I have been on 7 cruises, but none of them were on a Carnival cruise ship. Just remember that it's the drinks that keep a cruise ship in business, so you will be bombarded with anything from soft drink dispensers (refillable throughout the cruise) to alcoholic drinks. You will also have professional photographers taking photographs of you at every port and most cruise events. Keep in mind that you don't have to buy them. If you have a camera, taking your own photographs would be much cheaper and wouldn't take any fake posing. You save money when you plan for the vacation and know where your money is going. Take about a year or more to save for your cruise. Plan your excursions carefully and know what you can afford. Do your research and plan for more inexpensive outings. You need to plan because it all adds up. Don't go crazy when it comes to buying souvenirs unless you absolutely want something that will sit and gather dust once you get home.