9 Carnival Inspiration Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
1. Being disabled & in a wheelchair, they have you waiting for hours to disembark when we should go 1st for medical reasons. 2. They ran out of luggage tags and we couldn't get our luggage checked. They use to slide the tags under ... Read More
1. Being disabled & in a wheelchair, they have you waiting for hours to disembark when we should go 1st for medical reasons. 2. They ran out of luggage tags and we couldn't get our luggage checked. They use to slide the tags under the door along with your bill. 3. The food is terrible and not cooked thoroughly. This was my wife & I 4th cruise and will be our last. The room was very warm and usually the air conditioning would be cold. The Internet was ridiculous & didn't work at all. 4. The Captain's dinner was nasty & it seemed like the cook rushed to make the food. The shrimp looked & tasted as if came out of a box and was like school cafeteria food. Carnival cruise ship is going down the pits!! If you're thinking about leaving from the port of Long Beach or Los Angels, save your money!! The parking lot spaces for disabled is also RIDICULOUS Only 8 handicap spaces available. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted a short getaway to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. This would be our 4th cruise for 2018, having just returned in June from a 3 week Oceania Tahiti cruise. We have cruise about 50 cruises, on almost all lines. What a ... Read More
We wanted a short getaway to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. This would be our 4th cruise for 2018, having just returned in June from a 3 week Oceania Tahiti cruise. We have cruise about 50 cruises, on almost all lines. What a difference a good cruise director can make! Connor was called in to take over- this was his first cd gig. He was fresh & so fun & excited, you just had to have fun! Verses some "veterans" who do the same tired lines for many years, and it shows. This was our 3rd getaway on carnival, plus many on Princess & RCI. True, this is a party cruise with alot of drinking,but with tight security I didn't see any problems (just a loud crowd!). Probably had more drunks on NCL with the "free" beverage package. Having just been on Oceania (know for their excellent culinary program) I wasn't expecting much, but was again pleasantly surprised. Some of the meals I'd compare with Oceanina, some obviously not quite up to Oceania. However, had some bad food on Oceania also. Was very happy with the menu choices, as most days had 3-4 things I really wanted to try. Had prime rib, salmon, stuffed mushrooms, escargot, shrimp cocktails & best crab cakes ever! As ship is older not many balconies, so for a short cruise the oceanview worked fine. Think our cabin had more storage space than our balcony cabin on Oceania. Room steward was just as attentive. Cabin & bathroom was very minimal. DH big complaint was no room thermostat- had to stand on bed to turn ac vent open/closed! Although it is obvious it is an older ship with alot of hard use, the maintenance program seems to be keeping it "ship-shape". Embarkation & disembarkation was easiest of any ship we have been on. Their new terminal (opened late Jan this year) really makes you fee like you are already on vacation. Not like Miami- where you are so stressed out by the time you get to your cabin it takes a full day just to unwind. Our only port was Ensenada, which is why we went. We like the winery tour- and it was almost a private tour- only 1 other couple on the morning tour! The guide at La Cetto spoke bad English, but answered all our questions. Tasting was excellent, as always. They have cleaned up the other winery, but it has not lost its charm. What a bargain- 1/2 day tour, 2 wine tastings, food at each, & a bottle of cab to take home- for $50! . Overall, if looking for value choose Carnival! If don't want to have fun- just relax & money is no object- Oceania is fine. PS- DH has mobility issues, and Carnival was exceptional in that respect also. Whereas on Oceania, as everyone had mobility issue- it was more of a hindrance there! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have never really been that interested in a cruise, yet my aging mother wanted to go on one and this seemed like the easiest way to try a short, relatively inexpensive cruise. I love Mexico, and generally would rather go there and spend ... Read More
I have never really been that interested in a cruise, yet my aging mother wanted to go on one and this seemed like the easiest way to try a short, relatively inexpensive cruise. I love Mexico, and generally would rather go there and spend time doing and seeing things there, not on a boat. With very rare exception, I give the Carnival folks a 5/5 for attitude and training -- from booking to debarkation, everyone was very helpful and kind. My mother has mobility issues and gets a little confused now and then -- the room we received was perfect, close to the center of the ship, customer service and the embarkation ramp. The booking agent knew exactly what she was doing. The dock staff helped her on with a wheelchair, even though we did not use one during the trip. When I was out of the room, and got up from a nap and got a little lost, forgetting her key, the crew got her back with no trouble. The cabin was smallish, but it was fine -- it was all we needed, and the beds were comfortable. The