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- Do not leave Carnival Cruise without trying their Sea Day Brunch
- Carnival Cruise Menu & Food Pictures
- Princess Cruise Menu & Food Pictures
We went on a cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico via Carnival Inspiration 5 Day Cruise. We've gone on multiple cruises with Carnival Inspiration but this is our first time cruising with a big group, usually it's just the four of us.
Our cruise departed on a Monday and got back Friday morning.
If you're going to take the cruise from Long Beach, I would suggest not getting there before 12. We only found out from this recent cruise that only the outdoor queue/counter is open before noon.
The cabins also doesn't open right when you board Carnival Cruise or even other cruises. If I remember right, cabins only open at about 2PM.
We had 4 cabins between 4 families, all on the same level but not side by side. One room even fit 5. There's a queen bed and bunk beds attached to the wall for the kids.
We forgot to bring our walkie talkies to communicate since there's no cel signal unless you're willing to pay, but for some reason we found each other at the buffet area all the time. LOL.
Group Cruise Tip: Get a walkie talkies so you can communicate on board in case you want to do activities together, especially on bigger cruise ships.
|Gift for being a gold member on Carnival Cruise.|
We always bring our own carry-ons on board instead of checking them in. We load all of our carry-ons on a Zooper stroller and bring them to the pool deck to eat at noon while waiting for our cabin rooms to open.
If you check-in your luggage, they will bring your luggage right to your door but you'd have to place them outside the night before disembarkation. During our previous cruise, a passenger didn't get his luggage at all, so if you can, just bring it up yourself.
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Group Cruise: Carnival Inspiration Day 1
For Day 1 of our group cruise, we had lunch at the Lido Deck and enjoyed burgers, tacos and everything else on the buffet. We were ready for a nap once we got to the room but the kids just wanted to play so nap didn't happen until 4PM.
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We were then awoken by the muster station announcement by 5PM. What is that? Before any cruise departs the dock, you'd have to go to your muster station for a safety briefing in case of emergency. They show you how to use the life jacket and bring you to the deck where the life boats are located.
After the briefing we went straight to the dining room for our sit down dinner that started at 6PM. If you've never cruise with Carnival, you have a choice of early dining (6PM), late dining and anytime dining besides the buffet, deli and pizza at the brasserie that's pretty much open throughout the day.
Group Cruise Tip: Seating at the dining area is pre-set before you board. Make sure to tell your travel agent to seat you together especially if you have different last names. The most you can do is probably 15. More than that, you'd already be seated separately.
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Group Cruise Tip: Try not to order the same thing so you can try different dishes together.
Since it was a summer cruise and the sun doesn't set 'til very late. The hubby took everyone for a tour of the ship as some in our group are first time cruisers. We ended up at the slide area at the back of the ship and it was amazing at 8PM because the sun has just set and the sky was beautiful for a group picture. It would have been nice if we caught the sunset though, since I'm a sucker for sunsets.
Typically, we'd watch a live show on the first night of the cruise but they didn't have one anymore on Carnival Inspiration. So after a quick game of mini golf by the kids, we ended up at the Game Room.
The kids took out game boards and what was suppose to be a quick "let's buy a drink downstairs" scenario for the adults (3 couples), it ended up being a 2 hour impromptu date night as the kids' grandparents watched and babysat all 7 of their grandkids. Yikes.
Group Cruise Tip: For a quick drink with your group, head to the Casino level where there is a bar with a band that plays every night. And for a really good cocktail, order the Bahama Mama or the Pina Colada.
After some drinks, music and lots of laughter with my husband's brother and sister and their spouse. We headed back to the game room to get the kids from their grandma. Thinking the kids would be ready to sleep by then, nope! The kids were hungry.. again! And off to the brasserie for pizza and sandwiches at the deli 3 hours after a 3 course meal at the dining area. LOL.
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We went to the slide deck while most cruisers were at Catalina. The adults lounged around after 1 try at the huge slide (a must try). We then each got a cocktail then headed to the pool deck (separate from the slides for Carnival Inspiration) for some Mexican tacos by 1PM.
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Group Cruise Tip: Make sure to get tons of photos together. Formal or casual.
After our quick photo session, we went to the Paris Lounge for a live show called Motor City that started at 8:15PM. They comprise of singers and dancers playing the R&B tunes of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
There's also a Comedy Club at the Candlelight Lounge but is for the 18+. But as always, we were with kids who got hungry again after the show. So off the get more food at the brasserie at 10PM. It's been a long day and we were back in our room by 1015PM.
Thanks Carnival for an awesome Day 2.
Group Cruise: Carnival Inspiration Day 3
Day 3 of our Group Cruise with Carnival Inspiration docked us at Ensenada, Mexico. After the usual very filling breakfast buffet, the adults and the bigger kids went down to Ensenada for some really authentic tacos and seafood while the grandparents, me and the really young ones stayed behind to avoid the heat and the long walks.
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Group Cruise Tip: You don't need to do everything together as a group. Set time or activities you'd like to do together like dinner or watching shows. Maybe the ladies wants to do the afternoon tea together or the guys want to get drinks together. Get the kids at Camp Ocean together then other times just do your own thing.
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Group Cruise Tip: Go to games and have a family member join, lots of fun cheering for them. Or join classes together like towel folding class.
Group Cruise Tip: Make sure to tell your server during sit down dinner or brunch if anyone in your group is celebrating a birthday or have their birthday coming up.
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Overall it was a fun Family Reunion Cruise except the toddler got sick. How about you, what's you cruise been like? Let us know. Leave you comments below.
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