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Age: 48


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Inspiration

Sailing Date: January 2nd, 2006

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Taking your first cruise? Here's a few tips that might help. One thing to consider. Do you get seasick? I have never gotten seasick. Guess what? I did the last day due to rough seas. I suggest you plan ahead. Take patches or pills for motion sickness. Try getting your stateroom mid ship because there is less movement when and if the seas get rough.

Boarding the ship is not as hard as you may think. Arrive early because chances are you can board the ship and reduce the amount of time you will spend standing in line.

If you plan on driving and parking at the pier, you can unload your bags before doing so. A porter will be there to take them to the proper place. He's going to take them anyway, so you might as well let him have them before you park. I do suggest locking your luggage. Keep your carry on bags. Be sure to tip him though. It is worth every penny you choose to give him. Carry on bags may be what ever you want to deal with, but they will be subject to go through a scanner so don't try to take anything your not suppose to take. Go online and print a fun pass. This will help speed things up when you are going through the boarding process. Have all papers that you are suppose to have in hand and readily available. Your ticket will be taken, information processed, picture taken, and a sign and sail card issued to you. This sail and sign card is your ID card and your money card on the ship for the duration of your cruise, but you will still need to keep a picture ID with you also.The whole process took my wife and I about 30 minutes or less. Far less than what we had expected. Once on board, if you got on early, you probably can't go to your room yet. Don't fret, go to the Lido deck and start having fun. Your cruise has begun!! Lunch was being served and the bar was open when we got there. Your room will be ready by your embarkation time and then you may go lighten your load. Before your ship leaves the dock, there will be a mandatory life boat drill. You will have to put on your life vest and go to your lifeboat station. This is a life saving drill so pay attention and don't worry about how anything looks. Everyone is doing it and it only takes a few minutes. Our luggage arrived at our door within 1 hour. Don't forget to take some dining clothes for your evening dining. At least two sets of formal wear if you want to take advantage of the fine dining times. If you don't want to then don't worry because you can find a food gallery open at all times on the ship. You will be assigned a dining room and early or late!

This is a matter of your preference what time you wish to eat. Alcohol and soft drinks are not free. So if you like to drink sodas, ($1.75 per can), I suggest you purchase a fountain card for $20.00. This way you drink all the sodas you want to. Alcohol will still cost you per drink. Food, food, food is free, free, free. Eat all you want when you want it. Room service is free 24 hours a day. You may tip if you wish, that is the only cost. Shows are free, and there is always something going on somewhere on the ship. You will receive a small ship news paper everyday that tells you about that days itinerary. You can book an excursion right from the ship if you wish, so it doesn't have to be done before you go. This is a easy process and takes only a few minutes to complete. We booked two excursions and our tickets were delivered to our room before we had our evening meal the first day. Have fun, get involved, you will be treated like a king or queen the whole time you are on board. Service is the one thing you will receive plenty of. You will want for nothing. Ask and you shall receive. \Pictures will be taken everywhere and anywhere. They take super pictures on and off the ship. Have your picture taken as often as you like on the ship. They will be posted in the photo gallery. Here you will find your photos on display and may purchase as many as you want or discard the ones you don't want. This will go on all through your cruise. Enjoy!! There will be plenty of shopping on the ship if you wish. So get ready to do some shopping there also. They have some great items on the ship at great deals.

Well everything has to come to an end and so will your cruise. And you will have to go through a disembarkation process. On the last night of your cruise, you will need to be packed and ready to go. Your luggage will need to be left outside your room by midnight. It will be picked up and moved to a holding place on the ship. When the ship docks, it will be moved to the holding warehouse. This is where you will pick it up after disembarkation. Again, I suggest locking your luggage. We also put red colored cable ties on our luggage handles to make them more visible. Keep what you will need for the next morning so you won't be caught off guard. Think and plan ahead because you will have to carry off everything you keep with you. Have no fear, This is not bad either. We heard of long lines and long waits. Not so. Piece of cake. There was a disembarkation time for people that had to go through immigration. This was early, 6:00 a.m. Then around eight anyone who kept all their luggage and was willing to carry it off with no help, was called to disembark. Then at 9:00 a.m. everyone else was called to disembark. If you are in the late crowd, get up early, get ready, go to the Lido deck and have breakfast, relax go out on deck if weather permits and enjoy. Return to your room about 8:45 and get your carry off luggage and proceed to the disembarkation line. Once you leave the ship you will go to customs which will most likely wave you right on through. Piece of cake. Don't try to sneak anything off that you shouldn't because penalty's are stiff if you get caught. Your luggage will be in a holding warehouse and will be lined up per your colored tags. Just go to your color and find your bags. Again there will be a porter there to help you if you wish. Tips are worth it for their help. Our cruise was wonderful and we look forward to doing it again. I hope these tips will help you as we learned a lot from reading reviews and tips. Still you will learn things to make you next cruise even easier. Good luck and happy sailing. Carnival is a great way to sail and make you feel like a King.

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