food was generally good, with one exception. On the first night, we ate at our assigned dining room and it was not good -- everything was steamed -- floppy calamari, squishy steak, lukewarm lava cake with melted ice cream. Honestly, I wasn't going to say anything, I just figured that was what it was. The hamburger we had eaten at the burger stand was so much better, I figured we could find good enough food. I decided to mention my disappointment, and the staff from the Pride dining room urged us to try again. I am so glad I did. The next two nights' dinners were great, and waiters Jovaneh and Octavian were the best. We just got a team's bad day the first night. Another highlight for us was the comedy show, specifically Jodi White -- both the family and adult shows. The other comic, her husband Dale, was also very good. We went every night to at least one comedy show. We had a good day in Ensenada. I would not put it near the top of the list of Mexican cities I like to visit, but it was OK for a day trip and a little goofy souvenir shopping. I am not sure I am going to be going on a lot of cruises in the future, yet based on the high quality of service from this Carnival crew I would definitely try it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over 15 ... Read More
We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over 15 cruises so far). We sail primarily with Disney and have done a few with Royal Caribbean. The cruise overall was okay. It wasn't spectacular but for under $1k for 4 people for 3 nights and 4 days with food included, you really can't expect too much. We went knowing that it was a small/older ship and adjusted our expectations accordingly. We really enjoyed Guy's Burgers and the Mexican place (Blue Iguana) by the pool. We ate there every day for lunch. The food at the buffet was VERY limited and not exactly our taste so we never ate there. Food during dinner at the main dining restaurant was fine. Nothing out of this world memorable, but it wasn't bad. CONS - Some areas of the ship are not accessible by wheelchair. Our 11 year old son is special needs and there was no way we could get him to the mini golf area in his wheelchair. We had to carry him up the stairs. - Waterworks was cool BUT, the water is NOT heated and is pretty cold. The main pools are warm so I didn’t really quite understand why they wouldn’t warm up the water in the water slides area. Because the water was too cold, not many kids were there. - Senior crew members are nice and friendly but there are many newbies who are clueless. I lost count how many times I asked a crew member a question and was given the wrong information or he/she simply said, “I don’t know” - LIMITED family friendly activities - The DRUNKS!!!! (there were so many of them). This was a party cruise no doubt! PROS - Kids club counselors are awesome. They really do a great job keeping the kids entertained. I would say that Carnival runs their kids program very similar to RCCL. Our 5 year old daughter enjoyed her time there. - Main dining room crew really do try to go above and beyond. We had a great headwaiter who catered to all our dining room needs and he even played with our children (always a plus for us). - Spa staff was knowledgeable and friendly Our very first cruise was with Disney and it was that experience that got us hooked into cruising. We tend to gravitate towards cruise lines/ships that cater to FAMILIES. My husband and I were talking about our cruise experiences with different lines and I think what makes Disney our absolute favorite and what truly sets them apart from the rest of the pack is the lasting impression they leave their guests. Most cruise lines cater and provide service for the “masses” while Disney focuses on PERSONALIZED service. Granted, DCL does charge WAY MORE so it’s a give and take. If this would have been our first cruise, I don’t know we’d be enticed to cruise again any time soon. But with Disney, the first impression they left our family was so incredible that we couldn’t wait to book our next cruise with them while still onboard their ship! Lastly, would we do this cruise again? Yes, if the price was right and the timing was perfect (ie: long weekend where the kids don’t have to miss school). Cruising is our preferred way to vacation. We like the convenience and offers our special needs son the flexibility he needs when travelling so whether its with Disney, Carnival or RCCL, we will continue to see and travel the world by sea =) If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We used to love this ship, but once we got on board, we found it had changed. Just came from a 4-day cruise and dad to say, the ship isn't as good as I remembered. We boarded and went to our inside cabin in the empress deck, only ... Read More
