10 Carnival Inspiration Senior Cruise Reviews

This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high ... Read More
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high stress/high anxiety situations. Initially, I was kind of reluctant about going on a cruise and having to deal with wall-to-wall people. We drove to Long Beach from Phoenix and spent the night on the Queen Mary. As a first time cruiser, I thought it would be more stressful than bording an airplane. It wasn't! We got to the terminal early, they had a convienient parking garage nearby. We walked over to the exit of the parking garage and there was a gentleman collecting luggage for the cruise. I had pre-printed my luggage tags and attached them so I just left my bags with him! Easy peasy! We hung out in the sparse terminal for about 30-45 minutes. They started bording early, (we were in the 1:00-1:30 bording group) and we borded around 11:30. We relaxed until our bording group was called and we went up the ramp and borded the ship. Again, low stress! We borded the ship, were directed to the Lido deck for lunch and only had to kill time until our room would be ready at 1:30. We grabbed lunch, a drink and explored the ship. When we got to our room, our ID cards were tucked in behind our room # badge. We grabbed them, stuck it in the door and it opened. All we needed was luggage. I had noticed luggage carts near one of the elevators on our floor so I went down there and found our luggage, (they would have brought it to our room but we wanted our bathing suits!). From there on, it was smooth sailing! (No pun intended). We didn't have any expectations since we'd never been on a cruise but, I have to say, it was a riot! The party in the atrium every night was a lot of fun! I enjoyed seeing so many people having fun together. We saw a 70's and 80's show, a Motown show, two atrium parties, had an nice dinner, went to a, "Tase of Mexico" excursion in Ensenata to learn a couple of Mexican culinary staples as well as some tequila! (Margarita's while making food then 6 shots of tequila when learning about tequila). There were other excursions but we live near Mexico and the the towns don't vary much so we weren't interested in shopping. Our excursion was within walking distance of the ship so we walked back after our excursion. All in all, I only have a couple complaints. For first-time cruisers, you have to get to know the schedule for on-ship events. Also, there is a new schedule that is put out for each day of your cruise. Some are duplicates, some are different. We'll know to get a new schedule every day on our next cruise. Second, I never received any tickets to the excursion we paid for. I only had the receipt that I paid for it. They asked me for my tickets and I didn't have any! I figured they could get it off my "cruise card". No bueno. We got around it and they wrote a, "duplicate" pass but I didn't know I needed tickets. We're both 60-ish and like to relax in a kid-free environment. Don't get me wrong; we knew there would be kids on the cruise. They have an, "adult" area with two small hot tubs and a bunch of lounge chairs. That's fine. Except, they NEED MORE hot tubs and chairs! The chairs were always full and so were the hot tubs. This adult retreat needs to be bigger. On the Lindo deck, the hot tubs were always full of kids, surlely pissing them. I also thought the pool was quite small considering the ship holds 2000 people. These are minor complaints... Lastly, my wife and I like comedy shows. They had comedy shows every night. The problem was, the early shows, (9:30) were PG rated to accomodate kids! We would have to wait until at least 10:30 or later to see the adult shows. I think, if you have adult comedy, they shouldn't' have to dumb down their act to accomodate kids under 12. Give them their own show in a different room with, oh I don't know, Mickey Mouse telling Minnie Mouse jokes. What I'm saying is, when you're 60 and get up for work everyday at 3:45 AM, trying to stay up until 10:30 to accomodate children is not what I've worked for, for 45 years! I'm still giving the Inspiration 4 stars overall. We've already booked an October cruise, hoping there will be fewer kids.The whole experience was fun, enlightening, easy and memorable! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Needed a cruise that began and ended in the week of 7/16. This was the one available. When we take short cruises, we often like to go Carnival. they really do provide the most fun. Particularly as the end of the day.. This ship had 2 ... Read More
Needed a cruise that began and ended in the week of 7/16. This was the one available. When we take short cruises, we often like to go Carnival. they really do provide the most fun. Particularly as the end of the day.. This ship had 2 late night comics, that were hilarious. When I go on Princess and other lines, once the main show is over, there isn't much to do, unless you like gambling or dancing. Many people say that the food on Carnival isn't very good. That hasn't been our experience. While not the gourmet food one finds on some of the Luxury lines, it is more as good as most of the other ships we travel on. Our cabin service, as well as our food servers were outstanding. No issues with service. I've had much more difficulty with the service on Princess, which I usually take. Others providing excellent service include the pool bar staff, and the Customer Service desk. Read Less
