How To Carnival Cruise Cheap First Time 2017

Are you excited about taking your first Carnival cruise this year, but worried about the cost? Well, fret no more! In this article, we will show you some amazing tips and tricks on how to cruise with Carnival for a fraction of the price. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or simply looking for a great deal, these insider secrets will help you make the most of your first Carnival cruise experience without breaking the bank. So, get ready to set sail and embark on an unforgettable adventure without emptying your pockets!

Table of Contents

Choosing the Right Time for Carnival Cruises

Planning a Carnival cruise can be an exciting and rewarding experience, and one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is when to go. Selecting the right time for your Carnival cruise can greatly impact the overall experience and cost of your vacation. By considering off-peak seasons, shoulder seasons, and last-minute deals, you can find the perfect time to embark on your dream cruise.

Finding Off-Peak Seasons

Booking a Carnival cruise during the off-peak season can offer significant savings and a more intimate experience. Off-peak seasons typically occur when schools are in session and less popular travel dates, such as late summer or early fall. During these times, you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds both on the ship and at various ports of call. Additionally, Carnival often offers discounted fares and special promotions during off-peak seasons, making it an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers.

Considering Shoulder Seasons

Shoulder seasons, which fall between the peak and off-peak seasons, can be an excellent compromise for those seeking a balance between affordability and favorable weather conditions. Carnival cruise prices during shoulder seasons are often more competitive than during peak times but can still provide ideal cruising conditions. For instance, booking a cruise during the early spring or late autumn can offer pleasant temperatures and beautiful scenery without the premium prices associated with peak season travel.

Taking Advantage of Last-Minute Deals

If you have a flexible schedule and a sense of adventure, booking a Carnival cruise at the last minute can lead to remarkable savings. Carnival frequently offers last-minute deals to fill remaining staterooms, often at significantly discounted prices. By monitoring Carnival’s website and social media channels, you can stay updated on any last-minute deals that become available. However, it’s important to note that last-minute deals may have limited cabin availability and may not suit everyone’s preferences, so it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Selecting the Best Carnival Cruise Ship

Choosing the right Carnival cruise ship can greatly enhance your vacation experience. With a fleet of diverse ships, Carnival offers a range of sizes, amenities, and onboard experiences to suit every traveler’s preferences. When selecting a Carnival cruise ship, consider factors such as ship size, onboard amenities, and passenger reviews to ensure a memorable and enjoyable cruise.

Considering Ship Size and Amenities

Carnival cruise ships vary in size, ranging from smaller vessels to larger mega-ships. Larger ships often offer a greater variety of onboard amenities, such as water parks, multiple dining options, and a wide array of entertainment venues. These ships can be ideal for travelers seeking a bustling and lively atmosphere. On the other hand, smaller ships tend to offer a more intimate experience with fewer passengers, creating a more relaxed and tranquil ambiance. Consider your personal preferences and the type of experience you desire when selecting the size of your Carnival cruise ship.

Researching Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival Cruise Line operates a fleet of ships that sail to various destinations worldwide. Take the time to research the different ships in the fleet and their itineraries to find one that aligns with your desired destinations and interests. Carnival offers a range of themed cruises, such as family-friendly cruises, adults-only cruises, and even celebrations like Halloween or New Year’s Eve cruises. By researching the available options, you can ensure that the ship you choose provides the onboard experience you are looking for.

Reading Cruise Reviews and Ratings

Before making a final decision, be sure to read reviews and ratings of Carnival cruise ships from past passengers. Websites and forums dedicated to cruising can provide valuable insights into the ship’s amenities, service quality, and overall experience. Keep in mind that everyone’s preferences differ, and a negative review for one person may not necessarily indicate a less enjoyable experience for you. However, paying attention to common themes and overall passenger satisfaction can help inform your decision and ensure you select the best Carnival cruise ship for your vacation.

Booking Early vs. Booking Last Minute

When it comes to booking your Carnival cruise, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether to book early or hold out for last-minute deals. Understanding the benefits of booking early and the advantages of booking last minute, as well as considering other relevant factors, can help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of Booking Early

Booking your Carnival cruise early provides several advantages. Firstly, you have a wider selection of staterooms and itineraries to choose from, ensuring you can secure your preferred cabin category and desired ports of call. Early booking also allows for ample time to research and plan your excursions and activities, maximizing your vacation experience. Additionally, by booking early, you can take advantage of promotional offers or sales that may be available, such as onboard credit or discounted fares.

