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22 Ensenada to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

Email promotion from previous agent. Planned to have the cruise after a long busy working period, a very good way to relax. The check in and checked out were very fast, much better than those previous cruises we experienced before. ... Read More
Email promotion from previous agent. Planned to have the cruise after a long busy working period, a very good way to relax. The check in and checked out were very fast, much better than those previous cruises we experienced before. the employees on the board were all very friendly, smiling and with sense of humor, feeling comfortable and at home when talking with them. The dinning room was nice and clean but the food were as good as We expected, the menu was not enough change and choice, the quality of the food were some days are good and other days not satisfy. There is one day the soup was too salty. The entertainment program was pretty good, the comedy and the show were good, we enjoyed very much. The piano bar singer was super, sang most of the songs guest would like to hear. Casino room was not clean enough and smelly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines ... Read More
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines have been turned into a Guy Fieri Burger Bar and a Mexican Food joint. I tried both and they were pretty good. The burgers were more home made type patties but all the different choices of toppings made up for it. Had a trio of tacos and the meats were surprisingly delicious. Never ate in the main buffet room except to grab a late night pizza since it was the only thing open. In terms of the main dining hall for dinner I'd give the place an 8 out of 10. Not the best cruise ship food I tried but none the less pretty good. Flat Iron Steak and Prime Rib were both good on consecutive nights and the sides were as well. Don't bother spending the extra $20 bucks for a better steak as the normal choices were just as good. Drinks We pre-paid for the Cheers Program which cost about $50 bucks a day and got us 15 drinks each per day, definitely a deal when you have nothing else to do on the ship other than relax, drink and have a good time. From what I saw, most liquor was top shelf, Goose or Patron were used the majority of the time for my requests. Unfortunately you can't share the Cheers programs with others, if there's another adult in the room with you then you both have to by the program but still definitely worth it in the long run. The two pools side bars are where we were the majority of the time but they do have a great bar in the back of the ship called the Alchemy where you can get some great cocktails if you getting tired of the tropical stuff up on the deck. Ensenada It is what it is, a port city in Mexico. Most people come to go to the main shopping district, grab a few deals then stop at Hussong's or Pappas and Beer and knock back a few. I did the Blow Hole trip once, not a big deal, something to say you went to once but don't need to see again. Some people don't mind getting hit up all the time by street vendors but for others it's a turn off. If you stay on the ship you're not missing too much. To get into town we paid about $2 bucks per person and then another $1 to get back on the ship. Entertainment Saw one Studio 54 type show one night which wasn't bad in the main theatre. The comedy club had a great comedian at one of the late night adult shows. Other than that it's a lot of bingo games and a family Hasbro show but since it's only a 3 night cruise you don't get a lot of options. In terms of tech, we all purchased the $5 a day WIFI plan for social networking and it worked out well, good coverage and speed throughout the ship. Service Dining room and room service employees were all great. Call you by name and try to give you a personable experience. In terms of our room, the only complaint we had was that the shower drain at times would overflow and go into the sink area of the bathroom but other than that it's like Vegas, how long are you actually going to be in your room anyway on the trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you ... Read More
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you consider that you get your room, food and entertainment. This time it was just me and my daughter. I was really looking forward to seeing the changes since dry dock. Basically, the ship looked the same to me with the exception of the addition of Guys Burgers and the Mexican food right beside it. (Forgot the name, might be Blue Iguana) I got to say that this trip boarding and disembarking were the easiest I’ve ever experienced in all my years of cruising, on any line. We arrived just a tad before noon and walked right into the building to get our sign and sail cards. No line whatsoever. We went straight to the lido deck and didn’t want to wait in the buffet line so we went for the burgers. They were really good and with anything you could possibly want to put on a burger. Came with fries too and they were hot and crispy. Sat down and got our first drink of the day to enjoy with our food. After lunch we went to our room. It was cabin M44, outside cabin with a picture window. The single beds were positioned in an L shape with one bed against the picture window and the other bed on the right hand side. There was a chair next to bed and a small bench to sit on under the vanity. There was plenty of closet space. We didn’t use half the space there was. Bathroom was typical set up with a cloth shower curtain, small sink and toilet. Plenty of cubby space for incidentals. There was a shelf in the corner where I think the old style tv’s used to sit. This time this is where the cabin attendant put our towel animals. There was a small flat screen tv mounted to the wall (24”). We explored the ship until it was time for the muster drill. As first I thought we were going to get off easy. We were herded into the Paris lounge and took a comfortable seat while they explained the process and demonstrated how to put on a life vest. But then we all had to go up to the deck where the life boats were and wait for more instructions. By the time that was over we went back to our room to get ready for dinner. With just the two of us we had no idea what the seating arrangement would be. We had early (6:00 pm) seating in the Carnivale dining room. We were placed at a table for ten, all ladies. It was nice to make some new friends. My daughter and I ordered the steak and lobster for the extra surcharge. When the plate came I first thought, hmmm what a small serving. It turned out to be just right and very good. After dinner we went to the casino to spend our daily allowance and then afterwards we went to do karaoke. Karaoke drew quite a crowd and you only got to sing one song, but one was enough for me. The karaoke host had books but he said that they were out of date and that he may or may not have the song you wanted. He also had a lot of songs that were not in the book so you basically had