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A good while back, my family was offered a cruise. We turned it down, regrettably. My boys, at the time, couldn’t grip the idea of being on a huge boat in the middle of the ocean. Over the last year or so, I think they wish they had gone. I know I do. Since my husband felt bad about us not going, he agreed to swoop me away to the romantic destinations of Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel on the Carnival Magic. Okay, I don’t know how romantic those places are but just the fact that I’ll be there with my handsome cowboy is enough to make my heart flutter. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary with this cruise and if all goes well, we’ll renew our vows.
Planning a Carnival Cruise wasn’t hard for us because some good friends of ours already had a trip planned. Since they are regular cruisers, we trusted their judgements on pretty much everything. This particular cruise is on the Carnival Magic and costs more than many of the other cruises. Seeing the costs of the other cruises though, made me realize exactly why people turn into regular cruisers. It’s definitely an affordable option to travel to destinations that you’d otherwise never visit.
PICKING YOUR ROOM
There are tons of options here. And if you’re able to buy at the early saver price, you’ll most likely take advantage of surprise price drops closer to cruise time, allowing you to get the lowest price possible for your trip. There are always promotions happening too so be sure to watch for those. In order to find your ideal room, you’ll have to play around with the booking options. I constantly switched them around to see which rooms, on what floors would be available. And to your right hand side, you’ll find the price that updated with each change you make. They make it easy for you to see exactly what you’re getting.
Because we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, we opted for a Cove Balcony so that we could be very close to the water. I’ve only heard good things about them and I think it’s a room that will enjoy immensely. You see those windows under the life boats? Those are the cove balconies. THAT is close to the water now! Super excited.
Man am I lucky to have friends that have been there, done that with all this stuff. I am trusting them with what excursions to take and who to book through. You can of course book through Carnival which I’d be doing normally but since my friend Vicki knows her stuff, I’m letting her take the reins on this. If you do not book through Carnival though, be cautious of scammers!
GETTING YOUR PAPERS IN ORDER
A passport is highly recommended, however, there are many people who don’t travel with them but instead, use their birth certificates and marriage license. This was a hard decision for us. We want the security of a passport but at $200+, it was hard to swallow. This time around, we opted for our birth certificates and marriage license. If we love the cruise, we’ll definitely pay for a passport so that we can go on more, with assurance. Whatever you decide, you need to make sure you have them prepared and ready. I personally recommend you take photos of all of it with your phone. This is a great way to have a copy of them.
This is the stage I’m at. When you don’t know what to expect as far as events and weather, it makes it hard to pack. I have gotten some great tips though as to what to take onboard and it sounds like less is more. Here are a few things I plan to pack:
GETTING TO THE DOCK
Depending on where you live will most likely help make this decision a bit easier. We live about 7 1/2 hours from Galveston so ideally, we’d like to leave the day before so that we can wake up rested on the day of sailing. Of course doing this means we’d have to foot the bill for a hotel room. We also have the option to go with a group and split the costs of the fuel. We’d leave the morning of sailing and get there around boarding time. I don’t know. This is undecided at the moment!
And that’s as far as I am right now. I’ll be posting all along the way. Carnival is giving us free wifi for the duration of our trip so I’ll be able to post and/or update through facebook. You can bet I’ll be taking photos at the very least, making you all jealous of course. teehee Until then….
Disclosure: Carnival has taken the liberty to provide some enhancements for our sailing given it’s our 20th wedding anniversary! They are going above and beyond to make this cruise a special one for us. All opinions are my own, always have been, always will be. For realz peeps.