April 2014 - Carnival Inspiration to Mexico
We love cruises. This one was with 5 kids and others. The kids all had their "clubs" with activities to attend...or not. The pools and other activities kept them busy...not to mention the food! The shows are always fun. We loved the piano bar guy at night. We had our own ritual of ending each night with pizza and ice cream at 1 AM or whenever - bring some antacids!
Cruiselines don't want you to say this (or probably , either), but unless you really appreciate the simplicity and convenience of ordering excursions on the ship for many times the actual cost, don't do it. With a little bit of research online, we found a great zip line and hanging bridges park call Las Cañadas Campamento about a half hour outside of Ensenada on the main road that leads out of town. With another bit of research and a couple phone calls, we found a taxi service (Taxis Amarillas (yellow taxis)) to take us there. Check this out: the zip line and hanging bridge place came out to only $20 USD per person - it was VERY worth it for 60 - 90 minutes of zipping and balancing. The cab was $10 per person round trip - they take you there, wait for you, and take you back. Again, very worth it.
At Catalina - a quaint little tourist trap - we just walked up the main road to the botanical gardens and Wrigley memorial. We got good weather, so it was a nice walk about 2 miles one way. Pretty place. We didn't choose to spend our money there. It's California, after all...just happens to be a pretty island with lots of golf carts.
Like any cruise, it's mostly about the company, the food, the entertainment, how you spend your money, and your choice to be involved and take advantage of the offerings. The only thing that would make this and any cruise better is more time for less cost. :-)
The only negative - took too long to serve the dinner meals (up to 90 minutes).