This past week Carnival Cruise Lines invited me to check out the new Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements firsthand. The Carnival Liberty is the first of many Fun Ships in the fleet to go into dry dock for this upgrade. Since my kids are still in school and my husband had his annual golf tournament with his buddies planned, I opted to cruise solo to see what it would be like to cruise on my own. I have one word so far – relaxing.
I realize a cruise isn’t for everyone and that there are stereotypes of what a cruise passenger is. I’ll begin by letting you know that yes, there are those stereotypes on a cruise ship, but then again, there are stereotypes for almost every type of travel. I also realize that not everyone travels as much as I do, and when they are in a new situation, it can make them nervous.
My airfare and transfer was booked through Carnival Cruise Lines, and as soon as I stepped off my flight, there was a Carnival representative standing in the gate area. I walked up to her and she marked my name off her list and directed me to the baggage claim area and even told me which carousel my luggage would be, and that I should wait there until all the passengers were ready to board the shuttle.
At the carousel, there was another Carnival representative waiting to look over my papers and to make sure I had my Carnival Liberty luggage tags. A few cruise passengers had forgotten theirs, but the Carnival representative had plenty on hand for this situation. We were then led a short distance out of baggage claim to a covered area where the shuttle buses were waiting. The driver loaded the luggage and then delivered us to the door of the cruise ship embarkation check in area. There were some older travelers who needed assistance getting their luggage from baggage claim to the shuttle, and then from the shuttle to the bag drop-off area. There was someone there to help them every step of the way.
During embarkation, you’ll first go through security, where your documents will be checked before you proceed into the cruise terminal. The next step is taking an escalator or elevator up to the next level. There are plenty of Carnival representatives to direct you where you need to go, so don’t feel nervous or unsure about this process.
At the desk, I provided my booking number and my passport. I had already filled out all the information online before I left home, so the only thing left to do was have my credit card swiped for charging privileges. I was handed my cruise ship card which is my stateroom key, charge card, and ship id all rolled into one.
The entire process from stepping off of my flight to arriving at the cruise ship (and checking in) took right at 45 minutes. Granted, I believe I was on the last shuttle to arrive at the cruise ship terminal and there wasn’t a line at all.
So if you’ve never cruised before or if you plan on traveling solo like myself, you can rest assured that you WILL be taken care of and it isn’t as scary as you might think. So far I’m finding cruising solo to be relaxing and stress free. I can do what I want without having to consult the rest of my party. I can order room service without disturbing anyone in my stateroom. And just on my first day I already met so many nice guests who are friendly and talkative.