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FlyingAnchor

Carnival rookie questions

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Hello All! 

I have recently booked our 2022 vacation (I like a long-term plan - haha) and it will be our first sailing on Carnival in a couple of years. We have sailed Celebrity almost exclusively since our first cruise together (which was on Carnival) and we're excited to be trying out the Carnival Horizon in 2022. I have some questions I am hoping you can help me with as I'd like to get a good handle on what to expect on Carnival vs. what we're used to on Celebrity. Thank you in advance for humoring me with my questions! 

1) We are sailing on Carnival Horizon and have booked a standard aft balcony on deck 6. I checked the topic for cabin info in this forum but only found two references to Horizon that didn't appear to apply to our category/location of stateroom. Is there a Cruise Critic spreadsheet kept anywhere I am missing to help us with cabin number/location choice? We are currently at the rear of the ship on the starboard side. Does this put us anywhere in danger of cigarette smoke from below? I've read about this in a few posts on here and just want to be sure. 

 

2) When we sail Celebrity we always choose early dining (6pm) as this allows us to have a nice dinner and then grab a drink before heading to the late show at 9pm in the theater. Does Carnival do set show times like this? For example, Celebrity is always 7 and 9pm (sometimes 10 if it is an adult-only show). I chose Anytime Dining for our sailing just in case, but happy to adjust if needed if we can plan ahead for a late show. 

 

3) For Anytime Dining, is it possible to request the same servers every night? Also, is it possible at the end of our meal to schedule our time to dine for the following night? 

 

4) What is the HUB app and how do I maximize its benefits for our sailing? Does it cost to download? 

 

5) Do excursions and drink packages ever go on sale? I check Celebrity's website often as they routinely do and I've been able to save some good money this way. Additionally, when excursions open up for this sailing, if I book something online can I cancel and refund it and book it at the lower price if it does go on sale? 

Thank you all for your insight - I really appreciate it. We're looking forward to our ABC islands itinerary and the new Horizon cruise ship! I do remember Carnival having great food and entertainment and I'm looking forward to both of those as well. Happy new year! 

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1) Sorry, I'm no help on here

 

2) They do two shows to accommodate early and late dining.  I love YTD though personally.

 

3)Yes, you can request the same server if you find one you like, sometimes you may have to wait a little longer but I never have had it be an issue.  no, but on some ships you can reserve with the HUB app I've heard.  Again, not used this.

 

4) Free download, it has a chat feature where you can text other people in your party for $5 for the whole cruise, it also has all of the fun times once you are onboard.  Definitely download it. 🙂

 

5) Cheers does not, I'm not sure about excursions.  Sometimes they may have a small discount but not much of one that I've ever noticed.

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2 minutes ago, cheermomof2girls said:

text other people in your party for $5 for the whole cruise


Do they have to be on our same reservation? My husband and I booked our cabin and afterwards a friend of ours booked their own cabin so they're on a different reservation. Would he be included in that $5? 

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. In addition to loving a good plan (evidenced by booking a vacation 2.5 years out lol) I also love to have a good handle on how things work. So I am thankful for any and all tips and tricks! 

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No, they dont.  You can search for them in the chat feature.  In August we went with a friend and her daughter's, we were not on the same reservation and had no issues all chatting.  We kept up with our teenagers that way.  It's not 100% reliable, as with any technology at sea but worked fine for us.

 

If you have any questions, just let me know.  I've been on several carnival cruises and I'm happy to help with anything that I can.  

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2 hours ago, FlyingAnchor said:

4) What is the HUB app and how do I maximize its benefits for our sailing? Does it cost to download? 

 

The HUB app is free and super useful! Although you CAN use it to spend money buying excursions, etc so watch out for that and the chat function costs $5 per person per cruise but is totally worth it
 

 

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18 hours ago, FlyingAnchor said:


1) We are sailing on Carnival Horizon and have booked a standard aft balcony on deck 6. I checked the topic for cabin info in this forum but only found two references to Horizon that didn't appear to apply to our category/location of stateroom. Is there a Cruise Critic spreadsheet kept anywhere I am missing to help us with cabin number/location choice? We are currently at the rear of the ship on the starboard side. Does this put us anywhere in danger of cigarette smoke from below? I've read about this in a few posts on here and just want to be sure. 

