My family just was on the Inspiration that left on Sept 9th. It was our first cruise and there were eight of us. My son is 14 years old. My nephew wife brought their 10 month old daughter with them as well.
We live in Meridian Ms so we were able to drive a short 3 hours to New Orleans. I have been there many times and I would recommend seeing the sights before or after the cruise. The french quarter is wonderful in the day time just keep your kids off of Bourbon Street. There is much to see.
We arrived at the dock at 11:30am. We were on the ship by 12:30am. The ship was full so there were a lot of people there. I thought the wait time was short and the lines moved quickly.
There is so much to do on the ship for any age. There were only abut 50 kids on the ship so my son stayed around us most of the time. He really had a great time and must have ate 12 whole pizzas and icecream the entire week.
The rooms are small but the only time we were in them was to sleep. We didn't want to miss anything. The shows are GREAT!!! Don't miss a one. We saw two very funny comedians, a magic show and dancing. The Cruise director was wonderful. My husband and I were in one of the game shows and tried to get in more. Just fun, fun, fun. You can really let your hair down and do some silly things and not worry about it cause everyone is doing it. The food was wonderful and we ate aobut 4 times a day. You just can't resist. I worked out in the gym the first two days but then gave it up and figured just walking up 10 flights of stairs would keep me in shape and it did.
Our first stop was in Montego Bay and I got up around 5:00am to watch us come in. So did most everyone else. You are glad to see land and it looks beautiful.
The most poplar tour here was the Dunn River Falls. We watched the video later and there were too many people. We chose the Horseback riding at Chukka Blue. You have to follow a guide and you don't get to go far. We got to ride them bare back into the ocean and it was fun. We enjoyed the ride but it wasn't worth $77 bucks. My sister and her daughter in law did the shopping tour. They said it was scary. The people get mad if you don't buy anything. We all met up at the beach and stayed till time to go back to the ship. We brought our own snorkel and found some coral but wasn't allowed to take it home with us.
Our next stop was the Grand Cayman. I could live in this place. It was our favorite. The most poplar tour was the String Ray City tour. We went on this and it was wonderful. It was scary in the ocean with all of these stringrays. The rub all over you just like a cat would. They are coming at you from everywhere. It took some time to get used to them. We fed them and held them at the top of the water. This was only about $30 and well worth it. Take a underwater camera with you. We stayed about on hour. Didn't have much time to shop but went to a few stores.
Grand Cayman is clean and the water was blue. You take a tender in and it didn't take very long. The shops are within walking distance from the pier.
Next stop was Cozumel. There are shops right at the dock but the best shopping was downtown. We did the beach break at Playa Del. A great deal! For $29 you go to a beach resort shich has shops, a fresh water pool, a large beach area, and non motorized beach toys such as sail boats, water trampolines and a huge rock climbing floating toy. It also includes and open bar, beach chairs and umbrellas.
We took out a small Hobie Cat sail boat and had a blast.
Now just a word of advise. Buy all of your film or cameras before you go. Make sure you take anything you may need such as medicine or batterys. It's triple the price on those items. Disposable camaras were going for $17 to $24.
Get you doctor to perscribe Transderm patches. We went through 7 to 10 foot swells coming home and were rocking pretty bad. There were several people seasick Saturday morning. I used the patch Friday night and side effects were dry mouth and drowsness. Don't use it unless you have to.
If anyone has any questions, please fill free to ask by replying to this posting.
We found out about the Twin Towers on Tuseday morning. The cruise ship staff kept everyone informed and there were satalite TV's everywhere, including our room. The ship had a prayer service for everyone on Wednesday in the Paris Lounge and it was packed. Dispite everything that had happend, the staff did everything possible to make a trip fun and non stressful. I don't believe that anyone felt concern for ourselves. We were half way to Jamacia and felt like we were out of harms way. Our heart goe's out to all of the familys in New York and our fellow passengers who were not able to fly home on their return to New Orleans.