5 Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers You Must Read

5 Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers You Must Read

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I absolutely love cruising and try to take one several time a year. Lucky for me living in California, I’m only a hops skip and drive away from the Carnival Cruise terminal in Long Beach, Ca.  Living so close allows me to take advantage of last minute discount cruises and quick 2 days weekend cruises. Over the years I have learned so much from cruising but if it’s your first time on a Carnival Cruise you might have a lot of questions. To help you prepare for your first Carnival Cruise here are “5 Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers”

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers: VIFP (Very Important Fun Person)


I’m all about the loyalty programs. Airline miles, gas rewards, grocery store club cards, I use them all, and Carnival’s VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) program is no exception. If you have never sailed with Carnival Cruise Lines before, signing up for the VIFP is a must (and it’s free). For every day you cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines you earn a point (5 days = 5 Points). These points can then be redeemed for cool carnival perks like an upgrade in your stateroom, Carnival gear, priority boarding etc.

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers: Book In Advance

If you plan on doing an excursion, booking a spa treatment or buying a drink package, do it in advance (before boarding the ship). This will save you wasted time staying in line and trying to take care of it on the ship. Those lines get long and since Carnival makes it easy to book almost everything in advance, do it and get it over with.

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers: Make Reservations

If you are a food and crave more than a buffet dining at the ships steakhouse or taking part in the chef table experience is a must but make sure you book in advance. We made reservations for the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast and I’m happy we did because it sold out before we even left the port and that next morning I saw several sad faces who missed out.

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers: Come Ready To Eat


Bring your appetite! I try to keep my eating in check while at home, but when I step foot on a Carnival Cruise ship, that all goes out the window. There is so much to choose from that you could eat every minute of the day and still not taste everything. I like to start my day early in the morning with free room service of pastries and coffee. I then head out on deck to watch the sunrise. I follow that up with a light breakfast at the buffet once everyone else wakes up.

The afternoon is filled with several trips for soft service ice cream and whatever is on the dessert bar. Lunch is usually burgers at Guy Fieri’s Burger Point…or pizza…or both. The late afternoon brings fresh fruit and cocktails by the pool. Did I mention their dinner buffer is massive but their sit down dinner in the dining room is amazing (and also all you can eat)? Late night snacking usually consists of more desserts followed by rolling myself to bed in my yoga pants. The next morning wake up and repeat.

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers: Download The App

Carnival Cruise Tips For First Timers

Did you know Carnival Cruise Lines has it’s own ob board mobile app? Yup, its called Carnival Hub and it’s totally free. Carnival HUB is your go-to guide for everything happening on the ship. What to know what time the towel folding class is, or what time bingo starts and where its located? Check the app. I also loved that I could check the app to find out what time things opened, like the pool, Camp Carnival and the bar! The app does not require WIFI so don’t worry about running through your data, and it only works while you are on the ship. I found the app super helpful and I used it way more than I thought I actually would.