Advantages of Booking Last Minute

While booking early has its perks, booking a Carnival cruise last minute can also offer significant advantages. Last-minute deals often provide substantial savings, allowing you to enjoy a Carnival cruise at a fraction of the regular price. These deals are typically offered closer to the departure date when the cruise line is looking to fill remaining cabins. If you are flexible with your travel dates and can accommodate short notice, booking last minute can be an excellent way to score a budget-friendly Carnival cruise.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between booking early or booking last minute, consider your personal preferences, budget, and flexibility. If securing specific cabin categories or itineraries is essential to you, booking early may be the better option. On the other hand, if you are flexible with your travel dates and willing to take a chance on available cabins, booking last minute can yield substantial savings. Ultimately, weigh the benefits of booking early with the potential cost savings of booking last minute to determine which approach is the best fit for your Carnival cruise.

Exploring Different Carnival Cruise Itineraries

One of the most exciting aspects of a Carnival cruise is the opportunity to explore different destinations. Carnival offers a wide range of itineraries, catering to various interests and preferences. By researching destination options, deciding on the length of the cruise, and considering the port of departure, you can choose the perfect Carnival cruise itinerary for your dream vacation.

Researching Destination Options

Carnival cruises sail to numerous destinations worldwide, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, and more. Consider the type of experience you desire, whether it’s lounging on pristine beaches, exploring historic cities, or immersing yourself in nature’s wonders. Research the available destinations and evaluate the activities and attractions each port of call offers to ensure it aligns with your interests. Whether you prefer adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Carnival has a diverse range of destinations to choose from.

Deciding on the Length of the Cruise

Carnival offers cruises that range from just a few days to several weeks, allowing you to tailor your vacation to your desired duration. Decide how long you want to be at sea and consider both your budget and available time off from work. A shorter cruise might be more budget-friendly and suitable for those with limited time, while a longer cruise can offer a more immersive and in-depth experience. Consider your personal preferences and constraints when choosing the length of your Carnival cruise.

Considering Port of Departure

The port of departure can greatly impact both the cost and convenience of your Carnival cruise. Take into account your location and the availability of nearby ports when selecting where to embark on your journey. Opting for a departure port within driving distance can eliminate the need for costly airfare, significantly reducing your overall vacation expenses. However, if you are flexible and willing to fly to a specific port, you can explore even more itinerary options and potentially find better deals. Evaluate the pros and cons of each port of departure and choose the one that aligns with your budget and preferences.

Comparing Carnival Cruise Deals and Special Offers

Carnival Cruise Line frequently offers a range of deals and special offers, allowing you to make the most of your vacation budget. By monitoring Carnival’s website and social media, signing up for the newsletter, and checking online travel agencies, you can stay up to date on the latest promotions and secure the best deal for your Carnival cruise.

Monitoring Carnival’s Website and Social Media

Carnival’s official website is a valuable resource for finding the latest deals and special offers. Check the website regularly, as promotions can vary and change frequently. Additionally, follow Carnival’s social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to stay informed about limited-time offers and exclusive discounts. By being proactive in checking these platforms, you can take advantage of any discounted fares or onboard credits that may become available.

Signing Up for Carnival’s Newsletter

Signing up for Carnival’s newsletter is an excellent way to receive exclusive promotions and offers directly to your inbox. By subscribing to their mailing list, you’ll be among the first to know about any upcoming deals or special events. Newsletters often include valuable information about discounted fares, onboard credits, and various packages. Stay in the loop by signing up for Carnival’s newsletter and ensure you don’t miss out on any budget-friendly opportunities.

Checking Online Travel Agencies

In addition to monitoring Carnival’s official channels, it’s worth exploring online travel agencies for potential discounts and extras. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, or Cruise Critic often offer exclusive deals and perks for Carnival cruises. Compare prices and packages from different travel agencies, taking into consideration any additional benefits or amenities they may offer, such as free onboard credits or discounted excursions. By researching various platforms, you can find the best possible deal for your Carnival cruise.

Budgeting Tips for a Cheap Carnival Cruise

Planning a budget-friendly Carnival cruise is all about making smart choices and finding ways to save money without compromising on the experience. By setting a realistic cruise budget, taking advantage of onboard credit promotions, and planning excursions and activities wisely, you can enjoy a memorable Carnival cruise without breaking the bank.

