Tips for Plus Size Cruisers

This post is written by a friend of the Experimental Mommy, Lena, who wanted to share her thoughts on Plus-Sized Cruising with you.  Enjoy!

I’m a big girl.  No, seriously, I’m a BIG girl…as in plus-sized.  My hubby and I have wanted to go on a cruise for…..forever & we finally did it this year.  We booked a 5-night cruise on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville, FL.  The cruise was great & Carnival is awesome; but this is about what it’s like to be a plus-sized girl on a cruise….not about the cruise itself.

I have a confession:  I’m a research junkie.  I’m a data analyst by trade, so I analyze EVERYTHING.  To death.  I have no shame.  Anyway, there was surprisingly little info on the internet about a plus-sized person’s experience on a cruise.  Plus-sized people have to worry about different things than smaller people.  We have to worry about weird things like if our bottoms will fit in a seat with arms, if the booth at a restaurant leaves enough room to breathe, or if the pool ladder goes deep enough for us to actually get OUT of the pool.

So, let’s talk about the Carnival Fascination:

  • Staterooms – actually pretty roomy.  The bathroom was laid out nicely & didn’t feel overly cramped.  The shower in our ocean view stateroom was bigger than I expected.
    • Poolside chairs (not the loungers) – They had arms that made it uncomfortable for me.  Sitting on a folded up Carnival Pool Towel helped a little, but they were never comfortable for me.

  • Poolside loungers – they were sturdy and seemed a little taller than other lounge chairs.  I found them easy to get on and off of.
  • Pool ladder – YES!  Yes, it went deep enough to make getting into and out of the pool easy. *happy dance!*
  • Coconut Bar & Grill – the booths were absolutely fabulous!!!  There was plenty of room and there were several booths.   They had the same poolside chairs in there too, but because of the booths, I didn’t have to sit in them.
  • Aft and Walkway Tables & Chairs – The same poolside chairs were there too, so I didn’t get to eat there often…though I wanted to.
  • Main dining rooms – The chairs were a little too close together for my taste.  Hubby and I learned to leave an empty seat between us so we could eat comfortably.
  • Comedy Club – the benches & mini-couches were very comfortable.  The individual chairs near the stage were tight, but not uncomfortable.
  • Palace Theater – every seat in that theater was plenty big!  The bench seats in front of the stage were huge and comfortable.

All in all, I found the Carnival Fascination to be VERY plus-size friendly, though I wish they would add some armless chairs to the poolside and aft areas.  We will definitely cruise with Carnival again!


  1. As a plus sized girl myself, I understand your concerns. Thanks so much, this makes it easier for me when thinking about cruises!

  2. These are great tips! I’m sure you guys had a blast. I’d love to hear more about your experience as a whole, also. 🙂

  3. In the travel industry they sometimes forget that we’re not all the same size. I’m 5’10” and plus size (ie., the size of many men) and yet I find chairs like the pool chairs above everywhere. Men fit because they carry their weight it their bellies. Women like me in the thighs and goodness that a painful plus to have metal sticking in to!

    Some haters would say lose weight and you wouldn’t have to worry about it. Well my thought is why not make everyone comfortable – there’s no shame in being overweight. Ever.

    Thanks for the tips!


  4. Great tips!! I’m plus sized as well & try to think of things like that when I have a new experience like a specific theme park & roller coasters. All in all, looks like a blast even for a plus sized chick like myself. Thank you for the useful info!’

  5. Lena_in_ATL says:

    Thanks ladies! We did have a blast on the cruise.
    @Myndee – sure. I’ll write something up soon. And, if I’m lucky, Bridgette will like it enough to post it. *grin*
    @Connie – EXACTLY! It doesn’t take much to make everyone comfortable. The ship was 90% perfect. They just needed some pool chairs without arms.
    @Maria – I love roller coasters, but I’m too big for them now. boo! I highly recommend Carnival! If you’ve never cruised, book one now! Don’t wait! It used to be a bucket list item for me, now cruising is something I want to do every vacation.

  6. What a GREAT post. I imagine that many people will find it helpful. Honestly, that narrow chair doesn’t look like it would be comfortable for very many people! I’m glad you had a good time and think it’s great that you were able to give such specific feedback about your experience.

  7. I have a really, really hard time believing you are plus size! You always look so tiny! Either way, I really appreciate these tips as I love extra room when I travel!

  8. Andreina Vander-Horst says:

    My family and I have been cruising for years now, so this tips are actually ver accurate and helpful! 🙂

  9. Great tips. I’ve never been on a cruise, but I want to go on one at some point. Glad to know that my plus-sized butt won’t be too uncomfortable. lol

  10. Thank you for putting this info out there. I too research a lot and am embarking on my first CCL Paradise out of Tampa in December. This was extremely helpful!

  11. Sully Vargas-Aguirre says:

    EXTREMELY helpful thanks! Very happy to know all of this info.


  1. […] Have any tips for cruising with families and young children?  Please share in the comments below!  Looking for more advice?  Check out the article on tips for plus sized cruisers! […]

Add Your Comment