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Carnival Inspiration Review/Pics 01/20/12-1st Timers w/ 22 mnth old


Cocoanib

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Nice review.

Thanks!

 

Cocoanib, there is a Family Cruises forum here at CC, under Special Interest Cruising. I think they would be interested in your review. Perhaps you could start a thread there with a link to this one? EM

Great idea! I'm on it!

 

Keep it coming!

Will be sailing in April and interested in reading more :)

Thanks for stopping by and there's more to come!

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Yes, thanks for posting on the family forum, I'm enjoying your review!

BTW love the photo of your little one on your back with the ship in the background :) I have great memories of cruising while wearing DS2, too bad he's too big now *sniff*

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You and your daughter are both so cute! I am enjoying the review; we were on Inspiration last year and it was a delight.

Oh, and my niece was with us. She's a vegan and really appreciated the efforts and food quality.

Thank you Javamom! Glad you and your niece had a great experience and I'm glad she was able to eat well too! We were both pleasantly surprised at all the options for us.

 

Yes' date=' thanks for posting on the family forum, I'm enjoying your review!

BTW love the photo of your little one on your back with the ship in the background :) I have great memories of cruising while wearing DS2, too bad he's too big now *sniff*[/quote']

 

Thanks! I'm so glad that I brought our baby hawk carrier with us. It was way better than trying to maneuver through crowds with a stroller.

It really came in handy on our tour in Ensenada. I could keep her close and she felt more secure.

Awww, I'm sure I'll miss wearing DD when she's too big as well. :(

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Dinner was long, but wonderfully good :)

So, after dessert we went out to take one of those fake background pics. DH does not like posing, so we asked if we could just do a couple silly ones. He let us, but then insisted on doing molded photos. We wound up not buying any of the ones we took.

 

We caught the end of the Fun Force show in the Atrium. Looked like it was also a dance contest and some break dancing. We did'nt see the whole thing, but it looked like it was fun.

 

You can kind of make out the Fun Force folks down there in the blue

 

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The Atrium was lovely at night.

 

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https://picasaweb.google.com/111475861739475174060/January092012CarnivalInspirationBaja4NightCruise#

 

4 day cruise Fun Times.

For the three day look at the Catalina day for your Ensenada day.

 

This link has a review and Funtimes Attached for when the Paradise was still here last year. Same exact itinerary.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1333957&highlight

 

So glad you guys have them! I left all of ours and thought I may have had a tear sheet in my bag, but nada.

 

:eek: NO CHAIR HOGS! :eek:

 

Thanks for posting your review and photos. You daughter is adorable.

 

Debbie

Thank you Debbie!

Haha, Open chairs as far as the eyes could see!!:D

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Day 2, Ensenada

It was so much fun having a window to look out of. DH and I could feel something happening with the ship early that morning, so we peaked out the window and guessed we must be docking. We went back to sleep for a bit and I got up around my usual time of 830am. I went up for a jog on the track and left DH and DD sleeping.

The track is around the mini golf course. It takes 11 times around the track for a mile. I did 1 mile. I planned on doing more, but forgot my ipod at home and running with no music is super boring for me. Even with such a nice view.

From the track area, I could see the sea lions down below next to the ship talking up a storm. They were fun to listen to and see.

I stopped by the breakfast buffet and got a variety of fruit and a dry cereal (I brought individual boxes of almond milk with us) for me and DD. I also got a variety of pastries for DH and headed back up to the room. I was able to shower and get ready before DD awoke. Once she was up, she had her breakfast by the window. We could see the passengers getting off and hear the sea lions as well. I sure did love having that window. If we ever get a balcony, I may lose my mind!

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It was drizzling out, but not all that cold. DD looks so tiny compared to the ship

 

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We decided to follow the advice of someone here and hop on the downtown shuttle for $3 per person. DD was a lap child, so no fare for her. The shuttles were located right outside of the gift shop and you could just hop on an empty one. They leave about every 10 minutes.

 

The shuttle guide was nice and he told us some things about the city as well as a tour up to La Bufadora and the Blow Hole. We really didn’t want a long drawn out tour, but this was more of a ride there and you could do your own thing. It was $15 each for me and DH, so we decided to do it. It was either that or shopping there in downtown.

