We booked transportation through the cruise line from LAX airport to Port of Long Beach, which was like 30 to 40 minute bus ride. Not too bad, our timing was such that we didn't hit that much of that infamous LA traffic. It was our first cruise with Carnival. We had heard so many rave reviews after my in-laws went on a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise on Carnival a few years ago.
Our group of seven had three cabins. When my husband booked three adults to a cabin, he had no idea that there would be bunk beds. The cabins were decent. They even provided complimentary whitening strips for your teeth and Breath Right strips.
The food never disappointed regardless the time of day. Unlike other cruise lines, they did not have a water or soft drink package. If you wanted water in a bottle, you would order from the waiter. When you are in the dining room, there would be someone picking up orders for the bar, where you can order soda and alcoholic drinks. They even had high tea when we were at sea.
We had great service at every turn. When we asked to have our own table of seven, we got one the next day for our 6 pm dinner seating. My 7 year old niece had a great time with Camp Carnival program. There were activities at the pool area, gathering those who wanted to do the Marcarena or the Cuban slide. We stayed near poolside, helping ourselves to complimentary lemonade, iced tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea.
The special dinner was Saturday night. A lot of us feasted on lobster tail and prime rib. Since we wanted professional pictures, there were so many backgrounds to choose from. I bought a couple of their wooden frames that had Carnival Inspiration inscribed.
The entertainment was top notch. We were impressed with the shows that had singers and dancers. We were not much into comedy so cannot comment on that.
After we explored the ship the first day to get the lay of the land, we picked up fliers from areas that we want to explore further. I was interested in the fitness classes. Some were free and some you had to pay, such as $12 for boot camp, yoga, and piltates.
The flier stated at 7 am there was body conditioning and 7:30 am stretching. When the instructor showed up to the aerobics room, he only covered some movements that lasted no more than fifteen minutes, saying that it was a taste of boot camp and yoga, respectively, held later in the day. The flier did not mention that these early morning classes were a taste for classes later in the day. Who would want to show up that early for a taste?
I'd give it an A for the gym itself, it had state of the equipment but an F for fitness classes. I didn't try any of the spa so I cannot comment to that. They had a promotion of mother/daughter spa packages and packages for men.
None of the shore excursions to Ensenada appealed to us so we took a bus where we disembarked to check out the downtown area, which had one main road catered to tourists. We were advised that we could drink the water but not buy gold. If you buy silver, be sure it's marked with .925 on it.
Disembarkation was smooth on Monday morning. Our bus transportation had a little delay due to mechanical problems but it didn't affect us since we had a mid-afternoon flight.