If you are planning a cruise with Carnival or, like me, have just booked one (Woohoo!), you will very quickly see prompts for you to download the Carnival Hub App.
When first introduced around 2015, the app was a little bit of a pain to use. Since then, the Carnival Hub App has transitioned into a really useful App to use during your cruise.
Having sailed with Carnival many times in the past, I can remember cruising without the App, and with it! Trust me, this App is such a great help.
I do know that first-time users of the Carnival Hub App can find it a little confusing at first. So in this guide, I’ll take you through the App step by step.
So let’s take a look at the 38 things you need to know about the Carnival Hub Smartphone App.
Carnival Hub App – 38 Things You Need To Know
1. What is the Carnival Hub App For?
The Carnival Hub App is an application designed primarily for smartphones.
There are two key purposes for the app.
Firstly, you can use the app to help you get organized before your cruise. You can pre-order shore excursions and onboard services such as Drink Packages and Spa Treatments.
Closer to the date of your cruise you will also be able to use it to complete check-in.
Secondly, the app is designed to help you once you are on board the ship. It has a large list of features to help you with getting around the ship, planning your day, and keeping an eye on your account. You can even find out when your next meal is LOL.
2. How much is the Carnival Hub App?
The Carnival Hub App can be downloaded free of charge.
3. Why should I use the Carnival Hub App?
The main reason is convenience. The second reason is that you are helping a little bit with saving the planet as it saves on a lot of paper!
Before the creation of the Carnival Hub App, information on daily schedules and activities was via the Funtimes daily sheet!
The “Carnival Funtimes” is a daily information sheet that is delivered to every cabin (on request). It gives you all the news and information required to plan your day on the cruise or your port visit.
Funtimes is a great resource, but you need to carry it around with you, and sometimes finding specific information isn’t that easy.
The Funtimes is still available on request. Let your Stateroom Assistant know that you want one daily.
But if you want to be eco-friendly, stick with the App. The Carnival Hub App makes it easier to get all that information in one place, and it saves a lot on printing costs.
Personally, I love it. A lot of the things I would need to queue for, I can now do using the app.
For example, we used to have to queue at the Shore Excursion desk if I decided to book an excursion when I was onboard the ship. Now I can do that instantly from the App.
If I lost my way on board, I would need to find an elevator area to see the Ship’s layout to figure out what deck I needed to be on next. Now I can bring up the map on my phone.
I can even set reminders for events and my phone will let me know, so I don’t miss the start of that headliner show.
I can even get excited about my upcoming cruise just by loading up the App and seeing the countdown to my next cruise! That’s my favorite feature LOL
4. Should I Download the Carnival Hub App Before My Cruise?
My advice is YES! You should download the Carnival Hub App before your cruise.
The main reason is that once on board if you haven’t purchased a Carnival Cruise WiFi package, you would need to use your Cellular data to download the App. If you have already left the port by this time, this could be very expensive if data roaming charges apply.
5. What Devices Does the Carnival Hub App Work On?
The Carnival Hub App is designed to work on Apple iOS and Android/Google devices.
For Apple devices, your version of iOS needs to be version 12.0 or higher.
For Android/Google devices you need to have version 7.0 or higher. (For bizarre reasons unknown to me Android names its software version after sweets and version 7 is referred to as “Nougat”.)
The application is optimized to run on smartphones. But it will also run on your Apple iPad or Google Chromebook or Tablet.
6. How do I download the Carnival Hub App?
For Apple Devices
You can download the Carnival Hub App using the Apple App Store. You can load up the App Store on your device and search for “Carnival Hub”.
Alternatively, click this link to download it to your current device.
For Google / Android Devices
The Carnival Hub App can be found using the Google Play Store. You can load up the Play Store App on your device and search for “Carnival Hub”.
This link will take you directly to the Play Store page for the Carnival Hub App.