La Bufadora

We did not realize that the drive there took about 45 minutes. That was fine, but the last part was on windy roads and I had to go to the bathroom something awful! There was no bathroom onboard, so I was grateful that DD didn’t have to go too. We hopped off and ran to the bathroom as soon as we got there. The bathrooms cost about 50cent or you can use the ones at the restaurants.

 

La Bufadora is basically a long road with shops and food vendors on either side. The Blow Hole is at the end of this road. The shops mainly all sell the same things, but you can get some deals if you haggle with them. DH and I have both been shopping in this kind of environment before, so we know the drill. It can be kind of intimidating/annoying if you are not prepared for all the sellers to come after you to buy.

 

The shopping street is long and plus there are a lot of people down there, so I was happy to have my carrier for DD. She was close on my back the whole time and it was easy to maneuver through crowds and make the walk to and from the Blow Hole.

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:eek: NO CHAIR HOGS! :eek:

 

Thanks for posting your review and photos. You daughter is adorable.

 

Debbie

 

Lol! Too early for chair hogs. I bet they were out in full force later in the day and for the rest of the cruise. Wait til she gets to the sea day....

 

Great review! Love the pics!

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La Bufadora Continued

We bought a few things and snacked a bit. One vendor had some lovely medjool dates that I got for a good price. There are several taco stands and one had a variety of toppings including nopales. DD and I had a taco of nopales, shredded cabbage, avocado and salsa. I think we were down there for about 2 hrs. Our bus was heading back at 130pm.

 

Once we were back downtown, DH asked the tour guide for a good place to buy a suit vest. She pointed us in a direction over by Papas and Beer, so we headed that way. It was party central of course and the whole street was crowded and loud. The vendors even more aggressive than at La Buf. We were so glad that we chose to go to La Bufadora instead!

 

This place would have been a nightmare for DD and for us! We skipped the suit shop and headed back to take the next shuttle. In about 10 minutes, we were back at the ship.

 

Lunch at The Grill on the Lido

 

Asta our hostess in the dining room told us we should try the veggie burgers from the grill.

Be sure to tell them right as your getting your plates/silverware so that they can get them from the freezer and start cooking them. It takes a little while, so waiting until you get over to the hot dog grill area will just take longer.

These were pretty darn good! They only had standard soft white buns, but you can ask for extra lettuce leaves and have it on that instead. DD and I had ours with grilled mushrooms and onions.

Sorry, no picture :( We were super hungry and I forgot to take one.

 

Mini Golf

 

After lunch, we headed up to "play" some mini golf. DD just basically hit the ball around and cheared each time. It was fun! I just love how excited little ones get over everything!

 

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We left mini golf at about 530pm and headed back to the cabin. Dinner was at 6pm and we all needed showers before getting ready.

 

2nd Day Dinner, Elegant Night

 

Tonight we got to the diningroom around 615pm. Our table mates were'nt there. so we had the table to ourselves.

Between the 3 of us, we still had way too much food!

 

Strawberry Bisque made with soy milk. DD loved this!

 

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Minestrone made with veg broth. Yum!

 

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Greek Salad. Dressed just right with a great variety of peppers and olives. So good!

 

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Stuffed Mushrooms- no cheese. So flavorful!

 

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Tofu sauteed with veggies. A little spicy, but so full of flavor and we all loved it! The tofu was cooked just right, not over done and rubbery. Nice texture on the outside and tender on the inside.

 

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DH had the Zuchinni and Eggplant Parm. He loved it and said the crispy zuchinni on top was really good!

 

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The waiters did their song and dance for us and it was a lot of fun! I though Dd would have loved it, but mostly she just looked like this :eek:

 

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After dinner, we headed back to the room to change. DH had a martini and a Jamaican Coffee at dinner, so he was feeling "it" when we headed back to the room! :p

 

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We changed and headed back out.

 

Fiesta Latina Show

 

We some some of Fiesta latina and DD loved it! Her eyes were glued to the dancers :eek:

The costumes were very vibrant and most of the music was upbeat. There were some slow songs as well.

We sat in the back in case DD needed to use the bathroom or she wanted to leave. We all really enjoyed this show!

 

Kids Club, Night Owls from 10pm to 3am

 

We left early and went out toward the atrium. At this point it was 945pm, so we decided to go see if DD would like to join the Night Owls program.

Earlier that day we stopped in to chat with one of the care givers and she informed us that no appointment was necessary (we registered our first day). We just head on in between 10pm and 3am.

