Travel Tips

The Ultimate Guide to the Carnival Inspiration Cruise

Welcome to my ultimate guide for the Carnival Inspiration cruise ship! This was my first ever trip and the whole time I was asking myself “Is a cruise a better way to travel than exploring by land?”.  I hope this guide can take you through any of the questions/concerns/nervousness/excitement you have when booking your cruise! Get ready for some tips of relaxing and leave the hard planning up to me.

What to Expect:

A lot of eating- The cruise staff is not lying when they say you automatically want nineteen meals a day when its free and endless.  Try something out of your comfort zone.

R&R- The best part of the cruise is that you are stuck on a boat with no service.  There is something so serene about being close to nothing but blue beautiful waves.  Take advantage of it by relaxing by the pool, treating yourself to the spa, or admiring the open ocean with some wine and someone special.

Bonding- Andrew’s parents took us on the cruise as a graduation present to the both of us.  What I didn’t expect was the amount of time I spent hanging out with them and bonding with them.  The ship isn’t as big as you think it is, so don’t come with anyone you would not want to spend a lot of time with.

Motion Sickness- Although a lot of people do not have bad experiences with sea sickness, I felt that by the last day I was done with being rocked side to side.  Lots of food + rocking boat = sick Leslie.  Even after being off the boat for 2 days I still can feel the boat rocking.

What to Do in Ensenada:

La Bufadora (“The Blowhole”)– There is limited options for exciting things to see in Ensenada, which explains why this place was so insanely crowded! Although I have to say, the view of the ocean from La Bufadora is incredible! For the six of us to take a taxi with a private guide that stayed with us for 3 hours it was $80! To get to the Blowhole you have to pass through a market where locals sell lots of souvenirs.  I picked up a beautiful Tumbled Turquoise necklace and a hand-painted seashell here.  

 

Other- I didn’t experience much of Ensenada other than the Blowhole, but many of the other people on the cruise said they had a great experience Horseback Riding and Wine Tasting in the city!

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Cancun, Mexico

Tips:

Haggle, Haggle, Haggle! – One stand at the markets in Ensenada told me a necklace I wanted was $250,  I simply walked to the next stand where they sold it to me for $15!

Low-key Relaxation- For those traveling as a couple or looking to sneak away from the kids, check out the Serenity section of the cruise.  It whole back section is for 21+ and is a great escape from the loud music and screaming kids!

Guy’s Burger Joint & Tea Time- These were my top two favorite meals because Guy’s Burger Joint offers vegetarian patties (yay!!) and amazing toppings.  On the other hand, Tea Time was held on the last day and the staff offered the cutest pastries and teas while we sat next to a beautiful view in the window.

Harsh Reality:

If you consider yourself to be an eco-friendly traveler, I would go ahead and skip booking a cruise.

According to Friends of the Earth (FOE), the amount of waste that is generated by a large cruise ship on a one week voyage is:

  • 210,000 gallons of human sewage
  • 1 million gallons of grey water (water from sinks, baths, showers, laundry, and galleys)
  • 25,000 gallons of oily bilge water
  • Up to 11,550 gallons of sewage sludge
  • More than 130 gallons of hazardous wastes

Sewage Waste-  The cruise industry consumes millions of tons of fuel and produces almost a billion tons of sewage. If not treated correctly, the exhaust and sewage from the cruise ships can fog the air and pollute the water. According to FOE, out of Carnival’s 24 cruise ships, only four (not including Inspiration) have installed advanced sewage treatment systems.  Carnival’s ranking for “Sewage Treatment” is an F.

Food Waste- For the average cruise of 5,000 people, the ship usually serves about 25,000 meals each day. The result? A lot of food waste that is ground up and put in the ocean.   According to the EPA, the food waste that is discharged this way lowers oxygen, creates acid, and a nutrient imbalance in ocean waters.

Mistreatment of Staff- I personally witnessed many mistreatments towards the staff of the cruise such as towards the waiters or entertainment staff.  Many people do not realize that a large majority of the staff are from poor countries and must abide by the crappy wages because of the loopholes in laws at sea.  The staff basically are indentured servants to the boat who do not get to leave after you dock.  Please be nice to the staff and tip your waiters!!

(All Stats & Info from http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/01/dark-unsustainable-underbelly-cruise-ship-industry/ )

Last Words

I hope you enjoyed my post and my tips! I loved the cruise because I made some great memories bonding with my boyfriend and his family.  In addition, I also loved that it helped put me in vacation-mode where I was able to step back and relax and just enjoy the moment.  However, after experiencing my sea-sickness & reading about the not-so-eco-friendliness of the cruise, I doubt I will choose cruise ships as my mode of traveling.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Have you been on this cruise before?

Video of the cruise: COMING SOON

Love always,

L x

 

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