Questions?...Call Great Rates Travel at 210-410-2580
Carnival CRUISE TIPS...
Valuable "Insider Tips" to enhance your cruise experience
Exclusively from Great Rates Travel Service!
Owners Debby & Joe
Great Rates Travel
Great Rates Travel Service
20 Great Suggestions to Increase your Fun on your Carnival Cruise!

What to See and Do…How to get Free Stuff Onboard…and Other Great
Tips to Save you Money and Just have More Fun on your Carnival Cruise!...

1. Board Early!  You can usually get on board by 11am (as soon as the ship is cleared of
departing passengers), and there will be a Bon Voyage Buffet waiting for you poolside when you
arrive.  If you arrive early, we recommend the
free Walking Tour of the ship, to get oriented and
learn your way around.  This is usually scheduled before departure on embarkation day (check
the daily activity schedule in your room or at the Purser’s Information Desk for the exact time).
You can also use the extra time to unpack, explore the ship, or enjoy a Sail-Away Drink Special
by the pool.
 *Note that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now requires that all
passengers MUST be on board at least one hour prior to the ship's scheduled departure time

so that the cruise line can submit the full passenger and crew manifest 60 minutes prior to
 If you do not complete your FunPass pre-registration at least 4 days before your
, you will need to check in at least 90 minutes prior to departure.  Late passengers may
be denied boarding or delay departure.
 Board Early and start your Vacation Sooner!

2. Pick up a pocket-size “Deck Plan” at the Purser’s Desk – keep it with you during your cruise
so you can find your way to the different events, activities, and dining areas available.  Carnival
cruise ships are huge floating resorts, and you’ll be delighted by all there is to see and do on
board!  (There is also a map of each floor at every elevator.)

3. Get To Know the Ship:  It’s a good idea to take a walking tour of the entire ship early in your
cruise.  There are a lot of areas you might never see otherwise (Bring the pocket map you
picked up at the purser’s desk…Save time and skip the lower decks that have only passenger
rooms and the Medical Center).  You will discover some fantastic star-gazing spots; find some
of the more remote and quiet pools, hot tubs, and lounge chairs (few people find the smaller
pools and tanning areas on the top decks of the ship and the nearly-private decks at the front of
some decks...which are only accessible by passing all the staterooms and exiting the doors at
the front of the ship)!  Plus many ships have a great area hidden behind the buffet area on the
lido deck, where you can enjoy a morning coffee or read (open patio tables with panoramic
views are hidden away behind the buffet area on many ships).

4. Indulge Yourself with the gourmet selections in the formal Dining Room, which offers
delicious 4 and 5-course dinners nightly
…Many cruisers are not aware that even in the main
you are not limited to one entree (or appetizer or desert), so if you cannot decide,
go ahead and order both the prime rib and the lobster!
 You can also ask for seconds!  You will
find that your wait staff is happy to cater to your specific desires.  You may want to try one of the
entrée selections as an appetizer, or have several appetizers or salads as your entrée.  Don’t be
shy—this is your opportunity to sample popular delicacies from around the world, and
everything's included with your cruise!  We highly recommend the Beef Wellington, Steaks,
lobster (served on the captains formal night), and jumbo shrimp, as well as the Baked Alaska
and other exotic deserts!

5. When you’re looking for a relaxed alternative to the gourmet 5-Star dining choices in the
main dining room
, the International Buffet offers a tasty variety of entrees from around the
…The Carving Station serves delicious ham and roast beef, and the fresh deli is
Seafood lovers will also enjoy Carnival's new Sushi Bars on select ships.  Plus
there's ice-cream & frozen yogurt available 24-hours a day in the buffet area!  
Another great
Insider's Tip for you
...Most ships have a large seating area and restaurant hidden away JUST
ABOVE the buffet area...look for the two small staircases leading to it...many guests never find
this one, but most Carnival ships have lots of quiet seating and a nice
seafood cafe up there!  
Room service also is included in your cruise fare
, as are the various specialty restaurants,
such as
Asian, New York deli and the 24-hour Pizzaria!  Additional fees are charged at the
signature supper club and the coffee bar. Make your supper club reservations as soon as you
board, as capacity is limited.

