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2024 CRUISE UPDATES

Check In
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CHECKING IN FOR YOUR CRUISE

Beginning 14 days prior to sailing (1/21/2024) and 16 days for our Platinum and Diamond guests (1/19/2024) you can access Carnival’s site to complete your online check-in and book your Arrival Appointment. To complete this process, you will need the following:

  • Carnival login credentials (username/password)

  • Booking number 

  • Guest Information - home address and Emergency Contact Information

  • Travel Documents (Passport, Birth Certificate)

  • Travel Arrangements - How you are getting to the port. Flight info is part of the check in process

  • On-Board Expense Payment Method 

After you check in online:

  • Print your boarding pass and luggage tag(s)

Full Carnival Check-In Information is available here

Are you more of a visual learner? This is a great video to walk you through the check-in process. 

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Packing
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PRE CRUISE PREP
HOTEL

If you’re staying on the Island, remember this is one of the Mardi Gras weekends. Hotels rates may be higher than usual and some may require a two-night stay.

 

PLAN EXCURSIONS

We highly recommend booking excursions directly through Carnival whenever possible. They have a price match guarantee AND the tour conductors are in direct contact with the cruise line which means the cruise ship will not leave you if your tour gets a flat tire on the way to Mayan ruins. No such guarantee exists when you book 3rd party tours. 

Did you know we will be one of SEVEN ships in Cozumel the day we visit? Even if you are just planning to take a cab to one of the popular nearby beach clubs, reservations are suggested. 

Both Ports of Call in Mexico have lively atmospheres at the end of the pier and offer ample shopping, dining, music, beaches, drinks, and more.

 

Belize is a tender port, meaning the ship will anchor and transfer passengers ashore via smaller boats. This port does not offer quite as much to do immediately in port, although there is a bit of shopping. The top attractions in Belize include Snorkeling, SCUBA, Cavetubing, Zip-Lining, and visiting Mayan Ruins. We strongly advise booking an excursion here unless you plan to stay on the ship.

PRE PACKING & SHOPPING

We've all done it. You're off of work and vacation starts in 18 hours. You are so excited! And then it happens. The dreaded pre-vacation argument about who actually had the passports last and which suitcase should have the heavy stuff.

Reduce the likelihood of frustration by starting your pre-packing and planning about 4 weeks prior to the cruise. Make a packing list and set aside items that are specifically for your cruise. Take inventory of medications & sunscreen, not just your swimsuits. 

You may also decide to purchase some cruise essentials. Amazon is amazing, but not everything can arrive overnight. Plan accordingly. 

SWAG BAG PICK UP

All guests will receive their swag bags via mail or one of the in-person meet ups as they requested at the time items were ordered. 

EVENTS FOR ASTROS FANS

A list of our Astros Themed events for the cruise will be emailed to you the night before the cruise. You will also be able to pick up a printed copy by visiting us in The Song Lounge (Deck 5 AFT) between 2 and 3:30PM on embarkation day. These activities are in addition to all the fun being provided by Carnival. Please join for the things that seem the most fun to you. For the raffles, you must be present to win. 

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

Locate your travel documents. Seriously. Go find them and look at them. You'll need a government-issued picture ID (applicable to all guests 16 years and older) and valid citizenship documents, like a passport or goverment issued birth certificate, and any necessary visas. Photocopies of documents, including birth certificates, will not be allowed. Please ensure that all passports are not set to expire within 6 months of your cruise.

DOWNLOAD THE CARNIVAL HUB APP

The Carnival HUB App is your guide to FUN – download here before you leave home. Check out what’s happening on board, book shore excursions, specialty dining and spa appointments, review our food and drink menus, and even request food delivery of our guest favorites from almost anywhere on the ship. To save time, you can also reserve an appointment to speak with a Guest Services Associate.

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ONBOARD EXPENSE ACCOUNT

When you get on the ship, a Sail & Sign card will be waiting for you in the mailbox of your cabin. This will serve as your room key, your payment method for all onboard purchases, and is also presented whenever you want to get on & off the ship in port. We've provided you with a lanyard to make carrying your card easy, whether you're going down a waterslide or hanging out in the casino. Not feeling the lanyard as a fashion accessory? Just make sure you've got your card on your person at all times. 

While checking in for your cruise, you'll be asked how you plan to fund your onboard purchases. You can choose to fund purchases with a credit card, debit card, or cash. Let's talk about those options.

 

CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS

A pre-authorization of $200 will be placed on your card on embarkation day, and as money is spent throughout the cruise, additional holds on bank funds are obtained. This will result in multiple amounts being held. On the day the cruise returns, Carnival immediately settles the guest's account with their bank for the total amount of their onboard expenses. Holds will remain on the account for one or more days depending on the issuing bank's hold policy, limiting access to funds. If you spend $500 onboard, you may have incremental holds totaling $500 AS WELL AS a final charge in the amount of $500. Please prepare your finances accordingly. 

CASH

Don't feel like trying to do the math or worrying about available funds? Cash is a great way to go. Guests must deposit cash (USD currency only) or Traveler's Checks (USD currency only) at Guest Services on the first day of the cruise. Carnival recommends $200 cash per person for a cruise of our length. You can add funds to your account during the cruise using the kiosk or by visiting guest services. You will not be able to disembark the ship without paying your balance.

