Carnival Inspiration to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mx: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by Wanetadrift

Carnival Inspiration 5
Member Since 2005
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Carnival Inspiration to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mx

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly and quickly. Had lunch on the Lido deck while waiting for luggage to be delivered to room. I think that in the future we will opt to carry on our luggage even though it might take a little more time to screen through security.

We chose early dining 6:00 in the Carnival Dining Room but you do have option of not attending and going to open seating in the Mardis Gras dining room if you want to eat a bit later or you can go to the Lido deck for choices of buffet, pizza, deli, or hots and burgers. I like to have a reserved seat for dining and prefer having the same wait staff as they cater to you and are much more efficient. Talking with others that tried the open seating said they prefer the reserved seating also after trying the other. Our waitstaff were attentive and fun and greeted us enthusiastically each night (we were group of 8). Food selections were good and we did not have a entree we didnt like. Lobster and grilled shrimp More excellent,as was the prime rib and the veal parmesean. The chocolate melting cake was so good I had chocolate overload as ordered it three nights...oh boy! Tried the deli for lunch one day...grilled rueben sandwich very good, husband had pizza which he said was not bad at all for cruise ship. Went to lido buffet one morning for breakfast, good selections but dig deep to get the hotter eggs etc. After that went to sit down breakfast in Mardi Gras dining room which service was a bit slower then at dinner because of few waitstaff but food hotter and fresher. If you are in hurry, stick to lido buffet or get limited room service breakfast.

Day of sailing signed up for a wine package for 3 bottles of wine at $63.00 plus gratuity and was given tear off card to present in dining room at dinner (selections of wine available on back of tear off). Tried three different ones and all good. Presented card to waiter and the bottles were served with our dinner. Room steward introduced himself and was very attentive during our stay. Booked with a group and chose ROS so ended up with inside cabin on lowest deck. Would not have been our first choice but price was right and thats the cabins we got with our group. Couldnt upgrade as ship sailed full. Room was very adequate however and bathroom and shower good size - happy with that. Shampoo and body wash in shower dispenser. Small toothpaste, small body lotion also. No hair dryer - had brought my own traveling one. Two closets which good for short cruise but for longer, ask for more hangers. Safe in closet. No mini-fridge. If longer cruise I would have liked and outside cabin but being an inside cabin didnt bother us at all though room seemed smaller then outside cabins.

Entertainment was excellent!! Especially the Carnival crew singers and dancers. Went to one comedian show and was pretty good. Listened to some of the bands and one was just okay, other was good. Casino paying off first two nights not so much last night of cruise. Pet peeve children in hot tubs!!

A little annoying is the waiters trying to sell drinks while you are around the pool area especially even though you have a bucket of beer on your table or glasses of other beverages. Learned to just put up a hand as they approached! Lots of picture taking too everywhere but we did end up buying two pictures as they made us look pretty good for a change!

Stopped at Catalina Island and Ensendad, Mexico but will write about them in excursions. Back at Los Angeles port we decided to do the self-assist and take luggage off ourselves as we had a bus leaving for airport at 9:00am and the ship had our deck going off at 9:45am. Customer relations offered to give us a earlier disembark ticket but the earliest for them is 8:45am so rather then chance it we walked off with our stuff at 7:30 and had plenty of time to get our bus. One couple took the earlier disembark ticket and were fortunate that the bus didnt leave til 9:30 or they would have had to get own selves airport. They said it was fault of customs not having enough stations open to accommodate number coming off ship. HIGHLY recommend that at this port you walk your luggage off ship (customs was a breeze when we disembarked) especially if you have early flight or ride. If not, then eat a leisurely breakfast on the lido deck and wait for the lines to go down.

Conclusion, our trip on the Carnvial Inspiration was fun, great food, wonderful entertainment and after all, a cruise is what you make of it. Less

Published 01/15/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 4DR179 Interior

Review of Cabin R179 Inside on Riviera Deck. Not overally huge but sufficient for a 5 day cruise. Bathroom bigger then expected with nice large shower with shampoo and body wash dispenser. Two closets with only 8 hangers each and four shelves. Desk with four drawers and ottoman. One sitting chair, small mounted TV. King bed comfortable and four comfy pillows. No minifridge or hair dryer. Two robes and two beach towels provided. Didn't spend alot of time in room at all so for price was satisfied but if on a longer cruise would opt for a higher deck and an outside stateroom.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Impressive sight as you pull into port. Had to take tenders in from ship but they ran constantly so you didnt have a long wait. Saw sealions and packs of dolphins around port. Saw lobsters and bright fish by shoreline. Downtown is a typical island resort area with lots of shops, restaurants etc. Lots of people renting golf carts to explore the area as it is very mountainous. Sight seeing tours available, as was snorkeling, scuba, and the other usual offerings. We opted to just walk around shop and sit on the shore line enjoying the views, water, sun. Very pretty island.

Ship moored right on pier. Lots of sea lions and dolphins around the port. In port all day til 9:00pm so took Winery-Blow Hole excursion which was enjoyable. Had time to do a morning Winery Tour with two wineries that gave us a nice ride into the interior and learned alot of the region with Wine being one of the top economics of Ensenada with tourism second and agriculture third (olives and olive oil top exports). Free bottle of wine to everyone at end of tour. Sampled local olives, cheeses, organic pizzas and fresh hot breads with local produced olive oil. Lots of samples of wine. If wine is your thing, then this is a great excursion for you. Get on and off bus right at ship. Bus will also drop you downtown which is endless rows of Mexican shops with almost all having same souvenirs and so-called Hand Made items. Vendors very pushy but they are not allowed to come off sidewalk to pursue you so stay in roadway so not to get too annoyed. Walk back to ship about 15 minute walk or shuttle bus it for $3 round trip.
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