I've cruised on Carnival more than a few times (Platinum level) so I hope what I have to say will be helpful.
First the good.
Getting on and off the ship was very efficient. The personnel, from luggage handlers to room stewards to waiters was top notch. My son (10 years old) loves Camp Carnival and this is a way to forget about your children; they have a great time and mom and dad don't have to worry. As always, the pizza counter, located on the aft end of Lido, port side, doesn't disappoint. The inside cabin was clean and had ample closet space.
Now the bad.
Customers pay a premium to cruise over a holiday and should expect the company's best.
Although Inspiration was recently remodeled and actually looks better than its sister ship Paradise, one issue that bothered me was the elevators... rather than having floor numbers, Carnival used lettering for floor designations (i.e. E for Empress instead of 7 for 7th floor) which was More
confusing for many.
For the first time cruising with Carnival, expresso and cappuccino were an additional charge ($2.75) at dinner. When I ordered one on the first night, the waiter came back 5 min later and informed me that the expresso machine was broken. REALLY??
Carnival allows passengers the choice of anytime dining in addition to early or late seating. The problem is for a small ship, anytime dining doesn't work so well when everyone shows up at the same time. Long line of passengers waiting to be seated. The second night was formal night. When we wanted to be seated, we were handed an electronic pager and told to wait. Twenty minutes later, I asked when I could be expected to be seated. I was not provided any meaningful answer, only the "I'm sorry but we are booked" excuse. Not wanting to wait any longer, we opted for the buffet on Lido. With the exception of the the pizza and deli stations, the food quality was not much better than Denny's. On Thanksgiving, I expected to eat carved, roast turkey. Instead, the turkey slices were thinly sliced and really small portion size. Disappointing. The room menu was also limited when compared to what was offered in past sailings. Clearly, Carnival has decided to cut corners in its dining services. To those who have sailed before, it would be obvious and disappointing.Entertainment
On this 4 day cruise there was exactly ONE sow on the final night. The reason given was that a performer suffered an injury during rehearsal. The entertainment at the Paris theater was limited to audience participation and was, to be generous, boring. For some reason, the comics (who were actually quite good) gave their shows in the aft lounge. I don't know why they were not moved to the larger Paris venue. The final day's show was one that I had seen before on the Paradise. This show was tired, the choreography was horrible and one of the singers left the stage for a prolonged period of time where it became obvious his leaving was not part of the normal performance.
Summing up, Inspiration was anything but. An extremely disappointing cruise and one where the customers should have been offered a partial refund. Less
Carnival Inspiration Cruises to the Mexican Riviera