My First Cruising Experience on the Carnival Inspiration

By Shannon Gurnee
In Cruising Life
September 15, 2013

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Endless food, mini golf fun, shows, water slides, pools, fun!  These are all things I’ve heard when it comes to describing the cruising experience.  For quite some time, I’ve wanted to go on a cruise, but it just never quite seemed to fit the budget (both in time and money).  Then one week, Frank and I spontaneously decided to check out Carnival Cruises online and see how much it would cost.  We found an affordable booking from the Port of Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico for only $300 a person.  We were on it!


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First Feelings About Going on a Cruise

I have to admit that I was both excited and nervous when we were boarding the ship.  After all, the only large ships I ever really knew anything about were the Queen Mary (which was actually right next to our departure dock) and the Titanic (which sunk).  But thankfully, we weren’t going to be sailing around any icebergs, so that put my mind a little more at ease.  Plus, I was with Frank, who had gone on several cruises before and knew all about the process and the ships.  That was definitely beneficial…not to mention a whole lot of fun!

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I was amazed at how beautiful and huge the Carnival Inspiration was!  Once we walked onto the ship, we entered the Atrium and I was in awe.  It was so beautiful, especially as you looked up at the ceiling!  I also loved what I called the Willy Wonka glass elevator.  It made me a little nervous to go down in it at first, with my fear of heights, but I quickly got used to it after a few more times.

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Our room was really nice and comfortable.  Frank had not stayed in an Interior Room before and said he was quite impressed with it.  In fact, we reserved an Interior Room for our next cruise adventure we’re going on for his birthday in May!  As we were entering our room, a housekeeping staff member greeted us and let us know he was available if we had any questions or needed any help.  He was so friendly and immediately, I felt like I was home for the weekend on the Carnival Inspiration.

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After checking out our room, we decided to tour the ship.  Can you believe there was a Water Park on the ship??  That’s right!  They had a pool (on a different level from the Water Park), a water slide, and lots of fun water activities.  There was a gonna be a lot of fun times to be had by passengers on this trip!

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We also noticed that we were right next to the Queen Mary and the place where the Spruce Goose used to be stored.  The Queen Mary looked so pretty from the ship.  And everyone kept asking one another if the dome we entered through to get on the cruise was where the Spruce Goose used to be stored.  It sure was.  Wow – what memories of my childhood that brought back to me!

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We also noticed the Lifeboats on the ship.  They were big and covered, which surprised me.  Plus, I can tell you there were enough for all passengers on the ship (again referring to Titanic).  Before we departed, we had to meet in our assigned section so they could talk about what to do in an emergency and then we had to all go outside and stand shoulder to shoulder while the Coast Guard (or Harbor Patrol) inspected from the water.

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Activities on the Cruise 

While on the cruise, Frank and I played Miniature Golf and I won – ha ha!  I only say ha ha because I rarely win at games, especially when it involves athletics.  It was a lot of fun playing with Frank and we even went 18 holes instead of 9 just to change things up a little bit.  I can’t wait to play him again on our next cruise and see if it was just beginner’s luck or if I am really a natural at mini golf – hee hee.

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We also had some fun in the Casino.  I had a blast playing the slots and what I call the Quarter Pusher machine.  Oh my gosh – it was so much fun.  I also participated in the Slot Tournament and even made it in the top 10 the first round.  I pushed that button with all my heart and might the second time around and sat right next to the winner, who played on my original machine.  Dang!  I’ll get them next time and maybe I can talk Frank into joining me. 

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Frank and I played Bingo when we are out to sea.  It was fun and Frank even won!  Man is he lucky or what?  Plus, he won on the cash machine, which is basically where you put a dollar in the machine and then turn the key so it fits exactly into the slot.  He won $200 and we were super stoked about that!

Carnival Cruise showCarnival Shows on Stage – courtesy of Carnival

Frank and I also enjoyed one of the shows (Shout!) and both nights of the Comedy Club.  I really liked the show and the comedy routines and loved that we didn’t have to pay extra for it because it was already included in our cruise cost.  We also watched endured other passengers singing slaughtering some of today’s and classic songs.  It was pretty funny, but you might want to grab a drink to really get the full effect and be able to tolerate the high off-pitch sounds that might come over the speakers.