We used to love this ship, but once we got on board, we found it had changed. Just came from a 4-day cruise and dad to say, the ship isn't as good as I remembered. We boarded and went to our inside cabin in the empress deck, only to be met with a giant fan and the odor of mold.we could smell it on The odd cabin wing, not as much on the even cabin hall. We immediately went to guest services and asked to be moved. They told us to wait until after muster drill, when they would have an idea of which cabins would be available. We were stuck dragging our carry on bags around the ship all afternoon I went to the welcome aboard lecture and won a raffle of various gift shop items. After we went to anytime dining, Daphne found us and said she had a cabin available for us. I would have to fold my walker to bring it in at night. The steward had to separate the beds, but that didn't take long, We just collapsed for the night and unpacked. The next morning, we confused the staff of the breakfast, because our names were still attached to the other cabin. Our orders were delayed because they had to defrost the eggs (shouldn't that have been done before we got there, or were we the only passengers to order them?) Watched a bit of Miami based tv stations and realized that they had removed many channels, including ESPN and TCM. Went to TrivIa, which was now held at the atrium lounge, instead of the casino bar. Very few as on a stick given out this cruise. The best Trivia game was show tunes from Broadway and movies. Matthew is an excellent singer. The Cruise Director, Brittany, is on her first term as a CD, and she tries, but can be a little erratic. She chose me as the leader of the women's team in the gender showdown, but when we did the freeze frame competition, she asked every team member what they were doing in the freeze except me (hello, the captain?). Even the audience noticed. Finally, her assistant, working with the men's team, asked me, which gave one of the men a chance to change his pose/character, so they won. After the problem with our cabin, we were comped free meals and a bottle of wine, which we took advantage of on Wednesday night. We ordered the lobster, but it was broiled, not boiled, making it tough and hard to cut. I enjoyed the Motown and VIP shows, although we have seen them many times (mom was even chosen twice to participate in them). There were technical issues with the Motown show (first the taped music cut out and the performers tried to perform a cappella before leaving the stage. Later, one of the lead singers was given a dead hand mike, and instead of turning on her head Mike until the problem was fixed, she continued to sing). Finally, one of the performers had a problem with the zipper on the back of her costume. I participated in the Motown name that tune, and sang My Guy (Mary Wells), which I'd never sung before, although I love karaoke. It was fun. Slots were right and my favorites were in the smoking section. I'm not even sure they have a Non smoking area. We never saw a photographer in the MDR, just a table magician who never came near us. I ended up using my OBC for tips and a drink and in the casino. Disambiguation was smooth, no customs forms, and wheelchair assistance got us off the ship by 9:00 am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is the second time I cruise out of Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada, the first time being on the Ecstasy. This time I went with my best friend who is wheel-chair bound. Her father dropped us at the Long Beach cruise ... Read More
This is the second time I cruise out of Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada, the first time being on the Ecstasy. This time I went with my best friend who is wheel-chair bound. Her father dropped us at the Long Beach cruise terminal, and we were directed by a very friendly employee to a different line. We bypassed the long line straight to a counter for passengers who required special assistance. Our check in took only a couple of minutes and we were on our way. We arrived at the port at around 1:00 p.m. and were able to board the ship and straight to our cabin. Cabin: Cabin E65 is a handicapped accessible room on deck 7 (Empress Deck) where passengers board the ship. That was a big plus for us as we were literally a couple of steps away from our room . . . but, being right by the atrium is not pleasing at night when you're trying to sleep and are able to hear everything that goes on ouside your door, from the music playing in the atrium, the rambunctious crowd to people walking by your door talking loudly. It didn't bother my friend or me in the least, but I personally prefer the Riviera deck as it's much quieter, but Carnival has no accessible cabins on the lower decks. Meals: It was always a bit of a challenge for my friend and I when trying to eat at the buffet. I would have to help my friend with her food, find a table, leave her there while I again got in line for my food, go back to the table with my plate, and then go back for drinks. By the time I was ready to eat, her food would be cold, and she hated to eat while I was still getting my food. On embarkation day we opted to eat out on deck, but it was uncomfortably chilly so we ended having all of our lunches inside. Our room steward, Ronaldo, was the sweetest, politest steward I have ever met during any of my cruises. He knocked on our door before the muster drill to inform us that we should head on to our muster station, which happened to be the Paris lounge, before people started using the elevators and make it almost impossible to use them. When we got to our muster station there was a young lady going around making sure that all the passengers in the handicap cabins actually needed special assistance. My friend's name was on the list, and we were directed to stay in the lounge as everybody else was taken to the lifeboats. We were told that in case of a real emergency, someone would be actively looking for us. The Food: After the muster drill we headed to our assigned dining room, Carnivale, for dinner and to meet our