I recently went on a cruise to Mexico for a bachelorette party. When I first heard about the trip and booked it, I was excited. It seems like I go on a cruise every 4-6 years or so, so it was about time and the excuse was perfect! I’ve never been on a cruise or beach bachelorette party, so I was excited for the change of pace. It wasn’t until we got on the boat that it all felt surreal. Once we were there, I realized there were so many things to know about insider tips and getting ready for the cruise, that I needed to share it with you guys!
Let’s start with the why.
Whether it’s a 4-day cruise or a 14-day cruise, you’re off the grid. Internet and reception are spotty – even if you get a plan. So, you’re forced to give yourself a break – from work, social media, etc. This gives you time to do a variety of things – focus on yourself, bond with your SOs, reconnect with your friends.
The harder and harder it gets to make travel plans with friends that all align on the same date + arrival time. With a cruise, there is no arriving late or leaving early from the trip, you’re all forced to arrive and leave at the same time.
Price price price. One of the biggest things we think about in our 20s and 30s, especially on a bachelorette party. We got our 4-day cruise to Mexico for around $250 per person – that includes a place to stay, every meal, endless entertainment (shows, trivia, karaoke, piano bar, club, movies, etc.), room service, heck even transportation ;). Of course, room niceness varies by price as well. From there, you just need to purchase an excursion once you’re in Mexico and your drinks. Drinking passes are available. I believe those are about $51 per day per person and you can get up to 15 drinks – including sodas. But, everyone in the room has to get it, if one person wants to get it.
I’ve got you guys for what you need to know.
Be sure to check-in online and print off all of your paperwork to bring with you. Consider your add-on and excursion options. Purchase a pack or two of water – it’s only $4-5 if you pre-purchase, and your drink package. A couple of our friends got the package and a couple of us didn’t. We calculated after to see which was better and we all wished we got the drink package!
Download the Carnival Hub app and purchase an internet plan. If you want to chat with other rooms or friends/family on the boat, you can purchase the chat pass, but I actually recommend the internet pass more. It gives you access to a variety of social channels and some texting for around the same price.
Buy non-drowsy Dramamine. If you’re not sure if you get seasick, or if you have ever felt motion sickness, it’s good to have on hand. If you get the drowsy kind, you’ll fall right asleep, so the non-drowsy is key. I got the natural dramamine (I think it’s more ginger based) and a few of us took it and felt fine!
You can pack up to 12 cans of soda or 1 bottle of wine, but not liquor, in your bag. Make sure that it’s in your carry on, because your beverages will be inspected while boarding. They do random bag searches when checking, so if you accidentally put it in there, it might end up getting confiscated. Another big confiscation item was our steamer – can’t bring those on either! Get some wrinkle release spray and you should be good to go.
Consider your parking options. I’ve familiar with the Galveston port, so it might vary at each location. There is a parking garage connected to the port, however, it’s about $50 to park for a 4-day cruise. We ended up having friends close enough to drive us, so we were able to save on parking for our big group and parked our cars at a friends house, however, I definitely recommend carpooling.
Once you get there, there are tons of men with carts offering to help. Yes, they want to help, but they also expect money in return 😉 We ended up pitching in on cash and had them carry our stuff through since we had a large group.
You’ll head through a bunch of ticket and security lines before finally getting on the boat. I’ve heard wait times can be long, but it was a breeze for us.
Do not lose your room card. This card is everything for you on the trip – your room key, your credit card, your ID, etc. Be sure to take a mental note of your room number and your card number. If you forget your card and need to buy something, just tell them your card number.
Once you’re on the boat, head to your room. You’ll most likely be surprised at how small the rooms are, but don’t worry – they end up feeling cozy. Because the rooms are kind of small, you’ll want to unpack so that you can store your suitcases under the beds.
At the port time, you will be called to your ‘Muster Station’ for a safety briefing, which is required. Check out your room card for your muster station information and make sure to bring it with you, because they’ll need to scan it to show you were there.
Highly recommend taking the first night to explore the boat. These boats are huge, and you’re bound to get to the end of the trip to look back and say ‘I didn’t know that was on here!’ Which is always a mistake. Check out a map, figure out the elevators, look at the boat schedule for the day and the trip.
Figure out a meeting spot throughout the cruise. If you haven’t heard from someone or can’t find them, you’ll be able to find a place to meet since reception can be spotty. Or, remember your friend’s room numbers, then call from your room phone.
Get one of everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s all included – so you can order a few options for your app, entree, and dessert.
Make friends! Cruises are a perfect place to meet other people. You’re stuck on a boat with everyone for days together so you typically see the same people around. It’s easy to make friends on a cruise – go to the pool, dining hall, or bar!
When you’re getting ready to leave, don’t put your bags outside of your door for pick-up. This only delays the exit process. When you place your bags for pick up, you’re required to depart the boat at a certain time, which could be hours after they’ve asked you to leave your room. So, you end up wandering around the boat until it’s time to get off. When you decide to leave with your bags yourself, you can leave the boat anytime after being asked to leave your room, and you don’t have to wait for your bag. On departure day, don’t forget to grab a meal before you leave – they’re still serving food in the morning when you port!
We had an absolute blast on our 4-day cruise to Cozumel. It was just the right amount of time with all the girls + being on the ship. I’ve been on a few other cruises and I would say my favorite cities have been to Honduras and Belize if you’re looking for a location! Looking for more travel-related content? Check out some other cities I’ve been to!