 

2) When we sail Celebrity we always choose early dining (6pm) as this allows us to have a nice dinner and then grab a drink before heading to the late show at 9pm in the theater. Does Carnival do set show times like this? For example, Celebrity is always 7 and 9pm (sometimes 10 if it is an adult-only show). I chose Anytime Dining for our sailing just in case, but happy to adjust if needed if we can plan ahead for a late show. 

 

3) For Anytime Dining, is it possible to request the same servers every night? Also, is it possible at the end of our meal to schedule our time to dine for the following night? 

 

4) What is the HUB app and how do I maximize its benefits for our sailing? Does it cost to download? 

 

5) Do excursions and drink packages ever go on sale? I check Celebrity's website often as they routinely do and I've been able to save some good money this way. Additionally, when excursions open up for this sailing, if I book something online can I cancel and refund it and book it at the lower price if it does go on sale? 

 

1:  You should be fine with your location.  However that doesn't stop people from smoking on their balcony even though you aren't supposed to.

 

2:  There are typically two show times.  A few things may only have one showing.  You should be able to find a copy of the daily schedule.  I also read reviews of that ship by other cruisers here in the forums.

 

3:  Yes you can, but may have a 15-20 minute wait to get that persons section.  Or you could request to be moved to Early Dining on the first day, which will give you the same server without a lot of wait or hassle.  Just go to the Matire D' on the first day.

 

4:  It is free - you will simply connect to ships wifi (this is free for HUB App use only) and enter your info found on your sign and sail card.  I think it is Folio Number and DOB, don't really remember.  You can also pay $5 per person to use the messaging app within the App.  This is per person, and you don't have to have the internet package to use the app or this feature.  I would use it to find events I wanted to attend, you heart those, and your phone notifies you when something is about to start.  Can also look at menus for the night.

 

5:  Rarely if ever in my experience.

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18 hours ago, FlyingAnchor said:


Do they have to be on our same reservation? My husband and I booked our cabin and afterwards a friend of ours booked their own cabin so they're on a different reservation. Would he be included in that $5? 

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. In addition to loving a good plan (evidenced by booking a vacation 2.5 years out lol) I also love to have a good handle on how things work. So I am thankful for any and all tips and tricks! 

$5 per person.  Then you can talk with anyone on the ship who is using it as well.

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If you can move up to deck 7   it will be a good move.    You are seen by the people walking the Lanai    and yes   cigerette smoking from below one deck away.   

 

You can not make reservations times for any time dining.   Early traditional dining allows you to dine and be done before the night shows.   Later times you have to do the shows before your dinner.

 

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You should call Carnival or your travel agent to have your booking linked with your friends, especially if you decide to do assigned seating vs YTD. That way you'll be able to sit together at the same table for dinner. We have a group of 3 to 5 couples who we travel with and we always have our bookings linked.

 

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23 hours ago, Bostwick girl said:

We have a group of 3 to 5 couples who we travel with and we always have our bookings linked

Thank you - yes I will get this done. On X this is always difficult and works about 50% of the time. Unless all reservations are booked together through the same TA we end up having a hard time linking them together to reserve dining, shows, excursions, etc on the website prior to boarding. So I am happy to read it sounds like its more successful for you with Carnival 🙂 

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23 hours ago, serene56 said:

If you can move up to deck 7   it will be a good move.    You are seen by the people walking the Lanai    and yes   cigerette smoking from below one deck away. 

Thank you for this insight! Is the lanai below balconies for deck 6 on deck 5 (along with the smoking area?) We will look more closely at the deck plans in a few days when we're off together and adjust our cabin location! Hopefully it won't affect the price too greatly. 