table companions. I'm not fond of eating with strangers, but our tablemates were very friendly and sociable. The next morning we had the Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat breakfast which was really good and inexpensive. For a nominal fee of $5 per person you get to enjoy a really nice breakfast in the Carnivale dining room which is transformed to all things Cat in the Hat. The decorations are beautiful and picture opportunities abound. Although it's catered to children, my friend and I really had a nice time. We had made reservations to eat the the Chef's table, and it was the highlight of our cruise. Our reservation was for the same day as our Dr. Seuss breakfast, our day at sea. I received a letter that was left underneath our door informing us of the time and place. We were to meet by the bar in the atrium and when we got there, there was a waitress waiting for the group. We were all welcomed with a glass of champagne, but I don't drink alcohol so she served me ginger ale instead. If you've never done the chef's table and have some money to splurge, go for it! I did it once, enjoyed it to the fullest, but I'll never do it again. First, it's too expensive. I paid $172 for two people, which included a 12% gratuity. At first I said, "ouch" to the tip, but after everything was said and done, I realized that the people that tended to the group for 3 hours really work hard for their money. Second, you're fed so much food, you can easily go into a food coma. It starts in the galley where you're given some appetizers, all delicious by the way; then you're given a tour of the galley where you bump into the employees who are so very friendly. You are given a demo on how to make hot chocolate cake, but no sampling. I was extremely impressed with the service. I was ready to push my friend's wheelchair for the duration of the event, but little did I know that they had assigned someone to be her personal assistant. I wasn't allowed to push her wheelchair which made it so much enjoyable for me. The group consisted of 9 people and we were escorted to the library, which was set up, oh, so beautifully. We took a group picture, and then looked for our names, sat down, and the feast began. I can't even begin to explain how delicious everything was. It was a total of 7 or 8 plates, all with small portions, but so filling. The champagne and wine kept coming, but I only drank water. If you decide to do the chef's table DO NOT EAT DURING THE DAY!!!! You'll regret it and it will be wasted money. We had a good, hearty breakfast with Dr. Seuss, but didn't have anything else to eat until dinnertime, and by that time, our stomachs were grumbling. Dinner lasted about 3 hours. . . it was too much food, but so delicious. The shows in the Paris lounge were very good, and I especially enjoyed the last night's performance. I can't say much about the ports visited because we didn't get off the ship, and it was nice having the ship to ourselves, so to speak. Disembarking the ship was a bit of a hassle, but because my friend uses a wheel chair, we were able to cut the line . . . somewhat, but I know that there were unhappy passengers complaining about how unorganized everything was. It took us longer to disembark the ship than to board it. All in all, it was my friend's first cruising experience and she loved it. It's my 6th cruise with Carnival, and I was given a bottle of water and two pins. It was an inexpensive Spring break vacation, and although we didn't leave the ship, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second cruise on board the Inspiration. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. This trip my in-laws came with us in a separate cabin. My mother-in-law turned her ankle during the muster drill during a freak accident. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on board the Inspiration. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. This trip my in-laws came with us in a separate cabin. My mother-in-law turned her ankle during the muster drill during a freak accident. The medical staff was great. I don't know why, but I confuse fore and aft on this ship a lot, but not on others. That's probably more my fault than theirs. The ship is very clean and we saw people cleaning all over the ship on a regular basis. The food in the MDR was good, except the first night. The service in the MDR was excellent. That night none of the dishes really appealed to me. We ate in the Lido regularly and found it very good. The lines were long, but moved quickly. Our stateroom was clean and our stewards were the best I've ever had. They regularly asked what towel animals my kids would most like to see and they made them. We enjoyed the shows much more this trip than last year. Last year it seemed like they had 3 days worth of shows for a 5 day cruise. This year they had ample shows, comedians, etc for the full cruise. The comedians were very funny. Again this year was better than last year. Last year we complained about the long line at the Camp Carnival check-in as a result of people not pre-filling out their paperwork and then doing it one at a time at the check-in. That situation has been resolved and I never was more than 3rd in line to drop my kids off or pick them up. My kids loved going to camp carnival and even asked to go during the day this year. They especially wanted to do the Night Owls party, which we allowed. My 6 year old stayed out until 1am and my 9 year old stayed out until 3am. They loved every second and didn't want to leave even at those late hours. The counselors were great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