 

If guests use cash for their Sail & Sign deposit, any refundable overages greater than $10 USD will be refunded via check mailed within 7 days after the cruise to the guest's home address on file. Overages less than $10 USD will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital®. This will be communicated on board during the Debarkation Talk and posted in the daily 'Fun Times'. If a guest wishes to have the full overage in cash, they may retrieve it from one of the Sail & Sign Kiosks or the Guest Services Desk. Refund checks will be reconciled by our shore side Refund Accounting team and distributed via PNC Bank.

 

Full details from Carnival about onboard expenses are available here.  

Questions about how much cash to bring on your sailing? This blog has good advice for you. 

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DAY OF BOARDING INFORMATION
ARRIVING AT THE PORT OF GALVESTON

Whether you are parking remotely and shuttling over or if you're parking across the street, we suggest going by the cruise terminal first to drop off all your checked luggage with the porters. You may also decide to drop off all your passengers and carry on luggage here while the driver parks. Totally up to you, but breaking this into 2 parts can make things a little less hectic.

Passengers being dropped off via transfer, hotel shuttle, or friends and family can pull directly into the cruise port area and follow the signs for curbside drop off. 

PARKING

Have you secured parking yet? Most parking lots on the Island require a reservation and payment in advance. We like the Port of Galveston garage that is just across the street from the terminal, however there are many great options on the island. This cruise is sailing while the island celebrates Mardi Gras, so we strongly suggest making your parking reservation as far in advance as possible. 

ONLINE CHECK-IN & ARRIVAL APPOINTMENTS

All guests are required to complete their Online Check-in and print the boarding pass no later than midnight prior to sailing. Opt-in for text alerts to stay up to date and click here to learn about our Smile & Go technology.

Please plan to arrive at the cruise terminal within your Arrival Appointment. Guests who arrive early will be asked to return at their assigned time. Unfortunately, we are unable to embark guests who arrives after final boarding time.

Checked luggage delivery service is available until 2 hours before the ship's departure time. If you arrive after this time, you will be responsible for taking your bags on board.

BOARDING EXPERIENCE 

You’re almost there! Here’s what will happen when you enter the terminal

  • Your travel documents will be checked

  • Clear security - much like airport security

  • Any carry on beverages will be inspected. Guests may bring up to 12 12-oz CANNED beverages. Each adult may each carry on 1 750-ML bottle of wine if they would like. 

  • Check in with the staff upstairs. They will check your documents, make sure you have a method of on-board payment on file and will invite you to the waiting area. They may take your picture, depending on the type of travel document provided. Oftentimes your passport photo is imported digitally. I know, I hate that photo of myself, as well. 

  • Boarding zones are printed on your boarding pass. You will be called to embark by this zone.

  • Once your zone is called, line up and clear the facial recognition system. This is the last step before you board unless you pause for a photo op!

 

Once on board, go directly to your muster station! This information is printed on your boarding pass and there are plenty of crew who will direct you where to go.

SELF-MUSTERING (SAFETY BRIEFING)

It is easy for guests to comply with the safety briefing. Click here to see the five simple steps to take once you get on board.

 

Looking for your muster station? The number indicates what floor your muster station is on, while the letters hint at what part of the ship. A is the front of the ship, E is the back. The more you know...

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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CODE OF CONDUCT

We want you to have a memorable vacation but please remember a cruise ship is a shared space. Our Carnival Values underscore that everyone should feel welcome and included, and that everyone on board demonstrate care and respect towards others. Our experience has taught us that everyone has a better time when children are supervised, noise in the hallways is kept to a minimum, guests follow queues, and that a spirit of community and neighborliness is shown by all. Consistent with our commitment to safety, disruptive behavior is not tolerated and any guest whose conduct affects the comfort, enjoyment, safety or well-being of other guests or crew will be disembarked at their own expense and banned from sailing on Carnival in the future. All guests must acknowledge and commit to our code of conduct during the check-in process, and any violation may result in a fine of $500, possible stateroom confinement and removal from the ship. Guest may also be liable for reimbursement of expenses incurred by Carnival as a result of the detainment or disembarkation.  

YOUTH CURFEW

Guests 17 years of age and under who are not accompanied by an adult in their traveling party, 21 years of age or older, must be clear of all public areas by 1:00 a.m. 

SMOKING & MARIJUANA

Smoking in non-designated areas, including staterooms and balconies, and discharging any item overboard is prohibited and will result in a $500 charge per violation. This applies to all forms of smoking, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes and marijuana. Carnival recognizes that some states in the U.S. have legalized the use of recreational and/or medical marijuana. However, cruise lines are required to follow U.S. federal law, which strictly prohibits possession and use of marijuana and other illegal substances. Consequently, marijuana, including marijuana for medical purposes, and other illegal drugs, are not allowed on board. Guests and their luggage will be routinely and randomly screened by security personnel, including narcotics-sniffing dogs. Please review our complete Tobacco and Marijuana Smoking Policy.


CLICK HERE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND POLICIES THAT WE ASK ALL GUESTS TO BE FAMILIAR WITH.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a FUN and memorable cruise vacation.

See you soon!

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