Well hello! It feels like it’s been forever since I last posted. Does it feel that way for you too? Shoot it feels like it’s been forever since my vacation even though it hasn’t. I’m already ready for my next one tho!
So remember in my last post on my cruise to the bahamas and how I mentioned sharing some cruise tips? I know I said I would share them the next day and then didn’t. #FAIL! I’m sorry. 🙁 I had every intentions of posting it but then got super busy. The move plus my son starting school just has me all out of whack and messed up. I feel completely unorganized – thanks to my stuff being everywhere – and still haven’t even had a chance to fully unpack and put everything how I want it. All the free time I had in the evenings is now spent driving in the car to get home from work. Boo. I love living in the country again but dang I hate the drive. I spend 2 hours in the car just driving to and from work each day and it gets old fast. I wish my job would allow me to work from home.
So anyway, enough about my life, back to the crusie.
This was my 3rd time cruising and I finally figured out some things that saved money and time!
Let me put some of those tips into perspective for you.
1. The transfers offered by Carnival cost $32 per person for a round trip from Miami airport and $60 round trip from Ft. Lauderdale. There were 3 of us that went on this cruise so that would have cost me $96 for all of us. Instead I paid $25 plus gave a $5 tip to the cab driver, which saved me $66.
$66 = 2.5 buckets of beer (4 bottles per bucket)
2. Our flight got into Miami at 9am. Since we got in so early we ate breakfast at the airport then caught a cab to the port. The ride to the port was 20 minutes and then we checked in at Cruise terminal. We were among the first to check in and didn’t have to wait in line at all. Then when they started calling people to board at 11am we were first to get on the ship. Lunch was served on the ship at 12:30 so we got to enjoy the buffet the very first day!
3. Sodas are expensive. I can’t remember the exact price but I want to say $5 give or take. However, the “Bottomless Bubbles” Unlimited Soda Program is $25.88 for a 5 day cruise and well worth it! You can get as many sodas as you want each day. Water, Lemonade, Tea and Juices are all free. So if you’re not a soda drinker like me there are still plenty of other drink choices. (not to mention the wide variety of beer, wine, and mixed drinks!)
4. Ahh Cash is king! I can’t tell you how many people I talked to that said they used a credit card for their sign and sail card. I don’t like having debt or not knowing what I’m spending and if you’re like me then using a credit card is a big no no! I highly recommend adding money to your card with cash. When you check in, you give them the cash you want on the card and you’re good to go. There are kiosks on the ship that allow you to check your balance at any time so if your account get low, just add more money. Should you have money left over on the last day, no biggie. In the morning, when you wake up you will have a check at your door for the balance left in your account.
5. Self check out is a must! I’m not a fan of lines or waiting plus I like to book as early a flight as possible. With Self Checkout, you keep your baggage in your room and take it through customs with you when you leave the ship. People that do self checkout are first to leave the ship and normally can start leaving as early as 8am. We did this and were through customs and back at MIA airport by 9:30. By 10:30 we were through airport security and at our terminal.
6. Lastly, book your excursion early. Go online and check what excursions are available at your port of calls. While online you can see what the current ratings are and what other people thought of the excursion. If you wait till your on the ship you only have the word of the carnival employee who is going to tell you ALL the excursions are wonderful and that simply isn’t true. So look through your options before you board. I would recommend actually booking it online instead of waiting till your on the ship but if you prefer to wait then make sure you do it early so the excursion you pick doesn’t sell out.
So that’s it! Don’t spend any more time or money then you have to on your next cruise! If you follow these tips you can use the money you save to party harder! 😉
Do you have any cruise tips you want to share that I didn’t include?? Please share if so! 🙂