Carnival Horizon Bermuda Cruise Recap

I’m back from an amazing voyage on board the newly built Carnival Horizon. I have so much to share, but also wanted to write things out while they are fresh, so I decided to do a recap post highlighting the whole cruise, then go back and do some individual posts diving deeper into our experience. Keep reading for our Carnival Horizon Bermuda cruise recap:

Carnival Horizon Bermuda

On Thursday, the 21st, we flew out of Tampa and into New York. Bobby had never been to NYC before, and I was bummed we wouldn’t have time to wander around, but at least he got to see it out the window as we drove to the port! We had priority boarding so we got on the ship very quickly. Something to note, they used new mobile embarkation technology that speeds up the boarding process and checks guests in with 30% less time than before. This is great because, hello, more time on vacation, less time waiting to board. It definitely seemed speedy for us.

Once onboard we headed straight to the Lido deck to eat. We hadn’t had any food yet that day, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a delicious burger from Guys. Bobby may have had two burgers. After eating and relaxing on the adults only serenity deck for awhile, we got some pictures of the Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty as we set sail.

That night, our press group had a cocktail reception in the beautiful Havana bar, and then dinner in the main dining room. This was my first time getting to check out the exclusive Havana pool area, and it was so nice and relaxing! We were also treated to a gorgeous sunset before heading to dinner.

Carnival Horizon Bermuda

The next day was a sea day, so Bobby and I slept in (it was glorious to wake up at 6:00 and then roll over and go back to sleep with no alarm or child that acts like an alarm!) We went to the sea day brunch, and while Bobby went to the gym, I read a book and took a nap. It was a super low key day but that’s why I loved it. We spent time exploring the ship and taking photos and videos that afternoon. We had dinner that night with the press group at Cucina Del Capitano, the speciality Italian restaurant, and then hit the hay.

The next day was Bermuda! Yall. I am not really sure what my expectations were for this port, but I fell in LOVE. The people, the water, the views, the houses, everything was beautiful and we truly had such an amazing day.

Carnival Horizon Bermuda

We were on the first shuttle out to Horseshoe Bay, and we walked and walked for an hour getting amazing photos along the way before it got crowded. The water was cool, and the temperature outside was only 83 degrees, so it was awesome.

We took the shuttle back so we could eat lunch on the ship and then we had a 1:00 excursion on a catamaran which I enjoyed way more than I thought I would. They took us to a very calm and quiet bay where we anchored and played in the water for a couple of hours. The water was so clear, and Bobby even did some cliff jumping (while I relaxed on the roof of the boat, no jumping for this girl.) We all enjoyed rum swizzles on the way back to the Horizon, and I couldn’t stop smiling because it was such a perfect day.

That night we had no plans with the group so we had an early dinner in the main dining room. I also did more reading, and we went to bed much earlier that night. We may or may not have also enjoyed that the pizza window is open 24 hours a day!

On our last sea day, I woke up at 6:20 (wwhhyyy) and went up to the Serenity deck to snag us a lounge/bed to relax in for the morning. I did more reading and enjoying the day before Bobby joined me around 9:00. We had lunch at Guy’s and the buffet before the rain started. The water got a little bit rougher, and I took a nap while Bobby went to the IMAX theatre to see the new Star Wars movie. The sun came back out later so I did some reading on the balcony as well.

 

We had drinks at the Alchemy Bar (which is amazing! Seriously don’t miss this) before dinner with our press group at the steakhouse, Fahrenheit 555, and it was delicious. A great way to round out our trip. Sadly we got off early the next morning to head back to reality. We had such a great time exploring this new ship and I can’t wait to share more detail with you soon.

If you would like to see all the videos/Instagram stories I took over the course of the cruise, go to my profile and click the highlight title “Carnival Horizon” and you can see everything!

 

Disclosure: We attended this cruise as guests of Carnival, however all opinions are my own.

