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About KatieBug28

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Salt Lake City, UT

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  1. I think it really depends on you and your situation. For us, with a tiny one who still naps, it's REALLY nice to have early access to the room. We can hop on, drop off our bags and get the kiddos fed before putting the littlest down for a nap. Since our luggage arrives early, one of us can stay with her and unpack while the other explores the ship with our older daughter or takes her swimming. She can wake up just in time for muster and sail away, and the vacation is off to a much better start for all of us! It's also just great to get on the ship with very little waiting, since they get impatient and bored in line. We also tend to book our own shore excursions outside of Carnival, and so the priority tender has been very nice in ports where that is an issue. I also like skipping the guest services line when needed. I don't use it often, but it always seems like there are 2-3 times per cruise I need it. I also like being the first group off the ship once we are home, because we usually have something planned in the home port for the day. But, if it were just us adults, and we weren't planning on doing outside excursions, I would probably save the money.
  2. On days when we are headed ashore, I grab a couple of the small cereal boxes from the breakfast buffet to take along for snacks. They are sealed and so are allowed on shore. My kids always seem to get hungry before it's time for whatever local food we have planned for the day, so I can give them that to much on. (We also enjoy buying the popular local pre-packaged snacks in the ports and bringing them back with us. They can make for a fun tasting party before dinner, or a fun way to remember our trip once we are back home.) Other tip for going ashore: bring a Camelbak or other type of water bladder or bottle, preferably insulated. My husband brings his and fills it up with ice and water on Lido before we head out for the day. Excursions generally give you a bottle of water, but it is nice to have ready whenever you need it, especially if you are venturing out on your own.
  3. I wish I'd been brave enough to book my own excursions! We could have saved a ton of money and done some more exciting things. Also I wish I had known how dark it would be in an inside cabin. The first day, my husband and I kept waking up in what we thought was the middle of the night. We finally turned on the light to check his watch, because we just couldn't go back to sleep (this was before smart phones). It was almost 1 p.m. No wonder we weren't tired anymore! (Now I love the dark of an inside because it makes my kids sleep in, lol. But we've kind of outgrown that space and are in balconies now.)
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