Hey, coffee lovers! You finally boarded a cruise ship, and you’re ready for the vacation of a lifetime… Now what? It’s overwhelming getting on a cruise, there’s so much to see and everyone is overly peppy. But, for as long as I can remember my family has gone on a cruise for Mardi Gras, since schools in Louisiana get the week off. This past cruise I just got back from was the first cruise I was on as a gold card holder, an achievement if I do say so myself, so I’d like to think I’ve somewhat mastered the art of relaxation.
If you know me, you know I have a small need to make a schedule. I CAN NOT do that on vacation. Making a set list of things you want to do is great, but you have to allow yourself to get lost, to have an adventure! The best memories I have are from when I let myself go with the flow. Seriously, just take a break from trying to have a plan and do something crazy.
When you’re on the ship, take advantage of all of the different activities run by the ship itself. An awesome app for Carnival cruises is the Carnival Hub app, which saved me this cruise. It allows you to see the schedule of everything going on and (for $5) you can chat with people on the cruise. This is so much better than the walkie talkie system because let’s be real, no one likes the people who are yelling into a walkie talkie constantly. You can also favorite activities you want to do and it’ll remind you fifteen minutes beforehand, which is really nice so you aren’t constantly rechecking the list of the days activities.
Also check out the fantastic shows on the cruise. There will most likely be a new show every night, and they are always amazing. We went and saw the “Divas” performance and the “Epic Rock” performance, both were extremely well done and the performers had great energy the entire time. Huge shout out to the performers on the Carnival Elation for not only being incredible in their performances, but also being so kind and humble. I was blown away!
Our cruise was just five days, so we only ported at Nassau and the private island Carnival owns. Excursions are great for places like Nassau, where there’s so much to do it’s hard to choose. Use the time at a port like that to take some great pictures and try something new. This time we went to Atlantis, and it was a ton of fun. My sister had a great time on all of the waterslides, and I loved seeing all of the exotic fish and sharks. On the private island I took a nap on the beach (and may have gotten sunburned; it still hurts) and then rented a stand up paddleboard. Listen to my tale of caution though; a wave pushed me out so far into the ocean that they had to send a boat to come find me after I was miles from shore so be careful. Nevertheless, it was an adventure to say the least! I do request a moment of silence for my lost sunglasses. Rip John Lennon Shades, you will be missed at the bottom of the ocean.
When we got back on the ship I did something I’ve always wanted to do: I GOT A FACIAL. Treat yo’self. It was lovely, and the ship was rocking which is the most calming feeling ever. I swear my skin has never looked better, and I was genuinely surprised with how much it was an improvement. It’s also just nice to talk to someone about what products you’re using on your face and what all is healthy. The price was a bit much, so I’m not sure if I’ll do it again in the future. For a one time thing though, it was a really cool little treat.
Leave a day to just chill by the pool. If you’re on a smaller ship it shouldn’t be too hard to get chairs by the pool, but they go quick on bigger ships. Read a book or take a nap, either are so relaxing. It’s just nice to have a few hours free of all distractions. Plus you don’t have internet, which was a blessing in disguise. I found myself so much happier without constantly checking my phone. I also was able to get out of my reading slump and finish The Casquette Girls, which was phenomenal. Eat some of the free ice cream too, that stuff’s amazing.
Cruise ships are meant for relaxation; a break from the stress of daily life. Enjoy the few days where the only things you have to worry about are “should I eat another ice cream cone?” and “have I applied sunscreen lately?”. If you let yourself have a relaxing and fun time, you are sure to get the most out of your cruise. If you want any other suggestions for things to do, feel free to ask. I’d also love to get recommendations from you for my next cruise (hopefully later this summer). So until next time, grab a coffee and go cruisin’!