7. Don’t confuse it with Canival’s TMHub App!
Be careful when doing a search for the Carnival Hub App, as you may also see another Carnival App which is called “TM Hub”. This has a similar icon, but this App is actually for Carnival’s own Crew Members and Staff.
8. How do I access my Carnival Hub?
Once you have successfully downloaded the app to your smartphone, you should see a new App Icon that looks like this.
Tap that icon to open the app.
9. How do I log into my Carnival Hub app?
When you first load the app you will see a page that looks like this. If you are already on board, click the “I’m On Board” button and follow the instructions.
10. Will I have to pay for Carnival Cruise WiFi to use the Carnival Hub App?
No. You do not need to pay for any of the cruise Wifi packages to access the app.
11. Will the Carnival Cruise Ship that I am Booked On Support the App?
Yes. All Ships in Carnival’s fleet support the App.
12. I’ve downloaded the Carnival Hub Application – now what do I do?
Awesome. Now the FUN begins!
The Carnival Hub App works in two different modes. One mode is when you are “Pre-Cruise” and then the other is when you are “On Board” the ship!.
13. Using the Carnival Hub App Pre Cruise
Before your cruise, the App is very limited and is essentially just a portal for their main website. However, it still helps you plan and prepare for your cruise. Just expect to end up back on Carnival’s website and NOT on the App.
Let’s take a look at each of the options.
14. Setup Your Account on the Carnival Hub App
Before you can get started using the App, you will need to ensure you have an account set up with Carnival.com
If you booked your cruise directly with Carnival online, you are already set. Your username will be your email address. The password will be the same one you use to access Carnival.com
If, like me, you tend to be forgetful, there is a very handy “Forgotten my password” on Carnival’s login page here.
On a side note: remembering passwords and account details is a major PITA. I use an App on my Mac and my iPhone called 1Password. It’s awesome!
If you haven’t booked directly with Carnival, you can use the “Enter with Booking #” login option and then follow the prompts.
15. Smile! Create Your Avatar Profile Picture
Once logged into the App you will see a menu icon in the top right. (The menu icon is Three Horizontal Lines). Tap this and a menu will appear with a few options. These options will change depending on whether you already have an upcoming cruise booked on not.
Just above the Home Menu option, you will see an option to “Edit Your Avatar”
Go ahead, click that option, get your best cheesy smile out, and take that best selfie ever LOL.
16. It’s Bragging Time. Share Your Countdown to Your Next Cruise.
Sharing is caring, right? So if you want to brag to your friends and family, or make your fellow workmates jealous, then now is the time to share your cruise booking info.
If you have already got a cruise booked, you should see “Countdown to…” followed by the name of your ship and the number of days, hours, and minutes until boarding time.
Are you getting excited, yet 😉
Click on that “Share Countdown” button and get bragging!
Important Side Note: Just be careful who you share this info with! There have been recent scam attempts by company’s claiming to be Carnival (or any other cruise line). They email you with the date of your cruise and the ship (so that you think it is legit). They then ask for some “admin fee” to complete your booking. So be careful out there. That’s why I’ve blurred the key dates in my Countdown image!.
17. Start Planning Shore Excursions
As you scroll down the home page of the page you will see a link to view Shore Excursions.
This is where you can start planning your activities for your various ports of call.
18. Packages and Deals
Looking for those cruise extras? You’ll find them all listed under “Packages and Deals”. All options these link back to the main website.
Want to order that Cheers! Drink Package, cruise Wi-Fi, or a Cabana for that day on Half Moon Cay?
The Hub App leads you to the main website and makes it very easy for us to spend more money LOL
19. It’s Time to Check In – Woohoo!
14 days before your cruise, you will get a notification that it’s time to Check-in. Good news, you can do that using the Carnival Hub App.
On the Home screen, you will see a “Get Set Up For Your Cruise” message with a large Check In button.
You will then be presented with a list of To-Do’s to get all your documents and IDs in order, and ready for your cruise.