6. Try Room Service... A full menu is available 24 hours a day. Enjoy breakfast in bed!  You can
also leave a breakfast menu order form on your door and it will be delivered at your preferred
time (helpful on days when you’re leaving early for shore excursions.)  Kids love to call and order
a plate of cookies and brownies for a late night snack.  (Room service is
free until 10pm, and
available for a $2.50 svc. fee thereafter; and tips are always appreciated).  See a sample menu

7. Read the daily “Carnival Capers” (delivered to your cabin every night during turndown
service) for a detailed schedule of events. You’ll find a lot of great information about
entertainment events, your ports of call, and daily specials available throughout the ship.  You’ll
also find it convenient to
tear out the perforated daily schedule summary on the last page of the
Capers to carry with you during the day.
  Here are some highlights …
  • Exotic daily drink specials (announced in your daily Carnival Capers) …These tasty
    tropical favorites are quite affordable at about $4.75 each when you ask for the small
    size...or get a large one in a souvenir glass!  +Check out Bar Menus HERE.
  • Fabulous Las Vegas and Broadway style shows each night...and Carnival's
    entertainment is top rate these days!  You won't want to miss these sensational shows.
  • You'll laugh your head off at the Comedy shows...At least two different comedians on
    each ship!
  • The Piano Sing-Alongs and Superstar Karaoki (with live band!) are also a blast!
  • A wonderful variety of ship tours, demonstrations, lessons and seminars are held
    daily. The spa seminars are enlightening. Dance lessons loads of fun, The special
    cooking (and tasting!) demonstration put on by the ship's specialty
    restaurant/Steakhouse is fantastic ($5 charge) and gives you a taste of the upgraded
    appetizers, entrees and deserts that they serve in this optional restaurant.  We also
    recommend the ship's Galley Tour, when available (you’ll be amazed by what goes in to
    the preparation and service of thousands of five-course meals to the ship's guests each
    day).  Or If you'd like to see more of the ship’s inner workings, sign up for a “Behind the
    Fun” tour (nominal fee). This tour offers access to the bridge, crew dining rooms and
    activity centers, and other areas normally off-limits to guests. There is also a really  
    fabulous "Chef's Table" dinner available (fee), where one of the ship's top chefs get to
    show off his talent in a specially-prepared dinner for a small group of people...An
    unforgettable experience that is well worth it!...These tours sell out early, make
    reservations early by calling the ship's specialty restaurant or shore excursions desk.

8. The on board Spa and Beauty Salon offers a full variety of luxurious services such as
massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and beauty treatments, from $20 up.  You’ll need to
reserve space early if you want an appointment the day of the Captain’s Dinner/Formal night.  
But if you are looking for a deal, you’ll want to keep an eye on the daily specials advertised in the
Carnival Capers, like a mini massage
and facial, manicure and pedicure…ALL for about $65!  
Ladies will also find numerous beauty and fitness seminars scheduled daily, as well as
drawings for free products and services.

9. Bring or Rent Short-Wave Radios to keep in touch!...With so much to do and see on board
the ship, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by using short-wave radios or walkie-
talkies to keep in touch with your party.  The ship’s gift store sells them for $50 and up, but you
can also rent a nice set on board from the ship’s Golf Pro for about $39/week.  Read your Day
One Carnival Capers (or ask at the Purser’s desk) for the time and location to meet the Golf Pro
for the radio rentals.  (You can also ask this PGA certified Golf Pro about the ship’s Golf
Academy and putting lessons, as well as golfing shore excursions available at your ports of call.)

10. Save Money…Bring your Own Sodas!  Carnival allows you to carry aboard a 12-pack of your
favorite soft drinks, which is a good idea if you like soda, because there is a charge for soft
drinks on board.  (Coffee, hot and ice tea, milk, punch, and juices are all complimentary in the
dining areas.)  Ask your room steward for ice and they will keep your stateroom’s ice bucket full
during your cruise, so you can pour your own drinks.  You can also buy a “Soda Card” on board
for about $5/day, which entitles you to unlimited sodas from any bar or restaurant area during
your cruise.  Buy your soda card on the first day of your cruise and you’ll also get a large
souvenir mug free that you can use for soda refills.

11. A bottle of Wine or Champagne may also be brought from home to help you celebrate
your special occasion, for consumption in your stateroom only (or there is a $10 corkage fee if
you wish to drink it in the dining room.)   And whether you're celebrating a special event or not,
you may want to visit Carnival's online
Fun Shop before you can buy special room
decoration packages, flowers and treats, drink packages, cake or wine to be delivered at dinner,
and other gifts and souvenirs!

12. Pick up a Free deck of Carnival Souvenir Playing Cards at the Purser’s Information desk the price at the gift shop!
 You are now one of the lucky insiders to know about
this one!
-- Simply stop by the Information desk and tell them your Great Rates Travel agent told
you to ask for your free deck of playing cards...and they'll hand you one!
with a picture of your ship are also available at the Purser's desk!

13. Attach a colorful ribbon or streamer to your stateroom door to help you find your cabin
more easily (or to your Balcony railing if you wish to see it from shore!)

