8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Convenient cruise- easy getting form the Long Beach airport to the cruise ship- & used the shuttle as only myself traveling, but if I was with a group would have used UBER to get to & from the ship . I wanted a short itinerary, ... Read More
Convenient cruise- easy getting form the Long Beach airport to the cruise ship- & used the shuttle as only myself traveling, but if I was with a group would have used UBER to get to & from the ship . I wanted a short itinerary, to determine if I would enjoy solo cruising. Was great being able to have cabin to self, able to do what I wanted when I wanted & how I wanted. Totally enjoyed the sauna, steam room & gym. was well taken care of by my room steward, Supron - always had a full ice container, room cleaned as necessary Did the Chef's table & was impressed by all the food that was fixed & served, Learned many interesting facts about the food, preparation & many ingredients for the many foods that was served to us. Even learned some new things about different herbs & spices to combine with different foods. In Ensenada discovered a great place to go for a massage- Massage & Facial Wellness - within walking distance of the ship- and very reasonable priced, then did a chocolate class at the Maya Cacao- learning how chocolate is made form cacao beans- Did I mention that is all organic & they use the profits to support orphanages in the area Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise ... Read More
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise experience was the worse of all! The vessel is old with not much upgrades, shows are short, no live band, not so much activities for teen age kids. All they emphasized on board was to sell and sell, booze, jewelry, paintings,souvenirs, photos, etc., etc! Crews were okay except for the captain who cut my kid while in the pizza line. He was rude and arrogant just because he is in-charge. That would be our last for the Carnival as we are looking a much nicer cruise line in the future. Never, never again with Carnival especially the one that docks in Long Beach, CA. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Who traveled:  3 boys- 15/17/19  Myself-39 (mom) Trip for boys: 15yr old- He had a great time, met a ton of other kids running around. Played games, hung out at the O2 club and ate all day and night. Never a dull moment. 17 & 19- ... Read More
Who traveled:  3 boys- 15/17/19  Myself-39 (mom) Trip for boys: 15yr old- He had a great time, met a ton of other kids running around. Played games, hung out at the O2 club and ate all day and night. Never a dull moment. 17 & 19- They hung out and met a lot of others around their age. Played miniature golf most of the time. There were contests by Carnival that they participated in, and actually had fun lol It was sort of an in between age though. The clubs are 15-17 or over 21 yrs. this kind of left them wondering in the evenings. Myself: Bored. It was either kids, couples or older people. I tried to meet people at the bars, but people were pretty involved in their own trips. Usually I can talk to the bartenders if I am alone, but they were all foreign, and not very social. There is an adult area that has sunbathing and two jacuzzis, very quiet....if you gamble, it would probably be more fun. Gym- I was looking forward to taking the spin classes. I signed up the first day for two classes. The 1st one, they told me was cancelled and when I went to work out,saw it happening. The second they said Was happening, and did not! This was one of the most disappointing things, since I had been looking forward to enjoying some good work outs on Va-K! Lol Catalina: Getting off the ship- get off before 9:30am if you do not want to wait an hour in line. You will be lined up 4 flights of stairs between 9:30-12. Getting back on is easier. On the island- shopping, eating or excursions. Not a lot to do otherwise. Ensenada- take the shuttle, it's only $3 round trip. They will offer you the Bufadora, shopping and horseback riding for $35. Great deal! Better and more shopping than downtown by Bufadora for sure, and more negotiating. Hazel is a great tour guide BTW! Food: All buffets except dinner and seaday brunch. Ice cream ice cream ice cream! The kids ate like 10 a day!!! Food was ok, pretty much as expected. Kids thought it was great though. Cost: 1 ocean-view ( riviera) and 1 inside with bunk beds ( not as crowded as I thought it would be.) $2000 $500 on cruise included Cheers program and 3 bubbles program & gratuity. I tipped $1 per alcohol drink & a couple random things. Plus spending $ for Catalina and Ensenada Conclusion: Was it worth it? Only to see my kids enjoy their vacation. It's been 10 years since I have been on a Carnival cruise, and probably will not be for 10 more. If I would of had another adult with me, I am Sure it would have been much more fun. They could of fit another kid in the inside cabin, and would of been ok. Check out the comedy shows, good start for the evening after dinner. Hopefully this helps a little, I usually don't write reviews, but thought this one was needed for the single moms traveling with your kids! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
I have been on several cruises before (prefer RCL) and booked this cruise thru Carnival due to the length. Since I have been on Carnival before and read the reviews here so I knew what to expect. This is my first time booking a Grand ... Read More