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On the cruise, we participated in a Towel Making Class, where we learned to make the towel creatures they leave on our bed every night.  I had a hard time doing it, but Frank caught on pretty quickly.

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Food on the Cruise

Now, let’s talk about the meals.  The first day, we missed the sit-down dinner.  Big mistake!  Let me tell you, I am so glad we didn’t miss the second dinner because it was amazing!  I had Prime Rib Steak and 2 (yes 2) Lobster Tails.  I could have even had more if I wanted, but I was pretty stuffed at that point.  Oh and their desserts – my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  You do NOT want to miss the sit-down dinners or you will miss out on amazing food, new friends, magicians, music, friendly staff, and fun!!!

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We also enjoyed the Mongolian Wok for lunch one day.  Wow was that delicious!  We got a bowl and filled it with all sorts of yummy goodies, including noodles, onions, broccoli, corn, green beans, mushrooms and more.  Then we had a choice of either chicken or salmon.  Oh my man, it sounds so good right now just writing about it.  After our dish was cooked, Frank and I ate alongside the pool.

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One of the other things about going on a cruise is that you will NEVER go hungry!  There is always food or drinks somewhere on the ship.  If you missed your sit-down breakfast or dinner, you can always head up to the buffet and choose from a variety of fruits, salad, meats, sandwiches, and desserts.  They even had a Deli counter, which had amazing Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and a Pizza counter.

I can’t wait until we go on our next cruise together!  Have you ever been on a cruise before?  What was your favorite part of the cruising experience?

About Has 2149 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

17 Responses to “My First Cruising Experience on the Carnival Inspiration”

  1. mrsshukra says:

    I enjoyed your trip report and photos, thank you! I am missing out never having gone on a cruise!

  2. Shannon Gosney says:

    It was so awesome! I’ve waited a long time too to go on a cruise and it was totally worth it! 🙂 Hope you get to go some day. 🙂

  3. I love cruises. That ship looks HUGE! I’d for sure get lost 😉 So glad it was great!

  4. Helen says:

    My son gave me for mothers day a cruz, it was the first time for me. I had always been so afraid to go on one, but from the minute I stepped on board I had a blast, Best present ever!!!!! If you’ve never gone, you have to go at least once, such great memories.

  5. It looks like so much fun/. I have always wanted to go on a cruise and I think I have finally convinced my husband to go with me.

  6. It looks like you had the most awesome trip!! That’s a beautiful ship!

  7. Jenn says:

    WOW! What an amazing experience! I have never been on a cruise! One day hopefully!

  8. Samantha K says:

    That looks amazing! I have never been a cruise, but now I want to go on one more than ever!

  9. Jacqui Odell says:

    WOW!! It looks like you had tons of fun!! I hope to go on a cruise sometime!

  10. Chrysa says:

    It looks like you had a fabulous time. I haven’t been on an ocean cruise yet (just a a river cruise in China that was really cool) and really want to!

  11. Looks AMAZING! We are headed to a cruise very soon too! 🙂 This one looks awesome! 🙂

  12. Shauna says:

    oh my goodness, we have never been but I have been told that they are amazing and your post just makes that even more apparent!

  13. Sarah Bailey says:

    Oh wow it looks like you had the most amazing time I’ve always wondered about going on a cruise and you have definitely tempted me more 🙂 x

  14. Daisy says:

    Wow – I’ve never been on a cruise, but after all of your photos, I definitely want to go on one and soon!

  15. Julie Wood says:

    This looks amazing and exciting! I Your green dress is gorgeous. And I am glad you guys won some money. But the food looks so delicious and the room and the ship looks like a really fun place to be. I would love to go on one of these cruises! They look like so much fun!

  16. I have always wanted to go on a cruise too. It sounds like so much fun and I can see from your pictures it would be a lot of fun. I hope to fit it into my budget one day.

  17. […] we got a pretty sweet deal on the price!  We were excited to try a 2-day cruise, since our first cruise together was a 3-day cruise.  I have to say that I prefer the 3-day cruise to the 2-day cruise […]

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