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10 lessons learned after trying Carnival for the first time

Whether you've been loyal to one cruise line for some time or are new to the industry, stepping foot on a new-to-you line can be daunting. 

My partner, Sarah, and I recently returned from a 5-night spring break cruise onboard Carnival Elation, a Fantasy Class ship that debuted in 1998. Although I've had prior experiences with Carnival, it was a first for my partner. During our time onboard, she kept track of things she wished she had known beforehand. 

15 things I wish I knew before setting foot on a Carnival ship

Growing up as a devout Royal Caribbean cruiser, I was hesitant to sail with Carnival. Not only was I worried that I wouldn't like the party atmosphere, but I had heard mediocre reviews of the food. Cruising with Royal just felt comfortable and familiar. 

Last October, I decided to finally step out of my comfort zone and book a Carnival cruise. After 7 nights onboard, I thought I had a good understanding of what makes the cruise line so appealing; however, after two additional cruises, I found myself feeling like a first-timer on each one! 

11 things I wish I knew before setting foot on a Royal Caribbean ship

Embarking on your cruise vacation is an exciting experience. After all, a cruise promises adventure, relaxation, entertainment, and exotic destinations, all at your fingertips.

However, as you step onto the ship, it’s important to be well-prepared to make the most of your cruise experience.

When it comes to cruising, there are many cruising tips and insider secrets that can enhance your journey and ensure you have smooth sailing.

7 surprising things I learned when booking a cruise for the first time

Booking my first cruise opened my eyes to a few lessons I never would have known before trying Royal Caribbean, and I was surprised by just how much I learned about cruising before embarking on my trip!

I booked my first-ever cruise on Wonder of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world at the time. This record now belongs to Icon of the Seas. This massive ship measures 250,800 gross registered tons! 

5 habits of successful cruisers

When it comes to how you spend your hard-earned money and PTO, you want to ensure that you return home feeling as though your vacation choice wasn't a disappointment. From selecting the wrong stateroom to waiting to book shore excursions, many mistakes can negatively impact your cruise experience. 

I cruised to Europe with a first-timer. Here's why she might not cruise again.

Cruising for the first time can be equally exciting as it is nerve-racking. For those who have never stepped foot on a cruise ship before, everything onboard is a new experience — both good and bad.

Your really dumb cruise ship cabin questions answered (2024)

When you are new to cruising, you are bound to have a ton of questions about the basics of a cruise vacation, especially regarding accommodations. You might think your cabin questions are dumb, but it is valid to have questions about your "home away from home" for your trip! 

You do not want to end up booking the wrong room or be surprised about what is and isn’t included. 

Here are some common cruise ship cabin questions and their answers, so you can feel confident moving forward in the planning process!

How much is a 7 day cruise in 2024?

You are ready to take a cruise vacation, but have no idea how much it will cost and what to account for in your budget.

This is a pretty common concern among first-time cruisers who may be hesitant to give cruising a try but struggle with the price. Just like cars, televisions, restaurants, and watches, the average price can factor heavily into your decision to pursue that purchase.

28 first time cruise tips that really work (2024)

One of the major appeals of cruising is that there's something for everyone, from mouthwatering cuisine that will satisfy the foodies to ultimate thrills that will keep the adrenaline of the most adventurous rushing.

Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or looking forward to your first sailing, there are cruise tips and hacks to make sure you're getting the most out of your vacation. 

How to Choose Your First Cruise

Congratulations on deciding to book your first-ever cruise! Like with any vacation, you will want to do enough research before placing a deposit. With over seven different mainstream cruise lines and 100 ships sailing worldwide, choosing your first cruise can seem overwhelming. 

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