My family, me, husband, 12 year old, 18 year old and my mom are back from a really nice cruise aboard the Inspiration. We enjoyed the 4 ports of call and wished we could have stayed longer in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We were surprised by the poverty in Belize. Costa Maya was not much better. The port area was nice there. We went on the Cave Tubing in Belize which I booked online for $60, much less than ship price of $89 and the group was 14 instead of 50 people. The ride to the caves was 1 hour 15 minutes over rough roads and then over very rough dirt road for the last 25 minutes. Caves were very interesting and the walk was not too strenuous. 12 year old girl got very cold during the last part of cave which was windy and the water is about 70 degrees. But all in all a great trip.
We also booked a snorkel trip through same company. It was on a sail boat. We went to sting ray city and 2 other spots. Group was small and guide was informative. Sting rays were amazing and everywhere. Again saved money vs ship. The trip we enjoyed the most was at Cozumel to the state park - Chankanaab Park. The park was beautiful!! We took a taxi ride $15 for 5 over and $20 back?? Entrance to the park was $12 each. They had beautiful beaches with chairs and huts & trees for shade. We had all our own snorkel equipment so we just went right in the beautiful blue water. There were millions of fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. Lots of coral and sea fans. We walked down to the far end of the beach away from the crowds. The botanical gardens were great and many flowers. Showers and bathrooms facilities were nice. We didn't do the dolphin encounters because of cost. Several people said it was really wonderful to swim with them. Just too expensive for us. We really enjoyed the day at the beach - just needed more time.
We liked the food on the Inspiration. However, breakfast was the same day after day on Lido deck. Lunch was varied but mostly strange for southern tastes. The salad bar was great with lots of fresh fruit. We liked the grill out near the pool for hamburgers, dogs, chicken and fries. Of course the ice cream machine was great. My husband and son enjoyed the free sushi bar. Dinners were acceptable. They seemed to care more about presentation than taste sometimes. We liked trying the different meats and fish. Duck, lobster, shrimp, scallops, and lots of steak were tried by all of us. We also tried different appetizers. Most everything was good we just craved some vegetables from home.
The casino was small and very smokey. The rooms were average size for that size ship. Cabin steward was wonderful-kept our room spotless. The maitre d' changed our dinner time to the last seating which was at 8:30. We loved it because some of the nights we were just back from port. We had time to relax and get a nap and then get ready for dinner. Also got to see the sunset every night. It was beautiful... There were 2 formal nights. Everyone was varied in degree and style of dressiness. Some prom dresses, evening gowns but mostly just nice dresses and shirt and tie. (even some nice pant suits). Waiter staff was very attentive. They brought us everything we wanted or needed. Including too much to eat most nights...
The Inspiration is showing her age. I noticed it more because we cruised on Carnival Spirit in Alaska last year. That is a newer much nicer ship. My mom and daughter did not notice as much as they had not been on any other ship. There was lots of wear in the elevators, some broken and chipped tiles, scratches on the brassy work all around the promenade area. It was not dirty by any means, the staff was constantly shining, vacuuming, painting, cleaning everywhere. Definitely a clean ship, just a little worn. We never went in the pools because they were crowded and sea water. We just waited for the ocean snorkel trips. Good first time/value cruise. Price and ports were what attracted us. Also out of Tampa, drivable from Atlanta.