An Amateur’s Take on Cruising

Our cruise to the Bahamas was our first cruise ever. We had a very enjoyable time, but I don’t think cruises will be our number one vacation choice. Here are a few things we loved, a few things we could do without, and a few tips that we’ll make sure we do next time.

bahamas carnival pride

We loved…

… that we didn’t have to cook or clean. And they had turn-down service with mints on your pillows! I don’t stay at fancy places like that very often.

… our balcony. We chose Carnival because the balcony rooms were such a deal, and we spent a good amount of time out there reading, drinking our morning coffee, or watching for dolphins.

… that we didn’t have to fly anywhere. We live an hour and a half from Baltimore, so our travel time to the ship was pretty minimal. We both enjoy flying, but we were able to save some major bucks by choosing a port close to us.

We could do without…

… the smoking. Smoking was still allowed in the casino and outside in specific areas. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was certainly noticeable.

… the busy port cities. We opted out of the excursions offered by the cruise line, so we disembarked at each destination and made our own way around town. Each port in the Bahamas felt pretty touristy, and we are more off-the-beaten-path kind of travelers.

… the “boozin and cruisin” vibe. Carnival’s slogan is “The Fun Ship”, and this certainly seemed to be the case. People seemed to love it, but its not really our thing.

Next time, we’ll know…

… that each passenger can bring one bottle of wine on board. Save some money!

… that people really do dress up on “elegant” evenings. We sneaked by in cocktail attire, but there were a lot of ties and evening dresses.

… that the excursions aren’t actually marked up. We assumed that it would be cheaper to pay for our own excursion in port, instead of booking through the cruise line, but most places seem to be asking the same price as what we were offered on the boat.

Have you done a cruise? What did you love? What could you do without?

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