6 Carnival Inspiration Senior 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
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
Sail Date December 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
This Cruise was perfect for a quick getaway and a party platform for my soon-to-married Uncle. This cruise is a little rowdy but knowing this HAVE FUN. I probably would not bring children on this one. The cruise was very affordable ... Read More
This Cruise was perfect for a quick getaway and a party platform for my soon-to-married Uncle. This cruise is a little rowdy but knowing this HAVE FUN. I probably would not bring children on this one. The cruise was very affordable and Carnival did a great job providing top value for the price paid. My Uncle is 84 and the Bachelor party consisted of 35-48 year olds as well as my 84 year old UNCLE. -Check in at the Long Beach Terminal was a Breeze. No lines or Hassles. We arrived at 100pm and were immediately on board. However, the 710 fwy had a lot of traffic, south bound towards the port. -THe Ship is nice. Not the newest but all the amenities were adequate and clean.I was disappointed the pool was not filled until sail away. -The staff were very hospitable. -Our Room E116 was an Interior room big enough for 3. AC worked perfectly. Our room was ready immediately and something new-->Carnival now provides you the room keys outside of your room door in an envelope. -The soap and shampoo are of better quality from what I remember too. -The Food was very good. From Guys Burgers to the Mexican Station. WOW, KILLER SHRIMP and BREAKFAST Burritos. Sea day Brunch always impresses and Dinners were of quality too. I loved the Ceaser Salad and escargot ..The Cheesecake and Molten were awesome. -Entertainment was great. The night club and casino were fun. Actually the Casino paid out a lot this trip. (CRAPS!!!!). The energy was excellent. The Piano Bar, Comedy Club and Karaoke were very entertaining. We never saw a show--> NO TIME :) -Debarkation was extremely quick and what I always do is pack and go up and eat breakfast while the herd is vacating. -FINALLY, this was my first time buying CHEERS. Im too old to smuggle and how much do you really save on a 3 day cruise? I paid the $171 and I drank my money's worth. The Alchemy bar has the best drinks, probably worth 15 bucks plus at a great restaurant. Having 3 blue cheese stuffed Olive, Grey Goose Martinis a night, was a treat. Also being able to consume the Coffee house coffee and Irish coffee was fantastic. The Vitamin waters helped on the ENSENADA day. I really think Cheers is worth it. I debated on this but ultimately I am so happy I spent the money. Knowing all your non alcoholic drinks especially coffee are included was reassuring. I do not like the regular coffee upstairs. This is my 4 mini cruise on Carnival. If I had the time, I would do this monthly. Good job Carnival on providing such a great product for an affordable price. My 84 year Old Uncle ran circles around us. He was in Heaven. I appreciate the guests and employees for making his Bachelor party the BEST. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We made a last minute decision to go on the 4 Carnival cruise to Ensenada and Catalina. My husband and I are both retired so we can travel any time. The price was right we had a casino offer for a free inside cabin and only an hour drive ... Read More
We made a last minute decision to go on the 4 Carnival cruise to Ensenada and Catalina. My husband and I are both retired so we can travel any time. The price was right we had a casino offer for a free inside cabin and only an hour drive to the pier. He said lets go on a cruise, I am tired of cooking. It was a short one hour drive to from our Southern California home. We have been on approximately 30 cruises over the past few years Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We had previously cruised during March, spring break on Norwegian. We were not happy with our experience on Norwegian. So it was good to be back on Carnival. Carnival is our favorite cruise line. This was our 16th cruise on Carnival. We are Platinum so we have priority boarding. We arrived at the port around 11 am and we had a smooth boarding process. We were the first ones on the ship. We sat at the Atrium Bar and watched all the people board. Food: The first day we had lunch on the lido deck. The cocktail server had remembered us from our cruise in February. I was surprised. The food was actually great and the menu changed daily. Norwegian Cruise Lines could get a few pointers from Carnival. Norwegian had the same food every day. We ate in the dining room for breakfast and dinner. We had 8:15 dinner seating. – We don’t like anytime dining because you always have to wait and you have a different server every night. The menu was new from the last time we cruised in February. The food was very good. The service was outstanding. We also provided the waitress an extra tip for her hard work..That’s because there were no specialty restaurants on this ship. The food on Norwegian is so bad in the dining room and buffet you are forced to spend more money at the specialty restaurants. Serenity Retreat: spent the day lounging in adults-only retreat. It was nice in the back of the boat. There was no swimming pool, however, there were two hot tubs that