Setting a Realistic Cruise Budget

Before booking your Carnival cruise, it’s crucial to establish a realistic budget. Take into account not only the cost of the cruise itself but also additional expenses such as airfare, transportation to the port, gratuities, and onboard purchases. Be honest with yourself about how much you can comfortably afford to spend and allocate your budget accordingly. Setting a realistic cruise budget from the start will help guide your decision-making process and prevent overspending.

Taking Advantage of Onboard Credit Promotions

Carnival frequently offers onboard credit promotions, providing you with additional spending money to enjoy during your cruise. Keep an eye out for any promotions that offer onboard credit as a booking incentive or as part of a package. This credit can be used towards various onboard expenses, such as drinks, specialty dining, or spa treatments. By taking advantage of onboard credit promotions, you can enhance your cruise experience without increasing your overall budget.

Planning Excursions and Activities Wisely

When it comes to planning excursions and activities during your Carnival cruise, it pays to be strategic. Research the available options for each port of call and compare prices from different providers. Consider opting for independent or self-guided tours rather than booking through the cruise line, as they often offer more affordable alternatives. Additionally, take advantage of free activities offered onboard, such as poolside games, dance classes, or trivia contests. By carefully planning your excursions and activities, you can make the most of your Carnival cruise experience without breaking the bank.

Optimizing Cabin Selection for Cost Savings

Choosing the right cabin category can make a significant difference not only in terms of cost but also in the overall comfort and experience during your Carnival cruise. By considering interior or oceanview cabins, balcony cabins, and suite options, you can optimize your cabin selection for cost savings without sacrificing enjoyment.

Choosing Interior or Oceanview Cabins

Interior and oceanview cabins are typically the most affordable options on a Carnival cruise. These cabins may not offer scenic views or natural light but can provide a comfortable and budget-friendly choice for those who prioritize value over a view. Interior cabins are located in the heart of the ship, offering a quieter and more serene environment. Oceanview cabins, though slightly more expensive, feature a window or porthole that allows for natural light and limited views of the surrounding ocean or ports of call. By opting for an interior or oceanview cabin, you can save money while still enjoying a comfortable retreat.

Considering Balcony Cabins for the Experience

Balcony cabins are a popular choice for those seeking a more immersive and private cruise experience. These cabins offer a private balcony where you can enjoy breathtaking views, fresh air, and the soothing sound of the ocean. While balcony cabins are often more expensive than interior or oceanview cabins, they can be worth the splurge for the added luxury and enhanced onboard experience. Imagine enjoying your morning coffee on your own private balcony or watching the sunset as you sail towards your next destination. If you value the experience and serenity that a balcony cabin provides, consider allocating part of your budget to this upgrade.

Exploring Suite Options for Extra Perks

If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury and additional perks, consider booking a suite on your Carnival cruise. Suites provide more space, often including a separate living area, and may offer exclusive amenities such as priority embarkation, access to private lounges, and even a personal concierge. While suites are generally the most expensive cabin category, they can offer unparalleled comfort and indulgence. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want an extra pampering experience, upgrading to a suite may be worth considering. Evaluate your budget and prioritize your preferences to decide if a suite is the right choice for you.

Maximizing Dining Options without Breaking the Bank

Food plays a significant role in any vacation experience, and Carnival cruises are known for their diverse culinary offerings. By considering specialty dining packages, taking advantage of complimentary dining options, and exploring room service choices, you can maximize your dining options without incurring excessive costs.

Considering Specialty Dining Packages

Carnival offers a range of specialty dining options that provide unique culinary experiences for an additional fee. These specialty restaurants often feature gourmet menus, attentive service, and elegant atmospheres. Consider purchasing a specialty dining package, which allows you to dine at multiple specialty restaurants for a discounted price compared to individual reservations. These packages often offer flexibility, allowing you to choose specific restaurants and dine at your preferred times. By investing in a specialty dining package, you can enjoy unforgettable dining experiences without the hefty price tag.

Taking Advantage of Complimentary Dining

In addition to specialty dining options, Carnival provides a variety of complimentary dining venues that offer delicious meals at no extra cost. The main dining room, buffet, and casual eateries provide ample choices to suit every palate. Take advantage of these complimentary dining options to savor a wide range of cuisines, from international delicacies to comfort food favorites. While there may be some additional charges for certain premium items or specialty beverages, these complimentary dining venues offer fantastic value and an array of mouthwatering dishes.