 

 

Top 10 Vacation Tips To Save Money in Walt Disney World

If you have been hanging around here more than one second, you know that I love all things Disney, and this of course includes vacationing in Walt Disney World. However, it can be very expensive to vacation there especially if you have kids. Over the years I have learned a thing or two to help cut costs while still having a ton of fun. Some things just don’t matter as much if it means you get to still go to your happy place, right? Check out my top 10 10 vacation tips to save money in Walt Disney World:

Save Money in Walt Disney World

1.) Bring food from home or order groceries: All WDW hotels have mini fridges, and all DVC (disney vacation club) rooms have microwaves, and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom DVC villas have full kitchens. If you are driving to WDW, bring food with you or stop when you get to Orlando for groceries. If you are flying, take advantage of grocery delivery services like Garden Grocer. One of my favorite Disney memories is staying at a DVC resort and grilling burgers and eating outside with the family at picnic tables. (Yes all villa resorts have grills!) We aren’t big breakfast eaters so have brought milk, cereal, and protein bars for breakfast, and even made sandwiches for lunch. It saves a ton of money because let’s face it, Disney food is pricey.

2.) Purchase base tickets: Choose a base ticket instead of a park hopper to save money. Remember, with a base ticket you can only go into one park per day, but you can go in and out of that park as many times as you want. If you have little ones, consider going to a park in the morning, then going back to your resort for a nap and swim, then head back to the park in the early evening.

Save Money in Walt Disney World

3.) Target gift cards: If you have a Target red card, you already (hopefully) know you save 5% on all purchases. Did you know this includes Disney gift cards? Pick up a couple everytime you shop at Target then save them for your trip. You can even pay off your hotel or package balance with them.

 

4.) Souvenirs from home: Disney shirts, toys, and the like are SO expensive. Like it’s painful. Thankfully, I have a Disney Store outlet near my house with great prices. I have bought toys and clothes for Emma Kate there and then given them to her when we are at Disney. We have even surprised her in the morning and said “Mickey or Tinkerbell left her a present overnight”. This way we can stay out of the stores and save some money. You can literally find a lot of the same toys from the parks at the outlet (there is even one in Orlando near Disney!) or online when the Disney Stores has sales.

5.) Bring your own water:  We always bring out own water from home by the case, but you can also bring a refillable water bottle, or ask for free ice water in a cup at any counter service location. A bottle of water at WDW is $3+, and I can get a whole case for that much. Save your money for other things!

6.) Choose where you stay wisely: There are tons of on site WDW hotels, and if you go at certain times of the year and are flexible with your dates, you can go when prices are lowest and snag a resort of package discount, maybe even free dining. However, don’t be afraid to look outside Disney property. There are several great hotels near Disney Springs as well that can save you a lot of money. Remember, holidays and summer are the most expensive and most crowded.

Save Money in Walt Disney World

 7.) Chase Disney Visa: We have a Chase Disney Visa credit card that we use for everyday purchases (please note, we pay it off in full every month!) and we earn points that translate into Disney dollars. (holla!) We use the cards for everything from gas to daycare bills to groceries and money adds up fast! I have a friend who paid for 3/4 of a Disney cruise with her points, so it is like getting free money! They also offer merchandise discounts as well around the parks.

8.) Share meals: At the sit down restaurants (not the fancy ones) we have found that portion sizes are quite large, and Emma Kate and I can easily split a meal. You can always get a mickey bar or popsicle later if you are still hungry, which is actually what I prefer anyway. 🙂

9.) Have an “off” day: Disney Springs has been revamped over the past couple of years and now it’s a destination in and of itself. The best thing? It’s free! (well, unless you have a shopping problem.) Free parking, free wifi, free live music, and chocolate samples. You can also play with Legos and there is a splash pad area that has kept Emma Kate entertained many times while we eat outside at Earl of Sandwich. Take a day “off” from the parks in the middle of your trip and hit up Disney Springs for a half day, then spend a half day at the pool, or ride the monorail around and look at some of the gorgeous hotel lobbies.

10.) Bring your own stroller: Lastly, if you have small kids, bring your own stroller. This will save you from renting from an outside company or renting one of the uncomfortable hard plastic ones from the parks, which by the way you cannot take back to your hotel. It may not be a huge savings but every little bit counts when you want to have the vacation of your dreams!

Save Money in Walt Disney World

Related: Tips for Pandora with a Preschooler

5 Things Friday XXX

Greetings! It’s been awhile since I did one of these posts (like, October!) so I thought it was high time to do a little catching up for those who don’t regularly follow my Instagram stories.

1.) Great but quick trip to NYC: I wrote a post about the naming ceremony and my time on the Carnival Horizon, but I haven’t talked a lot about my evening in the city and the next morning before getting on the boat.  Carnival put us up at the Sheraton Times Square, so we were right in the middle of the action. Amanda and I walked down 5th Avenue, past the Plaza hotel, and all through Central Park (even to the fountain from FRIENDS, see below). I have been to NYC one other time but not to the park and was super pumped to check it off my bucket list. The weather was rainy and chilly, but that didn’t stop us.

