I just got back from my first sailing with the Carnival Inspiration. This was also my first experience with Carnival all together. I did this sailing as a part of a group booking with a large group of friends. Now I didn't pick this particular cruise and I will admit that was a little skeptical about going on because Carnival has gotten a lot of bad PR lately. I had also read reviews on this site prior to sailing and they were overwhelmingly mixed.
As a whole, the trip was a lot of fun because I had a great time with my friends. As for the Carnival Inspiration itself, I'll just say that it was decent.
Now I will say that I actually am a pretty easy person to please. You put me in warm weather with a drink in my hands and good friends in company, and it is impossible for me to have a bad time. My only other cruise experience was with the Norwegian Gem, and I had an absolute blast on it. Just great overall satisfaction. The entire time on the Carnival Inspiration, I was struggling to find some of the same great qualities. Here's a break down:
The food: Satisfying overall. No complaints here. The waitstaff were extremely friendly and warm. Can't say I didn't like any of the food, but there wasn't a meal where I was blown away.
The Layout of the ship: A bit confusing. But of course, you're able to find stuff with trial and error.
Just a few gripes:
- The drain in our shower was clogged the whole week and filled up the whole time.
- A few of the staff members (non-food service) were a bit rude to some of my friends for undeserved reasons.
- Lack of entertainment and activities. For a group of 20-somethings, from 8-11 at night there was nothing to do besides the casino. The club was taken over by teens until 11 (I wish they had a separate one for them). There were only a few nights where the cover band played and the area they played wasn't exactly much of a dance area. We also wished there were more nightly game shows/activities for adults).
- Pool was too small. The whole week we stayed on the back deck near the slides. My biggest gripe with that is that I wished they had music playing back there on the speakers because there wasn't any at all.
- I knew the Inspiration was an older ship, but it didn't handle the motion of the ocean very well. Pretty bouncy.
Other than that, it was still a fun time. But as my first Carnival experience, I just think it was a little too kid/family oriented and not that great for 20-somethings. I would say I prefer Norwegian more.