Review of carnival inspiration cruise November 2012. Booked a last minute cruise for family of 4 over thanksgiving weekend. Read all and I mean ALL possible reviews of the Carnival Inspiration cruise out of Long Beach and wasn't expecting much. Literally, my husband and I said we were going into the holiday with extremely low expectations. Please note that neither of us have ever cruised before but have traveled extensively both nationally and internationally.
Is this the most high-end cruise? No, but our family had an absolute blast. The kids loved carnival club. The boat was very clean, food was good, crew was friendly and Ensanada was not nearly as 'scary' as all of the reviews lead you to believe. We decided to check out the town so we took a $3 r/t shuttle to town, bought a tour through Las Dumas tours and went horseback riding on the beach and visited the blow hole & the 240 shops right next door for approx. $35/pp. The tour lasted 4 hours and we felt safe the entire time. Were the shop people a little annoying at times? Yes, but as long as you have the confidence to say, No thank you, it's not an issue.
Some other quick notes: kids loved the slides but the water was cold as was the pool. Kids are allowed in one of the two hot tubs on the lido deck. Sat night show in the Paris lounge was honestly pretty entertaining. Dancers were very talented and gave the impression they were enjoying themselves. Our ocean view room was clean and housekeeping was terrific. Could have used more drawers but we managed just fine. Experienced no issues with crazy party passengers but were also in bed by 10pm. Mostly families were on the cruise. Oh, Maria was our main server in the dining room Mardi Gras and she was an absolute awesome lady. Super positive and cheerful. Lindsay in Carnival Club introduced herself on our first day and answered all of my questions being a first time cruiser. To sum up our experience... was this similar to the Four Seasons? Of course not and if that is what you require then do not proceed. However, are we cruising with Carnival again for a fun, affordable family vacation? Absolutely.