2.) Moving on up: The way Emma Kate’s daycare is structured, they go ahead and move children up at the start of summer instead of fall. Even though she turns 4 in September, she misses the cut off of September 1, so she moved from the young 3’s to the older 3’s this week, and I cannot believe how much she has changed in a year! Below is her last day of 2’s vs. last day of young 3’s and she had changed so much. I’m happy for her but sad for me at the same time. My little toddler is no longer so little.

3.) Timehop Sweetness: Some days I really dislike Timehop and things it reminds me of, but some days I love it! I was reminded yesterday that it has been TEN YEARS since we brought Bella home to be a part of our family. How adorable was she as a puppy?!? Dying over here. She was so tiny that she had a hard time jumping over the threshold to get in and out the back door.

4.) Disney Day: I have a gold Florida resident pass which means I am only blocked out for Christmas and spring break, but Bobby and EK are blocked out all summer as well after this weekend, so we are going to brave the crowds and go to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday with my parents. I just want to soak it all in one last time as a family before fall….along with every other family in central Florida I’m sure! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram stories and on Twitter.

5.) Make money blogging: I have gotten a lot of questions over the years about how to work with and pitch brands and how to make money blogging and via social media. Well I finally got my rear in gear and created a quick guide you can purchase. Check it out here and let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to help! 

Carnival Horizon Naming Ceremony

Disclosure: I was provided this trip by Carnival Cruise Line, however I was not asked to write this post and all opinions are my own.

The Carnival Horizon, their 26th ship, made her way across the Atlantic last week where I had the honor of helping welcome her to New York for a special naming ceremony. Not only were we celebrating this gorgeous sister ship to the Vista, but we were celebrating St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and all the amazing work they do for over 8,500 kids a year battling tough illnesses. While we were in NYC, Carnival presented St. Jude with a $100,000 check, and have given 16 million dollars to St. Jude so far!

horizon naming ceremony

We were able to board the ship in the afternoon and head to our balcony staterooms to prepare for all the festivities.

I loved the bright colors in the staterooms, and there was plenty of space to move around.

horizon naming ceremony

I particularly loved this beautiful print on the wall. It really added a nice pop of color to the rooms.

I had some time before my first event, so I took some photos of some cool spots on the ship, like the first ever Dr. Suess water park at sea! Emma Kate would love this area. There were slides, water sprayers, and more. So much fun!

horizon naming ceremony

I of course had to head up to Serenity, the adults only area (Bobby and I spent a lot of time here on the Vista in November!) and loved seeing the NYC skyline from this part of the ship. True to its name, it was quite serene.

At 5:00 I headed up to the ribbon cutting for the all new Pig and Anchor restaurant, and Guy Fieri was even on hand to cut the ribbon. There are four new craft beers brewed right there on the ship, and I got to taste some as well as delicious pass arounds, and I hope I get the chance to eat here when I sail to Bermuda next month.

Next it was time for the naming ceremony in the lobby atrium, where the already beautiful dreamscape was decked out in a special way, with artwork from thirty kids at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It couldn’t have been more beautiful. It was explained that art is a great way for the kids to express themselves and feel like “normal kids” while in the hospital, and I loved seeing their imaginations shine through in their pictures.

I was also excited to see the ships new Godmother, Queen Latifah, make a speech. We got to see her earlier in the day at the press briefing, and it was great to hear her speak once again. You could tell she was truly honored to be named to this special position.

After the naming, we headed to the Liquid lounge for a special lip sync battle between Queen Latifah and Jake Elliot from the Philadelphia Eagles. Jake tried so hard and put on a great show even though I’m sure he would have been much more comfortable on the football field. 

(source)

Next it was time for dinner, and I was super pumped to have my favorite Carnival dessert, the chocolate melting cake. Guys, don’t skip this one on your next cruise!

The night ended with a special deck party and fireworks, before the Horizon sailed off the next day to Bermuda. It will sail out of New York this summer, and then take her place in Miami later this year. Be sure to check out Carnival.com to price out your next cruise vacation, you don’t want to miss our on all this gorgeous new ship has to offer.