to ask. The next day (Saturday) we arrived in Ensenada. We had no plans for that day so we just got off the ship and there was a bus taking people into town. It was $2.00 to get to town and $1.00 to get back. However, when we got on the bus, the guide announced that after the drop off in town, they would be going to La Bufadera. The cost was $15.00 and that included the return to the ship. We did that and enjoyed the excursion. There were many vendors and stalls and a free sip of pina colada every other vendor. We took our time strolling down the street and eventually reached the “blow hole” which is the highlight of the trip. That evening, we joined our table for dinner and everyone talked about what they did that day. I had prime rib for dinner and it was very good. After dinner we killed a little time in the casino and then went to the 60’s Show in the main lounge. We enjoyed the show and met one of the dancers afterwards who knew my niece. My niece (by marriage) used to be a dancer for Carnival and the Inspiration was her first contract. That is where she met my nephew who was a DJ on board. Sunday was my day to sleep in. After we got up and had breakfast, we finally made it to the Serenity deck. I love that spot. Plenty of padded loungers, some in the sun and some in the shade plus two jacuzzi’s. I don’t remember how long we stayed there but we eventually left and went for a late lunch. That night I had salmon for dinner and no dessert. By now I’ve had enough food and drinks. I forgot to mention that breakfast Sunday morning was the brunch in the dining room and I had steak and eggs. It was very good. That is why I ordered the salmon for dinner as I had already had my fill of red meat. Truth be told, I could eat steak every day. Sunday night was the 80’s disco show and we both enjoyed it. Now both shows were Playlist productions and it appeared that the singers were actually singing but to canned music, like glorified karaoke. I thought the sound system was good though and hard to tell from an actual band. After the show the cast from the show and guests on board all congregated in the atrium for a Mardi Gras party. After that, it was back to the casino for a bit where my daughter hit a small jackpot. She was so thrilled you would have thought she hit the lotto. Before long I was worn out and ready for bed. The next day we did the disembarkation where you take your own luggage with you rather then set it outside your door the night before. We each had just one small rolling carry on so it was simple. We strolled down to deck 7 at 8:00 am and I swear we were off by 8:10. I forgot about traffic on Monday morning, but even so, my daughter had be home by 9:10. My next cruise will be on the Dream next July but this little trip was just what I needed until then. Read Less
Sail Date October 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 September 2016
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the ... Read More
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the room was cold....but, our steward, Ian got us an extra blanket....it was sooooooooooo great,,,and all of the staff was wonderful...my boyfriend is really into karaoke....what fun....lots of karaoke at the Shangrala Bar...the trip to Santa Catalina was also a wonderful expierence...we rented golf cart and drove it all over the Island.....if you have ever had a hesitation....GET OVER IT...AN HURRY AND BOOK YOUR TRIP....this was only a four day one...oh..I bought sea-sick bracelets....never needed them....took them back when we got back and got our $$ back...the sailing was soooo smooth....I was comforted to see that the lifeboats were all enclosed ....every night we had the same waitress.... Kosyadinka, from Bulgaria....the staff works so hard...she was from Bulgaria....and her husband was also a server....we loved her.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First of all, the ship departed late. It was supposed to leave at 5:30pm, but it didn't leave until 6:30pm. We waited on the deck until the ship sailed, so we were late to our first dining at 6pm. The waiter gave us an attitude about ... Read More
First of all, the ship departed late. It was supposed to leave at 5:30pm, but it didn't leave until 6:30pm. We waited on the deck until the ship sailed, so we were late to our first dining at 6pm. The waiter gave us an attitude about getting there late, and rushed us through our meal. They even start taking away our kids' utensils, so my son had to use a fork to eat ice cream! Towards the end of the meal, the waiter gave us another lecture about getting there on time the following night. My kids enjoyed the punchlines comedy shows which was the highlight of the day, and playing table tennis. There was only 2 table tennis tables, so we weren't able to play until at night when people were at the shows. There's also mini golf if you can find a golf ball. I suggest bringing your own golf balls. My kids also stayed at camp ocean for 2 hours playing dodge ball which they enjoyed and also met some friends from there. The Hasbro show is fun and exciting. The Motown and VIP shows were just okay. The songs they played were oldies. I don't understand why they don't play some recent songs like Taylor Swift or One Direction. The VIP show is geared toward the VIP members. These VIPs were pulled to dance in the stage with the crews and they are ell wearing huge VIP tags. The food is mediocre. The formal night they serve lobster and prime rib. The following morning (day at sea) we had filet mignon and egg fir brunch. The filet mignon was very tender and tasty, but the portion is do small they we all had to order seconds. The last night, they served escargot as the appetizer which was really good. The Mongolian Bbq was not good - the noodles were too dry and hard. The deli bar had good sandwiches. Every night, we went up to the lido deck at10pm to get the sandwiches bc they close at 11pm. At Ensenada, we got jipped off by a guy who offered us a $25 per 1/2 hour carriage ride. He told us he would take us to the beach and downtown, but 15 minutes into the ride, he said we had to pay another $15 for him to take us to the beach bc it would be an hour ride. We decided not to yield, so we only went 3 blocks down the street and then turned back to downtown. There are plenty of beggars, and my dtr felt bad for them until we figured we spend way too much money on donations. We bought 3 name on the rice necklaces and 3 friendship bracelets for $10, and 3 wooden turtles for $2. My daughter really enjoyed the little booths. I also had done street tacos for$1-1.50. They were greasy but delicious. The gym had a sign on it that said only for > 18y/o, so my kids can't go in. Someone suggested bringing magnets, but the door wasn't made of steel, so that didn't help. And yes, you can still ask for playing cards at guest services, but they don't have post cards. Lastly, you can get lanyards for you S&S card at the casino. The pictures on board Are expensive, but we were tempted into spending $65 on them. Parking at the dock is $19 per day. Overall, my kids really enjoyed the cruise. It was their first time, but they had a lot of fun. Because if this, I will overlook the bad customer service and take them back again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We just came back from our 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We had a blast...especially for the price! I read A LOT of reviews before going and I have to say it really is all in your attitude. If you go looking forward to the ... Read More