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There were promo codes posted on this website for a small percentage off on excursions (10%) and other Carnival purchases over the black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.  Something to watch for during that time.  I believe the codes came from John Herald's fb page but could be wrong.

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Some of the excursions will go on sale once in while.  We got a sale deal on our Jamaica excursion for our cruise coming up next month. 

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:23 AM, serene56 said:

If you can move up to deck 7   it will be a good move.

 

I called today and we moved up to deck 7 aft. We went from an 8A cabin to 8B according to our TA. Are the differences really noticeable or simply a matter of location? We're happier to be up one deck higher! 

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1 hour ago, FlyingAnchor said:

 

I called today and we moved up to deck 7 aft. We went from an 8A cabin to 8B according to our TA. Are the differences really noticeable or simply a matter of location? We're happier to be up one deck higher! 

Not really noticeable especially with that little of a change. You’ll enjoy it. 
 

The Hub app can be very useful. The Funtimes (daily schedule of events) is on there, and you can set reminders so you aren’t late for things. Also, the MDR menus are posted in there. The times everything opens, closes, starts, etc. on there. You can order a pizza for delivery on the Hub app. “Check in” on the way to dinner so your table is waiting. So useful!

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Sounds like you have a Havana room?  You will enjoy the Havana area if you do!  

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1 hour ago, bandtaxi said:

Sounds like you have a Havana room?  You will enjoy the Havana area if you do!  

Category 8B is not a Havana cabin.  Havana cabin categories begin with the letter"H."

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#5 - From my experience, the other cruise lines can throw in a "free drink package" promotion because they are charging more for their cruises. Granted they are quite different experiences, but I'm willing to bet you can get a 7 day cruise with the cheers package for substantially less than Celebrity. 

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You do save 10% on Cheers if you purchase before you sail. 

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On 12/30/2019 at 3:14 PM, cheermomof2girls said:

It's not 100% reliable, as with any technology at sea

 

 

please don't tell the Captain this 😁

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Since you are new to Carnival and in case you don't know the FTTF is a very worthwhile investment and get it as soon as you see it. You will be thankful you did!

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 3:35 PM, FlyingAnchor said:

Hello All! 

I have recently booked our 2022 vacation (I like a long-term plan - haha) and it will be our first sailing on Carnival in a couple of years. We have sailed Celebrity almost exclusively since our first cruise together (which was on Carnival) and we're excited to be trying out the Carnival Horizon in 2022. I have some questions I am hoping you can help me with as I'd like to get a good handle on what to expect on Carnival vs. what we're used to on Celebrity. Thank you in advance for humoring me with my questions! 

1) We are sailing on Carnival Horizon and have booked a standard aft balcony on deck 6. I checked the topic for cabin info in this forum but only found two references to Horizon that didn't appear to apply to our category/location of stateroom. Is there a Cruise Critic spreadsheet kept anywhere I am missing to help us with cabin number/location choice? We are currently at the rear of the ship on the starboard side. Does this put us anywhere in danger of cigarette smoke from below? I've read about this in a few posts on here and just want to be sure. 

 

2) When we sail Celebrity we always choose early dining (6pm) as this allows us to have a nice dinner and then grab a drink before heading to the late show at 9pm in the theater. Does Carnival do set show times like this? For example, Celebrity is always 7 and 9pm (sometimes 10 if it is an adult-only show). I chose Anytime Dining for our sailing just in case, but happy to adjust if needed if we can plan ahead for a late show. 

 

3) For Anytime Dining, is it possible to request the same servers every night? Also, is it possible at the end of our meal to schedule our time to dine for the following night? 

 

4) What is the HUB app and how do I maximize its benefits for our sailing? Does it cost to download? 

 

5) Do excursions and drink packages ever go on sale? I check Celebrity's website often as they routinely do and I've been able to save some good money this way. Additionally, when excursions open up for this sailing, if I book something online can I cancel and refund it and book it at the lower price if it does go on sale? 

