My husband and I have decided to treat all of our five adult children to a cruise vacation with us. Since it’s not possible to coordinate all at once easily we booked this first one with the two oldest. They live in Arkansas and will be known as S1 and S2 in this review.
To save airfare costs, we booked a Mexican Riveria itinerary so it’ll be driving distance for us. At first, we booked the NCL Jewel in October but the reviews I read made it seem that the room would not be as roomy or comfortable for four of us.
Yes, we’re having four people in one cabin so we can share the experience of a balcony. I then booked the Carnival Miracle for the September 2nd sailing. By booking the holiday week it meant one less day of vacation time needed. My husband and I sailed the Miracle on a Hawaii itinerary in 2013 so we knew we did like the ship.
The “kids” arrived Tuesday and we had a couple of days in San Diego before it was time to leave for the cruise. I left work at noon and after a quick lunch we headed off for a pre-cruise stay at Hotel Maya in Long Beach. That morning I called and was given a complimentary upgrade to a water view due to my Hilton Honors club level.
When we got to the hotel, check-in went smooth. The receptionist gave us four wonderful Doubletree chocolate chip cookies and four wristbands for the pool area and a parking pass for the duration of the cruise. The Carnival rate includes free parking for the duration of the cruise.
The four of us headed to the bar where we enjoyed our first vacation drinks . It also happened to be the start of happy hour (3-6 pm) with half price drinks available. More affordable to drink more! Tasty tacos were just $3 each.
We wanted to see the sail away of the Carnival Inspiration but she was just taking too long to leave (I thought sailing was at 4:30 like us). After walking around the premises a bit and then went to dinner at Bubba Gumps.
This is another place we visited last time. We sat on the patio to enjoy the great weather. Between us all we ordered fish tacos, hamburger, fried feast and coconut shrimp. The four of us shared a very good strawberry shortcake for dessert. The only improvement there would be to have more strawberries.
By the way, we could see the ship was still in port when we left Bubba Gumps about 6:30 pm. Sometime during the short drive back to the hotel she had sailed away.
We made it back to the hotel (navigation is a bit tricky) and relaxed before hitting the hay early. Tomorrow is embarkation!