Recently returned from Carnival Inspiration 4 night Baja CA cruise. Here’s a little review.
We’ve cruised on other lines; however this is our first Carnival Cruise.
EMBARKATION. Arrived at port at 12:30. No lines for check-in. Room would be ready at 1:30. Went to Lido deck for buffet lunch. Scheduled departure was 5:30, but we actually didn’t depart until closer to 6:30. Later overhead a couple of officers discussing that someone was apparently supposed to be on our cruise that was of interest to Homeland Security. Don’t know whole story, or outcome. But, since we had all night to make our first port of call (Catalina) there really wasn’t a problem leaving late.
ROOM: In comparison to our other cruises, this room is smaller, with less storage space. Only 4 small drawers in the desk, 2 ½ shelves in closet (1/2 shelf taken up with safe, and 2 hanging cabinets (those we had plenty of space in). Bathroom only has small shelf under mirror, so had to use one of the shelves in the regular closet for “bathroom stuff”. Since there were only 2 of us, we pretty much used all the storage space there. Our room does have bed space for 3, but I think it would be pretty crowded. Also, apparently your room is not where they want you to spend any time, as the only chairs in there were one dining room style chair and a stool under the desk. No comfy chairs or sofa. All that said, the room was clean and room steward was responsive to my request for an ice bucket, and he kept it filled. Biggest issue with the room was the constant droning of an engine 24/7. Not sure what it was, but it ran all day, all night.
ENTERTAIMENT: Only had 2 shows, Motor City and Studio VIP. I thought Motor City was petty good. Studio VIP, not as much. Both had outstanding costuming and stage sets, but VIP had multiple flashing extreme strobe light effects that made it difficult to watch the performances. Motor City was performed twice (first night and last night). Beyond that, the other 2 nights they did a show (not really a show) called Hasbro Game show. It’s basically a game show format based on Hasbro games. We like to go to piano bars when cruising, so were eager to attend this one. There were very few scheduled and short times at the piano bar. We were able to attend one evening for about 15 minutes before dinner and enjoyed the performer (Billy). Went back later for the late night sing-along. Wow, quite a difference! Not particularly full, but very loud crowd. And the innuendos during the dialogue parts of the performance were not really our taste. The last night there were (according to the FunTimes) 2 performances that we would be able to attend (not sing-alongs), but neither one of them occurred. We took the Behind the Fun Tour. Very informative and we enjoyed it a lot. There were only 10 of us on the tour and I would recommend it to anyone. We probably would do it again. We saw crew areas (training, dining, free time areas). We also went to the ships’ laundry, engine control room (had a stabilizer alert while we were there), dining rooms, galley, backstage (met dance captain and lighting tech), bridge (met Captain and had picture taken). At each location an officer would talk to us about what they do there. It took about 3 hours. Also received surprise gifts after the tour was over.
PORTS: We didn’t do any excursions in either port (Catalina, Ensenada). We just got off the ship and walked around a bit. Weather was fairly chilly (well, it’s February).
FOOD: I realize that food is totally subjective, and we’re certainly not food critics, but I was disappointed. Everything that had any kind of liquid part to it (sauces, gravies, syrup) was thin and watery. Not a lot of flavor on anything, except for the Caribbean Spiced pork at the buffet. The shrimp on my sweet & sour shrimp entrée tasted very “fishy”. We had the American Table menu. While I haven’t experienced what the “old” menus were, based on our experience on other lines, I prefer having a menu that the chef has set up what he/she considers a complete dish. Having to “build” my own plate from the menu on the American Table menu seems much more trouble. The Warm Chocolate Melting Cake was great (had it twice). But I missed being able to have any crème brulee desserts.
DISEMBARKATION: We did self assist, as our zone number placed us as the last group to be disembarked, and we were concerned that would cause an additional days charge at the parking lot (and the time difference between when we had to vacate our room to the estimated zone departure time was going to be 3 hours). We got up early and ate breakfast, returning to our room prior to the 8:30 time that they request that we be out of the room. We went the Paris Lounge to wait for our self assist call (supposed to be 9:30). We were actually called about 9:00. Out to get our car and home by 10:00.