20. All Aboard For Fun! Using the Carnival Hub App On Board
Okay, you’ve made it through security, your check-in went nice and smoothly, and you are now sitting on the deck relaxing in a comfy sun lounger around the pool.
It’s time to get organized for FUN!
Let’s open up the Carnival Hub App. Surprise, surprise, it suddenly looks very different as all the onboard features are unlocked.
21. Mandatory Safety Briefing and Muster Drill
But before the FUN begins, you’ll need to get the Mandatory Safety Briefing out of the way.
I know it is a pain, but it might save your life one day, so we all have to do it. Fortunately, it is a lot easier to do now with the App.
Before the App was created, all guests would have to appear at their Muster station at a pre-determined time. They would then receive instructions on what to do in case the ship hit an iceberg or some other calamity.
It was always a bit of a nuisance when all you wanted to do was relax, but it had to be done. Sure enough, the calls would soon start over the tannoy for the guests that tried to remain in the bar and avoid that.
Well thanks to the Carnival Hub App, it’s a lot easier and much more convenient.
Once on board, you won’t miss the prompt in the app to complete your safety briefing.
You’ll be guided through some safety videos to watch (you can’t skip them). Then you’ll be asked to visit your Muster station before a preset time. Usually about 4, 4:30 depending on the sailing.
At the muster station, a crew member will scan your Sail & Sign cards and you are good to go.
Let’s get back to the Fun!
Let’s take a look at the main features of the App.
22. Carnival Hub App Chat Feature
The Hub Chat feature does seem to cause some confusion with both new and experienced cruisers. So I’ll try to address all the questions I am asked about it.
What is the Chat feature?
The chat feature is a way for friends to keep in touch while on board.
I’ve lost count of the number of times my wife has headed up to the pool deck ahead of me. I then completed endless loops of the deck looking for her only to discover she was one deck up from where she said she was.
Using the chat feature is great for situations like that. Or for keeping in touch with the kids when they are at their activities.
Is it Free?
Sadly, it is NOT free.
How much does it cost?
It costs just $5 per person.
Is that cost per day or for the whole cruise?
That cost is for your WHOLE cruise.
Is it included with any of the Carnival Cruise Wi-Fi Plans?
It is not included in ANY of the Carnival WiFi Plans, which is a bit mean of Carnival, I think.
Do I need to buy a Cruise WiFi plan to be able to use the Chat Feature?
No. The chat feature works on the Ship’s free-to-access Wi-Fi network.
Can I send video or voice messages with the Chat app?
No, sorry, it is text only.
Does everyone on board see my chats?
No. Only the people you add to your contacts.
Can I chat with people off the ship using the Chat feature?
No. It’s only for use between guests on board. If you want to do that, you will need at least the Social Plan Internet package – but check out this amazing little free iMessage hack we discovered.
How will I know someone has sent me a chat message?
When you receive a message, your smartphone should give you a pop-up notification.
I’ve been sent messages but never got a notification
Yes I know. This is a pain.
If your phone for some reason has disconnected itself from the Ship’s Wi-Fi, then the notification will not come through. As soon as you reconnect, the messages pop up.
I get into the habit of checking my phone regularly if we were cruising with friends and we were all using the chat facility.
Is the Chat feature worth it?
Yes. For just $5 it’s worth it. Just be aware of its limitations.
Alternatively, why not consider walkie-talkies? I know they may seem a bit old-fashioned but a set of cheap walkie-talkies isn’t a bad investment for a cruise, especially with kids!
23. Ship’s Time
Okay. Be very aware of this. The app will always conveniently show you the ship’s time at the top of the menus.
Depending on your itinerary your ship may change its time zone and update the Ship Time. This always happens at night. Confusingly, this can happen even though the ship hasn’t entered a new time zone. Even if none of your smart devices are showing a change.
The reason they do this is for operational reasons. It may make sense for them to switch time zones prior to them passing into or leaving a time zone.
