My husband and 2 kids ages 12 and 15 sailed on the Inspiration June 2013, and we had a great time! We sailed to Catalina Island and Ensenada. We were curious to know how this little ship would measure up to the bigger ships and we were not disappointed!
It was definitely smaller and older, with rust visible on the outside of the ship. The inside however, was well maintained. The floor plans were easy to navigate, and the dÃ©cor was nice, not too over the top. There is only one pool, but it was never full. (Probably because it was cold.) But the cold didnt stop me from jumping in! The jacuzzis were full, no surprise. At a certain point though, too many people in a little jacuzzi is gross.
Our stateroom, E5, was forward on the Empress deck, the same deck on which you board the ship during embarkation! It was so nice to board the ship and walk directly to the room. The room was small, and included two twin beds pushed together, an upper bunk and a mattress/cot on the floor. Not much room for clutter but with a little organization, we made it work. Plenty of room under the twin beds for extra storage! The three closets give ample room for clothes, shoes, etc. Bathroom was small too, but that is to be expected. Unfortunately, our toilet clogged . Luckily maintenance had it fixed within an hour.
The food was awesome, no complaints. We only ate breakfast in the restaurant once and the service was slow, but the eggs benedict were awesome! The breakfast buffet on the lido had all sorts of options as you could imagine. This ship also has a grill near the pool, and additional islands throughout the seating area with fruit, cheese, bread and deserts. The multiple places to get food kept the lines relatively short! The 24hr pizza place was ok. Until 1am they also had a grill open with hotdogs, hamburgers and fries. Very cool! For dinner in the restaurant we did anytime dining. Get there before 7pm to avoid long lines!
We saw both comedians adult and family shows. The audience seemed to think they were funny, but I slept through both. Literally. One of the comedians seemed more like a preacher, which is not my cup of tea. We missed the dance shows but from what I hear, they were great.
In Catalina, we booked our own excursion right on the pier. We rented a golf cart for 3 hours and followed a map provided by the rent co. It took us up into the Catalina Mountains and around the city. Its a great deal, but 3 hours was too much. If you rent a cart, 1-2 hours is plenty. This is a great way to see the city, and the map they provide shows you all the points of interest.
In Ensenada, we skipped the Carnival excursions as well and opted for a bus ride downtown. Buses were waiting as you got off the boat. It was only $4 a person and they provide rides back too. Be prepared, the vendors in Ensenada are everywhere come at you from every angle. Just politely say no thank you and they will leave you alone.
Both our kids ages 12 and 15 LOVED the kids clubs! They kept the kids busy with activities will into the night. Its free, and you do have to fill out waivers for the kids to attend. These clubs seemed to have more for the kids to do than even the bigger ships.
Getting off the boat took a few hours. Not sure what the hold up was, but it was a total drag. We ended up waiting in the show room since we could lay down on the
Overall I was very pleased with this trip. It was the perfect length for a quick get away, and the price was right.