June 2016 - Carnival Inspiration to Mexico
We hadn't been on a cruise since 2009 and we were very excited about this trip. We had such a good time we booked our next trip already. Our children are old enough to run around the ship on there own now, so my husband and I were able to enjoy the grown up amenities. We had drinks by the pool as soon as we boarded the ship, our kids went straight to the water slide, we wore our swimsuit onto the ship so we could start early. Formal night was beautiful everyone dressed to the "T" and my husband was so tired he slept through it so I went to dinner with my daughter. We went to the show afterward and had a great time, she loved the entertainers and it was a great mom and daughter moment. She was done after the show but I still wanted to stay out so I went to bar with live music and I ran into my son so we stayed out late listening to music. I had an adult beverage while he sat at the bar with me, he had a cherry coke. The next night we went back for more, the entertainment was so enjoyable, my nine year old daughter and I watched another show then we convinced my son and husband to join us for the second show and they loved it. The dining was touch and go, some meals were as expected gourmet and interesting and others seamed ordinary. Guys burgers were fantastic, they had grilled onions, mushrooms and traditional toppers and you served yourself with the toppers so you could pile it on the way you like it, we ate there a few times. The late night deli made excellent sandwiches grilled tuna, lox and bagels, pastrami and fried hotdogs. Room service was convenient but half the menu cost a nominal fee. We stayed in an interior cabin with our two children and the quarters were close but we had fun, it was only 4 days. Our next trip we've booked an ocean suite for a 7 day cruise. We didn't book any excursion we just walked around and stopped were we wanted to, it was cool in Catalina so we shopped and had fish fry on the pier, we ate there 15 years ago(pre-kids) and it was delicious. Ensenada was fun and a little bit warmer, we got a 2 dollar bus ride from the pier and walked the main drag window shopping. We had a very nice lunch a few blocks from Papas and Beers were the party was spilling out to the street, if we were on our own my husband and I would have joined that party but we didn't want the kids in the chaos of fun. Lunch was great, margaritas, virgin margaritas for the kids, my daughter got her hair braided (at the table ) we had bracelets customer made, then my daughter had her name written on a piece of rice as a necklace. We were approached by many vendors but one stood out, he offered atv's for one hour for $30.00, it seemed shady but my husband was confident it was legit so we tried it. It was the best hour, we got 2 atv's and the guy hosted our ride to the beach, we drove around the sandy beaches of Mexico. On the beach we switched with our children and allowed them to drive, they had a blast and our guide patiently waited for us. The whole time riding he consistently visually checked on our safety and entertainment and confirmed with a thumbs up, very nice experience. We ended up buying most of our souvenirs at the port.