We just came back from our 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We had a blast...especially for the price! I read A LOT of reviews before going and I have to say it really is all in your attitude. If you go looking forward to the adventure and fun you will find it. If you go looking to critique it you will find it. We had fun from start to finish. The best piece of advice that we took was to bring a power strip and be prepared to eat! We especially loved the hard working, kind, friendly staff...have never met such hard working, smiling people. We felt very pampered and well taken care of. We did the wine country excursion in Ensenada and had a phenomenal tour guide. He was very knowledgeable, funny and engaging. I learned SO much about Mexican history and wine making. Well worth the cost. Hope to try a different ship next year! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I have just discovered cruising and this is my second. My first was on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the seas. This cruise was noticeably lesser than the Royal Caribbean cruise in just about every area of comparison. From food, to ... Read More
I have just discovered cruising and this is my second. My first was on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the seas. This cruise was noticeably lesser than the Royal Caribbean cruise in just about every area of comparison. From food, to amenities to entertainment to the general service to even the attitude of the crew members. The food: The food was not great. Not in the buffet or the main dining room. The main dining room was a bit hit of miss. The waiters did do their best to provide a good experience but they could not combat the quality of the food. On the first night, we got a prime rib that was good. But every other night, the food was just sub par. As for the buffet, it was small. I was surprised that there were just a few selections in each category and not many categories. The buffet on the royal caribbean ship was probably twice if not three times the size of the Princess Cruise. We wanted to try the restaurants but given the length of the cruise we just didn't get a chance. Some in my party did say good things about the pizza place on the top floor but I never did try it. The ship: The ship seemed small. They only had a piazza verses a promenade. The Royal Caribbean ship had a promenade which was like a small mall in the middle of the ship with some restaurants and shops. The Crown Princess simply has a Piazza which seemed like a miniature version of the RC Promenade. The Piazza was laid out around a circular stair case over three levels, with shops all around the border. In comparison, while the RC promenade may have had an irish pub, the crown princess had a Irish Pub like area in a corner of the piazza but it was not its own entity. So you never really felt like you were in an irish pub. Service: Some as good and some was really bad. The waiters in the main dining room really did try their best. However the staff in the buffet seemed annoyed at times. Several seemed like they thought their job was beneath them. While they got you your second and third cup of coffee, they always seemed annoyed to do it. Value: We did get a good deal on the cabin but they really do try to nickel and dime you on little things like soda and water. I don't remember the RC cruise charging for soda but I could be wrong. They did offer a $7 a day soda package which my wife and I bought one. Which was totally worth it. I think the intent was to sell us two but we share drinks anyway so I am not sure they made out. As for the children: they had fun but this line does not offer nursery services. And they didn't have much for young children. Non of the pools allow children with diapers to use pools. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We booked 5 rooms for our family for a short get away. Despite our concern reading the recent reviews here before we went, all the rooms are cleaned, regularly serviced and we had no issue with plumbing or room conditions. Food was very ... Read More
We booked 5 rooms for our family for a short get away. Despite our concern reading the recent reviews here before we went, all the rooms are cleaned, regularly serviced and we had no issue with plumbing or room conditions. Food was very good, it their 50th Anniversary year, staff are courteous, attentive and everyehere if you need them. The spa is very clean, sauna and steam rooms are slightly wet on floor but that is expected. Entertainment is average. Casino slot pays out reasonable, better than Las Vegas. The best secret for us is the cafe and snack on the 5th floor. One can get a variety of sandwiches, ice cream, cakes, soup, chocolate, especially great coffee. The dining reservation was not handled properly, we call Princess and were told to call our booking agent, we did and hoot email confirmed they had linked us together. Well, we found given fire separate table printed on our room cards. We were told agent cannot make dinner reservation, the staff helped out, we waited for the second seating and got a table at 7:30 pm instead of 6 pm as expected. The staff got us together the next two dinners. We were on the Grand Princess last time, this is overall a better cruse ship.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My family of 4 had on Oceanview room on the Empress deck. We loved the location of the room, close to everything. Our room steward Henrid was excellent. He was pleasant every day and went out of his way for our family. Room really small ... Read More
My family of 4 had on Oceanview room on the Empress deck. We loved the location of the room, close to everything. Our room steward Henrid was excellent. He was pleasant every day and went out of his way for our family. Room really small compared to cruises I have done before. Dinner- we had early seating. The food was just ok on some nights and good on other nights. We spent between 1.5-2 hours in the dining room. Too long for my taste, but we beared it. Our waitress seemed slow, unfriendly and she seemed to hate her job. In her defense, she seemed to have very little help. They changed the options having premium choices for an extra 20.00. I almost choice this because the choices I had that night were not good. The portions are also smaller from the cruise I took last time 6-2013. I often choice 2 entrees because I was afraid one would be horrible. Buffet- was not very good. Some items were good, such as sandwich bar, Mongolian BBQ and inside Lido had a few good choices. But, the outside selection of hamburgers, hot dogs... Etc. was not the best. The hot dog I had was the cheapest dog I tasted. I couldn't even eat it. I have cruised Carnival several times and this was the worst food I had so far. Late buffet closed at 9:30. I am used to midnight buffet, but they only had 1 late night Mexican buffet, with just ok food. Camp Carnival- kids 7,8 loved it. Son wanted to play videos games all day. Most staff was friendly and cheerful. Some seemed over worked and tired. Pool-good Water works area- fun for the whole family!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was a free cruise given to me by the casino. I actually was offered 2, and I only can take the one, due to work schedule and health reasons. I splurged and booked FTTF, as I am having a hard time with my knee (I am due to have total ... Read More