For example, can you imagine the confusion if they announced one afternoon at 2:15pm on a sea day “This is your captain speaking. We have just entered the Eastern Time Zone, please adjust your watches”. LOL. That is why any time zone changes are at night
So before heading ashore, always be aware of the ship’s time and the time you are due back on board. The Island time might be different! Don’t be that couple frantically running down the dock as the crew pull up the gangway!
24. People / Contacts
Once you have the chat feature enabled this is where you can add all your personal contacts that you want to share info with.
25. What’s Happening?
No, I haven’t missed the “My Planner” option, I’ll get to that next.
What’s Happening will list everything that’s happening on board the ship. Your favorite Cruise Director spends a huge amount of time preparing daily activities and entertainment. The app makes sure that you don’t miss a thing.
You’ll see what shows are on tonight, what time the Cruise Trivia starts and you won’t want to miss that napkin-folding event, right?
As you scroll through the list of events, you will be able to tap on each one and get more info. If you like something, just click the Reminder or Ordering button. It will automatically be saved and added to your My Planner section of the Hub App.
You can also “filter” the list of events to focus in on certain categories of activity using the filter option
26. My Planner
This is where you will see all your saved activities and any shore excursions you have booked.
27. Food & Drinks
Hungry? Of course, you are. It’s been 30 minutes since we last had something to eat, right? Well, click on the Food & Drinks menu for a rundown of culinary delights that await you.
If you are on Your Time Dining you can make your dinner reservation here, or a reservation for one of the other restaurants.
As well as the reservations, you can even order food and drinks to be delivered to wherever you are on the ship.
Now your experience may be different, but this wasn’t working on our last cruise. So, I’m not sure if this is limited to certain ships.
However, what you are meant to do is to put your order in, mark your location on the ship map, and take a quick selfie.
You can also browse the Restaurant menus ahead of time and plan ahead of time. New York Strip Steak? Yes, please!
Been snapped by the ship’s photographer, or have you purchased a Pixels photo package? This is where you’ll find them on ships that are digital-photo–enabled.
29. Shore Excursions
Here, you can browse the shore excursions available each day and at what port. You can then place a booking if it’s not already sold out.
30. Ship Maps
I constantly forget what deck my favorite bars are on. So this is my favorite feature of the Carnival Hub App. Switching from deck to deck is easy. You can even just type part of the name of the venue and it will jump directly to that deck.
31. Open Times
Never get locked out of your favorite coffee spot or dining area. Here’s a quick list of all the opening and closing times of the key locations on the ship.
32. Kids & Teens
This is where the Kids and Young Adults can keep a close eye on all the activities available to them. Or for you to tell them where to go and what time to be back at LOL
33. What’s the Weather?
Want to see the forecast for the cruise ahead. You can get the forecast for every day of your cruise.
34. Good To Know
This section links you to Carnival’s Frequently Asked Questions and can often clear up any little queries.
35. Virtual Queues
To help avoid queues are the ship, there is a “virtual queue” function within the app. No longer do you need to stand in a long line at Guest Services. Just reserve a place in the queue and you’ll get an alert when your spot is ready.
36. Account Summary
Enjoying the Fun just a little bit too much and need a quick reality check? Well don’t worry, you can easily browse your Sail and Sign account directly from the App.
37. Internet Packages
Here you can get all the information on the Carnival Internet Packages available on the ship and sign up for any specific plan.
Got something you want the Ship’s staff to know? This is where you can send some feedback to the staff. I’ve never used this, so I’m not sure if they take any specific action on these.
That App’s a Wrap!
(Can you see what I did there? Yeh, I know, I’ll get my coat!).
So there you have it, NN useful things to know about the Carnival Hub App. If you spot anything I have missed or a stupid typo, please let me know by contacting me here.
If you found the guide useful, please do me a huge favor and go share it with your fellow cruisers in a couple of the Carnival Facebook Groups. That would make my day!
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