(source)

You can also check out Instagram story videos of all the fun I had by going to my Instagram Profile and clicking on the Highlight titled “Carnival Horizon”.

Fun is on the Horizon

Disclosure: Both trips discussed in this post are hosted by Carnival, however all opinions are my own and I was not asked to write this blog post.

You may remember that back in November I had the privilege of sailing on the Carnival Vista, their newest ship, for a trip to the Caribbean. (You can read all about it here, here, here and here.) now, the Vista’s sister ship, the Horizon is ready for sailing, and thanks to Carnival I get to see her not once but twice in the next month! Check out the details:

First up, I leave TODAY for New York City for the naming ceremony on board the Horizon. I will be spending the night near Times Square tonight, then boarding the ship tomorrow afternoon and spending the night on her in a balcony stateroom.

Queen Latifah is the Godmother, and she will even be facing off in a lip sync battle with Jake Elliot from the Philadelphia Eagles. Cannot. wait. It’s a quick trip and I will be flying back home on Thursday, but thankfully I will have another opportunity to explore the Horizon in June when I sail on her for a four night press trip to BERMUDA from New York, and Bobby gets to come with me!

Accommodating almost 4,000 guests, Horizon is then to sail from New York throughout the summer and arrive in Miami in late September to begin year-round 6- and 8-day Caribbean voyages. 

Neither of us have ever been to Bermuda, and I have never sailed out of New York so we are super excited for the opportunity. I don’t have a lot of details on that one yet, but I will let you know when we get closer to sailing so that you can follow along. For now, be sure you are following me on Twitter and Instagram because I will be posting there today through Thursday and doing Instagram stories live.

5 Delicious Dishes To Try at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended an event at Walt Disney World for the 25th anniversary of the flower and garden festival, however all opinions are my own.

The 25th anniversary of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is in full swing, and I was fortunate enough to get to taste some more delicious dishes at an event last week. (If you are not yet convinced you want to go to the festival check out my other post after reading this one!)

5 delicious dishes to try at Disney's EPCOT international flower and garden festival this year. So many outdoor kitchens for the 25th anniversary!

As I mentioned, this year marks the 25th year of the festival, and it was wonderful to get to hear from people who have been around since the beginning, and hear all about how the festival has changed over the years. Fun fact: Did you know that an artist used two cast members to “model” as Anna and Elsa in order to design the topiary for their characters? The poses we see are ones the girls came up with. How fun is that?!)

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Ok, so let’s get down to business. Like I said, I had the opportunity to try more of the festival offerings at the outdoor kitchens, and these are my (and Bobby’s, he added in one!) collective favorites from our sampling at the event:

1.) Spicy hot dog with pineapple chutney and plantain chips from the Pineapple Promenade. This is a fun twist on an old favorite, but be warned, it is quite spicy, so if that is not your thing, you may want to skip this one. I do love how the chips gave it a nice crunch!

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

 

2.) Local wildflower honey-mascarpone cheesecake with orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses from The Honey Bee-Stro: This dessert was DELICIOUS and I may have had two. The cheesecake was so creamy and light, and the ice cream tasted amazing. I even loved the meringue kisses and I’m typically not a meringue kind of gal. Do not miss this one.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

3.) Pulled pig slider with coleslaw from The Smokehouse: This was probably my favorite non-dessert food that I tried. It had excellent flavor, and don’t worry, you can get it without the coleslaw! 

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

4.) Spicy blackened shrimp and cheddar cheese grits with brown gravy and local sweet corn relish from Florida Fresh: This is one of Bobby’s contributions since I don’t eat seafood, but I did try the corn and grits with gravy and they were good! Bobby said the shrimp tasted fresh and we both said the corn/gravy had a little kick to it but it wasn’t unbearably spicy.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

5.) House-made potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smokes salmon tartare from Cider House: Another one that was all Bobby, but he said he enjoyed the mix of the flavors of the biscuit and the salmon together. I tried one of the biscuits and it was delicious enough just to eat by itself!

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

There are so many more things to taste at the outdoor kitchens, this is just a sampling. The flower and garden festival is bigger than ever and running longer than ever, and they have pulled out all the stops for the 25th anniversary. Be sure to make a visit before it’s gone May 28th. You can thank me later!

5 Reasons to Visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended a media event at EPCOT and was able to try out some of the delicious food and drinks, however I was not asked to write this post and all opinions are my own.