This was a free cruise given to me by the casino. I actually was offered 2, and I only can take the one, due to work schedule and health reasons. I splurged and booked FTTF, as I am having a hard time with my knee (I am due to have total knee replacement in November of 2014). I figured if I could spend the $50, I would, and not have to ask for any special assistance if I didn't have to wait in line very long. We walked up to the building at the Long Beach port, and instead of check in being in the building, they had a FTTF line next to the regular check in. This was ok, as we were the ONLY ones in that line!! We no sooner walked up than an agent called us over to check us in. Check in was quick and painless, and we were given priority boarding. This meant, due to the time we arrived, I had time to make a restroom run and smoke a cigarette before they started boarding us!! Worked perfectly!!! I think it took all of 10 minutes from the time we checked in until our S & S cards were being swiped and we heard that magic "BOING!!" Went down to our room, which, due to FTTF, was ready and waiting for us. We dropped off our carry ons, and went to have lunch. What a pleasant meal it was, not having to cart around our carry ons!! And there still weren't many on board, so no lines anywhere either!!! After lunch, we went to our room, and relaxed until muster. It's been a stressful week for both my friend and I, so we planned on doing a lot of resting. We scheduled YOUR TIME DINING, and both Friday and Saturday, we went to the dining room about 630pm. We had NO wait for a table, were given a table for 2, and met some really nice people that were sitting next to us. It was their first cruise, and boy, they were CLUELESS!!! They didn't know they could eat before dinner, didn't know about food on the Lido, didn't know about room service... I explained everything to them!!! Went to the casino Friday night. Met another couple there also on a casino freebie, but the one that had you pay $100 and then Carnival gave you that $100 in OBC. Saturday was the usual go into Ensenada and walk around, if nothing else, just to get off the ship for a while. At this time, we STILL had not even met our cabin steward!!!!!!!!!! Didn't end up meeting him until just before dinner on Saturday. And he took my blue pool towels and never returned clean ones!!! After leaving Ensenada, we had rough seas due to a storm off the Mexican Riviera. It's a good size tropical storm, and other than clouds, we just had rough seas. On Sunday, it made walking difficult around the ship, and it was slightly cool, but I didn't see anyone get motion sickness, so it obviously wasn't that bad. DID see a Mexican Coast Guard helicopter come in TWICE to take people off the ship. Don't know what happened, did not hear anything, not even any alarm code words!! Other than that, it was the usual cruise stuff. My meals most of the time were either cold or lukewarm. Service in the main dining room for sea day brunch left MUCH to be desired, as not only was the food cold, it was dry and tasteless, and I had the pancakes! I couldn't even eat it, and ended up going to the buffet and getting a lukewarm burger. I was disappointed that a lot of activities were scheduled Friday and Saturday (port day) and less on Sunday (sea day). I thought there would be more to do on a sea day, but I was wrong.. Enjoyed the "Towel Animal Theatre" and Hasbro Game Show. First time I actually made it to a show after 12 cruises!! PROS: Shows were fun, cabin was nice in location. It was free, besides port fees and taxes. And yes, IT WAS A CRUISE!! CONS: Food lukewarm/cold. Cabin Steward rarely to be found, and only ONCE did I see him. Lack of activities on a sea day.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
After reading a few blogs, our expectations for this cruise were very low. How pleasantly surprised we were! Our son & his fiancé chose this cruise to celebrate their wedding vows. Having never been on a cruise, I wasn't sure ... Read More
After reading a few blogs, our expectations for this cruise were very low. How pleasantly surprised we were! Our son & his fiancé chose this cruise to celebrate their wedding vows. Having never been on a cruise, I wasn't sure what to expect. We arrived at the dock around 10:00, dressed for the wedding, as we were told that our cabins would not be available until later in the day. The dock area for Carnival in Long Beach, CA is nicely shaded and very clean. Check-In was fast and simple. We were met by Annette, a lovely wedding coordinator, that provided us with an itinerary, so that we would know what and when to expect it. It would have been nice to have received the itinerary in advance. Our group was allowed to board first. The ship was very clean. Everything on board sparkled. The wedding group assembled in an area with comfortable seating. Annette, our wedding coordinator, stayed nearby with last minute instructions. Everything went smoothly from start to finish. I was impressed. After the ceremony we relocated to a nearby lounge where a delicious buffet of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres was waiting and a server circulated with a variety of tropical drinks, preceded by champagne for the toasts. The next hour and a half flew by with laughter, conversation and dancing. Dinner in the main dining room that we were assigned to was a surprise. I wii eat almost anything, and I thought the food and the selections were very good. Our head waiter, Gusti, and his team were excellent. They made the trip more fun. Request a table by a window if possible. We did the breakfast buffet each morning. Just about anything you can think of as breakfast food is available. Everything was very good. My only complaint about the cruise is that it was too short! This may have been our first cruise, but it won't be our last ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We recently took our kids on their first cruise. Me and my husband have cruised several times prior. First off I will start off by saying our room was on the 7th floor in room E171. As we boarded the ship and made our way to our room we ... Read More
