I have been reading all of the reviews posted for the Inspiration since the day I booked this cruise for our family of 6. This was our first cruise experience and I was worried that I booked it on the wrong ship after seeing all of the complaints.
I am very HAPPY to report that our cruise experience on the Inspiration was in fact the best vacation we have had so far! We just got off the ship yesterday and I have been wishing that we were still on it all day today.
All of the remarks about it being an old ship and in disrepair are hard to believe as the ship was beautiful, clean and well kept.
Embarkation was very quick and easy, we got there early, about 11:30 and we were on the ship by about 12:00. My husband wants me to mention that we took advantage of the valet parking, it was about $15.00 more but they parked the car right from the point that we dropped off our luggage and had the car waiting for us when we got back. Couldn't have been easier.
Lunch was on the Lido deck, my children were very happy because they could have pizza, french fries, hamburgers and hot dogs pretty much every day! Don't get me wrong, there was a WIDE variety of food in the Brasserie and ALL of it was delicious, we had a group of ten people and nobody had a single complaint about the food. Unlike the last person that posted, I also have a 17 year old son and he was quite happy with the food at the buffet.
We purchased the drink cards on the Lido deck when we arrived and also the reusable cups which came in handy for refills. I only wish that they had soda fountains in the Brasserie rather than having to go to one of the many bars to have your cup filled. (That is probably my one and only complaint and it was not really even a complaint, just a thought.)
The rooms were ready at 1:30 when they said that they would be. My room was set up for two singles but was quickly remedied by the room steward who changed the comforter and made it into a queen bed. Our room steward by the way was very efficient and nice. He even stopped me from trying to pick up my kids clothes when he went in to make up their room one morning, he said he would take care of everything and he did. All of their clothes were folded and beds made when we got back from breakfast.
There were so many activities and places to go on the ship that I don't even think that I got to do everything or see everything. My kids liked the big slide on the Lido deck but not the salt water in the pool but that didn't stop them from using it. My husband liked the casino, it was much bigger than I expected it to be. We enjoyed the shows in the Paris Lounge and had no trouble finding seats for any of them. The comedy show the second night was really good. The comedian for the last night of the cruise was not so good though. Overall the entertainment was enjoyable. Karaoke in the Candlelight lounge was pretty good too.
We made it a point to eat dinner in the dining room every night, we had the 8:00 seating. Our waitress and her assistant happened to be sisters from Bulgaria. They were the BEST! Very enthusiastic and pleasant. They remembered everyone's names and what we liked and they catered to us the entire cruise! The kids, my two youngest ones who wanted pizza or chicken nuggets for every meal got their wish and the waitress were wonderful to them especially. If you wanted to try two entrees they would bring you two. If you wanted six fruit appetizers, they would bring them to you. The food was SOOOO good and always arrived hot and timely.
In Cozumel we did the Unlimited Snorkel trip at Sunset Beach. It was fun but I kind of wish that we had gone to Paradise Beach for the day as I have heard so many nice things about that beach. We also took a taxi into town and went shopping. It was very hot and people were starting to board up their shops in anticipation of hurricane Emily so we went back to the ship after an hour or so. Luckily our ship left in plenty of time before Emily came anywhere near Cozumel.
The next day at sea was a little rocky because of Emily but nobody in our group was sea sick thankfully.
Debarkation was very smooth and easy. We did the relaxed debarkation where you put your luggage out the night before. We were off the ship and on our way by 9:30.
Our first cruise experience was VERY nice and I would travel on the Inspiration again. Anyone getting ready to cruise on this ship has nothing to worry about. They are in for a great time!