Have you ever gone on, thought about going on a cruise or maybe you have one planned? My husbands family cruises a lot, so I've been going on cruises since high school! Today, I'm sharing some tips that I have learned a long the way..

Things to know...

  1. Cruises are great if you want to see numerous places all in one vacation. But, you will have a very limited time at each location, so pick an excursion that you really want to do and try maximize your time by planning a head!

  2. FOOD!
    There is an enormous amount of food on the cruise. There is the buffet, dining room, room service, restaurants, ice cream, pizza, name it! Every night, you can eat dinner in the dining room at an assigned table. The food is delicious and the desserts are beyond amazing! TRUST ME...if you go on Carnival, try the Chocolate Molten Cake. You will have one or two every night! So be prepared to go home a few or 10 pounds heavier!

  3. Line, lines and more lines...
    Okay, so this is my least favorite part of cruising. Our last cruise, there were 5,000 people on the ship! 5,000! So when you get off the ship at a port, get back on the ship at the port, waiting for elevators, waiting in line at the buffet.... you get it. Before having kids, this wasn't as big of a deal but you know ...toddlers and lines DO NOT MIX! So just be prepared for lines and LOTS of people. I will say that this last cruise, we were on a new ship and they made the spaces more intimate and boutique like which really made it feel like there were less people on the ship at times.

  4. Formal nights:
    Some people get really dressed up and some don't as much. But these are fun nights to get all dolled up, get some photos taken and have a yummy dinner. I would say, that all other nights, I would bring clothes for dinner that are more on the semi dressy side. I wore summer dresses to dinner and my husband would wear collared shirts/polos. So be prepared to get ready for dinner most nights. They will not allow swimwear, cutoffs, etc in the dining room. We always pick the 8:00 dinner so that we have enough time to get back on the ship from the port, shower and get ready for dinner.

  5. Photos. The ship will have photographers everywhere! Which is great! However, I will say, photos are not cheap. You can get the file for around $15 per and $20 for a print. So be prepared budget wise, to spend some money on photos.

  6. Okay this is one thing that I will get serious about. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be kind to the staff. Talk to them! The servers, the stewards, bartenders, etc... they are from all over the world and work on ships for months...6-8 months will no days off and 12-15 hour shifts with such little sleep every night! They don't see their families and many are married with children. They work on cruise ships, because it's better wages than what they can make in their own countries. Here's the thing...they are always so kind, sincere and happy. I can't say that I would be any of those being away from my family while serving Americans that are taking a luxurious vacation with their families. Sorry, I'm not trying to bring this post down, but just over the many cruises we have taken, I've always hoped that people treat them so kindly!

  7. Tipping:
    So on cruises they will charge your account for tips. These tips go to the people that have served you. On top of that, we like to tip a little extra. So on the last night, at dinner, we give the server and the assistant an envelope with some cash in it. Also, we leave our steward (the one who cleans your room a few times a day) extra tip when we leave our room on the last day.

  8. Rooms:
    You can get an interior room which has no windows or a balcony room which obviously has a balcony. I have stayed in both and I can tell you that I getting a balcony is so worth the extra cost. It's so hard to wake up to a completely dark room and wondering if it's the middle of the night, time to get up or if you over slept. Having a balcony is so nice. You can see if you are docked, see the ocean while you're out to sea, sit on your balcony and enjoy sunsets and sunrises, etc. I just think its worth the extra cost.

  9. There's so much to do!!
    There is always something(s) to do or going on. You really can never ever be bored. There is also something for everyone. On Carnival, they have different types of live music, restaurants, piano bars, comedy shows, nightly shows, game shows, stuff for kids and teens, I mean the list goes on. I will say, this last cruise, we did the least amount of things we have ever done. That's because we had our two babies with us and nap times and bedtimes just ruled our schedule. But usually we are very busy with all there is to do on the ship.


  1. Pack a lot! (My husband might disagree .... but trust me!)
    Okay, so I truly believe that you need so much more when you pack for a cruise. During the day, you are out at the beach, deck of the ship...what not in your swimming suit. I would have cover ups just for going in the ship to eat or just walking to and from your stateroom or even getting off the ship and going to the beach. Then in the afternoon or other times, you're in the FREEZING ship eating or doing other activities so you will have a different outfit and then at night, you are dressed nicely for dinner. Also, I would bring more than one swimming suit just because they don't dry over night. So in one day, you could be in 2-3 outfits. Also, I would make sure that you pack everything that you need because it's not as thought you can run to Target while your on the ship or an island. They do carry items in the store on the ship but they are spendy and limited. So if you have little ones, make sure you bring enough diapers and wipes, etc.

  2. Food and Allergies:
    I have to say that Carnival has upped their game and this cruise I was blown away by how accommodating they were to food allergies. In the main dining room, you can order your breakfast, brunch and dinner the night before and pick what you'd like from the menu that will be served for that next day and they will do their best to make it allergy free. So for us, it's gluten and dairy. Our server would give me the menu for the next day, the night before and I would order what Camden, Bella and I wanted and they would make it gluten and dairy free. I have always loved their molten chocolate cake and was so sad that I wouldn't get to order it every night and this cruise they made it gluten and dairy free and it was amazing!!!

  3. Getting on and off the ship:
    Be prepared to be without your luggage when you get on the ship and off the ship. When you get on the ship, they will take your luggage right when you get dropped off at the port. You will get your luggage delivered to your room anytime that day or into the evening. So just have things that you may need (like diapers) in a bag with you. Also, when you're getting off the ship, you will need to have your luggage outside your room the night before, so make sure to pack up a smaller bag of essentials you will need that night and the following morning.

  4. Motion sickness:
    Okay...I think this is the comment and question that I get asked the most..what about motion sickness. Okay, so I get motion sickness on rides, car rides and just going on a swing. However, I've only had a few episodes of motion sickness on a cruise. It was just nausea and dizziness. Each time that I got motion sickness, it was due to rough seas. So one cruise, we were speeding away from a hurricane/storm or we were out at sea (not in caribean waters) and they were rough waters that night. It's never affected my entire cruise and is usually just a few hours. However, there are people that wear the motion sickness patches and those seem to work! I will say that I was 3 months pregnant with Bella while on a cruise (before Zika) and I get horrifically sick while pregnant and I was worried what the cruise would do to my all day pregnancy sickness and surprisingly it really didn't make it worse at all. It was only when we got off the ship and got in a car with a driver who was serving around like crazy, did I lose my breakfast! TMI...I know!

  5. If you have a chance or are looking for this kind of vacation, cruising with a large group of people is so much fun! I think it's what makes going on a cruise so fun for us. We usually travel with 30-70 people and our kiddos love having so many kids to play with!

  6. The best part about cruises is that you can disconnect! You can purchase different wifi plans for the ship, but honestly it doesn't work all that well. If it's hard for you to disconnect from social media, work or just life stuff, a crusie could be the perfect vacation for you. Seriously....people cannot get ahold of you!! Amazing, right? That's very rare these days!

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments! Happy sailing!


Tanya R Ng

Tanya R Ng

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