We recently took our kids on their first cruise. Me and my husband have cruised several times prior. First off I will start off by saying our room was on the 7th floor in room E171. As we boarded the ship and made our way to our room we all smelled a strong odor of sewage. Ive read this is several reviews and thought it was strange, but we first hand experienced "the smell". Our room attendant's name was Agus. He was so friendly. We checked out our room, which was very small by the way but expected. There was four of us in a room. One bed was a fold out that was attached to the wall. The other was under it and our bed was two twins made into a queen which was situated by the window. Next time we will get two rooms or a suite because it did get cramped. Our room was very clean though. The next time we saw Agus greeted us all by name which was amazing considering how many people he meets. We ate in the spirit dining room for dinner. The food was very good and always hot. The service was wonderful. We checked out the buffets but only ate there once for breakfast which we were not impressed with and once for lunch and realized the meals in the Spirit or Pride Dining Areas were much better! The night we were Ensenada we had lobster tails for dinner. There is no limit on the tails! But they will only serve you one at a time. While on boarde there is many opportunities to have your picture taken. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for pictures. I believed they averaged $14.95 per picture. They take multiple pictures of you and your group during each dinner and have the opportunity to take pictures throughout the ship with nice back drops. The comedy shows onboard were awesome. We also visited the piano bar one night. Boys had blast on the waterslides. One thing I was disappointed in was the condition of the miniature golf courses. There were two holes where the articificial turf was very torn and dated. I can say that the sewage smell and the worn out miniature golf course was a disappointment, but overall we all had a great time and i'm sure we will cruise Carnival again in the future! Additional note: Bring a power strip, conditioner and a blow dryer. There is only one outlet in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my 3 times cruise with Carnival cruise line only because they got the destinations i want and very affordable, the last cruise before this cruise from Miami to Jamaica was the most fun vacation i ever had in my life, yup in my ... Read More
This was my 3 times cruise with Carnival cruise line only because they got the destinations i want and very affordable, the last cruise before this cruise from Miami to Jamaica was the most fun vacation i ever had in my life, yup in my life...and im 56 yrs old man. OK, to this cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada, Mex. The Inspiration vessel is some what newer than the Glory from Miami?, im not sure but looks good...seems smaller, no long line on the buffet, the food was good for what we paid, i dont expect best food for the price that we booked for 256$/pp for a 4 nights. the staff was very polite, dress up clean and very helpful. We had an issue with the wet floor from the past passengers in our room, but the crew really tried their best to dry it, in the end they gave us a 20$ discount from it. the putput golf costs money to play, i think its 20$/hr. Not a lot of dancing clubs as the Glory line, but it was enough, i sang in the Karaoke club, which was a big club. i think i saw only 1 theater for shows, versus the Glory with 2 theaters. But i saw 2 formal dinning rooms, 1 in the front and 1 in the back of ship. I would go again, it was short enough cruise time... Ensenada, Mexico was fun but was not enough time, it was violent there in downtown, my friends saw a big fight between 2 gangs with no shirts and tattoo, military came and they were all disappear, but during the violent tourists were shatter every where... I would suggest 1st time tourists not to book the city tour, it was a ripped off, you dont need it, all you have to do is to walk 1/4 mile from the dock to the main street and then make a left turn onto the main street to another 1/2 mile and you are in the heart of downtown to walk around all day, or to rent a 4x4 ATV right there on the main st for 25$/hr to ride any where, and to the blow hole too. The city tours take you thru town in the bus no stopping and then take you outside of city on the highway to north for a beach house lunch then back for 26$/pp, but you will lose 3 hrs on land. I would definitely recommended the ATV rental and the Horse back riding. Dont forget to stop by the main sea food market in town for fresh caught fish for lunch. The cruise also stops at Catalina Island a very neat town, a must rent a golf cart to ride around town, plus fishing was good on the pier with tackle rental in town. I really enjoy the trip, strongly recommended to any one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We are not very experienced cruisers. All three times were short cruises. We just like to not have to drive for a few days of travel and actually spend a lot of time reading in our room and enjoying the rocking of the ship. I really have ... Read More
We are not very experienced cruisers. All three times were short cruises. We just like to not have to drive for a few days of travel and actually spend a lot of time reading in our room and enjoying the rocking of the ship. I really have no complaints because we got what we paid for at about $300/person for a 4 day cruise. I just am giving it all the info so people who read this know what they're paying for. COMFORT: There were not many kids on this cruise because of the time of year but there aren't many quiet placed to relax and read, so if there were a lot of kids and that's not your thing you might be disappointed. The "library" is very uncomfortable and loud because it's also the board-game room. I found the area near the coffee shop best for relaxing when there were no activities. FOOD: We ate in the Elation dining room. I liked the starter dishes best and toward the end it got so that I'd order soup, salad and another starter, skip the weird dinners and get a dessert. I'm not that picky but I we each had to send a dinner back with a chunk of fatty prime rib that shouldn't have ever come out of the kitchen. Other people at the table also returned food or didn't eat it. It seemed like a sad waste. On both of the carnival cruises we took the other people at our table, who had experience on other cruise ships, were really disappointed by both the food and the wait staff. The staff works hard, really hard, but seem overworked, under trained. When someone spilled a glass of water at our table they didn't do anything to clean it up, just let it run and continue until one person had to get up and move because she was getting wet. We asked twice for a clean-up and nothing was done. I don't think they had a clue how to clean it up. The staff was friendly and one had an especially positive personality. No one learned our name like they do on Royal Caribbean, but for $400 less that's okay with me. If it weren't for