Just a quick review of our recent Inspiration cruise! I had all intentions of taking notes as we went through the week... but didn't take the first one! So this is all from memory...
Embarkation: I have to say, without a doubt, this is the easiest embarkation we have ever had! From the time our in-laws dropped us off till we were on the Lido deck was maybe 20 minutes! I also have to mention that we had heard horror stories about the security catching all of the smuggled alcohol..... We had our two bottles of wine in my shoulder bag that weren't even looked at... and in our rolling suitcase; we had a 12-pack of water, a gallon of light fruit punch and a 2-liter of diet coke. The security girl opened the suitcase, looked at the fruit punch to ensure it was sealed and picked up the water and shook it... never even looked at the diet coke...we did manage to smuggle in some alcohol - but i don't want to say here how we did it (cause I want to do it again next year). If you are curious... send me a message....
Ship, food, etc: No complaints whatsoever about the ship itself - occasionally there would be a faint odor in some hallways, but it never lasted and wasn't horrible. Everything was clean and fresh. Staff and crew were fantastic - always had a smile on their faces. We had breakfast and lunch at the Buffet and Dinner in the MDR (Carnivale Dining Room late Seating) every day. Food was good. I had lap band surgery earlier this year, so I didn't eat a lot - in fact, I actually lost 3 pounds on the cruise - but what I did eat was good. DH and our friends tried some of the Didja foods and had mixed reviews. Biggest disappointment was with the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Let me start by saying this is one of the things my DH looks forward to the most on the cruise - he always orders it every night for dessert! I don't really care for it but do like to sometimes dip my fruit in his! As expected he ordered it every night, but for the first time on any cruise, it was way overdone all but one night. As in it was a cake, not a melting cake - not even possible to dip my fruit in at all! Again, small disappointment, but a disappointment nonetheless!
I was a little disappointed in the Serenity area - I was expecting a larger area with a few more seats. There were no clamshells or hammocks - only loungers and a few regular chairs under the cover. The two hot tubs were nice there - but so incredibly hot they weren't really refreshing in my opinion. That being said, there was one night after dinner that DH and I went up there to look at the stars and fell asleep for a good 20 minutes, so it was relaxing!
Our friends who went with us are trivia buffs - so generally if there was a trivia game going on anywhere on the ship, they were there! In fact, together the six of us won 5 ships on a stick from trivia! We enjoyed the bartenders (Perri from Thailand) at the Violins bar most every afternoon and evening and spent time in each of the other bars throughout the cruise.
One of my most anticipated things to do was Superstar Live! Karaoke.... And it didn't disappoint at all! We were able to participate in 2 of the 3 sessions and got to sing 2-3 songs each! While the song selection was limited, we had no problem finding songs to sing and the thrill of singing before a live band was awesome! Wren, the hostess, did a great job of making you feel comfortable and providing some backup singing as needed! Regular karaoke will never be the same again!
Ports: Our ports were Grand Cayman and Cozumel, both of which we had visited before. Grand Cayman was not a favorite - we aren't into snorkeling or sea creatures.... So we didn't book an excursion. We did take the tender to the port and walked around a bit, but after having 2 drinks in a beachside bar for a total of $21....decided to head back to the ship where drinks were cheaper (never thought I'd ever say drinks were cheaper on the ship!). Our friends never got off the ship here - they waited for 30 minutes for a tender before giving up and spending the afternoon on the Lido deck.
Cozumel was great - we went to Nachi Cocum and had a wonderful afternoon - even though it rained most of the day. The staff there kept the drinks flowing and the food was great!
Conclusion: This was a great cruise! Other than a few minor disappointments and the weather, which Carnival has no control over, I wouldn't change a thing! We'll definitely be back on board a Carnival ship next year - in fact, we bought a Future Cruise Certificate to ensure we'll be back!