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Old 27 Jan 15, 11:32 PM  
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Everything You Need To Know About Carnival Cruise Line

Huge thanks to Heather (Scarecrow) and Joy (JSP) for doing this report on Carnival. Youre stars!

Carnival is for everyone, youngsters, oldies, mid oldies, kids. It offers excellent value for money. The fleet is so large it's difficult to do a breakdown on each ship. All of the photos in this thread are from The Breeze and Sunshine, but you will find info on other Carnival ships too.

Full deck plans and where they sail to can be found on Carnival.com. Unlike DCL, they tend to relocate their ships around various ports. Their Floridian ports are Miami (the main one), Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Cruises vary from 3 to 15 nights, including repositioning ones, and occasionally transatlantic too, usually to bring home a new build.

Check out their latest offering in the Med 2016, Carnival Vista.
Carnival Vista: Meet Our New Ship - YouTube
youtube/watch?v=T_JZhBv-J2k

What's included for FREE!
Food in the main dining rooms (MDRs) and the Lido restaurant, 24 hour room service (exluding alcohol, soda and maybe bottled water). Lemonade, coffee, tea, water also free.
nb: For the Spa Carnival menu, you have to have spa access.

Toiletries in you stateroom bathroom. These can change from ship to ship and cruise to cruise, but generally will include soap and a small toothpaste. In the shower, you will always find shampoo and shower gel, but no conditioner.

All youth programmes apart from Night owls (see below)
There is a baby sitting service available (costs a little extra I think) from 10pm-3am
Camp Carnival, ages 2 to 11
Night Owls - Ages 11 and under, for a nominal fee the kids can go to this until 3am.
Circle C - ages 12-14
Club o2 - ages 15-17 heres a snap from Club o2.

These are fantastic, my DS has been in Circle C and o2 and loved them both, he did have signing in and out privileges though, so that was probably why .


Pool and Deck Parties, including a Sail You Away party.
Stage Shows - Not as good as Disney, but they hit the spot

Onboard activities but a small charge for the thrill theatre on the Breeze and other new ships.

What's Onboard
All of the ships are unique and not all ships have everything so you will need to check out the ship yourself on Carnival.com to be absolutely sure.

Spa and Fitness area This from The Breeze


Senerity is an adult only seating and pool area. No kids under 21 are allowed and frequent checks and made by the crew. Here is the view from Serenity across the top deck of The Sunshine.


Cloud 9 Spa - the one on the Breeze is fantastic, it has everything, special pools, showers, hot seats. There is an excellent report over on cruise critic entitled Carnival Dream Spa everything you need to know. As far as I am aware only the newer ships, Breeze, Magic and Dream have this Spa.

Jogging Track
Sports Square - a sky course on some ships, basketball court, mini golf, pool, football and table tennis. here is the top deck on The Sunshine with sports area


Shopping
Art Gallery - a Carnival dime machine!
Entertainment
Punchlines Comedy Club
Dive-in-Movies - Top Tip: free popcorn is available at the Red Frog bar on deck on the Breeze and Sunshine when movies are playing.


Nightclub Here is the one on The Breeze


Casino - these are very popular.
Top tip if you have onboard credit that you know you will not spend: You can cash it out here! Sign up for a players card in the Casino, then take the card to a slot machine, the machine will ask you how much to put on your card, for example load a $100, then take a few slot pulls to spend a little, then take the card back to the casino window to cash out your balance. I did this three times and cashed out over $800 OBC, which was a mixture of refundable credit and non- refundable, plus excess port fees. It paid for our tips, plus some change left over.
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16 - Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017
- Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17 - Disney Wonder Panama Canal Apr 18

Last edited by Bats; 28 Jan 15 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 27 Jan 15, 11:34 PM  
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Waterworks - these are fantastic on both the Breeze and Sunshine. The Vista, still being built as at Jan 15 will also have a Waterworks.
Here is Waterworks on The Breeze.



Dining
Carnival offers two fixed dining times that change from ship to ship, usually around 6.00 or 8.00 plus My Time Dining. Food in the main restaurant is included in your cruise fare, but you have to pay for drinks, including soda but water is free.
One of the MDRs on The Sunshine:

And here is the Lido Buffet:


Casual dining - 24 hour pizzas, soft serve ice cream and frozen yoghurt plus 24 hour free room service. You have to pay for soda and alcohol in your room, see the menu for details in your room. Casual dining restaurants include Guys Burgers, Red Frog Pub and Blue lguana Cantina which serves freshly made Mexican classics, from tacos to burritos and everything in between. Sea dogs on sea days, Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ - again these vary from ship to ship, but all are found on the Breeze.
Here is Red Frog Pub (not looking much like a pub!):


And the Blue Iguana:


And Guys Burgers

And, here is one of the Guys Burgers:


On the Breeze you can try JiJim Asian Kitchen and Cucina del Capitano (Italian) for free during the day, but on an evening there is a small charge.

