This was our 2nd Carnival Cruise but the first time with our children. Our first cruise was 18 years ago on the Carnival Fantasy and we now wonder why we waited so long to take another cruise. Although the Inspiration is not one of the "newer" in the Carnival line it was well maintained, clean and the service, especially the wait staff, was fantastic.
The food in the main dining room was very good. We did not have one disappointing meal and ending with the Warm Chocolate Melting cake sealed the deal. The buffets were good but nothing extraordinary. We chose to have breakfast in the dining room each day and enjoyed the meals. The dining room was also less crowded for breakfast and very peaceful.
We spent much of our days at sea at the water slide for one of my 13 yr old twins. The other twin joined the "Circle C" group and we didn't see him until dinner and then after dinner he was back for evening activities. He also was the last one back to the cabin each evening well after midnight. Time on the ship was relaxing and we were never rushed like we are in our daily lives. The events at night like karaoke, revues and comedy shows were very entertaining.
We loved visiting the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. We opted not to take any excursions and ventured out on our own. We grabbed a cab on the dock at Grand Cayman with another family ($5pp) to a public beach and enjoyed the beautiful water, jet skiing, banana boats,etc. On Cozumel we took a cab($4pp)to Chankanaab
National Park where we snorkeled and enjoyed drinks and lunch under our private hut by the water. Snorkeling was great and very reasonable. Admission to the park is less expensive if you purchase your tickets in advance online (cost was $88 for 4 adults and 1 child). They also have sea lion shows, swimming with the dolphins and a large pool with kiddie area. We very much enjoyed our day in Cozumel and would love to return.
Embarkation and disembarking was quick and easy. Embarkation was especially quick. From the moment we drove up to the valet until the time we were on the ship was less than 15 minutes. Tampa has this process locked up. I wouldn't hesitate leaving from there in the future...especially with young children who are impatient and eager to begin their vacation.
Only criticism was the pool area. The ship had the water slide park which are sprays and slides that we loved for our kids. The "resort" pool was small and although finding a lounge chair was never a problem, there was never any room in the pool. This was just a small criticism and maybe next time we will try a ship with 2 pools.
Overall, the experience was wonderful and we already are planning our next family cruise.