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Our 25th Anniversary Adventure - Baja Mexico & Hawaii on the Inspiration & Splendor


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Our 25th Anniverary Adventure – Baja Mexico & Hawaii aboard the Inspiration & Splendor (with pics) – April / May 2019. 

Aloha Everyone!!!  My beautiful wife Patti and I have just returned from another almost month long adventure. Actually, we were gone for 25 days which coincidently was one day for every year we have been married. We didn’t plan it that way but it turned out to be a good omen for sure!

For our 25th Anniversary we wanted to do something special. Our actual anniversary is at the end of March, so two years out, we perused the itineraries   available for March and April 2019. A 14 day Journeys cruise to Hawaii on April 27th aboard the Carnival Splendor caught our eyes and became the focal point of our adventure. We had cruised on the Splendor three times when she was based in New York, so we were excited to sail on her again.

Since we had to fly across country to LA, we just had to stay longer than two weeks. We thought about spending some time at Disneyland and Universal, since we hadn’t been there in nearly a dozen years since we came with the boys. But after pricing out hotels, park tickets, car rentals, and such, it became apparent that it would be way cheaper to just book another cruise.

We thought about doing the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise on the Splendor the week before the Hawaii cruise, but there are two others Carnival ships that we hadn’t sailed on before out here, the Imagination and Inspiration. We chose the 4 day Inspiration cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada because it fit better into our overall plan.

So after everything was said and done, this was the plan we came up with. On Thursday April 18th, we will be flying out to Los Angeles, spending four days in Long Beach at the Long Beach Hilton, exploring that area. On Monday April 22nd, we will be boarding the Carnival Inspiration for a 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada, returning back to Long Beach on April 26th. We will spend that day and night at the Queen Mary Hotel. The next morning, April 27th, we will then board the Carnival Splendor for a 14 day Journeys cruise to Hawaii, returning back to Long Beach on May 11th. We will then transfer to the Crowne Plaza Hotel at LAX, where we will spend the day before flying back to New Jersey the next morning. Phew, I think I got that right!

As usual, our reviews start and end at home and cover everything in between. I know that some people like to get right into the cruise stuff and I understand that, but when doing these reviews we want to re-live the whole vacation, not just part of it. So, the cruise stuff may take a few days to get to, but once we’re on it, we’re on it!

Our format will remain the same as our past reviews with a day by day account. As always, there will be many, many pictures with plenty of explanations and details. We strive to make you feel that you are cruising right along with us. So, grab yourself a DOD, hop on board with us, and join the fun!

This is going to be a looooong review so be patient with us. Patti took well over four thousand pictures during this adventure, so I have a lot of sorting, cropping, and re-sizing to catch up on. Even though I took my laptop with me and worked on the photos from time to time, there’s no way I could keep up with Patti’s itchy shutter finger! For those that are wondering, our go to camera is the Canon PowerShot XS710 HS, and our water camera is the Fuji FinePix XP60. We also have to catch up with life, work, and such, so we may not post anything for a day or two from time to time, but just remember, we have not ever not finished a review.

We love to respond to readers and answer questions. A lot of information about a lot of different things shows up during a review, and that’s a good thing. I’m going to ask one small favor from all of you to help keep things neat and flowing. One of the good changes when Cruise Critic updated their forums, was that I am not restricted now to the amount of images that I can use in a post. Though I will strive to keep the amount of images I use in a post to around 10, the point is that most posts will be longer than in the past. If you need to quote my posts, or any other posters quotes, to ask a question, make a statement , or for any other reason, please try to remember to edit the quotes down to what you are asking about or thoughts that you are conveying. This will help cut down on scrolling down through multiple long posts to get to fresh content. Thank you all so much for your help!

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Day # 1 (April 18th) -  California here we come!!!

We were up early and packed and ready to catch our 10am flight on United from Newark (EWR) to Los Angeles (LAX). Our car service arrived right on time at 7am, and we were dropped off just before 8am. Dropping off our luggage was a breeze, but of course going through the TSA Security checkpoint is always a hassle for me because of my knee and hip replacements, but it wasn’t too bad. Soon, we were down at Gate 82 waiting to board. Here is our ride to Los Angeles…..


First, before continuing on, let me gloat a little. We don’t fly that much, and being that it was our 25th Anniversary, we decided to splurge and purchase Business Class seats. Now for all of you that are able to fly Business Class frequently, I bow to you! We will never go back to Economy or Economy Plus. Ever! First, luggage is free and up to 70lbs. Second, you get on the plane almost first, after the disabled, active military, and those traveling with children under two. But the best of all, is plenty of room. Here are Patti and I in seats 1A & 1B…..



Look at all the legroom we have……..



We purchased these tickets as soon as they opened bookings, and for months we were the only ones that had booked them. The price however continued to climb until it reached almost four times that of what we paid, and pretty much remained there until the end. That’s basically what everyone in the Business Class cabin paid. We couldn’t help but giggle a little. They started serving us drinks as soon as we sat down. It’s a good thing these seats recline into a bed!


 Here are the bar and lunch menus for our flight…..



 To be continued…..

Edited by Jamman54
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Right on time we have pushed away from the gate……


See ya!


We are taxiing to take off. As usual, EWR is busy this morning……



 But we’re ahead of you guys!


That’s the New York skyline in the distance. It’s not really a nice day…..


We are on our way to Los Angeles…….





Into the wild blue yonder…..


To be continued…..

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Hot towel anyone?


Tracking our progress as we go.....


We basically drank and ate our way across the country. First, it was drinks and hot nuts….



Patti is enjoying her first drink……


Our lunch has arrived…….

IMG_4347-XL.jpg IMG_4349-XL.jpg


Followed closely by the dessert cart……




To be continued…..

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We had unlimited drinks, snacks and even some sandwiches (not shown) as we flew across the country…..


Flying over the Rockies is always an awesome sight…….




 The screen says that we are almost there…..


We are landing at LAX…..





We have made it to Los Angeles 40 minutes early!


 To be continued…..

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I've been waiting for this review, Jeff!  Congrats on your anniversary and the awesome trip you planned to celebrate it! Hawaii is a bucket list cruise for my husband and me...maybe next year (fingers crossed).

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Whoop whoop...you made my day Jeff...another fantastic review...Happy belated anniversary to you both!  Love the photos from the plane...and business class looks awesome...we've only done first class once...from RDU to Miami....and the kids let us have their seats....it was an anniversary cruise too!  It was so nice...but a short flight...LOL...can't wait to see more!  Thanks  to you and Patti for doing such splendid reviews.

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I have been looking forward to this one for a long time!!!  We spent our 25th in Hawaii, a few months late, but we did it as land vacation to 3 islands (Oahu, Kauai, Maui) and that was a LONG flight (9.5 hours), so sure wish we could have had the business class.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what all you see/do in Hawaii (hoping you had nice weather) and I am also looking forward to seeing what you and Patti get yourselves into in CA before your cruises as well.  I really enjoy that you include your travel to and from your cruises, so no complaints about that from me.   Thanks in advance for taking the time and to Patti for taking lots of pics. 


EDITED:  Almost forgot, Happy 25th Anniversary to you and Patti and wishing you both many more happy years together. 

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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First, a very Happy 25th Anniversary to you and Patti, Jeff! I can't wait to hear about your cruises and the rest of your trip. We sailed on Breeze for our 25th in 2013 when she was new and like you, I had that one booked long before. We have such good memories from that cruise, as I'm sure you do, too for your cruises. 😃 I'm enjoying the pictures so far.


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