the fun of meeting other people I'd probably just eat at the buffet, but definitely don't expect superior service there. Many passengers were happy with the sandwich station. You can get better coffee at almost any major gas station chain these days. I'll bring Starbucks instant Via on the next cruise. Someone else mentioned the half-hearted dance routines and singalongs in the dining room. I agree. They were embarrassed to be doing it because they didn't know the moves. They really tried so hard. One of my tablemates wasn't happy that they seemed to perform to the "other half" of the dining room and it was true, they did. SHIP-SHAPE: I like the rooms because they're roomy compared to other cruise lines. The beds are comfortable and the shower is big. They're clean and we didn't care that they weren't stylish. Our steward was great. We never saw him and he noticed when we came and went and slipped in quietly. I don't care how many cruises I take, I will always enjoy the towel animals. No hairdryer, what a bummer. We didn't sleep as well as we did on a similar carnival ship. I think it was because we were on a party floor with lots of drunken yelling and we had a window right near the anchor so the first morning we woke up at 5 a.m. to the very loud anchor lowering. I swear the kid in the room above us brought a wii and was jumping around all night. I get grumpy without sleep so I was grumpy a lot. The ship has some maintenance issues. I have a feeling some of the elevators were down because we were always waiting for elevators. The arms on the seats in the Normandie showroom are falling off. I hope they know these can be re-covered every 15 or so years, but I don't think they do. The decor of the entire boat kind of looks like an aging casino but it's pretty clean except for the many sticky floors I noticed. PROCESSES and STUFF: Embarkation was a dream. It felt like we walked right on. I was so excited that they didn't make us bring our life jackets to the safety orientation, but then they added this new step of actually going from the muster station to the lifeboats, probably a good step but definitely felt like I was being herded and they didn't warn us about it so we didn't bring a jacket and it was cold. I know all this is required. I *think* they try to make it painless, but it isn't and it's hard to start enjoying ourselves until it's over. With debarkation they announced this new self-assist early debarkation. One of us took that option to get the rental car for us and thought it was definitely over-hyped as people with tons of luggage and strollers were in the way and she had to stand in line a really long time to disembark. The others of us waited to go through the regular process. It's better than it used to be but they still call each group way too early while the previous group is still in a 30 minute line. If they waited just a little longer the comfortable wait on the boat is so much nicer than standing in a customs line. We just waited until they kicked us off and it was painless. ENTERTAINMENT: Wow. I guess I must be picky. It was horrible. A "comedian" with some weird puppet making orgasming sounds actually got some laughs. I love comedy but this was not funny. I was sad part of my ticket paid for him. Everything in the Normandie lounge was too loud. The older people in our party found it painful. If you find the free Las Vegas shows entertaining you'll be happy but don't expect Broadway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
For a 3 night cruise, I really had fun.  I've only been on 7 night cruises so I wasn't really sure what to expect with a weekend cruise.  Due to the swine flu, we went to Catalina Island and only did a technical stop in ... Read More
For a 3 night cruise, I really had fun.  I've only been on 7 night cruises so I wasn't really sure what to expect with a weekend cruise.  Due to the swine flu, we went to Catalina Island and only did a technical stop in Ensenada to meet the Jones Act requirement.  I really liked Catalina Island.  Considering my last two cruises were to Mexican ports, it was nice to enter a port without people pulling on your arms and trying to get you to buy tours or souvenirs.   All the shops were very reasonably priced.  I got a Catalina Island t-shirt for $9.99USD as an example.    EMBARKATION: I love San Diego port.  We checked out of the hotel before 9 and headed downtown.  We hung out at Seaport Village for about an hour or so.  Bought some salsa and walked around.  Decided to drive to parking lot to find a parking spot.  We were really early because I wasn't sure we could find parking.  Five Star parking #5 was directly across the street & practically empty.  They are more expensive than some of the other airport parking locations ($15/day I think) but not having to wait for shuttles etc is a big thing for me.  I like being in control of when/where to be.  So we walk across the street and go to the terminal around 11.  Going thru x-ray was a little more intense than my last cruise at San Diego.  I had a small 12x14x14 soft sided cooler with a plastic liner that had bottles of water, a half gallon jug of water in it.  They inspected each bottle by shaking the contents (to see if it fizzed I guess.)  Line to check in wasn't long at all.  Maybe 20 people total ahead of us and some were in groups.  Got checked in with boarding #1 and only had to wait about 15 minutes before they started boarding.  We were at the lido deck by 11:45.  Cruise docs stated not to arrive at port before 1pm.  Yeah right.  Glad we didn't listen to that.  We had burger for lunch & drink of the day on the lido deck by the main pool.  Rooms weren't ready until 1:30 but one of the staff members saw us waiting outside the doors that closed off the rooms and he said "go on in & drop off your luggage.  They don't care as long as you don't stay."  Our room was ready.  Cool.  So we dropped off our stuff/stashed luggage in the closets and away we went back to enjoy the action without toting bags around.   Room Steward service was good.  Had no issues.  Tipped him a little extra to keep our water cooler filled with ice which he did daily.  The first time I've had a towel animal on my first night so I was impressed.  Usually don't get it on the first night in my experience.   Dinner - we were assigned a table for 8.  I personally like to sit with my hubby only but I can handle one other couple hoping they aren't weird/rude etc.  Our "rear" dining room didn't have a matre d there so we went to the center dining room and waited in line to speak to the maitre d.  He found us a table for 2 for our 6pm first seating that we wanted.  Now we were only about 4 inches apart from the table beside us but it was okay.  We gave a $20 bill to "007" our maitre d and told him he was awesome.  Food was great.  Never disappointed.  Service wasn't the best I've had but certainly acceptable.  But I didn't tip extra like I usually do cuz it wasn't outstanding.   The last night menu didn't look that great in the dining room so we opted for the lido on the last night.  