 

Important note- Earlier when I stopped in, one of the caregivers informed me that they don't have a seperate sleeping area. She also said that they were not allowed to turn the lights down low. So, if you bring in a sleeping child, they may wake up. Also, if your child is sleepy, it may be a bit hard for them to fall asleep in that environment.

 

A side note- DD has only been in others care a few times when she was 4 months old for about an hour. Other than those times, she has only been cared for by DH and I. This was a big deal for us and DD. If she did not want to stay at night owls, we were okay with that.

 

Check In at Night Owls

 

We checked in and gave the care givers a run down on DD. At registration the 1st day, we already filled out all the paperwork. We told her what she says when she needs to go to the bathroom and also asked that they please ask her if she hasn't gone for awhile, because she can get side tracked if she's having fun.

 

They gave us a cell phone and charger to take with us. They would contact us if DD needed us or anything. This was one of the things that made me feel comfortable leaving her there. I knew that they could get in contact if needed and that we would be 5 minutes away at any given moment.

 

One parent is allowed to go in with the child, so I went in with her. She immediately went up to a set of girls(maybe 2-3yrs old) laying on the floor watching a movie. DD is very social with other kids, so she started trying to talk with one of the girls and hug her. The other girl seemed shy, so I made sure DD did'nt overwhelm her :)

 

I sat there for a few minutes watching her and then one of the care givers came up and told me she thought that she would be fine. I got up and made my way to the door and then I heard "Mama". I looked back and DD wanted me to wave to the other little girl :)

 

It was a little after 10pm at this point, so they had the shades drawn, but DH and I could see through the side crack. We watched her for awhile to be absolutely sure she was okay and it seemed as if she was okay with us being gone. I'm sure we looked pathetic out there, but again this was a big deal for all of us.

 

This carnival t-shirt was left in our room for her the 2nd night after dinner.

She wore it to the night owls that night.

 

ry%3D400

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Night Owls continued-

 

DD really enjoyed herself at night owls. We came back to get her about 1230am, so she was there for almost 2 1/2hrs. When I walked in, I heard "Fame" playing. Apparently nobody was sleepy, so they turned on some music and the kids were dancing :p

They have video monitors up at the entrance, so I could see her in the back dancing her heart out. They told me that she did very well and she asked to go potty once. They all fell in love with her and said that they could'nt beleive she was under 2 yrs old.

 

DH and I were so happy that she had a good time!

We went to the buffet and pizza parlor before heading back to the cabin. We ordered a veggie pizza with no cheese on one side and got some odds and ends from the buffet.

DD was really hungry after all her dancing! She nursed and ate quite a bit! We all stared out the window a bit and then called it a night.

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Night Owls continued-

 

DD really enjoyed herself at night owls. We came back to get her about 1230am, so she was there for almost 2 1/2hrs. When I walked in, I heard "Fame" playing. Apparently nobody was sleepy, so they turned on some music and the kids were dancing :p

They have video monitors up at the entrance, so I could see her in the back dancing her heart out. They told me that she did very well and she asked to go potty once. They all fell in love with her and said that they could'nt beleive she was under 2 yrs old.

 

DH and I were so happy that she had a good time!

We went to the buffet and pizza parlor before heading back to the cabin. We ordered a veggie pizza with no cheese on one side and got some odds and ends from the buffet.

DD was really hungry after all her dancing! She nursed and ate quite a bit! We all stared out the window a bit and then called it a night.

Such a sweet review and dear family..and it is my last and only so far..lol..Carnival Cruise...the redone cabins and the decor looks fun on Inspiration..thanks for photos..I liked the fan things in dining room and the railing on the atrium steps...oh those young baby days are precious and short lived...so glad you are enjoying them and got time for yourselves too..and diet needs being met is so great...really great on a family friendly budget cruise....thanks...sarah

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Thank you for a great review. We will be going on the Inspiration 2/13 for a 4 day cruise. I have looked and looked for a review that fits my family and yours did. My wife and I will be traveling with 3 kids (11, 9 & 17mos). We were unsure about our decision to go on this cruise with our 17 month old daughter but your review has put our mind at ease. It looks like your daughter had a great time. Did you bring a stroller with you or just use the carrier? Thank you for the Camp Carnival review. It looks great and we plan on using their services one night so we can have some alone time. Thanks again and look forward to the rest of your review.

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