14. Don't miss the Bon Voyage Cocktail Party on the last night of your cruise you’ll meet the
ships captain & crew, and (they don't tell you this in the daily program...) receive complimentary
cocktails and hors doeuvres too!  Check your daily Carnival Capers schedule for the exact time!)

15. Hang out by the pool more… with four or five activities on the schedule to choose from about
every fifteen minutes, it may be hard to remember that you came to relax.  But you’ll probably
treasure the time you spent lounging by the pool most of all…the poolside ambiance is festive,
and the sun is warm.  You’ll often find live island music and poolside games such as the
hilarious Hairy Chest Contest, Belly Flop contest, Trivia Games, and an amazing Ice-Carving
Demonstration.  Or, if you want more privacy, check out the
Serenity Adults Only deck with
covered seating and additional hot tubs (available on most ships).

16. Don’t Miss the Sunsets!... True romantics gather at dusk on the ship’s bow (or stern,
depending on which way the ship is headed!)  From the upper decks you can enjoy dramatic
views -- the unobstructed sunsets on the open sea are truly remarkable.  Star-gazing and
sunrise are also excellent!  If you’re lucky enough to have a Private Balcony stateroom, you’ll
enjoy spectacular, unobstructed sunsets from your balcony while sailing in one direction, and
then sunrises in the other!  (You will find the exact time of Sunrise and Sunset in your daily
Carnival Capers.)

17. If you enjoy Fine Art, you’ll find sensational values at the Champagne Art Auctions – plus
free door-prize drawings for fine art!  View original signed works while learning about famous
artists such as Dali, Neiman, Tarkay, Max, Steynovitz, and Picasso, selling at nearly half of their
appraised values, with some works starting as low as $30.

18. Children aged 2-17 will LOVE Carnival’s Award-winning Camp Carnival, Circle C, and
Club O2 youth activities!  
Young passengers enjoy a full schedule of activities and fun-packed
events custom tailored to each age group. (Scavenger Hunts, Dancing lessons, ice-cream
socials, talent show, video, arcade, and board games, arts, crafts, t-shirt painting…loads of fun
activities, games and prizes!)  Note that Children age 10 and over are allowed to sign
themselves in and out – but they won’t want to leave!

19. Gratuities ARE adjustable.  Carnival now recommends gratuities of $11.50 per passenger,
per day to cover your wait staff and room stewards ($57.50pp for a 5-night cruise).  For your
convenience, Carnival automatically adds this amount to your on board Sail & Sign account on
the last day of your cruise (unless you have prepaid gratuities).  In the fine print though, you will
read that
you are free to adjust the gratuities up or down, or have them removed
completely from your on-board account if you would prefer to tip the staff directly.
We think you'll find the staff well worth it though!

20. Top Suggestions for Your Ports of Call…
Choose from an awesome selection of popular shore excursions priced from $29 up,
and well worth the cost!  You can read about your choices and register early at the
Carnival website (see your cruise confirmation letter for instructions), or onboard at the
Shore Excursion Desk.  There is also an informative Port & Shore Excursions seminar
and video presentation on board.  Everyone raves about Carnival's fantastic shore
excursions, and you'll find the native guides and instructors to be very friendly and
Bottled water and underwater cameras are available at reasonable prices just inside
the gangway at your ports of call.  It is usually warm year round in the Caribbean and it’s
a good idea to bring your own cold water when you go ashore.
If you’re planning to snorkel, you might bring a couple squares of cheese like you can
find at the ship’s buffet…for a fantastic up-close fish encounter and great photo
opportunity.  Caution though…you will be surrounded by fish trying to get a nibble!  
Ladies, try a Hair Braid!  Bring a touch of the Caribbean home with you – The locals love
to offer braids and wraps to add an island flair to your hair style.  They can braid the
whole head, just the front, or you can get a couple thin braids on each side for only
$2-$3/braid, or half/full head braids are very popular too...Braids give you a fun look that
will last for 2-3 weeks.  And for men they offer temporary tattoos that last a few weeks
and look quite real.

Whatever you choose to do on your Carnival cruise, you are in for a FUNTASTIC Caribbean

Thank you for using Great Rates Travel Service!   We hope that our personal Insider Tips and
will help you to better enjoy this fun-filled, exciting vacation!  Please let us know if
you have any additional tips for this ship which you'd like to share with our future guests.  We
would love to hear back from you after your cruise, and we are also looking for photos and
suggestions for our new
Past Guests "Feedback” page of our website!  Thank you again, and
Bon Voyage!

Debby and Joe DeWeese, Owners
Great Rates Travel Service
This is a link to the Carnival
reserve excursions for each of
your Ports of Call.