I discovered before a 2015 sailing on Carnival that there are Facebook groups of passengers who share information and answer questions leading up to the cruise.
Since then I have always joined the Facebook groups when I am going to cruise on Carnival.
All you have to do is search for the ship name and sailing date for the group for your cruise. For instance, I am sailing out of Galveston on the Carnival Dream on July 8, 2019, so the group for that cruise is “Carnival Dream July 8, 2019.”
Through the group, I learned about scheduling parking in advance, Faster to the Fun, and a number of other good ideas I didn’t know a thing about. It’s also a good source for asking about excursions, restaurants, etc. in various ports.
Also, when I took a cruise in fall 2018 somebody organized a tour of the rooms and a group of a couple dozen of us met on the first night and walked around together to see what other cabins looked like.
Each room that hosted the crowd had some sort of treat. For instance, I brought a couple of bottles of champagne on board as the bottle for myself and my friend who was sailing with me and poured champagne for the people who visited my room.
The Facebook groups are also a fun way of meeting people ahead of time who have common interests, and then getting together on the ship.
On my next sailing, one of the recent posts was from the piano bar entertainer introducing himself.
It’s a fun piece of community before the sailing that I would recommend participating in.