This 5 day cruise to Grand Caymen and Cozumel was a blast, and the perfect length for a first-time Carnival Cruiser. For the price we paid, under $350/person, it was well worth every cent.
The Oceanview room was great. I loved having the natural sunlight in our room and the ability to get a sneek peek at each port.
The waitstaff for dinner was fantastic... Dinner was an entertainment in itself. The food was good... similar to something you could get at Applebees or a popular food chain back home. I was not expecting lavish gormet meals... but was happy with the food.
Complaints: Bring a water bottle to fill up on free beverages in the buffet as soad and alcholic drinks are over priced and tipping is mandatory. Also, they seemed to be cleaning the pools and hot tubs all the time... sometimes during 'peek' hours... was not too happy with that. Plus, I was expecting a few more hot tubs and a larger pool, but we made the best of it. Our steward was a bit 'lazy' and unresponsive to requests, such as clean towels and we had to make our own bed on occasion. (But we shifted the tipping appropriately at the end of the cruise to make up for it, leaving a higher % to the waitstaff and less to the steward.) Other than those few things, it was great.
We did the reef'n'rays excersion in Grand Caymen, and the Ruins of Tulum tour in Cozumel. Both were amazing and well worth the money. With the Mayan Calendar ending in 2012, I recommend doing the Tulum tour. It is both educational and entertaining... and is a full day adventure.
Tampa is a nice city, and the people at the port were exceptionally quick, and friendly. We showed up early and got checked in right away. We were on the boat in under 2 hours, giving us the afternoon before setting sail to explore the ship and get some sun on the deck.
We will be leaving for another Carnival Cruise in Jan 2011. This time for 7 days in the Eastern Caribbean on Glory. I have no doubt that it will be even better than the Inspiration.
Tampa -Embark/Depart: 5
Fast, Friendly people. Tampa also had lots of activities to do before boarding, all within walling distance or a short trolly ride.
Grand Cayman: 3
Do an excersion... no close beaches or activities, unless you want to shop for expensive jewelry.
I love Cozumel. Amazing!