There are definitely ups and downs about cruising and in my experience you either love it or you hate it. I definitely love it! I LOVE the ocean so being on a cruise is kind of my happy place. I cruised with Princess to Alaska in 2011 but this was my first cruise with Carnival.
Our cruise was seven days, three full days at sea (plus the first day which was really only a half day,) and three days on land. Three full days at sea was a lot more than I was used to, having only been on one cruise before and that one didn’t have any full days on the water. I liked the relaxation aspect of it, knowing that I didn’t have to be anywhere in particular unless I wanted to be; but I really love to travel and explore so I was kind of bummed that I was wasting vacation time just hanging around.
The staff on the ship are pretty incredible. They work so hard and they have such great attitudes and they genuinely enhanced my experience. Our stateroom steward, Newbon, was incredibly caring and so sweet. We talked about his family back home in India and the incredible sacrifice he makes by being away from them ten months a year to work for the cruise line and provide for his wife and children. Our waiters in the dining room were awesome too, Muhammed and Renato were so great.
Tip #1: Bring a power strip!!
I know I sound crazy but our room only had one outlet and there were three of us living in there. Between three phone chargers, a hair straightener and a hair dryer we were already out of plugs!
Tip #2: Get the later dinner time!
We had the earlier time and because of this we missed the sunset every night because by the time we were finished eating the sun had already set.
Tip #3: Do something!
Don’t just lay around doing nothing all day, even if something seems lame or weird go try it! I went to one of the activities because I was just wandering around the ship and happened upon it and I ended up really enjoying myself!
Tip #4: Talk to strangers!!
Cruises are great because they kind of force you to meet new people and you’d be surprised to see how many cool people you can meet! One of my favorite meetings on this cruise was with a college professor that happened to teach classes that related to my major. I had a lot of fun talking to him and even getting advice from him.
As far as excursions go I couldn’t have been happier about the ones I chose. In Cabo San Lucas I got to go swimming with the dolphins with Cabo Adventures and in Puerto Vallarta my entire family enjoyed the day at Las Caletas Beach Hideaway with Vallarta Adventures. Both of which were experiences I will never forget. (Follow the links with the city names for my posts about my days on land!!)