Steakhouse is a pay venue as is Bonsai Sushi and Chefs Table.
Here is Bonsai Sushi:


Bars - Again these vary from ship to ship.
Alchemy Bar
Blue lguana Tequila Bar
EA Sports Bar
The Library Bar
Red Frog Rum Bar
Havana Bar - Live music here & in the lobby in the evenings. (check the Carnival Daily, a paper that is left in your stateroom telling you what is happening and when).
Punchlines Comedy Club
Nightclub
Piano Bar - a live pianist plays during the evening
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16 - Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017
- Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17 - Disney Wonder Panama Canal Apr 18
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Old 27 Jan 15, 11:35 PM  
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Dress code
There are only 2 dress codes, cruise casual and cruise elegant. It's probably best I copy paste the official info -

What to Wear?
Casual attire is the order of the day. We suggest shorts, sundresses, tank tops, etc. for the ladies, and for men; shorts, polo shirts, T-shirts, etc. will do. We suggest you wear rubber-soled, low heeled or flat shoes for extra traction while onboard. The use of any footwear with wheels, including but not limited, to Heelys shoes, is prohibited on board our ships. For dining you may want to dress up a bit and/or bring along a light sports jacket or cardigan.
Most evenings we have a Cruise Casual dress code, but there are those Cruise Elegant evenings one or two nights throughout your Fun Ship voyage, where you will have the opportunity to showcase your more elegant attire. For those who want casual attire for dinner time, the Lido Restaurant is open nightly, and has a more relaxed theme. However, shirts and shoes/footwear (flip-flops) must be worn at all times inside the Lido Restaurant.
Both dress codes for the dining rooms are described below.
Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - Sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts; Ladies - Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs).
Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men and baseball hats.
Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - Dress slacks, dress shirts. We also suggest a sport coat. If you wish to wear suits and ties or tuxedos, by all means we invite you to do so. Ladies - Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; if youd like to show off your evening gowns, that's great too!
Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Elegant dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, T-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, jeans, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear and baseball hats


Stateroom Categories

Note: Each particular stateroom is allocated a set number of passengers, for example stateroom 11203 on the Breeze is for three. You are unable to book this stateroom for two or 4. They are also smaller than DCL rooms.

Interior
The big secret here is the 4J rooms, Google 4j interior walkway, some have great views and a window and more room for the price of an interior, but check your beds carefully. For example a 4j on the Vista only has a pull down bed and no couch. My 6ft DS would not be happy with that.

Oceanview
Look for larger cabins at the back of the boat for larger rooms again ring Carnival or your TA to check your bed set up, some can't be put together to form a king for example, but hey, look at the extra room you get!
On the Breeze and possibly the Magic and Dream too, there is a category called Deluxe Ocean view, it's basically a bigger ocean view with an extra bathroom. The second bathroom just has a junior tub and a sink, no toilet. This stateroom type can sleep up to five and is marketed as a family room, the tub makes it very useful for those with small children

Balcony
Most of these are bog standard rooms, there appears to be more room on the Dream class of ships (Breeze, Dream and Magic) than the older ships, but I haven't slept in one myself. The balcony on the Sunshine was a tight squeeze when my DS's bed was fully out, but hey, you only sleep in that room.

Suites
I would say that these are not worth the money for the extra room you get having seen an Ocean Suite. Now, the Captains suite on The Sunshine - WOW! I think that's classed as a Grand Suite.

Note for Spa Cabins - You get Elemise products in the spa cabins, spa robes and spa slippers. The odd thing that peeps moan about is that Carnival do not supply conditioner in the bathrooms, whether a normal cabin or a spa one. (You get a robe in all stateroom categories)

A good way to check which stateroom has what is to use Cruise Line Rooms.com or google your category, room number and ship then google will point you in the right direction!
Here are some room photos first up is an ocean view handicap room


And a balcony room. Note that when the sofa bed is out, it doesnt give you much space, but if you put the bed away, its easier.


And here is a random corridor with Coke can! (blame Heather, she sent me the photo Joa)
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16 - Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017
- Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17 - Disney Wonder Panama Canal Apr 18

Last edited by Bats; 28 Jan 15 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 27 Jan 15, 11:35 PM  
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Tips

Towels
These can be collected from the pool area on the ships but make sure when you book one out, you hand it in otherwise you are charged $20 ( I think). Also beach towels in your room, make sure they are all accounted for before you leave the ship to avoid charges.

Cruising from Miami
Carnival offer FTTF (Faster To The Fun) this costs around $50 and you pay this per cabin and not per passenger. Is it worth it? YES!

You are allocated special luggage tags and boarding cards, which you print off at online check-in before you arrive. Make sure you attach your tags to your luggage before you get there. The porters will take your luggage off you as you arrive, remember to tip them around $1 a case.

When you arrive at the cruise terminal, depending upon the time of day, there could be very long lines outside. Walk around to the main entry doorway and show them your FTTF boarding card and bingo, you are whisked straight to the front of the line. Once checked in, where you have your photo taken and boarding card issued, you are then free to board the ship, so long as it's cleared immigration, (I am lead to believe this is why the lines are so long, Miami immigration taking their time ).

You can then go straight to your room to drop off your bags and hit the buffet. If you choose not to purchase FTTF, then you are not allowed access to your stateroom until around 2.00pm, similar to most cruise lines.

Leaving The Ship
There are 2 ways .. if you can manage all your bags yourself you can get off quite quickly as soon as the ship is cleared. The other way is to put your bags outside your stateroom the night before (except your carry on luggage) and then you will be given a time to get off, your bags will be waiting for you in the terminal.
One other thing, clearing immigration if you finish your cruise in Tampa, may actually be carried out onboard the ship, with us, they called us all to the main theatre quite early in the morning and we had to go up as a family and be cleared there, no one could get off the ship till we were all seen, and one person didn't turn up meaning a long delay for everyone else!

Food pics!




And one from the Cake Store (extra charge .. dammit)!


And some of the decks and pools (Breeze first):



And Sunshine:



And one last picture towels animals are not just for Disney!
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16 - Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017
- Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17 - Disney Wonder Panama Canal Apr 18

Last edited by Bats; 28 Jan 15 at 10:27 PM.
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