Destination Cabo: Tips for cruise ship passengers in the Mexican Riviera on Carnival Cruises

20 Nov

In reality I should really call this the cruise ship trip log, but since I’m no expert in cruising I don’t feel qualified for giving you any specifics.  I will however leave a few tips if it’s your first cruise.  I’m going to break this one up to two parts, the first one will just be a general summary of our cruise and the second on some of the expeditions, it will be titled something like “cruise expeditions” or something lame like that.  BTW If you are an expert at cruising then  post your own blog to help the rest of us out you asshole 😉

Carnival Spirit, this was our 9 day cruise to Baja

When you book your cruise, try to use a credit card that insures you the best price.  That is, if the cruise price falls lower than what you booked it you should receive a refund on the price.  Nothing is lamer than finding out your buddy booked later than you and saved a couple of hundred dollars, plus you might not be buddies again after you kick his/her ass for rubbing it in.  Carnival is supposed to guarantee their prices, but one time we had booked our cruise and the price fell and they didn’t want to refund the money, it was a PITA but they finally gave us cruise credit which worked out okay.  After you book your cruise try to check back often to see if the price has fallen, it’s a PITA but at least you won’t feel cheated later.

Decide on what kind of room you want, this was the second time I’ve gotten a balcony and I really liked it but if you don’t care then go ahead and book an interior room or a room with just the small window.  You will get the same food quality later and will save quite a bit.

The room looks big in this pix, but actually it’s pretty small. You’ll get used to it.

The view from our room.  This is why I loved our balcony.

The Packing List:

Some things you want to bring:  a surge protector/strip bar if you run a lot of electronics and need to charge batteries (ipods, phone, shaver, computer, ipad, camera etc).  There usually is only one 110 volt outlet in each room.  Cash in small bills: most likely you are going to visit exotic third world locations where having small bills is a must, mainly for tip, cabs, and when you are haggling prices.  Binoculars:  you are at sea, there is a lot of cool things to look at when you are bored out of your mind, you might get lucky and see large baleen whales (get a dictionary or read up on your biology books you dufus), sea birds, or other ships.  Extra socks and underwear:  trust me on this one, you want a lot of extra undergarments because no one wants to smell your rank ass later on because you didn’t plan on sweating profusely on the way to dinner. Shoes for the occasion: a pair of slippers to walk around the ship, a pair of dress shoes for the elegant night dinner, and a pair of shoes that you can hike in or do something semi athletic in.  A deck of cards to play with your friends will keep you entertained for hours.  And a refillable drinking bottle, I use a huge stainless one to fill with juices at the breakfast or lunch bars and then to fill up with water later on.  If you are a freediver then you want to bring a pair of semi stiff fins because the shitty rental fins at the excursions suck ass and make you feel like you are flailing around like a sick goldfish on the surface.  There’s more stuff course, but this is a quick list.  Ah I almost forgot.  Always bring a pen, not the shitty plastic bic ones but a nice one that has a metal covering, the twist pen type.  You will always need a pen to fill out things or write things down.  If you are in an area where you cannot carry a weapon, the pen is the best friend you will have.  I won’t go into any details, but if you are in dire straights/extreme danger you can do a lot of damage to someone with a ordinary pen if you use the element of surprise.  If you can’t figure it out for yourself read up on it, take a martial arts class or email me, if you don’t think I can hurt you with a pen bet me a dollar and sign a disclaimer.

This is way overkill on the pens, but it is a smith and wesson version

When it comes to bargaining you have to do a bit of research.  Research for me is going to a vendor and asking how much something is, this is for excursions or products.  Whatever price they give you then divide it by half and then for good measure reduce it by another ten percent or so.  When you get them to their lowest price, pretend you are interested and bite your lip and then walk away and see if they lower it a bit more.  If they don’t then you have found your bargaining price, you can go to other vendors and use that price and try to get it slightly lower, if they don’t go lower than you can always go back to that first place.  It works out almost every time and this way you won’t get screwed.

