A Guy’s Guide To Cruising.

By Posted in - Caribbean & Islands & cruise on December 11th, 2014 A young man sitting on the balcony of a cruise ship sailing through the Caribbean.

As we prepared for our Carnival cruise this month, I discovered there weren’t many guy-specific guides for cruising, so I set out to create one (ah, the beauty of running your own blog). Whether you’re going solo, cruising with a loved one, or hanging with your boys, this guide is for you. And even though my experiences are based around our cruise on the Carnival Dream, I believe the guide is a valuable resource for any Caribbean cruise.

Eat like a champ

A traveler enjoying brunch on the Carnival Dream during a cruise through the Caribbean.

Hunter S. Thompson once said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, no matter when you finally get up to eat it. Judging by Carnival’s Seaday Brunch, it seems they agree with the Gonzo journalist. Steak-n-eggs anyone? How about a decadent waffle covered in frosted cereal? If you love going out to breakfast, but rarely get to go, then you’re going to love brunch at sea. Grab a Bloody Maria (think: Bloody Mary, but spicier and with tequila instead of vodka) and settle in, because it really doesn’t get any better than this. Now, for those of you who prefer dinner to breakfast, then you should look to dine at least one night at The Chef’s Art Steakhouse. It’s an intimate affair with a menu and atmosphere that’s ripped from New York City’s finest steakhouses. I went with the Surf & Turf–Maine Lobster Tail and Grilled Filet Mignon–and I still find myself thinking about it.

Get your drink on

Enjoying the drink of the day on the Carnival Dream.

On Carnival, you can bring a bottle of wine or champagne on board at the beginning of the cruise (here’s their Liquor and Beverage policy). However, hard liquor is a no go, so leave it at home because they will find it. Once onboard, Carnival offers a “cruise spirits pass” (available for purchase on the first and second day only, and you have to buy it for the entire cruise). For $50/day, you can order up to 15 alcoholic drinks in a 24 hour period. It’s a pretty sweet deal; though, there is one catch: for rooms with more than one adult, everybody in the room must purchase the pass too. I get why the rule is in place, but I don’t think it’s fair, since it penalizes couples whose significant other doesn’t drink. One thing I’d recommend skipping is the free liquor tasting on the first night, as the line is long and the pour is small. Instead, look for brand-specific tastings. For example, our ship had a free Johnnie Walker tasting, which included sampling the company’s prized Blue Label scotch.

Play like you mean it

play-like-you-mean-it_atv-ride
When it comes to shore excursions, there are no shortage of adrenaline pumping activities. In less than 72 hours, I drove an ATV through the hills of Montego Bay, past tiny rural communities and decaying sugar plantations; learned to dive in Grand Cayman and then went on to explore the colorful sea life around Cheeseburger Reef; and swam in the fresh water Cenotes of Riviera Maya, before snorkeling with wild sea turtles in the unbelievably blue Caribbean Sea. I think I did more in those three days, then I’ve done in a long time, and it felt great. Of course, if you just want to chill, then you can find those excursions too. Before we found out about the cenote and sea turtle swim in Mexico, we were planning to go to a private white-sand beach and do absolutely nothing but drink margaritas, eat lots of Mexican food, and swim–not exactly in that order though.

Body Moving

Spa on the Carnival Dream.

The spa and fitness center is the perfect place to balance out the big meals and boat drinks that are bound to fill your day. Despite what Jimmy Buffett says, it can’t be five o’clock somewhere all of the time. So in those moments, why not get your exercise on at the gym or hit the basketball court for a pick-up game. Alternatively, you could also use this time for a massage. On the final sea day, I closed out our trip with an Elemis Seaweed Wrap and Massage with a full massage add-on. I know it sounds a little foofoo, but it was magic and I can’t recommend it enough for guys. In addition to the ship’s well-equipped gym and outdoor jogging path, our cruise also featured a handful of fitness classes, like Yoga and Pilates, an array of pools and hot tubs and, my favorite, two thrilling waterslides.

