It all started here...

It all started here...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Carnival Inspiration Embarkation Day

On Board the Carnival Inspiration, Day 1 -- January 20, 2014
After the long wait at the pier, we finally boarded the Inspiration. Two long lines inside the dome for security check and then embarkation photos which we skipped. It was past 1 o'clock already, so we figured our cabin should be ready and that was where we headed first. We smelled some kind of foul smell when passing through the mid-ship area of deck 6 to our cabin in the back of the ship. Fortunately, there was nothing like that in our area. Cabin U222, an ocean view room was our home for the four days.
The simple cabin was clean and spacious enough for the three of us except it would be a little difficult to get to the other side of the bed when the 3rd Pullman was down. Our pins and drink coupons were already there waiting for us on the dresser. Everything seemed to be in order, all we needed was our luggage. We did not see any bathrobe in the room so I wrote a note to the room steward and they were delivered when we came back from dinner. We also asked for a bucket of ice and that was provided faithfully everyday. Our room stewards took good care of us. Once they learned of our routine they pretty much stay away and didn't bother us except to say 'Hi' when we meet in the hallway.

Beach towels that we never used.

I wish the bathroom was a little bigger and have the glass dividers for the shower like NCL does instead of that flimsy curtain which was quite irritable.

Body wash and shampoo, bring your own conditioner.
I think this was the only cruise that we have been on that did not have a hair dryer in the cabin.

Brasserie Bar and Grill
After checking out our cabin, it was time for us to get some lunch. It was easy to get a table when we got there because we were some of the first groups on board. Then it got really busy and crowded. There were lines at every station as more people got on board.

Brasserie Bar and Grill--the buffet area

Mongolian Wok outside the Brasserie--prepare for a long line and long wait.

You pick your vegetables and other ingredients and when it's your turn you tell the cook what meat and sauce you want. We liked the black bean sauce.

After lunch, we explored the ship a little.

Candlelight Lounge where we met for our muster drill. This is also where you can access the Serenity through the doors on each side.

The Grand Atrium

Serenity -- aft of deck 9, the adult only area

The sight of Queen Mary from Serenity.

Hotel Maya further away

Chopin Bar right outside of Candlelight Lounge. Which means you have to past Chopin Bar to see Candlelight Lounge.

Inspiration Boulevard

Avant Garde

Monte Carlo Casino

The Taste Bar which we never tried. We were full every time we past by here.

The Atrium Bar

Paris Lounge

We did not go to any of the shows so these are the only pictures I have of this place.

Video Arcade

Photo Gallery

Guest Relations on embarkation day
Safety briefing (muster drill) was at 4:45. We didn't have to bring our life jackets to the meeting place. After the demonstration they took us to the life boats area for a short time and then we were dismissed. It was very easy and orderly. We did not encounter the usual maddening crowds at the stairways after a drill. Very well organized.
Then it was sail-away. Again we went to the back of the ship as we sailed away from the Long Beach terminal.

We had early dinner scheduled at the Carnivale. Our table of 12 turned out to be too crowded and cramped so two members of our group decided to walk out and returned at the later dinner. Eventually we worked out with the Matre 'D to have another table for four to give us more space to enjoy our dinners.

Escargot--yummy! Should have ordered another one.

Duck breast appetizer, OK.

My main--chicken breast with pasta (don't remember the official name), not good. The chicken was too dry.

Christian's flat iron steak on the everyday menu, OK.

MOR's tilapia, good.

Warm chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice-cream, great!

After dinner we walked around a bit and called it a day.