taking more than 12 oz. Otherwise they fill a glass with ice and pour in the soda, not giving you the whole 12 oz., and they never give you what is remaining in the can.

Bringing Your Own Wine - Each person is allowed to bring one (1) 750 ml bottle of wine on board for each boarding pass they have. For example, if you and your spouse/roommate are doing a back-to-back cruise, you can bring a total of four (4) bottles on board on embarkation day.

Steakhouse - Booking this specialty restaurant on embarkation day gives you a free bottle of house wine per TABLE. If you wish to eat with others, I'd suggest you make separate reservations and act surprised when you see then at the restaurant. Then ask to be seated together.

Bags of Laundry - Carnival will wash, dry and fold a bag of laundry for $15, or 5 bags for $50. Diamond level guests get this service for free and benefit for Platinum guests depends on the length of the cruise (2 bags on 3 – 6 day cruises, 3 bags on 7-12 day cruises, 5 bags on 12+ day cruises.) They take your clothes out of the paper bag and put it in a mesh bag, then throw the bag into a very hot commercial washer with bags from other guests. They do not sort your stuff. I can only assume that if your clothes are all dark, they will wash it with like clothing. We have had stuff ruined such as a polo shirt coming back a weird color and underwire bras damaged. So, be careful what you send in. It works fine for my underwear and jeans. To get the most stuff in each bag I suggest you tightly role each item.

Packing Tape - This is used in case your laundry bag rips, or you have a really full bag. With a full bag, I place one of the many Art Auction flyers on top of the bag, then run tape across the top to keep stuff from falling out and from the tape getting on the clothes.

Inside Cabin with a window - My wife didn't want to sail in an inside cabin until we learned to turn the TV to the forward facing cam station(with sound muted.) Now, if she wakes up and the TV is dark, she knows the sun isn't up yet. This doesn't work on all ships as some switch to scenic videos when the sun goes down.

Shareholder Benefit OBC - If you own 100 shares of Carnival Corporation or Carnival PLC stock, you can get OBC based on the number of days of your cruise. This applies to any cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation, such as HAL and Princess. Be aware that the Carnival Board of Directors much vote to continue this benefit each year. So, it is not guaranteed to continue. The plan offers $50 in onboard credit for sailings of six days or less, $100 for sailings that are 7 to 13 days long, and $250 for sailings of two weeks or longer.

Booking Back-to-Back (B2B) Cruises - When we take the trouble to fly or drive to a port, we prefer to make the best of the trip and do more than one cruise from that port. I was very surprised to find many fellow cruisers who had no idea you could do that. We always look a the cruise before and after the target cruise. Often they do multiple itineraries like an Eastern and Western Caribbean making a very nice 14-day cruise. The only downside is that the shows and menus are repeated.

More to come...