For guys, it doesn’t get much better than taking a cruise. It’s essentially like a floating Las Vegas resort (yep, there was a casino on board too), but even better, because you get to travel on the high seas, stopping in exotic locales along the way. I hope that you find our guy’s guide helpful for your next cruise, and if you have anything you would like to add, just let me know about it in the comments below.

Want more cruising stories, check out our recent posts:

The Great Caribbean Cocktail Trail Challenge

5 Awesome Tips to Help You Travel Better

26 Cocktails and Tips fo5 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruiser Your Next Cruise

5 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise


Disclosure: This story was created as part of our collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are our own.

at the gym or hit the basketball court for a pick-up game.

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(14) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Caroline Eubanks -

    December 11, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Great post, Randy! You’re right, there isn’t much information on what options the guys have on cruises. I’ve gone with a group of girlfriends, but I rarely see groups of guys!

  • Randy Kalp -

    December 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Thanks Caroline! It definitely seems to be more common for a group of girls to do a cruise than guys; though, I’m not sure why. Guys go to Vegas all the time and, like I said, this is essentially Vegas, except you get to see a lot of cool places too. My hope is that more guys will become interested in cruising, because not only is it a lot of fun, it’s also a really great deal too, considering everything you get.

  • Hans -

    December 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Seeing how as many amenities on a cruise ship are all-inclusive in nature, it would be a shame to not use this excuse to splurge wisely … great guide man!

  • Peter -

    December 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    This cruise sounds absolutely terrific! The food sounds absolutely amazing, I am getting hungry just reading about it. My ideal cruise would basically be composed of good food and alcohol. To be honest, anything is better with good food and alcohol.

    Great post !

  • De’Jav -

    December 16, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Carnival has some of the best cruises in the game. There is definitely no guys guide these are some good tips/suggestions.

  • Dan -

    February 11, 2015 at 6:51 am

    THANKS RANDY!! It was the best kept secret till you came along and ruined it. I’ve been cruising for years and the guy/gal ratio is fantastic. Now the competition will get tougher. Ha ha. Good blog Randy.

  • Cliff Shilander -

    February 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    If you go with the honey try to do what she would like but do put out a couple of your ideas. She might just go on an excursion that you suggested or let you do your own. We always look for the most that can be done during the port stay. While in the Med. we took a coastal drive one day a trip to Rome and the tower of Pisa the next, and eventually Monaco.

  • Matt -

    February 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Just curious about the extras and more so the atving, how much did that add?

  • Stephanie Cheaney -

    February 14, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I’m not a guy !! But really enjoyed reading your blog, thanks for sharing!!

  • Jose -

    February 16, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Ya we like Carnival Cruise, but you know on the Royal Caribbean they don’t make both of you by a drink pass , or lemit you 15 drinks in a 24 hr period. I think there both fun. In time to come they will average the drinks cost in . And you also con purchase a bottle of booze for your room while your booking. Or more . Some people don’t know that.

  • Matt -

    February 23, 2015 at 5:41 am

    I solo Cruised twice now by the last day of two seven-day cruises I got the flu I will never cruise again. Cruise ships are dirty cesspool of flu bugs! There was not many solo women on board the Dream when I went last spring. With all the ships having problems and flu bugs running rapid I will never cruise again no way!

  • Erik -

    March 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I was on the Dream for Mardi Gras she is a awesome ship n cruising is the way to go good read however there is one point that single men might find interesting the fact of the ratio is 2 to 1 where Ladies n Men are concerned

  • Tom K -

    March 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Great post! One thing though: the drink package can work for couples. There is a “5 minute” minimum between drink orders, but if you find a good waiter/server who works the pool area, he / she will easily figure out to bring one drink, and then bring the second drink the next time by. Just remember to tip!

  • Bill Kelly -

    March 25, 2015 at 5:12 am

    If one of the top three best parts about taking a cruise does not include WOMEN!!! Count me and 95% of the hetero male population OUT!!! I can plainly see you sir are a 5%’er.