I have been on several cruises before (prefer RCL) and booked this cruise thru Carnival due to the length. Since I have been on Carnival before and read the reviews here so I knew what to expect. This is my first time booking a Grand Suite (will probably never splurge again) and although I expected larger, the room was spacious enough for three women. Not once did we feel cramped or bump into each other! The pull out couch wasn't the most comfortable but it did the trick and the balcony really came in handy when watching the dolphins or seals at play pulling into Catalina. Our room steward did her job but I have had better. As for the food, I have no complaints. I did not have one thing that I thought was bad and took advantage of the Chocolate Melting Cake every night at dinner. If you haven't had this, you must try it once! We only went to one show "Shout" and it was fun they sang songs that I was raised with. My only piece of advice would be to always remember that you can't please everyone; go in it with the attitude that "it will be what you make of it." Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Pre-Cruise hotel: Arrived two nights prior to embarkation and stayed at the Wyndham, Westport. We booked through Priceline and won a $45 bid. The hotel was convenient, good quality, and had an attentive staff. I had reserved the ... Read More
Pre-Cruise hotel: Arrived two nights prior to embarkation and stayed at the Wyndham, Westport. We booked through Priceline and won a $45 bid. The hotel was convenient, good quality, and had an attentive staff. I had reserved the Embassy Suites at $93 for Sat and $103 for Sun and found that to be the average in Westport. The Wyndham was more than adequate and nicer than expected for the price. Unfortunately they discontinued the M&M's at the desk. I asked about it and the manager told me it cost on average $5,000 per month to keep M&M's on the front desk. They still have bags, all you have to do is ask. Recommend against the "Stay and Sail" package. The transportation folks will pick-up and drop off at the airport and the cruise port without the package. Save your money. The drivers don't see any of the $ from the package deal anyway, so our party of 6 tipped $30 each way and they were very appreciative. Embarkation: Standard porter haze, they won't let you check your own bag, so porter/tips are part of the deal. I guess $2 isn't too much to ask, I just don't like not having the option. Most of us did the "roll on" option and it was painless. The "Platinum Class" process looked very quick and efficient. The regular folks (us) were in line about 45 minutes. We've have definitely seen less efficient and comfortable operations. The Cruise itself: Ship- adequate, but lacking in many of the modern facilities of the newer ships. The ship only had a small pool and two hot tubs, no "jumbotron" for MNF or movies for the kids and an older somewhat inefficient design for traffic flow. Overall the ship was in decent shape but showed a very hurried dry dock where many of the finishing/cosmetics were rushed or incomplete. The carpet for example was not trimmed properly in areas or was left uneven. This is not a big deal but something that even a casual observer would notice. Our daughter was in the 9-11 year old kids program and quickly bored with the program. They do more babysitting than actual programs. Not terrible though, but anticlimactic after our last cruise on Disney. Food: Hit or miss. The dining room fare vacillated between above average to totally uninspired. The Lobster, prime rib, and chocolate melting cake were all good. The rest was mass produced and lacked inspiration and freshness. The Eggs Benedict had a hard crust every morning on the hollandaise sauce from sitting under the heat lamp. The service was polite but often deplorable. I use the empty water as a metric of service and we had to ask for more water every single meal. The servers are spread very thin and appear harried and undermanned. The days of personal service and building a report with your service staff are apparently over on the big box lines. JMO We never did room service, our daughter enjoyed the pizza and it looked fresh and good. The buffet on the Lido was often overrun with guests loading up on platefuls of medium quality fare. Entertainment: The comedians were fine, not to my taste but my wife laughed at Valerie Storm's show. The Variety show was actually well done. Not to Disney standards but well above the amateurish NCL star crew we saw last year on the Star. Ports: Grand Caymen- Walk outside the fence and book your own excursion, you end up at the same place and in our case the very same boat, at half price or less. Cozumel- We took a taxi to Palancar, I dove a single tank (Columbia, and Palancar gardens) and my wife and daughter snorkled. It wasn't cheap but very relaxed and low key. The dive was first rate ($60) and the snorkel equipment for the girls was $10 each. Mario the beach server was a genuinely nice man that doted over our daughter. Summary: Have fun but manage expectations before time so there are no major disappointments. Carnival is better than we remember but it's still very entry level. The rooms at 185 square feet are better than most and our steward Gabby was first rate. he definitely deserved the extra gratuity. The only negative comment I have about the stateroom was the dirty exterior of the window. Enjoy your vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
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, ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
My daughter and I decided we needed some "Me" time and since it was my birthday, we decided to take a cruise. Overall, the cruise was very good. The room was quiet, we were the last room in the back of the ship. Wish we could ... Read More