Food:

Our great dinner crew and the newlyweds Tom and Caroline

The cruise ship is a flotilla of fine dining.  If you have figured out a way to consume the ton of food that I like to put away without gaining weight then please let me know, I usually put ten pounds on each cruise and it takes me a two weeks to get rid of the weight!  You get three meals a day, plus sushi, ice cream sundaes, all you can eat all the time, 24 hour pizza bar etc. If you add the naps after the meals you’ll quickly see why we all gained weight.  However the food is amazing, you can order as much as you want and it’s included in your cruise price!  Here’s what I ate one day:  Breakfast:  egg and cheese omelet that I cut into half and put into a bagel to make a bagel sandwich, also ate two halves of a grapefruit and a croissant.  Lunch:  pastrami and corned beef and cheese panini, two pieces of pizza, Caesar salad.  Dinner:  Caesar salad, shrimp appetizer.  Two lobster dinners plus one prime rib dinner (each dinner has mashed potatoes and other sides).  Dessert:  chocolate melting cake and two scoops of ice cream, creme brulee.   Yes I ate every single bit of that food.  Yes I was pretty sorry afterwards.  The best part is the chocolate melting cake, its like a rich chocolate souffle that is steaming hot and liquid inside.

A sample of one nights main dish menu, there is also a dessert menu

Dinner tables

Lobster Dinner Night, I ate two of these plates

Prime rib, I also ate this on lobster dinner night. Yes I am ashamed…

Seafood Marinara

Sushi.  Yes this was also free.  Yes we also ate this all the time dammit

Gaaah, the daily ice cream sundae bar which we visited too often

mmm, chocolate melting cake with two scoops of ice cream

I forgot, one night they also gave us free drinks and since tom/caroline didn’t drink theirs I drank a screwdriver, long island iced tea, margarita, and some other drink I didn’t even know the name of in about 15 minutes.  I made two tragic mistakes that night, I knew better but the lure in the lust of free alcohol I forgot 1.  do not drink a shitload of alcohol on an empty stomach.  2.  do not mix a bunch of different alcohols.  About an hour later all that alcohol hit me and man was I sorry. I didn’t throw up but I somehow stumbled back to my room and layed on my bed in my underware and writhed in pain till I passed out. I woke up with a major hangover and swore off alcohol for the remainder of the trip.

Ship Entertainment:

You would figure that I might get bored on a 9 day cruise since I  have A.D.D and can’t focus on something longer than about an hour and fifteen minutes (I say that exact time because in college if a class was longer than that I’d start drawing pix of whales and fish, I’m totally serious).  In actuality between the meals and naps we were pretty busy all the time.  Carnival ships have several pools and Jacuzzis.  They have a decent sized gym with a lot of state of the art equipment.  It had a decent sized casino and even had a craps table, but we only played that stupid quarter push machine where it flings quarters on this push thing that makes other quarters fall.  It made me want to kill myself every single time and I wanted to jump kick that machine off the boat!

This machine is the devil, I might as well have thrown my money overboard

Look at these greedy fools throwing their money away 😉

There were so many fun activities on the boat.  There was a hairy man contest, singing contests, bingo, miniature golf, shuffleboard, and certain nights you dressed up for dinner.

Captain of the Carnival Spirit with the Captain of C-Level and his beautiful wife

Our favorite pastime though was watching the comedians at night. They usually would have two shows on certain nights, a family show and an adult comedy show.  The adult shows were hilarious.  The comedians vary, some were on the lame side and some were chris rock hilarious.  They also had a juggler that me and tom really liked and sometimes they have magicians too.  The worst was the legends night and the talent show night.  Nothing is worse than hearing your fellow passengers think they can sing and then sing a whole song off key, it was so bad we had to run out of the room.  I shit you not.

There’s a lot more that I can go into but I’ll save that for the excursion post, coming soon :)…

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