5 reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this spring at Walt Disney World Resort

Every spring, Epcot is blanketed in gorgeous flowers, topiary figures and gardens, and is peppered with delicious food and drink booths. It’s one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World, and the weather is the best at this time of year, too. Every year EPCOT seems to outdo itself and this year’s festival is definitely one you won’t want to miss. I could go on and on about why, but I have condensed it down to the top five reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this year. Check it out:

 

1.) Flowers: This one is kind of a given, but if you love nature and the beauty that surrounds us every day, you will love seeing EPCOT decked out in bursts of color and some of your favorite characters in plant and flower form. Emma Kate loved spotting her favorites like Daisy, and the clear blue sky gave us a beautiful backdrop. I love spring in Walt Disney World! These fun characters can be found all over the park as well as gorgeous gardens, even one with butterflies!

2) Merchandise: Who doesn’t love a good Disney souvenir am I right? Not only is there a ton of new merchandise out just for the festival, but you can even buy these adorable gift cards to put on your wrist as you walk around the “world” sampling food and drink, and purchasing that new garden statue or cute light up purple rose cup.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

The mouse ears pictures below are sure to be a hit! I just love the detailing.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

This is one of two magic bands available during the festival. Any collectors dream come true.

 

 

3.) Play area for kids: I have a very active three and a half year old, but happen to be a very tired mommy. I love the special play area for kids, not only because it keeps my child busy and exploring, but because it has chairs, and umbrellas, for tired walking feet. Double win for our family! This play are can be found on the right on your way into World Showcase.

 

4.) Garden Rocks concert series: Music lovers listen up! During the festival there will be over a dozen musical acts at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm on the Garden Rocks stage. There will be some old “familiar” faces as well as some new ones!

 

5.) Food: Not to be missed are the outdoor kitchens, which is my favorite part. There are over a dozen stops that open at 11:00 am daily. Check out the Disney Website for a list of all the kitchens and menu items. Below are some of my personal favorites.

 

  • Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky and
  • Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato

  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

  • Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese. (I had two of these!)

There were so many other delicious things to eat and drink but I just wanted to share my absolute MUST HAVES. I would love to know your favorites! So be sure to get to EPCOT as soon as you can. Don’t wait, because the festival will only be around until May 28th, 2018.

 

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

Disclosure: I was provided with a 2 night stay as a guest of Hilton, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret I am obsessed with runDisney race weekends. When I first starting running these races, I always stayed at certain resorts, and then I heard about Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I was blown away by all the perks given to runners during their special race weekends! Of course there are room discounts, but above and beyond that, there is so, so much more. Here are my five top reasons for staying at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney weekend:

Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando is a great place to stay for a runDisney race weekend!

1.) Runner’s Concierge: Oh yes my friends. They have a staff member at a desk in the lobby at certain hours ready and willing to help you. From maps of the resort, to times the bus will arrive to where to carb load for dinner, it’s a one stop shop for all things race related. It’s also where you sign up for the bus, get your special runner’s gift, and even sign up for a giveaway to win a free stay at the hotel!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

2.) Bus transportation for full and half marathons: Knowing I can just walk outside and hop on a bus is a huge plus. At some of the Disney owned resorts, I have waited for up to twenty minutes outside in the cold in a long line for a bus to come, but not so at Hilton Bonnet Creek! I waited inside while munching on my FREE BREAKFAST and then we all got on the bus, space for everyone. Woo hoo!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

3.) Cheer squad and breakfast: I mentioned this above, but yes, when you roll out of bed at 3:00 you can head right downstairs where you will find an amazingly energetic cheerleading squad of employees, and also your free breakfast set up inside right next to where the bus picks you up. It’s a seamless process, and it’s super fun to see the posters and pom poms and smiling faces so early in the morning.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

4.) Spacious rooms and amazing views: The rooms at this hotel are very nice with plenty of space for everyone. Lots of power outlets, full length mirror, big bathroom, and breathtaking views from both sides of the resort. Super comfy queen beds and fluffy pillows are every runners dream the night before a race, and Hilton Bonnet Creek does not disappoint.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

5.) Post race recovery: As a runner, I know that post race recovery is a super important part to staying healthy physically and mentally. That’s why Hilton Bonnet Creek offers late 2:00 pm checkout to runners, so you can take your time, shower, nap, or lay by the pool before you head out on your next adventure. (Or do all of the above!) They have an amazing pool with zero entry, a lazy river, and a water slide. There’s also poolside drink and food service available as well as private cabanas (extra charge). I love this pool and the lush tropical atmosphere, especially after a race. It’s a great place for a nap!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

 

Disney World’s Toy Story Land

It’s finally coming! The long awaited expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land, will be opening on June 30th! I have been fans of the movies for many many years, and now love that my three year old is obsessed with them as well. It truly spans generations and I’m so pumped Disney is finally adding in some “extra” fun for Toy Story lovers.

