I’m on a Boat! (Part 1): Long Beach and Catalina Island

During the last week of July, I finally went on my very first cruise! Well, last week was actually pretty full of firsts, but we’ll get to talking about some of those a little later. On this trip, I spent four days on the Carnival Inspiration with my mom and brothers, making stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.

LongBeachCruiseTerminal

CarnivalInspirationCheckIn

Honestly, I wasn’t particularly excited about the cruise in the days leading up to it. When I was younger, it was definitely something that I had wanted to do, but I didn’t feel as enthusiastic now. Even after we had boarded on Monday afternoon, my initial thoughts were that it would probably be an long trip and it did not help that I felt like I was surrounded by some incredibly obnoxious people.

CarnivalFamily1

CarnivalFamily2

BoardingCarnivalInspiration

BoardingCarnivalInspiration2

If there is anything that the inside of the ship reminded me of the most, it has to be the Circus Circus hotel and casino in Las Vegas. I guess I had hoped that the atrium area, which I would say is the figurative center of the ship, would have a more elegant look comparable to stuff you’d see in the Titanic or something, but instead it had gaudy lights and did not really feel that inviting, though that is where we entered the ship. After going through the safety orientation, we ate a late lunch on the Lido Deck , explored the top of the ship a little, and went back to our room.

CarnivalInspirationAtrium

CarnivalInspirationLido

LidoDeckTables

QueenMary

CarnivalInspirationTail

This ship didn’t leave Long Beach until the afternoon and the only thing I really did the rest of the night was watch the welcome show which featured a production of Motown songs and get dinner again on the Lido Deck. At this point, I still was feeling like this was going to be a long cruise.

CarnivalInspirationLifeboat

OceanSunset

On Tuesday morning, the shipped docked at Catalina Island. Well, I shouldn’t really say that it docked. It dropped anchor near Catalina Island. We had to board charter boats to take us to Avalon and back. Originally, we had wanted to do a kayaking excursion at Catalina, but tall the spaces wound up being booked. Instead, we spent a good amount of time walking around and checking out the sights, like the Catalina Casino, which is not a gambling hall like you might have thought. Casino is an Italian word that can describe a meeting place, so there are things like a movie theater and ballroom inside.

CatalinaCarnival

CatalinaCharterBoat

CatalinaCharterBoatInside

WelcomeToCatalinaIsland

CatalinaBoats

CatalinaCasino

CatalinaCasinoMural

After a while, we found ourselves at the beach, where my youngest brother and I chose to go snorkeling while my other brother kayaked and my mom watched. I had my waterproof case that I bought a while ago and never truly got to test out (I did bring it when I went glacier kayaking, but I’ve never had it submerged in water for long periods of time) so I tried to take some pictures. Didn’t turn out that great. There were a lot of rocks, but I did manage to finally see some fish.

CatalinaBeach

Snorkeling

CatalinaRocks

We headed back to the ship a little early to beat the rush of other people trying to take the boats back and I spent the rest of the time before dinner reading Mockingjay on a deck chair.

ReadingOnDeck

It was formal night on the ship, so we got all dressy to eat at the dining room and met two other families who were sharing the table with us. The food in the dining room was delicious and you got to select your own appetizer, main dish, side, and dessert. I wish we had gone the night before, but we didn’t really know what to expect, this being our first cruise and all. Anyway, I had a baby spinach salad, a broiled Maine lobster tail, mac and cheese with bacon, and a vanilla crème brûlée. Did I already say delicious?

CarnivalFamilyDining

BabySpinachSalad

MaineLobsterTail

CremeBrulee

Back in our room, we found a towel animal bear sitting on one of the beds. Yay, our first towel animal!

TowelAnimalBear

I wanted to explore the ship a little more so my brother and I made a stop on the ship’s Olympic jogging track, which was near the mini golf course. Apparently, eleven laps is approximately one mile, but I didn’t get that far. Running on a ship gave me a headache (or maybe I had the headache from before and running exacerbated the pain, but let’s just go with what I said earlier).

CarnivalInspirationJoggingTrack

LidoDeckAtNight

We ended the night at the library, probably my favorite area of the ship, which had space for you to read or play various board games. My brothers and I played Trivial Pursuit before two magicians came in and gave a performance. I’m not really into card tricks since I can figure those are just sleight of hand stuff, but they were still pretty great. One of the magicians did this trick where he asked random audience members to say different numbers and he pulled out a list of random numbers he said he wrote earlier. After adding the numbers on each column and distributing it like a typical addition problem, we wound up with all the numbers that these people said. That was probably my favorite trick and I still can’t wrap my head around that one.

LibraryMagician1

LibraryMagician2

Like I said, the night pretty much ended after that. We had another long day ahead of us, so w we went back to our room where I did a little more reading before falling asleep. This posts has gotten really long already, so I’ll see you in Part 2!

Check out other posts in the I’m on a Boat series:
– I’m on a Boat (Part 1): Long Beach and Catalina Island
– I’m on a Boat (Part 2): Ensenada, Mexico
– I’m on a Boat (Part 3): A Day at Sea

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