Sail Date: November 16, 2015 Ship: Carnival Inspiration Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 2 years ago
This was my sixth cruise, and my first one on the west coast. We happened to be out west on business in San Diego and adding a couple of days to our schedule to sail out of Long Beach was easy, especially at the really low rate of $120 that we got for a 4 night cruise! Keeping in mind the the Inspiration is nearly 20 years old and that "you get what you pay for", I kept my expectations low and that was a solid strategy. We had a nice time relaxing at sea, and taking a walk around in the two ports. Nothing stood out either super good or super bad on this cruise. As its name implies, the Pacific Ocean did seem a lot calmer than the Bahamas voyages I'd been on before, so that would be a plus to anyone prone to seasickness. For someone who's never cruised, this would be a great way to get introduced to cruising at a pretty good price.
We attended the Behind the Scenes tour of the Catalina Casino. This was pretty cool, and I'd recommend it if you enjoy beautiful old buildings with a lot of history. This wasn't a purchased shore excursion, the $26 tour is an easy walk from the tender dock.
This town was not like the Caribbean ports I was used to. A short walk off of the ship brings you a main street filled with sidewalks of aggressive shopkeepers, rentals, handbills, and beggars. Strolling this gauntlet can be pretty exhausting. Initially, the wife wanted to escape in a taxi to somewhere, but reconsidered after getting generally creeped-out by the number of military personnel armed with rifles that they seemed to have a lot of out in this town too. We walked a couple blocks each way, staying in sight of the ship. We bought a couple of pottery souvenirs and a couple of tacos from vendors and returned to the ship. Nothing bad happened, but the port just seemed like a place where you were more likely to find trouble than fun or relaxation. Not Carnival's fault, obviously. We continued to have a nice day with ship-board activities, so no big deal.
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