You worked hard to get to the first day of your vacation and you want to make the most of it. If you’re looking to reward yourself with a little extra pampering (and don’t mind paying a little extra for some special perks), consider these 6 tips for upgrading your cruise experience and seeing the Caribbean like a VIP.
Onboard Your Ship
1. Book a Suite
Travel in comfort—and with a view from your own balcony—by booking a suite for your cruise. Carnival’s suites provide more room than regular staterooms (sleeping up to 5 guests), and they come with additional perks and amenities, including priority embarkation and debarkation. Many suites also have a tub, so you can enjoy a relaxing soak after an adventurous day in port.
2. Dine Out
For lots of people, particularly families, the beauty of cruising is the fact that all of your meals are included in your ticket. While that’s true of most eateries onboard, there are some outlets that require a nominal up-charge. But these restaurants are the ones who specialize in a cuisine, whether it’s steak, seafood or sushi, making them absolutely worth a small premium. They’re the perfect place for special occasion dinners, and a great way to spoil yourself and your loved ones. Another way to feel like a VIP? How does breakfast in bed sound?
3. Get Zen — and Glam
You’re finally on vacation, but it can be hard to let go of all the pent-up energy that went into the planning that led you to this moment. A visit to the onboard spa, Cloud 9, will help melt away any remnants of stress, with their lineup of massages, facials, and even acupuncture. A Thalassotherapy Pool and thermal suites take the relaxation and pampering up a notch; while hair and beauty services will help you get glam for nights of celebration. There are even dedicated spa treatments for teens at ZSPA.
4. Go Behind the Scenes
Nothing says “VIP” like getting special access to places most members of the public can’t visit. When you’re in port, you can get the velvet-rope experience by signing up for a shore excursion that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of a local business or cultural institution. These can include chocolatiers, artisan workshops and art galleries. Let the folks at the shore excursion desk know what you’re interested in and they’ll help you find a tour to give you that special “all-access” experience.
5. Visit Private Beaches
We can’t all buy our own private islands, but we can visit exclusive island beaches far from the crowds. There are a number of ports of call that were designed specifically for cruisers, featuring all the amenities you could want in one convenient location. The best of these—like Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays—offer acres of pristine sand and crystalline water for you to enjoy, along with plenty of activities and tours that will occupy many of your fellow passengers and leave even more of the beach to you.
6. Rent a Cabana
Beach umbrellas and loungers are great. But for a true VIP experience, you can spring for a cabana or villa rental in ports like Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Amber Cove, and Mahogany Bay. Most are air-conditioned and furnished with comfy seating and hammocks; some with showers and hot tubs as well. With butler service, fresh fruit and bottled water to welcome you, there couldn’t be a more exclusive way to enjoy the Caribbean’s best beaches. It’s the perfect way to cruise when you want to vacation like a VIP.