Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by fhixon: First Time Cruiser...expected more
Overall Member Rating
First Time Cruiser...expected more
Embarkation: Los Angeles
This was a first cruise for myself and my children. My husband had traveled on many cruises when he was a child and had expectations that this cruise would live up to his memories Our children are 12 and 14 years old. They chose to not participate in the the teen club so spent much of their time in their rooms playing on their iPhones -which they could have done at home for free. Had they participated in the Teen Club and made friends, they would have had a more fun.
We had chosen to eat at 6:00 in the Carnivale dining room. Our waiter was good - but not great. If we asked for a soda it took a while to get it- if he remembered. I ordered the Prime Rib on Elegant dining night. I opted to have the "juice" poured on it. It was really gravy and ruined the flavor of the prime rib. I would recommend not getting the "juice". The macaroni and cheese with bacon was good as well as the mashed potatoes. I am not an adventurous eater so not the best to give an opinion. I had read reviews More about the wait staff bringing all the food at once to the table. Our waiters did not. They did a good job serving us. On the last night, I had ordered a baked potato with sour cream. The sour cream never arrived and my son was given the wrong entree. The waiter was quick to bring the correct order.
We stayed in rooms M78 and M74 - adjoining rooms. The beds were very comfortable. It is difficult to adjust the temperature in the rooms. Even when I thought we had closed the fan on the ceiling all the way, it was still cold in the room. Naturally the rooms are small, but having nothing to compare them to, they were what I expected. I seemed to be the only one who had trouble keeping the water in the shower stall and not on the bathroom floor. All the floors have drains in them in the bathroom, so I suspect it is a common problem. We accidentally set the smoke alarm off in our room twice with the steam coming from the bathroom - so make sure to keep the bathroom door closed. The fire marshals were quick to respond when the alarm went off.
Overall, the experience was ok for our first cruise. Had we been able to go ashore in Catalina Island it may have been better. Ensenada is also not a very nice town, so a better Mexican town to stop in would have also been much better. I am glad we didn't pay extra for any excursions. We would have been forced to brave the waves to get to Catalina Island and in Mexico- the weather was chilly so scuba diving or any outdoor actives would have not been pleasant.
I would say I would go on another cruise, but not on this ship nor to these locations. We choose this particular cruise so we could stay a few days longer in California and take the kids to Disneyland. Less
Read more Carnival Inspiration cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Carnival Inspiration Review >>
Cabin review: M78, M74
Cabins were in a good location. Quiet and for the most part comfortable. Temperature was typically cold in the room. The rooms were clean and our room staff friendly and helpful.
Port and Shore Excursions
It was very windy the day we landed at Catalina Island so we opted not to take our chances on the small boats into the island. We could see them from our room and they looked like they were about to tip over. We had heard from others that there were just a few shops and not much to do. We didn't go so we cannot give our own opinion. One group we had heard from did the city tour and learned interesting facts about the island- they really seemed to like that tour.
We did leave the boat for a short walk around Ensenada, Mexico. It is definitely not a resort town- the comedian we attended that night joked that he had asked the cab driver to take him to the nicest part of Ensenada and the cab driver drove him back to the boat. That is not far from the truth. I had overheard a mom talking on the bus ride back to the boat about how she and her son had brought several bags of toys then took a cab to a poor part of Ensenada and handed out the toys. She wanted her child to see how these children live to appreciate how lucky he is to live in the USA. That is a great idea. I wish I had thought of that. Our kids definitely would have benefited from that.
Ensenada is a very poor Mexican town. We were going to pay $15 each to take a bus to the part of town that had many shops. However, we opted not to as the line to get on this bus was formed outside the bus we took from the ship. It was very unorganized and didn't seem to move after 15 minutes. We decided to forget it and head back to the boat.
We'll do it again!
Literal nightmare on Riviera d...