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Victoria R.

Age: 38

Occupation:Investment Assistant

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Inspiration

Sailing Date: September 26th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I was really looking forward on going on my long awaited cruise ever since my last cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Frances in 2004. And I could not sleep the night before our flight that Monday morning from Cleveland, OH.

Once we got off the plane, immediately, we noticed that there were a couple of Carnival Reps waiting in the airport directing people where to pick up the bus to make our transfer to the port.

The transfer from the airport to the port of Tampa went smoothly. Once we arrived at the port and exited the bus, we identified our luggage as we were instructed by the bus driver and was told that our luggage would arrive sometimes later than afternoon. After we identified our luggage we started with the embarkation process. I thought the embarkation was kind of slow, tedious, and repetitious and very busy, but it was manageable. The only thing that I was curious about was why they kept asking to see our (everyone’s) “Sail & Sign” card. I think once you got passed a certain point they should not have to ask for it anymore.

Our first photo was taken during the embarkation, which I purchased.

Once on the ship we went straight towards the embarkation lunch. Lunch was served on the Lido deck, buffet styled. The food was good especially the cheeseburgers. After lunch we went find our cabin; which was U60. When we arrived at our cabin I was amazed at how nice our ocean view cabin was. Since our luggage had not arrived yet we stayed in our room until the lifejacket drilled at 3:30 pm and then after the drilled we returned the life jackets to our room and went to tour our “home away from home”. After we toured the ship for a while, we headed back to the cabin to find our luggage had finally arrived.

Our seating for dinner was scheduled at 8:30 pm seating in the Mardi Gras Dining Room. The dining room staff was very professional and kept entertained each night. Our wait staff was so friendly and professional that I ended up tipping them at the last dining meal. The food was especially good, also. I personally recommend the strawberry bisque as a starter, (when it’s on the menu for that night). And since I love seafood, I ordered it every chance that I got. During dinner we got a chance to meet our dining mates. After everyone introduction we found out that a mom and daughter that was at our table was from the Cleveland area also. What a surprise this was to us!

After dinner we went back to our cabin to relax and then planned to go partied but we were so tired that we ended up falling to sleep before 11:00 pm. That night I slept really well. I must say that my bed was very comfortable and the cabin was nice and comfortably cool.

Tuesday, Day at Sea, all I did was some shopping and attend some events that was schedule on the back of the Carnival Caper (carnival newspaper) where scheduled of events is located on what’s going on during the cruise. Tuesday night was the night of the Captain’s ball and lobster tails was being served that night in the dining rooms.

Wednesday was our first day at port at Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is a really nice beautiful island; which is still under construction. Unfortunately, they are still going through the rebuilding phase since one of the hurricanes swept through there and devastated much of the island. But everyone seems as though they were having fun with shopping or with their excursions. We were only on the island for about six hours. During that time we took the tour of the turtle farm and “see & sea” tour. At 1:00 pm we lined up to get back on the tender to take us back to the ship. Once back on the ship we went straight to the Mardi Gras dining room where casual lunch was being served. Then off we went to some more scheduled events and played some table tennis on the Lido deck. My friend went back to the cabin, but I stayed on the Lido deck and watched some guys, whom we met earlier that day, play chess (with gigantic pieces). Wednesday night we went back to the Mardi Gras and after dinner I changed clothes and went to the night club on the Promenade Deck.

Thursday, morning we went woke up we were in Cozumel, Mexico. We signed up for 2 excursions. The first one was the ATV on the beach. All I have to say is AWESOME! We were supposed to snorkel but they canceled it since it had rained earlier that day. But we stilled went to the beach and had fun in the ocean and played some volley ball with our tour guides. After our ATV excursion we went back to the ship to get ready for our sunset horse back riding excursion. This was an awesome one as well. After our horse back riding, the natives fed us buffet styled, authentic Mexican food and entertained us with some dancing. After the sun went down, since my friend and I wore shorts (which we do not recommend wearing) fleas and/or mosquitoes ate us up. I was itching for days once I got back to Cleveland. We were in Cozumel for about 12 hours.

Friday was our last day at sea and this was time for packing as well. We were instructed to pack and leave our luggage outside our cabin door and the luggagage were going to be picked up between 9pm and 12 am. The packing was kind of challenging since we had to make room for the things we had bought during our vacation. Also, what we were wearing for disembarkation, we wore it the night before since we were not going to see our luggage again until the next morning at port

Saturday was the disembarkation process. There must have been a “million” people stuck on the stairwell with no place to go when they called for regular disembarkation. We had eaten breakfast on the Lido Deck and waited until the called for regular disembark. There was no way we could get down the stairs; therefore, the only way down was to wait for the slow elevators in the main area. Once down on the main floor we noticed how the line snaked all the way around to where we had to disembark. Fortunately, for us, one of the crew members told us, from the end of the line to follow him and then this way they had 2 lines disembarking; which made this go much smoother from what I had read on cruise review, previously.

All in all, this was the ultimate vacation for me. It was more than I imagined. The floating hotel is the best way to go! But I highly recommend that you wear a jacket or shawl during the cruise because the ship can become very cold!

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