My daughter and I decided we needed some "Me" time and since it was my birthday, we decided to take a cruise. Overall, the cruise was very good. The room was quiet, we were the last room in the back of the ship. Wish we could have had a balcony but the ocean view served the purpose of seeing sunsets and when we reached our ports. I love sitting on a balcony with a cup of coffee and watching the sea go by. It's better then any tranquilizer! If you can afford a balcony, go for it! The room was clean and pretty comfortable.If we needed anything, like extra hangers, the stewards brought us what we needed. My daughter and I pack like we are leaving for a month, "wishful thinking" so I am sure the stewards had to jump over a few things to get their cleaning done. The food at the buffet and in the dining room, was very good and the service in the dining room was outstanding. I like it when staff members remember your name. Even when we were in the buffet, if any of our servers saw us, they came over and addressed us by our names. Following is where I feel Carnival has the opportunity to do better: The hots tubs on the pool deck were always filled with children, we never had the opportunity to use them. The service in the Adult Only Area was very poor. We ordered drinks and 45 minutes later we received them. The outside deck area surrounding the buffet was never cleaned up on a regular basis. Cups,plates and napkins when it was windy were flying around and in some cases ending up in the sea. The dance club was OK but they did have 18 and older nights, which can be a turn off for those us over 21. Overall for the money and the limited time we had it was a fun cruise for us! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
I want to start off by saying that this review will be completely honest.  I am not the type of person to let a couple of negative things dictate a bad review of a vacation.  I will however put all the negatives in here as well.  ... Read More
I want to start off by saying that this review will be completely honest.  I am not the type of person to let a couple of negative things dictate a bad review of a vacation.  I will however put all the negatives in here as well.  I've cruised carnival 3 times and all 3 ships have been in the same category (Size) so I have alot to compare this cruise to.  My girlfriend and I are in our mid to late 20's.OVERALL FUN ON VACATION: On a scale from 1-10 I give it a 7. I belive Cruises should all be 10 out of 10s. I usually just brush off any little negatives that occur on vacation but way too many happened to me this time to let it go. EMBARKATION: Very easy as usual. Once registered, carnival was sending people up to board ship but further down the terminal, they wouldn't let you on. This caused over crowding and carnival employees constantly yelling (to me though, stuff like this happens. THE SHIPS REFURBISHMENT: Carnival advertises that this ship recently went through a million dollar refurbishment. The only places I noticed the refurbishment was the bathrooms (staterooms and lobby). Wow, they were all super nice. The rest of the ship showed wear and tear everywhere. Floors stained, chipped floors, dents in rails. Another complaint about wear and tear was the railings on the lido deck of the ship. The paint was chipped all over all the bars and it was rusted. Bad. If someone would put their feet up on it, it could cut them and you better hope you've had a tetanus shot. The biggest complaint about wear and tear is that everyday we were on the ship, they had crew painting the exterior of the boat just behind the chairs. All day long we inhaled fumes. Another day they closed one of the lido decks bar (1st thing in the morning)and got out the electrical sander and sanded the bar! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! This BLEW MY MIND!!!!!! What exactly did carnival do with their million dollar refurbishment if they are doing this now??? STATEROOMS: Typical carnival cruise rooms. Bed was nice as they have better sheets, comforters and flat screens in the room. Bathrooms were redone and nice too. I liked the rooms. FOOD: This was the biggest disappointment of the cruise. One characteristic most people look forward to on the cruise is the good food. The food on this ship was marginal at best. Everyday for lunch my girlfriend and I ate the hamburgers from the lido deck. VERY VERY GOOD. Everything below normal. Dinners were prob a 4-5 out of 10 starts. We actually skipped dinner twice bc the food was below average. All the deserts at lunch were very dry and not very tasteful. I'm not the type of person to just complain to hear myself. ALl other cruise ships Ive been on had WONDERFUL FOOD! The head waiter is supposed to know everyone by name and make friends with each person at the table to increase you dining experience. Our waiter just came, took orders, left and actually acted put out on some requests. ACTIVITIES ON SHIP: It was my girlfriends 1st cruise to every activity was great to her. It seems like carnival doesn't ever change their activities. Every cruise you can expect the same ole Hairy Chest competition, ice carvings, etc. Same everytime. After a while, you start to get bored of it. Some of the usually activities never seem to get old though. The ice carving is always neat bc they do something diff each time. The newly wed game is fun bc everyone has diff answers each time. The shows were good if you like that type of stuff. The comedians seemed funny to everyone. I didn't think they were funny, but everyone else did so I guess majority rules :-) SERENITY DECK: The adults only deck we never used. We went down there 1 day and it was elderly people asleep in all the chairs. CROWD: The cruise dir said that out of the 2,000 guests, 700 were children. Never effected us much as we didn't usually see them. There were alot of spring breakers all over the place drinking. They never got out of control or bothered anyone (To my knowledge) but some people might frown on it. PORTS OF CALL: Grand Cayman - Carnival advertises something like 8am-3pm at this stop. Your not allowed to tender to shore until the time on your ticket which could be anywhere from 8:30am to 10am. Our ticket said not to leave until 9am but we left on the 1st boat and they never