Organizing Tips And Tricks That I Learned On My Carnival Cruise | Giftie Etcetera: Organizing Tips And Tricks That I Learned On My Carnival Cruise

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Organizing Tips And Tricks That I Learned On My Carnival Cruise

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I had an amazing vacation on our family's seven day trip to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream.

(This is not a Carnival sponsored post, by the way. Although, if the Beards wanted to give me a free cruise, I'd not refuse. :) )

We swam with dolphins, had lobster and snorkeled on French Key Island, and, because of the AMAZING Camp Carnival, enjoyed adult-only dates most nights while the kids had a blast playing with friends.

TIP: If your kid is going to Camp Carnival, bring running shoes. They will need them for dancing on slippery ship's floors.

But, being the organizer that I am, I couldn't help but take notes for my blog of the things that the ship did so well as far as organizing and time management. Yes, I brought a travel notebook with me for that purpose!

I've traveled to expensive, swanky hotels that do not even touch the level of service and order that Carnival provided.

The layout of the room lead to being organized, even in a small space.

Basically, each kid had a bunk and mom and dad had a king bed. It's hard to see, but there was a side table next to each side of the grownup beds and a drawer under the bunks for each kid.

At home, I also have side tables, so I was used to using those for my water bottle, paperback book, my nightly medications, and my sleep mask. But it had not occurred to me to have similar spaces for the kids. They used the spaces for stuffed animals, pjs, and books. Brilliant, Carnival. Kids need bedside tables (or drawers, in this case), too.

There were also four small drawers and four large cubbies in the closet. Each person in the family got one. Our drawers held things like our room keys, sticky notes for leaving each other location information and leaving notes for the room steward, and the cell phone, while our cubbies were used for swimsuits, t-shirts, shorts, life jackets, books, and anything else we needed. Hanging clothes went in the other two closets. I tucked suitcases under the beds.

TIP: The oldest person gets the top shelf, and then the other shelves are assigned in age order, until the youngest. Each person is responsible for keeping his shelf orderly.

TIP: If your child is five years old or younger, Carnival will provide a free cell phone that works with any other phone on the ship.

One thing Carnival did not have were over-the-door hooks for hanging wet swimsuits. The swimsuits had to be hung on the clothesline in the shower. I wish I had packed over the door hangers.

I peeked in at the room steward and housekeepers cleaning our room once. (Not on purpose, I swear! I forgot something and had to run back to the room.) First, they sweep the room for trash. Once it is all discarded, they start actually cleaning. It's much more manageable if you toss trash first.

TIP: At home, toss trash and put things away in their homes before cleaning up.

Carnival's room service menu read like the breakfast or lunch menu at my house. Basically, they listed some basic snacks (veggies, fruits, cookies) and sandwiches or cereal. 

TIP: Have a room service menu for your home. Prep fruit and veggies on grocery day and "order" from it when you are pressed for time instead of cooking a meal.

At lunch and dinner, Carnival set the tables for the next meal as they cleared them. Admittedly, this trick won't work at my house, as my house is tiny and we need the table for homework and computer work. But if you have a table just used for eating, steal that trick!

Carnival also used appetizers (like cold shrimp cocktail and salads) that were yummy and healthy, but pre-made. I plan to start doing something similar every three days or so at home. Having something quick to eat when dinner is being prepared will head off much crankiness.

We had a blast and I can't wait to cruise again.

BONUS TIP: Do not buy Fun Freddy in the gift shops (about $10). He's much cheaper at Beary Cuddly classes (running about $7 and by far the cheapest Beary Cuddly bear available).


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