Sail Date July 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've been on this cruise before and know what to expect. This time did not disappoint. Only issue (besides no balconies) was having to pay extra for Lobster. In my post-cruise review for Carnival, I said this is a key enjoyment ... Read More
We've been on this cruise before and know what to expect. This time did not disappoint. Only issue (besides no balconies) was having to pay extra for Lobster. In my post-cruise review for Carnival, I said this is a key enjoyment feature of cruises, and not the place to save money. Ship is nice, our room was fine, with free water supplied due to our VIFP status. Our room steward put in the requested ice at each cleaning, and we never had to ask a second time. Our wait staff was wonderful, and the comediennes in the late shows were beyond funny. Didn't miss any show. Not the all time greatest ship, but we love this short getaway, and are always happy upon our return. If you know what to expect, you'll almost always be satisfied. Lastly, once again, I was foiled by the prices and styles of the watches on the cruise. Every time, I say I won't get another watch, and as usual, I break down and get one. Price was extremely good, and without the outrageous taxes where I live (LA). Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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
We took this cruise because we always wanted to go to Catalina island. We are platinum with carnival. We know what to expect. Embarkation was easy as we were escorted on early really not much wait. We chose cabin M172 which was outside ... Read More
We took this cruise because we always wanted to go to Catalina island. We are platinum with carnival. We know what to expect. Embarkation was easy as we were escorted on early really not much wait. We chose cabin M172 which was outside and very quiet. We ate all meals in the main dining room. We had early seating but we had a table for 2. The cruise line is cutting back in many ways. The portions are much smaller than on other cruises but that's ok. Gone are the basket of goodies in the bathroom. The chocolates on the pillow are sadly no more. The shore excursions were very good we took the Hummer tour of Catalina. Great fun. In Mexico we took the Blow Hole tour also good just remember that to reach the blow hole you must walk through the gauntlet of vendors. They are very aggressive and annoying. We enjoyed the cruise and are taking Celebrity in Feb. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Wife and I, both in our 60's, just wanted to get away for a few days. I know most people think these 3 day cruises are booze cruises. This is the secound 3 day cruise for us, both on the Inspiration. Did not see any falling down drunk ... Read More
Wife and I, both in our 60's, just wanted to get away for a few days. I know most people think these 3 day cruises are booze cruises. This is the secound 3 day cruise for us, both on the Inspiration. Did not see any falling down drunk or drink till you puck types. The crowd was younger, lots of 20/30 year olds, but all seemed to behave and all were having fun. Ship was clean, staff was all smiles, and service was great. We ate all 3 nights in the MDR. We had Your time dining. Loved our table and server from the first night, so requested and had the same table and servers every night. Elana, table 181, was fantastic. Food was good, served hot (or cold in some cases). Only port on this cruise is Ensenada. We have visited this port many times. Been to the downtown shopping district, blowhole, wine tour. This time we took the Carnival tour " Gold Coast tour". It was ok, but would not do it again. Tour bus ride up the coast to a small bar/restraunt. A free drink and you could buy lunch. Great views, but no beach access. Spend about an hour, then back to Ensenada. Sea day was just what we wanted, just relax. We will do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I have cruised with Carnival for years both on the Mexican Rivera and the Caribbean and have enjoyed every cruise until this one. The ship was dirty in that I mean the windows were dirty with rust around the window frames. My wife and I ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival for years both on the Mexican Rivera and the Caribbean and have enjoyed every cruise until this one. The ship was dirty in that I mean the windows were dirty with rust around the window frames. My wife and I got some good friends to try this cruise and we talked it up a lot but I was embarrassed at what I see as poor maintenance on the exterior of the ship as a whole. When you are looking out your window and see rust