Aug 16, 12, 9:53 pm
What to do first after check in?
I read a great post about what to do first after you check in on a Carnival cruise ship - I think it was eat :-) But it gave a specific location.
We are going on the Carnival Freedom - any body suggest what to do or not to do after check in (2 adults, 2 kids).
Aug 18, 12, 8:41 pm
I do not post of Flyer Talk very often but I am an experienced cruiser. I will try to answer your question.
First of all, it depends on the time you board. In order to comply with Homeland Security you must check in and be onboard 90 minutes before the ship sails.
When you arrive at the terminal you will hand over your luggage. Make sure your bags all have the luggage tags issued by Carnival. If you do not have the tags the baggage handler can issue you new ones. Do not hand over carry on bags. Enter the terminal and check in. There will be staff to direct you to a waiting area or directly to the check in desk. After you have completed the paperwork and had your credit card scanned you will be issued your pass cards which identify you (after being photographed) for entrance on the ship and for everything onboard from room key to bar charges and all onboard expenses. Each passenger will have the card with imbedded photo and should take care of it. New cards can be issued at the Purser's desk if need be.
As you are directed to the ship your family will go through security with luggage scanner just like at the airport. Then you can have your family's picture taken if you wish.
If you arrive before 1:30 you will be directed to the Lido deck where the buffet is located. If you have swim suits in your carry ons you can change in the gym. You can wander around the public areas until the announcement is made that cabins are available. The kids should check out their designated clubs. It's always a good idea to meet the kids staff.
Don't expect your luggage for hours. The crew will leave your luggage in the corridor near your cabin. It is not uncommon to be undersail before luggage is delivered. Priority is given to suite guests and sometimes members of the Carnival loyalty program (you can join after your first cruise.)
During the 90 minutes before you sail you will be informed of the life boat drill. Everyone must attend. It's a good idea to arrive early to your designated station. Crew will be everywhere to direct you if you have questions.
I highly recommend that you wander around the public areas of the ship to get your bearings. If your children are old enough to wander on their own this is particularly important. Point out elevators, deck plan maps, your cabin, restaurants, their areas of interest etc.
I hope I have answered your questions and if you wish more information about your particular cruise I highly recommend you log on to Cruise Critic. It is the most widely used Cruise forum with great information.
Enjoy every moment.