Worked out fine for us cuz I was kind of craving a grilled Rueben sandwich.  Yum.  I never went hungry that's for sure.   ENTERTAINMENT: Comedian was funny.  I thought he was a little over the top with picking on gays/Chinese/Mexicans etc.  But I did enjoy his show.  We played name that tune and had a blast & got crazy with it.  Watched the hairy chest contest.  Didn't do much other shows cuz I am a karaoke cruiser so I will always choose karaoke over a show anytime.  Went to karaoke every night.  Too bad the host didn't know what she was doing.  It would have been much better if she had a clue how to run a karaoke system or manage a rotation but I still had fun.  Many songs music was either blaring or too low and you had to stop singing to tell her "turn it up please I can't hear the music" duh.  Still had a good time.    Lots of partiers in the hall the last night.  We got back to the cabin about 11:30 to crash for the night and people were loudly talking and yelling to one another down the hall etc.  We called security and asked them to make their presence known & ask them to quiet it down a little.  Less than 5 minutes later there was silence so no more issues.  At least not until I was out like a light.    DEBARKATION: There were tons of Mexican names being called over the loud speaker to report to immigration.  The ship didn't clear customs until 8:45am.  We were doing self-assist so we had our bags with us.  We were assigned luggage tag 17 but we assumed we would be called by deck for self assist like all my previous CCL cruises.  Not the case.  Debark paperwork said we needed to leave our cabins by 8:30am and go upstairs to the lido main pool.  I really didn't want to take all my bags upstairs to have to go back downstairs again but we had to leave the cabin & didn't know what else to do.  Definitely a process that needs improvement.  They started calling tag numbers around 8:45.  We were tag#17 so I thought we were in for a long wait.  There was a passenger standing by me that heard me talking to my hubby and said "they aren't paying any attention to tag numbers so just join the pack when they call the next set of numbers."  They called the next group of numbers & off we went.  Yay.  Walked across the street to our car and we were heading home 15 minutes later.     Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
I must say this had to be the most ghetto cruise I've been on. My husband and I went with the travel agent we've used before. The trip was titled "Superbowl Cruise." We did not know until a couple of weeks prior to the ... Read More
I must say this had to be the most ghetto cruise I've been on. My husband and I went with the travel agent we've used before. The trip was titled "Superbowl Cruise." We did not know until a couple of weeks prior to the trip that there were only 80 people in our group. That meant the rest of the ship would have passengers not of our group. This was okay. I requested that we have a room higher than the Riviera Deck, but was not afforded that luxury. As a suggestion to all, never get a cabin on the last deck. I don't care what you read on this website, they are not desirable. You can hear everything. Clanging, banging knocking and even the smell of either paint or engine fumes and marijuana. Yes, I said marijuana. The halls reeked of it. I was extremely surprised that the ship even allowed smoking in the rooms. You can even hear noises overhead. The cabins were $600, so I guess I got what I paid for. The first night was very cool as the temperature was only around 55 degrees. My husband and I walked around the ship a bit. We could not believe the number of young people on the ship. I mean young. 30 and under. These people had absolutely no idea of what resort wear is. The long white T-Shirts and the sloppy hanging jeans. The women must of thought there was going to be snow on the ship as I saw so many of them wearing boots. I think just about every woman had a purse on her shoulder. I'm thinking you can pay for anything with money, so why are you carrying a big heavy purse. Oh well! My husband and I mulled around until the fireboat drill which was another wild observation of mine. There was so much loud talking during the drill, we could hardly hear the instructions over the loudspeaker. I have been on many ships and there was absolutely no talking during the fireboat drill. I could not believe this was allowed to continue throughout the entire drill. My husband and I sat outside for a while until the crowd disbursed. We made our way to our cabin to rest while waiting for our luggage. The luggage arrived quickly. We headed up for pizza and later retired to our cabin. During the later hours there were people talking loudly in the halls and knocking loudly on the cabin doors. The shower curtains are still too short. I recommended longer curtains years ago, but then again, I don't think they read those comment forms anyway. Saturday announcements were being made but outside in the halls. We could not hear any of the announcements without opening the cabin door. We made our way up to the Lido Deck for breakfast. The deck had dirt and grime in the corners near the tables. And this was not the best place to have breakfast. The ship had docked in Ensenada, the weather was cool, breezy and sunny. So the pancakes, toast and ham were not very hot. This was the only time I would see the plate covers displayed. I never saw them anymore during the cruise. Women were wearing pajamas and were not told to leave the public dining areas. We did not leave the ship. I'd brought my notebook so we watched movies in the cabin. This night was also the Captain's Ball night. We'd planned to take pictures all dressed up. There was no line as I don't think the younger people really knew what "formal night" meant. They were dressed in jeans, the huge white T-Shirts and they all wore the most drab dark colors. My husband was probably one out of ten men who sported a tux. Again, the trip up to take the pictures did not leave out the fact that we had to trek through marijuana smoke-filled hallways. This was the only night my husband and I ate in the formal dining room. The service was usual, but the staff seemed distant. The cruise is so short, I guess they really didn't have time to get to know any of the passengers and visa versa. The food was very good. We retired for the evening. Sunday morning, Superbowl Sunday. The pajama crew was in full force in the breakfast line. There were even two scantily dressed women sitting at the first table, as we walked into the dining room. One the women had on the robe from her cabin, the other had draped the robe on back of her seat and wore a small bra-like top with pajama bottoms. After a while a crewmember came to escort the women out of the dining room. I don't know if other passengers were offended, but they needed to haul their asses out of there. My husband and I got a ring-side seat near the buffet line. I've never seen so many women wearing pajamas and even had their hair tied up in scarves. My husband, unfortunately cannot whisper and