cared. All others should do the same! The last tender to go on the boat leaves at 2pm. So you really only have from like 9am-2pm. There are some shops directly across the st from the port. Anything else needs to take a taxi or tour. We did the 7mile beach tour. We paid $30/person. Basically they just put you in a bus and drove 4 miles down the road to a beach. (Other tour companies off the ship would do it for $4 person.) The beach was super nice. Not alot to do though. Cozumel Mexico - Always worried about safety (Esp in mexico) we did the deluxe beach break tour $79/person. TOTALLY WORTH EVERY PENNY AND THEN SOME!!! We had 2 hrs on the port before the tour left so we shopped. There are many store and restaurants right off the boat. VERY SAFE! The beach break tour is all inclusive (open bar, beer and liquor & all day food buffet). This tour takes you to a water park type of a place. EXTREMELY NICE. It has lockers, showers, bathrooms, food to eat,beach chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, pools. Free non motorized water sports (kayaks, rafts, boats, water bikes. They even have a water trampoline and a floating rock climbing wall. VERY COOL. You could even rent jet skis, parasailing etc. BEST TOUR EVER TAKEN ON A CRUISE!!!! Overall my exp was a 7 out of 10 on this cruise. If this would have been my 1st cruise with carnival, I would never go back. I have had 2 great carnival cruises in the past so I know they are capable of much more than what I got. I plan to go on another carnival cruise on a larger ship next time. If I get the same exp with carnival as I did this time, I will start going on Royal Caribbean Cruises. I hope this helps as I was completely honest about everything. I hope you enjoy your cruise and never exp any negatives! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2008
This was our second cruise with Carnival. I have to admit that we booked this with some trepidation...Our last cruise on Carnival (Fascination), while nice, was a little "no frills". But, this was what worked with our ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Carnival. I have to admit that we booked this with some trepidation...Our last cruise on Carnival (Fascination), while nice, was a little "no frills". But, this was what worked with our schedules, and the port (Tampa) was convenient. I must say, we made a good choice. The biggest thing that made our cruise a good one was the fact that we splurged for a bigger room. (On our last cruise, we had gotten an inside stateroom way at the bottom, and boy was it tiny!) This time, we got one on the Verada deck, and it was great! Tons of room, our own little balcony, and a great view. I think the bathroom may have been a tiny bit bigger, too (although bathrooms on cruise ships are always notoriously small). Oh, and when you book one of the veranda or higher rooms, you get treated as a VIP, with a special VIP check-in and everything. Totally worth it, in my opinion. The food was very good, at least for the sit-down meals in the dining room. The buffet and lido deck food was decent, but not amazing. I was a little disappointed in the quality of some of the alcoholic beverages, but I will admit that I am a little picky about my martinis. I never did get one served in a proper martini glass. On the plus side, they had some fun drink specials each day that were served in souvenir containers, like a pina colada in a carved wooden monkey head (now, those were pretty good! I had at least three!) The fitness club was nice, and it was cool to be able to work out with a view of the ocean. Quite a novelty. I only used the cardio machines so I cannot comment on the selection of weight machines, but everything seemed well kept up. One of the best parts in my opinion was the special treatment you get as a repeat cruiser. This was only our second carnival cruise, but we were invited to special cocktail hours (I think these were every evening if I recall correctly) where they served some pretty decent drinks for free, and in almost unlimited quantities as well as some very tasty hors d'oeuvres. Neat-O. These cocktail hours were definitely a welcome surprise to me! The ports of call were nice enough. Grand Cayman is spectacular. We spent the day at the beach, and I only wish we had a little more time at this port. Cozumel was decent, we did swimming with the dolphins at Dolphinarus, which was one of the highlights of the trip. We also went to Senor Frogs. I was a little shocked...there were ridiculously drunk people getting hard liquor shots from the waitresses, which involved blindfolding, pulling up the person's shirt and massaging their chest, putting ice down their pants, among other things. Whoa. It was like a tamed down lap dance. Very odd. I guess maybe if you're a single college student, this might appeal to you. It was entertaining to watch, in any case. One thing about Cozumel...even if you are not planning on getting off the boat, be sure to wear insect repellant!!!! I was nearly eaten alive by mosquitoes in Cozumel. When it was time to debark, my husband and I had a little bit of a snafu because our original American Airlines flight in the afternoon was cancelled, and the only flight they could rebook us on that day was at something like 8 or 9 am. This meant we had to scramble to get off the boat as soon as possible and haul as* to the airport to make our flight. Fortunately, when we explained our situation to the Carnival purser, they made sure we were able to get off the boat first so that we would not miss our flight (we just barely made it!) All in all, it was a really fun experience, and Carnival exceeded expectations. They won me as a repeat customer for sure. Read Less
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 3.9
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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