What To Know Before You Go


This web page is for all the "miscellaneous" things that you need to know. I've added items I've learned from our cruising experiences, and I interviewed people to see what common questions they asked. If you think I should add some other items, just send me an email!

Carnival does an excellent job answering all these questions, too. I've pulled most of my answers from their web site. Please read through their web site thoroughly to find all the answers to your burning questions: Carnival's Frequently Asked Questions.

I have cruised three times. One was a 3-day Disney cruise to the Bahamas. The next one was this 7-day Mexican Rivera cruise on Carnival's Elation. The last one was a 21-day Mexico/Central America/Panama Canal cruise on Regal Princess. I was actually planning the 20 year reunion while cruising the Panama, and it was this cruise that gave me the idea for the 25th reunion!

-- Guests, 21 years of age and older, may bring one bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne, per person, only in their carry-on luggage.
-- Guests may bring a small quantity (package of 12 per person) of non- alcoholic beverages onboard, only in their carry-on luggage.
-- The following will be confiscated and stored for safekeeping until the end of the voyage:
++ Alcohol (hard liquor)/sealed, unopened bottles.
++ Beer/sealed, unopened bottles/cans.
++ Wine or champagne/sealed, unopened bottles - beyond the allowable limit of one bottle (brought on at embarkation time only).
-- Unsealed liquids that are prohibited will be discarded, as well as any unclaimed items left after the voyage, and no compensation will be given in either case.
-- Please see Carnival's web site for all Liquor and Beverage Policies and Restrictions.

It's up to you if you want to bring your children. Personally, I will not be bringing my daughter on this cruise. I'm looking forward to a one week break from being a parent, and enjoying my time with my husband and all of you! If you do decide to bring your child/children, Carnival does have an excellent children's program. Their youth programs are broken out into three groups: Camp Carnival (ages 2-11), Circle "C" (ages 12-14), and Club O2 (ages 15-17). Explore Carnival's web site to learn all about their programs: Carnival's Youth Programs.

Here's all you need to know about babysitting: Carnival's Babysitting Services.

-- The main dining rooms (Gold Pearl & Black Pearl) are open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You are assigned a table in one of these dining rooms for the entire cruise, and there are certain times that you can eat. In these dining rooms, you are served.
-- The Lido Restaurant is also open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is a buffet restaurant, and you serve yourself. You can eat whenever you want.
-- The Pizzeria is open 24-hours.
-- The other restaurants on the ship are all self-serve, they are open various hours, and you can eat whenever you want within these hours. The exception is the Pinnacle Steakhouse, which is explained next.

The Pinnacle Steakhouse is reservations only, Manhattan-chic supper club. It cost $30 per person (including children) with a menu that includes steakhouse favorites. The fee includes an appertizer, entree, dessert, and the wait staffs' gratuity. Allow 2.5 hours for your dining experience. Here's a Pinnacle's sample menu.

In addition to self-service launderettes, there is a valet laundry service on board; dry cleaning is not available. The cost for the self -service is $3.00 per washer load and $3.00 per dryer load. Vending machines dispense small boxes of detergent and water softener at $1.00 per box. Here's the prices for the Valet Laundry Services.

Guests are encouraged to limit their checked luggage to two suitcases per person, with each suitcase not to weigh more than 50 pounds and not exceed 16"H x 24"W x 30"L. Please attach your Carnival Cruise Lines luggage tags PRIOR to leaving home and make sure that they are still on your bags when checking in with them. In many ports, guests have the option of carrying luggage on board at embarkation and off the ship at the end of the cruise as long as it does not exceed 24"W x 16"H x 30"L.

Carnival Cruise Lines does not allow guests to bring large coolers on board its vessels. However small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12"H x 12"W x 12"L for the purpose of housing small quantities of non- alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage.

Make sure to see Carnival's web site about restrictions of what you can bring aboard and answers to other luggage questions.

