My husband and I just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Inspiration. We sailed from Tampa, Florida. This was our second cruise, our previous cruise was a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Canavaral on the Carnival Glory.
We arrived at the Port of Tampa and although it was crowded, we managed to get through the process fairly easily. From what I could tell the terminal was not as big as the one in Port Canavaral or it seemed that way. The staff in the terminal were friendly.
Once arriving on the Inspiration, we walked around the familiarize ourselves with the ship. Then we went to the Brasserie restaurant on the Lido deck to have lunch. The variety on the buffet was good and we were satisfied. We went down to our cabin later and our luggage had arrived.
The muster drill was somewhat different on the Inspiration than what we experienced on the Glory but it went smoothly. Then we sailed away.
Dining: Hats off to the dining room for their wonderful service. We chose the "open seating" option so we were at different tables each night. All the wait staff was good but Francis was our favorite waiter. We asked for him on the last two nights. My husband has food allergies so the hostess came over each night to let him select his meal for the following evening. The dining room made his food to order avoiding his allergies. He didn't have a problem at any meal, everything was prepared beautifully.
Cabin: Our our previous cruise we were on the Riveria deck (bottom) but this time we moved up 2 decks to the Upper deck. We chose Aft and it was convenient to the Lido deck and the buffet/pizza, etc. This cruise we had an inside cabin and a king bed. We had plenty of closet/drawer space. I did miss not having a window but my husband actually liked it better. Our cabin stewards kept everything clean the entire time and were very responsive to our needs. The only problem we had was the lady standing in the hallway with her child pitching a fit and waking us up at 6:00 a.m. but that was certainly no fault of the crew.
Entertainment: We took in one of the comedy shows and the commedian was funny. We don't care for the Adult show because we don't like the bad language so we took in the family friendly show. We went to the "Shout" show in the Paris lounge on the last night and it was very good.
One thing that was surprising was that Bingo cards were $20 a piece (a card with 3 bingo on it). Unless my memory is bad, I seem to remember they were $10 each on the Glory 3 years ago. We did get a chuckle out of this only little boy who went up and got a card and then came back to his dad and said, "The cards are free dad, all you have to do is show them your card!"
Facilities: We spent a good bit of time on the Serenity deck (adults only) and enjoyed the peace and quiet and being able to read and relax. Our only suggestion for the Serenity deck is if they could put a couple of ceiling fans on the upper part of the area just to provide some air flow.
I realize the Inspiration is a smaller ship but I wasn't thrilled with the fact that there was only 1 pool. I like hot tubs as much as the next person but 1 pool and 4 hot tubs just didn't work for me. Someone told me that they removed a pool on the top deck and replaced it with a putt putt course. The interesting thing was that you could only play putt putt from 8am-8pm. It was really hot during the day so playing in the evening would have worked better. Anyway, it would have been nice to have another pool.
We found the Inspiration crew to be friendly and helpful.