we really hot. Not many people back there it was a nice quite place to spend the afternoon. Casino: We spent sometime in the Casino. I do not understand why they allow smoking in the Casino. They would have more customers if they eliminated smoking. Also, in the afternoon they did not have any entertainment. On other cruises at 3:00pm there was a band and or Karaoke. It is fun to watch Karaoke and dance in the afternoon. As a result the Casino Bar was dead in the afternoon. The Karaoke was in the lounge in the back of the ship. Don't understand why. Children’s Club / Entertainment: We don’t have children so we did not use the facilities and we did not go to any of the shows. We had so much fun (sun and drinks) during the day that we were in bed by 10:00 pm. Fitness Center: I usually workout daily however, this trip I decided to take a break from the Gym. Disembarkation: Being priority members we walked off this ship quickly and were back home by 10:00 am. In summary Carnival is the fun-ship. Yes there is lots of drinking and etc. .. going on, so be read y. If its not for you then take Holland America. We had a great time and will cruise with Carnival again soon.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Starting out with the booking 8 months in advance with the Early Saver Plan. I advise everyone who knows they will not be cancelling to go this route. I call several times and checked weekly for changes and got upgrades and obc very ... Read More
Starting out with the booking 8 months in advance with the Early Saver Plan. I advise everyone who knows they will not be cancelling to go this route. I call several times and checked weekly for changes and got upgrades and obc very wonderful. We arrived at port 11 am on Thursday and we checked in very smoothly with no problems we eating by noon. Weather was a big problem and we were delayed by about an hour and a half, but they had us in our rooms before 1 pm and the party started from there. Headed to the Lido deck with drinks in hand and had a great day with the Waite staff which was friendly fun and very energized. Went to check out towels and headed for the hot tubs which were warm (not hot). I headed to our room before dinner and family went to the small dining room with a wine package and the food was hot and I am told very well done. I had room service and it was fast and very nice. After supper we all rejoined to check out some of the ships night life. Had a over 40's dance which we enjoyed and after about 2 hours had to call it a night, but was such a great way to start the cruise. A little about the ship it has 10 decks one pool one buffet large water works area serenity area was small, but had very little trouble finding a chair was quite and very nice 2 hot tubs both different temps, so that was nice as well. Lido deck had 2 hot tubs and pool dance area with life size chest pieces very cool. The fun was non stop on this deck with games and contest and dancing and loud. We stayed on the Empress Deck which is main artery to most everything from gift shop to main elv. to entry bar with piano very relaxing with lots of people milling around. The ship for the most part was very comfortable temperature. The shows we saw were both full of fun and energy great performers and a very pleasant way to spend a little indoor time. Had a great time at the comedy club for the adults very funny. The day at sea was not much different that the first day, spent most of time between the Serenity and Lido deck. Had Breakfast and lunch at the Buffet and it was all good, nothing stood out, but was well prepared with plenty of variety to choose from. Dinner was wonderful we were greeted by name and got hugs from our hostess and she was very funny. We had different companions every night and managed to have a oceanview table every night. They sang and danced during dinner every night and fun was had by all great food. We party and danced after the main show and went to bed to a clean room with a strange looking animal on our bed I think it was an ant eater, but not real sure. Did not see our room staff until the day we left the ship. We woke up in Cozumel. Spent the morning shopping and wondering around on our own very nice way to spend the morning it was very slow pasted no one bother us in the least and all were very friendly. We went to Pasion Isle for the afternoon for a buffet and all you can drink open bar and beach with palm trees water toys and oh by the way they had beds on the beach very odd but very cool. We had chairs under the shade of the palms and played in the water. The only bad thing was the trip back to the ship we sat on the bottom and were soaked and very chilled by the time we got back to the ship. Overall we had a fantastic trip and booked our 2ND cruise on board with 100.00 off price and 100.00 OBC to begin with for 7 days on the Legend. The whole experience was a pleasure stress free and very relaxing. The embarkation was a little long, but that was our fault you get off faster if you choose to self disembark which we did not choose. It took about an hour to get off, but it was very quick with no problems encountered. I would be very happy to go back on the Inspiration and will be doing more Carnival cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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