stains almost entirely encircling your window it is not a nice sight but then again the window was so dirty that any view was obscured anyway. Our room was immaculate and our room steward, Eugene was on his game. No problems there. My wife and I like to find a place on the Promenade deck and just sit and have a few drinks and watch our fellow passengers. Bar stewards used to be plentiful but not on this cruise. The dining room was the worst. You could sit for an extended period of time and never see a bar person and then they went by so quickly you couldn't get there attention. At dinner it was 50/50 if you would see one at all to order drinks. One oddity was that there were gambling machines outside the casino with only a camera on them. There was also some other type of machine that you guided a pointer to get money, IPad, etc and there was no marking on the machine of what age could try to win money or a prize. The machine was also available when the ship was in port in Ensenada. I think kids should not be playing this but parents and kids were playing it with no casino personnel anywhere. The casino itself did not appear to have enough floor personnel and the ones they had were not interested in helping my wife when her machine continually malfunctioned on the first night. One malfunction caused her to lose a jackpot and the casino employee seeing that just walked off. Last night when I need to get the cash off my Sail and Sign card there was only one person in the cage at 9:00pm and there was a long line of people waiting. Since cashing in on the last night seems to be a big deal I would think that they could have had 2 of the 3 windows open. The dining room was nice and the waiters and other personnel did a great job getting the food to us but the quality was bad. The flat steak on Friday night was horrible (but much better on Sunday night, per my friends). I had Talapia that was warm when I got it and quite frankly looked like it sat in the back for awhile until it was served. It was dried out and tough. Worst dinner I have ever had on any cruise I have been on. I had ice cream for dessert and it was over half melted when I got it. I drank it mostly. Poor service by the kitchen or waiter I am not sure who. Lastly, what's up with the shop sales people? They sound like the street hawkers downtown Ensenada, they start talking outside the store and try to get you to go in and it is annoying. I am used to being left alone until I want or need a sales person but these guys( younger guys) were too loud and too obnoxious for my liking. I generally stayed out of the area. For bringing new first time cruises on board touting the food and the service we went away all commenting on the lack of both on this cruise. I am quite sure I will never get them to cruise Carnival again. What a shame. Overall, I always have a relaxing time but Carnival needs to step up on ship cleaning especially on the exterior. Dirty windows and rust show a lack of attention to displaying Carnival as a serious cruise company. Will we cruise again with Carnival, of course, but I will be looking to see if they are still going to try and impress their Platinum members like they have in the past. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We flew into Tampa 2 days early and were booked into the Holiday Inn Rocky Point. We felt this was a good choice as they had shuttle service not only to the port but would pick you up at the airport as well as take you anywhere within a ... Read More
We flew into Tampa 2 days early and were booked into the Holiday Inn Rocky Point. We felt this was a good choice as they had shuttle service not only to the port but would pick you up at the airport as well as take you anywhere within a four mile radius of the Hotel. The rooms were very nice and exceptionally clean plus the Hotel offered a great morning breakfast. The only downside was that the only restaurant close was the Bahama Breeze and it is a very popular spot, so you had better have reservations. We found the food there to be excellent. Embarkation-- Could not have went better. We arrived at about noon and as this was the first time we were considered VIP's, the whole process took less than 20 minutes. Once aboard we met up with the other two couples we booked this cruise with. The Good: The ship was in great shape and the crew was constantly working on it,painting,cleaning and making sure it was top notch. The crew was uniformly courteous and friendly. Quick with a smile and a greeting. We were booked into an obstructed balcony room. While this is sold as a suite it is really nothing more than a balcony room, however the balcony is very small. I have read a lot of comments on these boards regarding these rooms and I must say that we found this room more than adequate for our needs. The extra space was great and the balcony, while small was sufficient for what we used it for. The view is partially blocked but it was not a great hindrance to seeing what you desired. Our room steward was lights out. He was always pleasant, kept the ice bucket full, and met any other needs we had. The room was always spotless and he even loaned us a bottle opener for a bottle of wine. Great crew. The Bad: We had early seating for dinner and a table for 10 (5 couples) including the two couples we we sailing with. The first night we were seated and it took over an hour before we got any food and then it was cold. The next night 4 of the five couples went to the buffet. The Maitre d came around and asked what the trouble was and the remaining couple told him. He said the problem was that of the 2100 or so passengers aboard, about 1900 of them opted to eat early. While the anytime diners can eat at 5:30 the early seating doesn't eat until 6:00. My question would be that if they knew that, why not put some extra help in early dinning room. He suggested that we come at 5:30 for dinner. So we started that and never had any further problems, in fact after that the service and food was great. While not five star cuisine it was more than adequate. I must say though that having been on two previous Carnival cruises as well as sailing on two other lines, the quality of the food and selections have diminished in my opinion. It is also apparent that they have reduced the staff and while the ones serving you are terrific they are over worked. The buffet basically had the same food as the dinning room but the addition of the sandwich station, pizza station and poolside grill made it a good choice for lunch. All three stations had great food. The downside to the buffet besides the crowding was the decor. The room looks like a large bunch of purple worms with their ends covered with orange and overlaid with a black webbing. Our group referred to this area as "The Colonoscopy Room". Whomever their designer was for this is indeed a sick individual. The Ugly: Every single disembarkation we had on this trip, whether it was for an excursion or for the final disembarkation was a total scr%@#ed up mess. Never once did we get off on time. In Costa Rica we were over three hours late to our excursion and in hindsight should have just cancelled it as many others did. The excuse was the tides and not being able to match the boarding ramps to the dock. The Paradise had been in there two days previous, maybe they might have learned something from them, or failing that went to the nearest hardware store and bought a tide book for less than a dollar. In Cabo we were the first ship on anchor, followed by Disney and another ship, both of which started disembarking passengers shortly after anchoring. We were still messing around an hour and a half later. I noticed the other ships were disembarking pax's on the lee side of their ships while we were trying to get people off on the Oceanside which made it rougher. simple little thing. The disembarkation at long beach was a complete joke with many passengers missing their flights.( I know of at least four personally). There was a complete lack of coordination and it was apparent that one hand did not know what the other was doing. Unfortunate as it was this led to a lot of discord amongst the passengers. The differing announcements--go to the Paris lounge--no--go to the lido deck and have lunch--no--go back to the Paris lounge really showed to all a failure of those responsible for running this disembarkation. There surely is a better way of doing this. Final Analysis: Hey, it was a cruise! We enjoyed seeing the sights we got to see-- the Panama Canal, Cartagena, Costa Rica. We enjoyed the great warm weather and being pampered, if only somewhat. I have heard it many times that a cruise is what you make and I have to say that is the truth. Sure, there were problems but we still had a good time. Would I do it again? My wife says not on Carnival but I have not closed that door yet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
EMBARKATION: The Carnival personnel at the Tampa terminal are very efficient we had a 30 to 45 min. wait. STATEROOM: We had adjoining rooms E74 & E76. We wanted twin beds in both staterooms.I called our Room Steward to ask him ... Read More
EMBARKATION: The Carnival personnel at the Tampa terminal are very efficient we had a 30 to 45 min. wait. STATEROOM: We had adjoining rooms E74 & E76. We wanted twin beds in both staterooms.I called our Room Steward to ask him to change the beds in E74. The Steward informed me that he was too busy and could not make the change until the next day. This was at 2:00 and I told him that if the beds were not changed at 9:30 I would ask the Purser if he or she would make the switch because you were too busy. He came at 9:25 that night. This was a first for problems with our Steward on our other trips with Carnival. DINING ROOM: The food was just okay. The dining room staff were slow and the bread was never warm and the last night our entree was cold. Things did not run as smoothly as they have on other Carnival Ships ships that I have sailed on. DEBARKATION: Went without a hitch. Read Less
Sail Date June 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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