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21 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Tips

Friday, July 13, 2018


Now I am by no means a cruise expert and this is only the third Carnival cruise I've been on. However, I felt the most prepared/organized this time and thought these tips would be helpful for anyone cruising on the Carnival Ecstasy specifically. Leave a comment if you have any questions!

THINGS TO BUY/PACK
  • Over the Door Shoe Organizer. No, not to organize SHOES but to organize/hold your toiletries since there's really zero counter space in the bathroom. There's a little shelf above the sink where we had tissue and also put a cup with our toothbrushes but then I hooked the shoe organizer to a towel holder directly in front of the toilet (so it wasn't on the bathroom door to drive us crazy when opening/closing) and it really came in handy to keep everything right there so I wasn't digging in bags. 
  • Portable USB Wall Charger Power Adapter since there's only two outlets in the entire cruise cabin. We used this to plug in both of our phones at night and if you had an iPad, charging GoPro , etc... you'd have additional ports. You can't take a power strip on a cruise, but these are allowed and great for charging electronics.! 
  • Beach towel clips for your chairs since it's so windy on the cruise! This is a very inexpensive stainless steel pack from Amazon, but you can find cute decorative ones at Target, Walmart, etc.
  • Luggage tag holders because Carnival has you print your boarding documents + luggage tags so that your luggage will get to your room once you "check in" (or for us we left the luggage with attendants before we even parked in Charleston). 
  • Downy Wrinkle Release (I liked this travel size version) since there's no irons or steamers allowedon a cruise ship (there is a laundry service, however, that you can pay for if you'd like things washed or pressed. The Downy Wrinkle Release worked well enough. I just sprayed it on and then hung the items in the bathroom as we showered so the steam would help release the wrinkles!
  • and because I'm a germaphobe, I purchased a set of these On the Go Travel Size Lysol Disinfecting Wipes to wipe down the cabin more and just have in case things got dirty, then Wet Wipes to throw in my beach bag which came in handy when our fruity sweet drinks were too full and spilled down our hands, etc.. I also took a travel size Lysol spray for the bathroom. 
  • Non-drowsy Dramamine and also I took peppermint essential oil for sea sickness, but ultimately had to put on a prescription patch behind my ear. 
  • crossbody purse for night because you really don't need anything more than your Sign & Sail card + phone (to take pics) + a little makeup/medicine which is what I usually carried. For my beach bag during the day, I made sure I had a small somewhat-waterproof zipper bag that's easy to wipe down (I used a small Lilly Pulitzer one like this) to keep my Sign & Sail card, phone and sunscreen chapstick handy!
  • one thing NOT to pack is beach towels. You just go to the beach towel station on the pool deck, show your Sign & Sail card to "check out" as many beach towels as you need for the day. As long as those number of beach towels are accounted for in your room when they clean or you turn in at station at end of day, you're good and will not get charged for them. You can even take them with you on to the islands, again as long as you get them back :)

THINGS TO DO BEFORE

  • go to the health department and have them print your long form birth certificate for around $12
  • go on Carnival's website to check in and print your boarding pass + luggage tags. 
  • definitely purchase your Cheers! drink package  on Carnival's website BEFORE you set sail to save you about $10 per couple versus when you purchase once on the ship. It's a 15 alcoholic drink per person, per day limit and also includes unlimited tea, soda and specialty coffees (we failed to visit JavaBlue coffee shop next to the casino but they said it was DELISH. One of our friends said his latte from there was one of the best things he drank/ate the entire trip). 
  • you can also place orders on Carnival's website for items you may want delivered to your room (or someone else's as a gift!) such as alcohol, birthday cakes, room decor, gift cards, etc... We did this for our sweet friend and had her room decorated for her birthday + a birthday cake + Carnival beach towel and more. It was decorated once they got in their room and it was such a nice surprise! Oh and you can book spa appointments and excursions in advance as well.
  • purchase the Wifi social media package for $5-10 / day even if just to stay in touch with friends and family on board the ship. We snapped back and forth on Snapchat a ton since we couldn't text! This was so easy and I also stayed in touch with family at home this way too since texts, emails and phone calls are all pretty costly.
  • if you know you have extreme motion sickness, I would ask your doctor about the RX patches you wear behind your ear so they can call you in some. They're nice to have just in case and last for 3-4 days, so mine lasted for the entire trip! 

THINGS TO DO & REMEMBER ONCE ON YOUR CRUISE
  • Don't forget that at dinner you can order multiple appetizers, multiple entrees, whatever you want! If you order something and don't like it, don't hesitate to ask for something else. Some of my favorites were the prime rib, salmon cakes, and molten lava chocolate cake is a must! 
  • wear comfortable shoes at night. I took cute heels and ended up wearing my same comfy neutral wedges pretty much every night because it's a LOT of walking. Even just to the dining room, then the casino, the piano bar, the comedy club, back and forth to the room sometimes to freshen up etc... you walk. a. ton. 
  • you must have your Sign & Sail card on you at all times because this is how you pay for everything and it also gets you off and on the boat once you disembark in Nassau, etc...
  • ride the water slide. no matter your age, just do it. it's not an extremely fast slide and it gives you awesome views at the top! the best time to ride is around 5ish if you have a late 8:15pm dining time because the 6pm dining crew has already went in to get ready and the pool deck + slide begins to thin out. 
  • random, but one of our glossy pics I loved but had gotten fingerprints all over just by holding the wrong way and they asked me if I'd like it reprinted in matte. YES! So don't be afraid to ask for any pictures to be reprinted in matte, not glossy, so they're less likely to end up with fingerprints. They usually have them done in just a few hours.
  • if you get off the ship in Nassau, a great free beach that's within walking distance is Junkanoo Beach. It's not particularly huge, but if you get there early enough you can rent chairs for $10-$20 and they also have a tiki bar + DJ where you can get buckets of beer, drinks, and we even ended up playing volleyball and beach games. 
Most importantly, just relax and HAVE. FUN! 

"So get away to where the boat leaves from
It takes away all of your big problems
You got worries you can drop them in the blue ocean
But you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from"
- Zac Brown Band

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