Thank you all for your insight - I really appreciate it. We're looking forward to our ABC islands itinerary and the new Horizon cruise ship! I do remember Carnival having great food and entertainment and I'm looking forward to both of those as well. Happy new year! 

Most of this has been answered, but I will add a bit more - for excursions, they had a 10% off last year (march I believe), and then also over Thanksgiving weekend the last couple of years, however Cheers never gets a discount (other than the discount for purchasing ahead of time).  One way to save money on Carnival is to get discounted gift cards, you can easily save 10%, so you are in essence saving 10% off everything - drink packages, excursions, fare, gratuities, and even casino play.  This helps, especially when you have a lot of time before sailing to amass the cards.  I purchased 5k worth for our cruise  (saving $500) and used it for everything, including flights, since we booked through fly2fun.

 

Linking of rooms works very easy.  We have 4 rooms on our upcoming spring break cruise - 2 booked through a pvp, 1 (mine) booked through a big box store, and 1 that I booked for my sister, and all were linked really easily.  I simply put my confirmation number in when I booked my sisters, and it added all 3 rooms to hers as linked, since the other 3 were already linked.

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On 12/30/2019 at 4:35 PM, FlyingAnchor said:

Hello All! 

I have recently booked our 2022 vacation (I like a long-term plan - haha) and it will be our first sailing on Carnival in a couple of years. We have sailed Celebrity almost exclusively since our first cruise together (which was on Carnival) and we're excited to be trying out the Carnival Horizon in 2022. I have some questions I am hoping you can help me with as I'd like to get a good handle on what to expect on Carnival vs. what we're used to on Celebrity. Thank you in advance for humoring me with my questions! 

1) We are sailing on Carnival Horizon and have booked a standard aft balcony on deck 6. I checked the topic for cabin info in this forum but only found two references to Horizon that didn't appear to apply to our category/location of stateroom. Is there a Cruise Critic spreadsheet kept anywhere I am missing to help us with cabin number/location choice? We are currently at the rear of the ship on the starboard side. Does this put us anywhere in danger of cigarette smoke from below? I've read about this in a few posts on here and just want to be sure. 

have not been on Horizon 

On 12/30/2019 at 4:35 PM, FlyingAnchor said:

 

2) When we sail Celebrity we always choose early dining (6pm) as this allows us to have a nice dinner and then grab a drink before heading to the late show at 9pm in the theater. Does Carnival do set show times like this? For example, Celebrity is always 7 and 9pm (sometimes 10 if it is an adult-only show). I chose Anytime Dining for our sailing just in case, but happy to adjust if needed if we can plan ahead for a late show. 

we did anytime dining with my family and inlaws and chose not to do it this time around on the breeze. takes too long. 

On 12/30/2019 at 4:35 PM, FlyingAnchor said:

3) For Anytime Dining, is it possible to request the same servers every night? Also, is it possible at the end of our meal to schedule our time to dine for the following night? 

we tried for the same time and it did not work. 

4) What is the HUB app and how do I maximize its benefits for our sailing? Does it cost to download? 

the HUB is awesome and worth it.  meals/ what's open/ activities . no need to carry the paper copy around. also the chat was worth it. 

5) Do excursions and drink packages ever go on sale? I check Celebrity's website often as they routinely do and I've been able to save some good money this way. Additionally, when excursions open up for this sailing, if I book something online can I cancel and refund it and book it at the lower price if it does go on sale? 
excursions yes. drink package no. 
Thank you all for your insight - I really appreciate it. We're looking forward to our ABC islands itinerary and the new Horizon cruise ship! I do remember Carnival having great food and entertainment and I'm looking forward to both of those as well. Happy new year! 

 

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On 1/5/2020 at 11:01 AM, 1019throw said:

, but I'm willing to bet you can get a 7 day cruise with the cheers package for substantially less than Celebrity. 

 

Thank you. I have been price comparing to a similar itinerary on two other cruise lines and we're stilling coming out ahead all in on this sailing. Very happy about that! 

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