$15 per day (rates subject to change by Port Authority). It's 5-story, 1450 space parking garage. Click here to learn more about port parking and to find the driving directions.

Motion Sickness tablets and injections are available for purchase from the Medical Center. A motion sickness injection will only be administered to those who are actively vomiting and not as a preventative measure. The Medical Center does not have motion sickness patches nor wristbands.
For more medical questions, please see Carnival's web site for information on their Medical Center.

-- Fitness center and sauna.

-- Thalassotherapy Pool - $20 - This pool features water jets massaging your body as it soaks in ionized water at temperature 91 degrees F.
-- Thermal Suite - $20 - Four individually designed heat therapy chambers to cleanse, tone, and purify the body, using dry and wet heat chambers. They are: Laconium, Tepidarium, Oriental Steam Bath, and Aroma Steam Bath.
-- Many Body and Beauty Treatments. One thing to be aware of is that you'll most likely get a sales pitch afterward to buy their products. If you're not interested, just say "no thank you". It's common practice on cruise lines to push their spa products on you. FYI.
-- Aerobic classes.
-- Web sites: Cloud 9 Spa & Cloud 9 Spa's Floor Plans.

Stateroom amenities include a hair dryer, fresh Comfort Collection linens, two bathrobes, 1 electrical outlet in stateroom, 1 electrical outlet in bathroom (for electric shavers only), and 24-hour stateroom service. An amenity basket is also provided, are subject to change, and are only sample sizes. The basket may include: his/her razors; shampoo and conditioner; body wash; Tylenol; deodorant; hard candies. If quantities allow, supplies will be replenished by the room steward. A safe is also provided in every stateroom and is located in either the closet or a cabinet. The size varies among the fleet; approximate size: 10"(wide) x 9"(high) x 8"(deep). The safe can be opened by using any type of card with a magnetic strip on the back, such as a credit card. Check here for more information on the Stateroom Amenities.

Your Cell Phone
Carnival Cruise Lines, through agreement with Wireless Maritime Services, proudly offers an advanced roaming network on board Carnival Cruise Lines ships, allowing you to make and receive calls while at sea using your own mobile phone and telephone number. International roaming charges will be conveniently billed to you by your home mobile carrier. For more information, see Carnival's web set about cell phone usage.

Internet Cafe & Your Wireless Laptop
Whether an Internet Cafe terminal is utilized or a laptop, Internet pricing options are identical.
-- Charges will be billed directly to your "Sail & Sign" Account.
-- One time activation fee of $3.95.
-- Basic time charge is $0.75 per minute "Pay-As-You-Go". Minutes are rounded to the next full minute.
-- Discounted "Time Plans": 100 minutes for $55.00 ($0.55 per minute) or 250 minutes for $100.00 ($0.40 per minute).
-- For more information, see Carnival's web site about Internet Cafe & Wireless Service.

Carnival offers transportation between LAX, Long Beach Airport, and John Wayne Orange County Airport to the Port of Long Beach. These services are only available on the day of your cruise and immediately after your cruise. Carnival's Fly Aweigh air program have different rates. Transfer rates are subject to change and any unused services are non refundable. See their web site for all the details: Carnival's Transportation Services.
Long Beach Airport -- One Way: $19.99; Round Trip: $39.98.
LAX -- One Way: $26.00; Round Trip: $52.00.
Orange County Airport -- One Way: $29.99; Round Trip: $59.98.

It would be cheaper to book your transportation through one of these shuttle services:
(1) Prime Time Shuttle.
(2) Super Shuttle.

LAX -- 23 miles from Los Angeles International Airport; travel time is approximately 50 minutes.
Long Beach Airport -- 12 miles from Long Beach Airport; travel time is approximately 20 minutes.

If anyone else has experience with this cruise weather in February, please let me know. We took our Mexican Rivera cruise in January, and I remember it being "cool" on the first day at sea (like in the 60's). My point is to not only bring "summer" clothes, but also some "slightly cool" weather clothes, too!