Fadra says: When Carnival Cruise Lines invited me to enjoy a 6 night cruise on their newest, largest flagship, the Carnival Vista, I had only one problem. I needed a +1! I reached out to my girlfriend, Stella, who quickly agreed to get herself to Miami and accompany me on my press trip. Stella soon learned to put the PLUS in PLUS ONE! Not only did we have a blast, but she walked away with content of her very own. I couldn’t agree more with her Packing Essentials list!
If you have been on a lot of conferences where you have to wear a name tag, I advise you to pack your past conference lanyards, one for each of your family members. If you don’t have those, just bring a roll of ribbon that you can use instead.
Having your keycard on a lanyard around your neck (or attached to your bag) will either keep your hands free and keep it from getting lost. The Carnival Vista is cash free – so you can just leave your wallet in the safe and just walk around with your keycard wrapped around your neck.
Remember to remove your lanyard while sunbathing to prevent yourself from getting a lanyard tanline. 😉
In case you forget? You can buy them at the ship as well and it could be your souvenir!
2. A really big beach bag that could hold towels
Chances are, you’ve booked excursions. These excursions could mean beach time, and you’d need a bag to hold your sunscreen, sunglasses and other things that you would need while having some fun in the sun.
The Carnival Vista loans you beach towels for the duration of your stay, so you ‘ need to pack them for your trip. These same towels can be exchanged right after the excursion, so you can go back to your room with fresh ones – not the wet and sandy ones you used on the beach.
3. Your own beverage cup / thermos (insulation optional)
This advice is to make sure you are staying hydrated without having to get up from your deck chair. There are water stations abound the Carnival Vista, but it’s very easy to get dehydrated from all that hard work on your tan.
It’s also good advice for when going on excursions as some excursions do not have food and drink included. Most of them do, but better be safe than thirsty.
Bonus Tip: The Carnival Vista has ice makers that dispense ice that fits right into a water bottle!
4. Smiles, endless amounts of smiles.
This is really an advice to bring out all the positive attitudes while at sea. Keep in mind that not everyone will be in agreement with you, nor will have the same agenda as you. Play nice and make friends with everyone you meet in the ship and you’ll have a grand time. Fun begets fun – a fun person naturally attracts other fun people. My grandma met her current husband on a cruise ship, so if that’s any indicator – you might just find true love!
Be nice to all the service crew members. Remember, they are there to work and to make sure that you have a wonderful time. At the minimum, smile and nod when you have eye contact with them. Make their (difficult) job a bit easier by participating at games and dancing and other fun activities that are planned throughout your stay. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it!
5. A sense of food adventure
To me, traveling is about tasting the different cuisines the world has to offer. Traveling through your tastebuds is one of the joys of cruising on the Carnival Vista. I had the wonderful chance of enjoying almost everything on board, and maybe had a pizza (or two) every night for midnight snack.
If you’ve never tried sushi, Bonsai Sushi gives a great introduction to raw fish at a really great price. For about 1.50 per sashimi/sushi, having just the one piece for a small investment is more than worth it. The fish is undeniably fresh – and that hamachi really tastes like butter. If you’re not into the raw fish, then the kakuni (braised beef) is that cube of savory meat on top of pillowy doughy goodness. Into noodles? The ramen here is amazing.
Are you a fan of Guy Fieri? I got off the ship becoming a fan! He has two restaurants on board the ship, Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que. The Burger Joint is a straight up burger and fries place, but their burger is that melty goodness that you can just snort along with your fries. I apologize for the graphic description, but there’s no really other way to describe that burger and fries combo. The best “snack” after a day out in the sun, right before you get out of your swimsuit to get dressed for dinner.
Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que is only open during sea days, so you have to mark your calendars for it. If there’s one thing I can say about it – don’t let the long lines deter you. All very good things come to those who wait.
Jiji Asian Kitchen has a special place in my heart because I am Asian, and I love rice and noodles. And they make a mean pork belly dish that still haunts me to this day.
Have you ever tried a good cocktail? Have a nightcap at Alchemy bar and drink whatever the bartender prescribes.
6. Optional: Waterproof phone pouches
If you wish to take your phone on the water to take pics of you while kissing stingrays, it is wise to buy these beforehand.
7. Optional: Dry bag
I’m a huge fan of dry bags for doing anything water related. Keeps everything dry.
With the exception of having the right attitude and the sense of food adventure, everything is available for purchase on the ship should you forget them. Happy Cruising!
This is a guest post by Stella Schour. Stella has a passion for food, both cooking it and eating it. She shares her adventurous tastes on her blog, Cooking with Stellaaa. When she’s not cooking and eating, she works as a digital marketing professional in NYC with a design and writing background.