5 Things to look for at Disney's Toy Story Land opening at Hollywood Studios on June 30th.

Here are 5 things to look for:

1.) Two new rides: Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers will join Toy Story Mania as fun rides for all guests to enjoy in this new land, where you are “shrunk down” to the size of a toy. Slinky Dog Dash will be a fun filled family coaster, and in Alien Swirling Saucers you climb into a toy rocket and join the aliens on a fun adventure. You may even get chosen by the claw!

Disney World's Toy Story Land

2.) A new restaurant called Woody’s Lunchbox: This will feature a walk up quick service window with old fashioned soda floats. I can’t wait to see the full menu, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

3.) An expanded Toy Story Mania ride: This ride will go to three tracks so less wait time and more time enjoying the attraction. You will go through a carnival game box as you approach the attraction. I can’t wait to see it this summer!

4.) New characters: Newbies to the area like Rex Jessie and Sarge and others will be able to be seen in Toy Story Land, like in the photo below. How cool is giant Jessie?!?

Disney World's Toy Story Land

5.) A Model: A model of the all new Toy Story Land is currently on display in Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to check it out on your next visit in anticipation of the June 30th opening. It’s coming up so soon!

Disney World's Toy Story Land

Top 5 Things to Do After You Board the Carnival Vista

Disclosure: I was provided free cruise fare for myself and my husband from Carnival, however all opinions are my own, and these are my unbiased best embarkation day tips for boarding the Carnival Vista!

5 things to do after you Board the Carnival Vista

I have cruised several times, and have learned a few tricks about how to make the most out of the day we get on board (Embarkation day). However, my tips vary depending on which cruise and cruise line I am on, so check out my best tips for Embarkation day on the Carnival Vista below:

1.) Eat: It’s typically lunchtime when you get on board the ship, and since rooms aren’t ready yet, we may as well eat! It’s a great way to get in the vacation and relaxation mindset. There are a few places to choose from to eat on the Vista, which is great in helping to spread people out.

Pro tip: We opted for Pig and Anchor BBQ, because the majority of people will head to the buffet, AND, this place is only open on certain days! 

Board the Carnival Vista

Board the Carnival Vista

2.) Sky Ride: The sky ride is so, so popular, and as you can see from the photo below, only two people can ride at a time. It is the least crowded on embarkation day and on port days when people get off the ship. My tip is to try and go as soon as you get on board, as the line will get longer as the day goes on. How cool is this?!?

Board the Carnival Vista

Pro tip: Either wear closed toed shoes or pack some in your carry on, as they are required for the Sky Ride.

3.) Dining Reservations: Sometimes you may not have the opportunity to get dining reservations at one of the three specialty locations on the Vista, but you can make them in person at the restaurants when you get on board the ship. We did this and were easily able to get reservations at the two spots we wanted to dine in. Perfect!

Board the Carnival Vista

Pro Tip: Do this as soon as you get onboard (ok maybe after you grab some grub) for the best selection of times and dates!

4.) Swim: Eat a little lunch, then go for a swim or sunbathe right? That screams VACATION to me! As you can see from the pictures below, the pools were virtually empty on embarkation day (and no it wasn’t cold outside! It was Miami in November!) This is a wonderful time to grab a chair and a towel and soak it all in, or hop in the hot tub and enjoy the afternoon.

 

 

Board the Carnival Vista

Board the Carnival Vista

Pro Tip: pack your swimsuit in your carry on, you won’t have access to your luggage until later in the afternoon. 

5.) Relax: You have eaten, done the sky ride, gotten your dining reservations and gone for a swim, now its time to think about nothing else because you are on vacation on this gorgeous ship! Enjoy the ship and all the entertainment, dining, and fun she has to offer. There truly is something for everyone when you board the Carnival Vista.

Board the Carnival Vista

board the carnival vista