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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carnival Inspiration Day 1

Our morning of the 20th started out pretty easy - just finish packing and visiting with mom and JB who came in the night before. We took a shuttle to the port. With six people and all their luggage it was a good thing and well worth the $11 a person they charged. Parking at the port is $14 a day so we almost ended up even. Our shuttle was early so we got through the hassle of boarding the ship pretty quickly. We decided to find our rooms first and drop off our carry ons. Even though our rooms said they wouldn't be ready till 1:30 pm when we went at 1pm they were ready. The Inspiration is an older ship but was given a face lift last year. The rooms are normal size carnival cruise rooms as well as the bathrooms. They didn't spend a lot of money updating the rooms but they are still nice.

After dropping our luggage, we were all hungry for lunch so we headed up to the Brasserie grill for the buffet lunch. My first stop was the sandwich station where they do panini's. I had a ham and cheese. It was ok - personally I didn't like the bread and I learned later that they would do it on any bread. Also the ham wasn't warmed so I just started ordering grilled cheese on white and I was much happier. I also made sure to stop for some ice cream here. My last two cruises I never got ice cream because I was always so full. It worked for me because I didn't have ice cream the rest of the cruise.

After eating, we decided to work off the calories and explore the ship so that we could get to know our way around. The first thing we wanted to find was the adult only deck area. It is located at the back of the boat one floor down from the grill. The adult only area has cushioned chairs. This is my husband enjoying the comfort and quiet.

Because the ship was still docked we saw all of downtown Tampa from the back of the ship. This is a great picture of JB and Mom. The day we boarded the ship was Mike and Becky's five year anniversary. I would say judging from this picture that the fire is still there.
In exploring the ship, we also got to see all the Christmas decorations. There was even a gingerbread village. At four, we did the muster drill and set sail. The drill seemed a little long but that may be because we were out on the lido deck and it was hot with no chairs to sit. Once the drill was done we relaxed in our rooms for awhile. Then it was time to go enjoy the sunset. I am very glad we got the late sitting for dinner because we would have missed the sunset and going under the sunshine skyway bridge. Here is a cute picture of my brother Mike and mom enjoying the sunset.
Between the sunset and bridge we made a quick break to go get jackets and long pants. At the front of the ship with the wind blowing it was much colder. Below is a picture of mom, Mike, Becky and me as we watched our ship go under the skyway bridge. It is a big deal because depending on tides the ship will sometimes miss it by only 2 feet. The tide was lower for us and we had a whole 7 ft. We had dinner that night in the Mardi Gras dining room. We had a really wonderful waiter and it was fun because the six of us had our own table. Bruce and I decided that this was the way to cruise as eating with strangers is not one of our favorite things. Plus we laughed so much - I think we were known as the rowdy table. Here is a picture of Mike and Becky enjoying their dinner of fish and lasagna. I had steak which was done medium rare and was really good.
After dinner, we went to the show. It was a variety show with the dancers and the comedian. It was ok but nothing that I thought was special. I was tired though so after that I headed off to bed.
Just some additional thoughts about the ship - some of the areas are beautiful and feel new. The Brasserie grill needs to be updated and the purple "worms" taken out. That would make it feel bigger and brighter. The adult only area needs its own bathroom and bar. The candlelight lounge and dining rooms are beautiful and they really have done a great job with those. The ship overall was much nicer then the Sensation the other ship that we have sailed so yes we will be looking forward to taking another chance to get away on it when the opportunity arises.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pics and the recap. I enjoyed reading it.

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