The Carnival ship Inspiration is a great ship. I had to get that out of the way first. We (my sister in law and myself) just returned from the Inspiration last week from a 5-day cruising experience. I will try to cover everything you ever thought to ask about and some stuff that you didn't think of. Warning...this is LONG!
First arriving in Tampa at the port. It is easy to find. It is Pier 2 and you can see it from far off. We dropped off our luggage first, and then drove around to the parking garage. It is $12.00 a day to park, they take cash or charge, and you pay up front. Our luggage porter said it was $10.00 it isn't. We dropped off our luggage at 10 a.m. We were early. We parked the car and got some good pictures of us heading to the ship from the parking deck.
We stood around with other early bird arrivals. We didn't have to wait for long to be let in. At 10:30 we were let in with the message, "Please have your documents ready...your ticket and ID ready." We got our stuff ready (like it wasn't already) and walked in. You go up an escalator and through the metal detectors. You are then told to go to a particular person behind the desk take in area. There are about 25 helpers, 2 to a team. We were directed to #25. She was great (I didn't get her name); she took our fun pass, ticket and gave us our sign in sail cards all in one stop! She looked at our documents and decided we were terrorist just happy cruisers, she told us to go and wait we were in Group 1 to board! Easy. 15 minutes and it was done! We sat and waited in the waiting area...at 11:30 the call came for Group 1. We were ready! Picture was taken. Boarded the ship!