With years of being an ocean liner nostalgic (reading dozens of books on the golden age of transatlantic liners of a bygone era), I boarded the Carnival Inspiration with mixed feelings. This ship was the one chosen by the group I traveled ... Read More
With years of being an ocean liner nostalgic (reading dozens of books on the golden age of transatlantic liners of a bygone era), I boarded the Carnival Inspiration with mixed feelings. This ship was the one chosen by the group I traveled with, a mixed group of Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks, hearing family members with a Deaf relative, and ASL interpreters. I was most curious to see how Carnival would handle staff/crew interaction with Deaf guests using ASL on a daily basis - and to see how Deaf-friendly the cabins would be. This cruise was part one of a three-part vacation, and out of three hotels and one ship cabin, it is clear that the ADA has a long way to go when concerning Deaf guests. Giddy with the prospect of boarding a realio trulio ship after touring the RMS Queen Mary several years prior, I was among the first to board the 4-day cruise out of Tampa with a port of call in Cozumel. Once I was on board, I found the interiors to be a tad too 'kitschy' for my taste, but then, I have been spoiled by the gorgeous pictures of public rooms found on ocean liners. With that in mind, I took off for the upper decks instead with positive results. I did miss the wooden deck chairs and a wraparound Promenade deck but delighted at the fact that I had the lifeboat deck to myself - apparently not many discovered the secret glass doors separating the pool/sunbowl area and the lifeboat boarding deck. This is where I found my private haven - and a nod to the past. Instead of a deck chair, I made do with the life-jacket storage bench or stood at the railings. The cabin itself was... interesting. A cookie cutter inside cabin - I didn't expect too much - a cabin is a cabin and I spent very little time in mine. What interested me the most was the ADA supplies that the Carnival folks had installed prior to my visit. They had set up a flashing light alert for both fire/emergency and the door. With the door flasher, a doorbell was attached to the door itself (with only a few cases of Ding Dong Ditch from the youngsters on board). Once someone pushed the button, a white light (similar to fire alarms, imagine my confusion in the morning when I was awakened by this, thinking it was an emergency - but no, the room service steward had only stopped by to drop off our breakfasts). A bed shaker (which I used to ensure I woke up before the sunrise in order to have breakfast on deck and watch it rise) and a TTY were also provided. We take calling the concierge desk and room service for granted. Despite attempts by several cabin stewards, nobody could get a connection on the TTY, let alone order room service. Ironically, the same situation occurred at the hotel I stayed overnight prior to the cruise, and the hotel at Universal Studios after the cruise. What's up with TTYs on ships and at hotels? The poor outdated machine sat forlornly on our vanity for the entire time, unused. As I traveled with a group of 30 ASL users, we had six sign language interpreters on board. This was a fact that I loved - being able to peruse the Carnival Caper, highlighting the items I planned on attending, and be ensured that an 'terp or two would show up. (They even showed up to high tea to keep the old nostalgic me company while the "modern" cruisers went off to the pool or other Carnival-type activities.) Another perk that I loved about this cruise was dinner time - we had the early dining seating, and our ASL group was able to sit together, thus avoiding the much-dreaded Dinner Table Syndrome where a Deaf person is seated among multiple hearing people that do not sign, which leads to frustration and boredom during mealtimes. With DTS avoided, dinners were my favorite time during the cruise, aside from the midnight walks on deck. During dinner, our sommelier took great joy in learning the signs for different types of alcohol while our waitress learned the basics - "hello"; "thank you"; "enjoy", etc. This shows great effort on the staff's part to make us Deaf passengers feel welcome. Perhaps it is something that international folks and Deaf folks share - the cultural and linguistic thing? Those same staff were willing to gesture with us when a 'terp wasn't around to interpret. This is a far cry from the average hearing person interaction whereas they resemble a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching car. So instead of "Deaf? Eek!", we had "Deaf? Hmm..." Aside from the missing forward-facing lounge, wooden deck chairs, and a wraparound promenade deck of yesteryear, I enjoyed this cruise very much. For a first time cruiser, Carnival is a welcome step into the unknown world, and I look forward to more cruises in the future, with Carnival or another cruise line. And as always, those towel animals greeted us each evening with chocolate. I hated to dismantle them for use. Fortunately, we took pictures of those adorable creations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 2.0 4.3

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