Our Carnival Cruise Experience: A Review of Why We Love Cruising

10/15/14 Update: Check our post here on Carnival VS. Princess: difference on Food, Room, Shows, etc. We listed the difference between Carnival Cruise and Princess Cruises so you can decide with cruise ship is better suited for you.

4/9/13: We went on Carnival Cruise again just this past January as a Christmas gift from my husband. My hubby and I fell in love with cruising when we first tried it in February of 2009. We’ve cruised 3 times before but I have never wrote a Carnival Cruise Review or of our experience, so this post is long overdue. We are also cruising with a baby(inside me). I’m cruising while pregnant? Yes. I got Seabands on. And our 2.5 years old toddler accompanied us. She had tons on fun.


We cruised with Carnival and it was winter. We have a toddler with us. I’m pregant and having extremely bad morning sickness that lasted all day. Going on a cruise? I was worried. When my hubby bought the cruise tickets back in December, he didn’t know we were gonna get pregnant. So with seabands(to help with sea sickness) on my wrist(hoping they’d work), we headed to Long Beach for our fourth Carnival cruise. And our daughters’ first cruise.

Top 20 Reasons Why We Love Cruising.. With or Without a Child in Tow:

1. Nonstop food from the moment you step on board!

There’s sit down dining (order as much lobster and molten chocolate cake as you want), buffet style dining and there’s even room service. Plus 24 hour pizza. We started with a buffet once we boarded and took a nap after. What more can you ask for. Burp and Zzzzz…

Update: Carnival Cruise now charges for Lobster on shorter cruises.

2. You’d never have to carry cash or credit card around

Not even to tip(they add a daily fix rate on top of your cruise cost). Everyone is issued a Fun Ship Card, which is your room key. And you use it for your other purchases like jewelry and art at the art auction.

3. Fun and yummy cocktail drinks

We all need that. Their drinks are around $7. I’m into fruity drinks and they are all good and comes in fun containers(not pictured) too. I didn’t get any alcoholic drinks(I’m pregnant) during this trip and ordered the virgin version instead.

4. Drinking without worrying about a designated driver

Sure you can get a cab in Vegas, but how about in LA. You don’t have to worry about DUI here. Not that we drink a lot, but it’s better to be safe.

5. Hot chocolate all day long

So you can’t be comforted by strawberry margarita coz you’re under 21 or you’re pregnant like me. Well there’s coffee, milk, lemonade and ice tea too. And of course hot chocolate that I like bringing to the deck while I enjoy the ocean view in the comfort of one of the lounge chairs. You’d have to pay for sodas, other juices and alcoholic drinks but everything else is inclusive.

6. Your room is an elevator away

You wanna freshen up? Change to a new attire? Get your swimsuits? Or did you just eat too much? Perhaps you had too much too drink. Or in our case our toddler needs to nap, and so do we. We didn’t even bring a diaper bag around anymore. Having the room closeby is so convenient.


7. The fun never stops.

Yes, the food never stops. But so does the activities. Every room gets a flyer everyday of the hourly activities happening on board. We bring this around with us and check on it after every activity or usually after every hourly snack, haha. You’ll never run out of things to do or watch.

8. Good nightly entertainment

Singing, dancing, full-on costumes and live band accompaniment. Well rehearsed show that’s fun and entertaining. There’s also a nightly comedy show that’s equally entertaining.

9. Casual Fridays or Dress to Impress

Whatever rocks your boat. The usual attire onboard is casual, except for one night where everyone dresses up for the sit-down dinner. But you can go wear a tux, down to just a tie depending on how you interpret it formal. You can be as posh as Rose or so-so like Jack(Titanic). One time we went to the buffet wearing robes after a dip in the jacuzzi. Ahh…life.

10. We keep winning in the cruise casino

Cashing.. Cashing. It’s not as big as the casinos in Vegas, but good enough to win. We only do slots. And we always win some on the first night. Don’t ever play on the last night is our rule.

11. Bingo! We Won! Finally! Haha.

It’s no beginner’s luck. We only won on this fourth cruise with Carnival Cruise. I think we won $180. But the prize can go as high as a $1000 or more.

12. Dance the night away

There are two disco rooms aboard Carnival Cruise plus a band on the hallway. Nope, it’s not the ship rocking. It’s you in your dancing shoes.

13. Jacuzzi with a view

When the ship docks in Mexico and almost everyone has gone down for a field excursion. We spend our alone time on Carnival Cruise’s jacuzzi just enjoying the view (with wine on hand).

14. Swimming pool with a huge slide

Everyone is lounging getting a tan and ordering drinks on Carnival Cruise. We do our share of going for a dip and a slide in the pool that never really gets crowded.

15. The $10 store where I got a gold bangle from our first cruise that I really love. Everybody actually thought it’s real. The color hasn’t changed still. So yes there’s a little shopping on board for the shopaholic.

16. Fitness Center if you get guilty about all the eating.

Carnival Cruise houses a gym so you can keep on with your fitness regimen while your eating habit is out of whack.

17. A Spa to pamper you.

Take me to paradise.. Now! Get a massage or a facial, they have a beautiful spa tucked away on the top floor of Carnival Cruise and away from the crowd.

18. Friendly crews from all over the world who catered to your every need.

Any vacation will not be successful without good service from its staff. And we’ve always had a pleasant experience with them. They keep the rooms in tip top shape. And keep your glass full as well(wink wink)!

19. Animal towels

I’m just as fascinated with the animal towels left in our room every day as much as my toddler. They even offer towel folding class for free on Carnival Cruise.

20. Cruise Daycare or Babysitter on Board.. Aka Camp Carnival

Cruising with kids? No worries. The most important part about cruising with your kid/kids is Camp Carnival. If you’re wondering why cruiseliners always charge full price for kids, it’s because they have nonstop activity catered to their age so we parents can get some alone time.

They have an everyday flyer of activities as well as us adults. You can leave the kids at the cruise daycare for the most part or pick the activities you wish your kid to get involved in. They even have disco night where my toddler got a medal for being the best dancer. As well as a Camp Carnival book to take home after their storytime.

Our toddler was only 2.5 years old when we cruised and she has never been to daycare. But the staffs were so friendly, she didn’t cry at all when we left her. Making our trip both fun as a family and as a couple. And if you really need it, they also have an after 10 PM babysitting til 3 AM for only $6 an hour.

All in all, we had a great time with this latest cruise with Carnival. The first two days I didn’t feel any morning sickness at all although the third day was rough due to my pregnancy.

Carnival Cruise actually offers the cheapest cruise plus the only one that leaves Los Angeles for a weekend cruise so you don’t have to be off work too long that’s why we always take this cruise liner. But on my bucket list is to go on board a Disney Cruise with the Disney Characters. For now, I’m staying on shore and enjoying all Los Angeles has to offer.




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