Top Tips for New Cruisers

Tomorrow we set sail with Carnival Cruise Line’s Vice President Jennifer Vandekreeke and her family onboard the fun ship Carnival Spirit! Whilst i’ve been fortunate enough to do day tours of a number of ships these past few years, this will be our second only family cruise.  We have great memories from our first and we cannot wait to go full steam ahead into cruise number 2 tomorrow.

To get us ready for our cruise, Jennifer has kindly shared with us her 10 Tips for New Cruisers onboard Carnival Spirit…ship-spirit-jpg


1. Bring your sense of humour and adventure with you and make a commitment to try one new thing every day. Cruising is a great way to try things you’ve never tried before – from crazy waterslides and stand-up paddleboarding to meeting the locals and trying Bougna in New Caledonia or Laplap in Vanuatu.

2. Pack a beach bag for the sea days and a small backpack for the port days, that way you always have easy access to sunscreen, cover-ups, hats and such. Editors Note: Jen also recommends turkish towels because they are light-weight, compact and fast dry.

3. Bring the program for the next day to dinner each night. You and your travel companions can then make a rough plan for the next day. There’s nothing worse than discovering there’s a decadent chocolate buffet….10 minutes after it closed. And, sometimes it’s really fun to make a plan and then throw the whole thing out the window as you laze around all afternoon in a hammock. Somehow lazing around is more fun when there are 10 other things you could be doing.

4. Take the stairs, try the spin class and go for a walk or run around the top decks. Nothing beats the views as you round each corner on your run/jog or walk. Those endorphins will keep you smiling all day long and the chocolate buffet tastes even better when you’ve earned it.

5. Book as many shore excursions as you can. There’s a direct correlation between how much our guests enjoy their cruise and how many shore tours they take. Our shore tour teams work in close partnership with the local communities. They deliver authentic and engaging experiences that will introduce you to the local culture, nature and wildlife of the destinations.


1. Don’t choose Open Dining, select an assigned dining time when you book. The relationship you’ll build with your wait staff over the course of the cruise will be one of the highlights of the entire experience. Trust me, by the end you’ll want to take them home with you!

2. Pace yourself. Don’t try to do everything on the first day. The restaurants, bars, shows and activities will be there for the entire cruise. With 25 bars, restaurants and lounges on Carnival Spirit, there’s plenty of variety for each day…you don’t need to tick them all off on the first night.

3. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Cruising is a risk-free proposition – if you don’t like the Chicken a la Grecque…you can always replace it with Chicken Schnitzel and no one will think twice (or charge you twice). And, why not try a Pisco Sour handcrafted by a Peruvian, a Margarita made by a Mexican or Red Stripe Beer in the RedFrog Pub?

4. Don’t forget to bring extra hats, rashies, thongs, shirts and swimmers when you’re traveling with kids. Even the most responsible of kids gets over excited and leaves stuff behind and your options to purchase back up children’s items are limited in the shops and onshore. Also, you would be amazed just how drippy ice cream gets in the sunny tropics. Editors note: Jen recommends packing a day bag for when you first get on the ship so that the children can hit the slides straight away while you wait for your bags to be delivered to the room. This is what we’ll be doing tomorrow! #fun

5. Don’t be embarrassed to find yourself dancing to ‘Cake by the Ocean’ with your waiter, on stage lip syncing to your favourite song or arriving at your room excited to find out what towel animal will be waiting for you. It’s all part of the fun…embrace it with open arms!


We’ll let you know how we find the above tips during our 8 night adventure.  We’ll be sharing live updates and cruise tips on our instagram account @jetsettingkids.  Please feel free to follow along and ask us questions.

For anyone hoping to book a cruise soon Carnival has a great deal 2 for 1 deal on currently, running until December 5th. I’ll keep you posted with any new deals for families on our insta and in our full ship review

Link to check it Carnival Spirit’s current 2 for 1 special:


We are are media guests onboard Carnival Spirit and are on the hunt for even more top tips to share with families.