Upgrades- I always book the cabin catagory that I like, and I then let my TA do the rest . All I do is wait for the good news. So far, I've always gotten a upgrade. I'm hoping oneday for a suite ! I've been close, but not yet !
Best place to sit:- I personally like to sit next to the windows, so I can watch the waves go by.( In the main dining room, thats not always possible.) But in the Aft dining room, ( where the buffet is ) you can do that.
Best place to eat : -For a good snack, try the pizza, and for a lite lunch, try the grill ,(both aft pool deck )The grill has some great hamburgers and hotdogs. The main dining room is always a good place to eat, and meet people.
If your getting a balcony room, the morning sunrises and the evening sunsets are wonderful. Theres nothing like it. If you are not getting a balcony, be sure to watch at least one sunrise and / or sunset. They look awhole lot different at sea.
The main thing is to relax and enjoy your cruise vacation. Leave all your daily stress at home.
I book a certain cabin and got the one I booked outside 1110 on the Legend lovely room, nice quiet floor on Rivera, didn't feel motion and getting off for shore excursions was quick just walk down stairs. I think if you book a guarentee cabin catagory you can get upgraded I don't think if you choose your number you do. Sometimes an upgrade is just up a deck or so higher but not from say an oceanview to a balcony but I hear it's possible. Upgrades are still a mystery from what I hear.
I booked a guarantee balcony on the Miracle and now have my room assignment. I stil have a balcony room but on the Panarama deck. From what I can see from the deck plans we are real close to Lido deck (food, pools) I just hope it's not to noisy for us.
If you have sailed before make sure your TA or carnival know so you can get an invitation to the past guest party---Free drinks!
They also have free giveaways and drawings for gifts. My husband won a watch. They let him pick anyone he wanted. They still charged him for sizing ($10.00) but still a real nice watch. Also get in the spa drawings you never know you could be next.
If you drink wine at lunch or dinner the waiter will recork it for you if you don't finish the bottle. It saves a little instead of ordering by the glass each night.
I don't know of any "secrets" just these little things you don't want to miss.
On the last day of our Spirit cruise, the gift shops had a raffle. You needed all your receipts from any on board shop and for every $100 combined total you received a ticket. We won the Carnival adjustable/grow travel bag with $500 worth of items inside, ie Carnival windbreaker, Carnival sweatshirt (very nice one) 2 Inch of Gold necklace and bracelet sets of $75 each, a watch, 2 rings, Rum, Carnival mug, etc. It was very nice and the bag came in handy.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean