16 Carnival Inspiration Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Mexican Riviera

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
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina ... Read More
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina Island-Ensenada-Long Beach trip from embark Monday and debark Friday, it was still a party crowd. We usually prefer a quiet, refine cruise but wanted to join the many folks we knew. Since there were many we have known for many years, the party type atmosphere worked well and we were pleasantly surprise that we enjoyed it. The cost was relatively inexpensive and we set our expectations lower and were overall happy with the cruise. The Guy's Burgers, deli, and pizza were great. The other dining venues, such as buffet and sitdown dining were disappointing. The servers often did not bring us and others what we ordered. Even request for crackers was given a response of call room server. A request to clean some chairs with food debris was met by the worker slapping the chairs with her dish towel. What was worst was that the sour cream and butter were not fresh, i.e. the potential for an upset stomach or worst. The cabin was larger than other cruiselines for the same category but the restroom had a foul odor that repeated attempts to pour water down the floor drain only partially helped. A number of folks got seasick even though they never had before on other sailings. Being a smaller ship of about 70,000 tons is part of the reason. But more likely it was the short sailing distance between the ports. Long Beach to Catalina is about 29 miles and the sailing was a leisurely 13 hours which meant say 2 miles per hour which is far too slow for the stabilizers to be effective. Also this slow speed means the wave actions will affect the ship more. The shows in the main theater were not Broadway type productions. They were just singing with related dance moves and much of the time was wasted with pulling audience members up to the stage to participate. The timing of the show comedians were too close to the main theater shows so we could not see them. The raffles at the ship stores were a big waste of time. They kept on delaying the start of the drawings and the prizes were terrible, such as a cheap shopping bag. The embark and debark were fast since for the short cruise we did carry on luggage. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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
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
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'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 picked this cruise because it was short and we knew the ship,having sailed on it previously 13 years previously to the Caribbean. This time we went by just ourselves Both of us are in our late 50s. Unfortunately it was April Spring ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was short and we knew the ship,having sailed on it previously 13 years previously to the Caribbean. This time we went by just ourselves Both of us are in our late 50s. Unfortunately it was April Spring break and the ship was over run with children and young adults. The adult only area is small but nice. They really need 2 of them. Several things are different now. You have to pay for virtually EVERY THING. TOO many photos! I know its a selling thing but, overwhelming for me, who hates to have her picture taken. We bought a bubbles program so that we could get sodas at no additional cost. NOT TRUE. They automatically add tax and gratuity, so each drink costs you $2. Too much for a coke! You get food of course, but the restaurant you are assigned to and the Lido buffet serve almost exact same meal. SO its up to you whether you want to be waited on or just do your own thing. The entertainment was okay. Punch liner comic are good. Believe it or not, the dance clubs were empty. Best music was in hall at Violin bar by casino. You have to pay an additional $$$ for WiFi hook up. Port trips were okay. We rented our own golf cart on Catalina. Go to one farthest from port. Saw all of Avalon on our terms. We went to beautiful winery in Ensenada. Too much for what we did but, our hosts were very nice. We were let off in down town, crowded with over zealous sellers. We only bought from women and only small things. Probably won't go on cruise again. Not really a bargain any more. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the ... Read More
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the weight room so we heard employees working out above us all night long. We had weights dropping on our ceiling waking us up with a jolt every night. The balcony's were too small to sit in the chairs provided. They are squeezed in the space so there is no where for you legs. To sit in them you have to remove the little table they give you and lift the chairs up over the railing to turn them sideways. Then you can't get back in the room until after you turn the chairs around again. Don't waste your money on a Jr. Suite. In fact, don't waste your money on this cruise. The Safety Briefing started at 4:45pm and lasted until 5:55pm. We were made to stand in lines shoulder to shoulder while we listened to it in multiple languages. Many people could not stand that long and needed to sit, despite the protest of the staff. We did not have time to change for our 6pm Dinner seating and were turned away at the door because we had not changed our clothes. The dining room had great choices and great wait staff members but the chef was not able to cook meat. We had tough veal, chewy pork loin, over done lobster (that we had to pay $20 extra for) and leathery steak. The food was horrible and not available the entire cruise as promised. Many places were closed most of the cruise. The Breakfast Buffet was the worst, cheapest food I've ever had so we tried to avoid it by going to the Dining Room for breakfast only to find that they fill your plate from the BUFFET! They have no snacks available at anytime during the cruise, a Mexican buffet with no chips and salsa and the taste bar they brag about is a joke and was rarely open. I lost 2 pounds and my husband lost 4 pounds during this cruise. I'm very glad for the burger bar as it was to only consistently good food. The drinks are great when you can get one as the bar tending staff is so slow it was faster for us to go get our own drinks EVERY TIME we wanted one. I observed more underage drinking than I ever have and security does nothing to stop it. They just follow these minors around so they don't fall down the stairs or off the boat. They hadn't cleaned the Lido deck before we got on the ship the first day, there were drink spills all over so we had to avoid the sticky mess while walking around. The ladies rest room on the Lido deck was filthy the entire cruise with only two toilets and one plugged and over flowing most of the time. That toilet didn't work the entire cruise yet they left it open and smelly. There are two main elevators to get to the top levels and one was broken for the entire cruise. They were so unorganized that it appeared that the staff had never been on a cruise themselves. To top it all off, when I would try and speak with someone to complain we could not understand them. Very few of the staff speak understandable English. I spoke with several passengers who had cruised with carnival many times and I was told not to judge them by this particular cruise as it was they worst they had every seen and not typical for carnival. However, it will be pretty tough to get me or any of my family members back on a carnival ship. Thank god for our Cabin Stewardess. Mai was fantastic! She is the only one on the ship that made us smile. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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
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
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
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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