Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: October 10th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was my second cruise. My other cruise was on the Carnival Spirit in December of 2003. This was my parents’ 5th cruise (4th with Carnival).
Embarkation: Embarkation was a long and dull process of going through security and waiting in line for at least 2 hours. When we got there, they gave us a paper with itinerary changes (Grand Cayman to Progreso, and Cozumel to Calica/Playa Del Carmen)
Progreso: We took the shopping and city tour to Merida. They have a lot of stuff (like Chili’s, Sears, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Mercedes and Jaguar dealerships) that we have at home. We visited the governor’s house and a church that was built in the 1500s (the oldest church on the American continent). The vendors were absolutely obnoxious. I told this guy like 5 times I didn’t want to buy one of his fans and he would not leave me alone. I pretended I was asleep until the bus came back. We tried some authentic nachos at one of our stops. They were delicious, but very hot.
Calica: It was raining when we got off the boat in Calica. We took a bus tour to Cancun. At our first stop at a flea market, the bus driver hit the windshield into a tree branch and broke the glass. Besides hotel row by the beach, Cancun is really grungy. We got to go to a couple of malls and to the beach. They have remnants of Mayan ruins right on the golf course. The water is light blue and really pretty.
Belize: We had to take a tender into Belize, because they don’t have a pier big enough for the ship. Then we took a bus city tour to some Mayan ruins called Altun-Ha. The tour guide said it existed between 250 ad and 500 ad. It was a neat experience to walk through the circle of temples and imagine where the people worshipped.
Costa Maya: Today my Dad had a snorkeling excursion, while Mom and I went through the shopping village in Costa Maya. I didn’t buy anything. Most of the goods they have are hammocks, blankets, and sundials or silver-platted jewelry.
Disembarkation: We did early disembarkation when we were on the Spirit, and knew it was a painful experience, so this time we waited for our luggage number to be called in the Paris Lounge and got off the boat around 10 in the morning
Tampa: After we got our rental car, we went to the International Mall in Tampa that had some really nice stores in it. We stayed the night at the Hilton on our first night and Amerisuites on the last night, and both the rooms were really nice. The next morning we went to the airport and flew home.
Crew: The cruise director, Maraschahl was excellent in giving us information on embarkation, shore excursions, and debarkation. The assistant cruise director, Malcolm, was hysterical. The social hosts Joseph and Fiona were delightful as well when we played bingo or watched the activities, as was the Karaoke host. It was nice this time to have a karaoke host that could actually sing.
Food: I ordered pasta for dinner (3 nights in a row) and the waitress said, “Wow you must really like pasta.” The squid appetizer kind of tasted like a pasta noodle, but it was weird having tentacles on my plate. My dad ordered the escargots and thought they tasted like cheese pizza. My mom was big fan of the Miami Vice (which is half pina-colada, and half strawberry daiquiri) and I was a fan of the Raspberry Daiquiri.
Entertainment: Since we had the 8:00 dinner seating, it seemed like all the activities were going on while we were eating and they didn’t have much going on for the late sitting crowd while the early sitting crowd was eating. We did happened to go to the shows (Welcome Aboard, Comedians, The Fire Gauchos, Jugglers, La Nuevo Caribe, Shout, and The Guest Talent Show) in the Paris Lounge, Bingo, Karaoke, Newlywed Game, and the Austin Powers dance class.
Overall: I had a great time and would recommend the Inspiration for other people’s sailing pleasure.