Exploring Room Service Options

Room service can be a convenient and enjoyable way to dine in the comfort of your cabin. Carnival offers a selection of complimentary items on their room service menu, including breakfast options, sandwiches, and desserts. While there may be a nominal charge for certain specialty items or late-night orders, you can still enjoy a satisfying meal without leaving your cabin. Take advantage of room service as a convenient alternative to dining in the main restaurants or buffet, especially when you’re looking for a relaxing and private dining experience.

Getting the Most out of Carnival’s Onboard Entertainment

Carnival cruises are renowned for their vibrant and varied onboard entertainment options. By participating in free activities and shows, taking advantage of onboard discounts, and attending themed parties and events, you can make the most of the entertainment offerings without blowing your budget.

Participating in Free Activities and Shows

Carnival provides a wide range of free activities and shows designed to cater to diverse interests and preferences. From poolside games and trivia contests to live music performances and comedy shows, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Take advantage of these free activities and shows to enhance your cruise experience without any additional costs. Consult the onboard daily newsletter or Carnival’s official app for the schedule of events and plan your days accordingly to make the most of the entertaining options available.

Taking Advantage of Onboard Discounts

Carnival often offers onboard discounts on various services and amenities throughout your cruise. Keep an eye out for daily specials, promotions, and package deals that can provide significant savings. Whether it’s discounted spa treatments, beverage packages, or even shopping discounts, taking advantage of these offers can help stretch your budget without compromising on experiences. Be sure to review the daily newsletter and consult with the onboard guest services desk to stay informed about any available discounts.

Attending Themed Parties and Events

Carnival cruises are famous for their lively themed parties and events, which provide a fun and festive atmosphere for all passengers. These events often include deck parties, costume parties, and themed celebrations such as the Caribbean Night or the White Night Party. By participating in these onboard activities, you can immerse yourself in the Carnival spirit and enjoy a memorable experience without any additional costs. Treat yourself to a themed outfit or accessories to enhance your involvement and make the most of the festive ambiance.

Planning and Packing for a Budget-Friendly Cruise

Proper planning and strategic packing can contribute to a budget-friendly Carnival cruise. By creating a detailed cruise itinerary, packing essential items to avoid extra expenses, and being mindful of excessive baggage fees, you can ensure a stress-free and economical vacation.

Creating a Detailed Cruise Itinerary

Before embarking on your Carnival cruise, create a detailed itinerary that outlines the activities, excursions, and dining reservations you wish to experience. Planning your days in advance allows you to make the most of the onboard amenities without missing out on any must-see attractions. Research the available options for each port of call and decide on the activities that interest you the most. By having a well-structured itinerary, you are less likely to spend money on unnecessary or last-minute expenses, ensuring a more budget-friendly cruise experience.

Pack Essentials to Avoid Extra Expenses

Packing wisely can save you from incurring additional expenses during your Carnival cruise. Make a list of essential items to pack, such as sunscreen, medications, toiletries, and appropriate clothing for various activities and venues onboard. Bringing these items from home can help you avoid purchasing them at inflated prices onboard or during port visits. Additionally, consider packing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated without relying solely on purchasing bottled water. By packing these essentials, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and allocate your budget towards more enjoyable experiences.

Being Mindful of Excessive Baggage Fees

Carnival cruise ships provide ample storage and closet space, but it’s still important to be mindful of baggage fees. Check Carnival’s website or contact their customer service to familiarize yourself with their luggage policies, including size and weight restrictions. Pack efficiently and avoid exceeding these limits to prevent incurring extra fees. Consider packing versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits, minimizing the number of items you need to bring. By being mindful of excessive baggage fees, you can ensure that your budget remains intact without any unexpected expenses.

In conclusion, choosing the right time, ship, itinerary, and booking approach, as well as taking advantage of deals and offers, can help you plan a budget-friendly Carnival cruise. By making strategic decisions when it comes to dining, entertainment, cabin selection, and packing, you can further optimize your vacation without compromising on enjoyment. Remember to plan ahead, research your options, and stay informed about promotions and discounts to ensure a memorable and cost-effective Carnival cruise experience.

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