Hubbs and I went on a cruise to Mexico recently to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was amazing! We had so much fun. We went to Cozumel and Progreso through Carnival. If you're planning a Carnival cruise, I have a few "musts" for you:
- You MUST get the "seasick patch." We didn't get one, but we had everything else for sea-sickness. Well, our second day (first full day at sea) into the cruise, Hubbs got sick and not just a little. He took Dramamine pills, wore Sea-bands, and even used some essential oils that were supposed to help with nausea/motion sickness. Nothing worked. Long story short, we got a patch from a fellow passenger, and it saved our trip! Even if you don't think you'll need them, get the patch just in case. You'll be glad you did!
- If you're prone to motion sickness, book a cabin toward the middle of the ship. We were in the front of the ship, with a porthole view, and it was rocky as hell! We could barely stand or get dressed and wanted to get out of the cabin ASAP. It wasn't so bad when lying down, so sleeping wasn't much of an issue for me (my husband would say otherwise).
- If you are a heavy drinker, get the Cheers drinking package once on board. When we averaged it out, we figured to come out ahead, we had to drink approximately 10 drinks each day. They limit you to 15/person/day. We are occasional drinkers (I have maybe a bottle of wine a week, he drinks even more seldom than that), and felt we had to push ourselves to come out ahead. We did end up making it worthwhile and it was certainly nice to have one less thing to worry about, but there were a couple of times we just had way too much to drink in order to do so. If this isn't an issue for you, get the package. Not sure if we'll purchase the Cheers package again, but we sure had fun!
- Shop around. It's not necessary to book your excursions through the cruise line. They jack up the price all for the "added security" of getting back to the boat on time. In all honesty, the other guys will get you there, too. They know that one bad review can ruin them, so they want to get you back to your boat on time, and ensure you enjoy yourself during your stay. You give good reviews, they continue to offer decent prices on excursions. The trick is to do your research. Look on cruising websites like Cruise Critic and find Facebook groups for your cruise. You can find reviews on excursions and excursion websites alike. Decide which ones you want to do, and which company is the best one to book through. Sometimes you might actually find it's cheaper to go through the cruise line, but for the excursions we wanted, we discovered that it was best to go another route.
- Let loose and have fun! Do something you normally wouldn't do. You're on vacation, so act like it. Belt it out at karaoke. Participate in an audience participation game. Shake your groove thing on the dance floor. It's not like you'll ever see these people again, so what if you make a fool of yourself? You're on vacation!