said, "I wonder if these women washed their asses this morning? How can you come to eat in a public place with pajamas on?" A woman who was getting coffee over at the machine stopped at our table, leaned over and whispered, "I was thinking the same exact thing." Now I cannot believe that the ship would allow people to wear pajamas in the dining room. This is a very nasty (unclean) practice. After the show we walked around to sort of pick out where we were going to watch the game. We decided on one of the auditoriums. We retired to our cabin. Almost game time and we made our way down to the auditorium but there were plenty of seats being held. There were no greeters to seat people. I was amazed that this was allowed to happen. On other ships there have been "no holding seats" policies in place and you are assisted in finding a seat. We left and headed back to our cabin to watch the Superbowl. Our cabin steward "Rio" was personable and attentive. My husband and I spent a little time in the casino. Made our way back to the cabin to ensure getting our luggage out in a timely fashion. Around 11:30 we were amazed that there was hardly any luggage out. Little did we realize that the next morning was going to be the show of all shows. I have never seen so many people hauling luggage off of the ship before. I think half the ship carried off luggage. We also noticed the purser's office had a line out of this world. I guess guests were settling their accounts. And standing in the line with luggage in tow. My husband and I were laughing because there was a guy trying to get off the ship without settling his account. They sent him back to the purser's office. This was an absolutely ghetto cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
This was the 2nd cruise for both me and husband, our 1st with Carnival. We are in our mid 40's and were traveling alone. I will be brief on some subjects and detailed on others. Embarkation went well and it was our first indicator ... Read More
This was the 2nd cruise for both me and husband, our 1st with Carnival. We are in our mid 40's and were traveling alone. I will be brief on some subjects and detailed on others. Embarkation went well and it was our first indicator that CCL has the mass production process down. We arrived in line around 2PM and were on the ship within 30 mins. The ship was immaculate and though not modern, held up her age very well. CCL did not have staff member(s) there to greet and direct us to our room. This would've been a great help because there is no obvious way to find your way around the ship. I would strongly recommend carrying around the little pocket ship guide (it will save you hours trying to find your way). It was obvious many folks already knew the ship well but it took us days close to the end to navigate her. We noticed this with other folks too. CCL offers non-stop activities, you can tear off the daily activities guide and carry it with you to pick and choose. We avoided most activities since we wanted a quiet week. We did pop in on Bingo, broadway style shows and some lounge shows they were all fine. As i said before the ship was very clean. We were able to find places to meet all our needs whether it was to be alone, listen to Caribbean music from afar or to be in the mix with everyone. There weren't many children on board (I suppose it's the time of year). Most age range seemed to be 30-40 y/o. Now to the food... When i previously read about the quality of the food i decided to weigh the reviews along with my own experience onboard. It should be noted that i am not a picky or finicky eater at all. Applebee's restaurant level dining is fine with me. Well, sadly i have to tell you the food was almost unbearable. Most food service is presented in the Paris restaurant & Lido deck. It's served buffet style (no objection here). The layout (location) of the food is well thought out. Fruits, veggies, desserts, pizza are all located in the center, back of the restaurant allowing a good flow of the crowd. The presentation of the actual food is nice too BUT the taste and quality of the food was sub par. I would suggest staying away from the warm breakfast and creating meals on your own. Ordered sandwiches, omelets, self serve salad and fruit bar were better quality. The warm buffet in the Paris restaurant and the Lido decks equate to the quality of a upscale High School cafeteria. I wanted to give a good review but by the end of the 2nd day i was unable to eat their hot foods at either place. The dining room food was o.k. The service was awesome and the food was a few notches higher than the afore mentioned. I will briefly mention the night club scene on board... It appeared the clubs were hopping for the teen set and i noticed a large number of crew members having fun in the clubs once they were off their shift. Most of the clubs had from a small to large number of people having fun inside. The clubs onboard seemed very successful. Nothing too cheesy for the teens. Regarding our shore excursions...We have both been to Catalina Island 3 times and decided to pick something different to do. We took the Eco-excursion. Our Zodiac captain Carrie was wonderful. She took the 2 of us along with 2 other ladies (45ish) along the Catalina coast in search of bald eagles, dolphins, seals and more. We found all and more than we were looking for. I have to say we all agreed this made our cruise. The dolphins played under and around our Zodiac up close for about 20 minutes. We also stumbled upon 2 sun fish. They are the strangest looking fish, appearing like giant silver dollars, the size of a big-rig tire. This adventure was well worth the cost. It also gave us plenty of time to shop and snorkel on our own. It should be noted that snorkeling and diving in Catalina provides plenty sealife to see. Now on to Ensenada...We were undecided what to do there but left the ship around 10 am. Soon as we exited the tiny mall at the port there were airport style shuttle buses lined up waiting to whisk off passengers. It was instant and in your face, we believed these shuttles were CCL shuttles. I want to sum up without expressing my total anger over this day. DO NOT TAKE A TRIP UNLESS IT IS CCL BOOKED. My husband is a fluent spanish speaker and we were still fooled. Once in this very american like shuttle, we were strongly encouraged to pay more to go farther. The driver told how we would be ripped off if we shopped in town and were basically shuttled straight into a funnel of biting dogs. We chose to go to La Boufadora on this shuttle with a total round trip in the end costing $18 each. The cost is irrelevant except for the fact that you were corralled without choices of your own to a place that was identical to the Monterey Bay Coast in central CA. It wasn't special enough. I had to hide behind a parking lot to avoid these nipping vendor dogs. My husband told the guide we would not spend money unless he backed them off of us. We spent no money. I saw folks from the ship tucking their heads down and running as fast as possible through the gauntlet of shop vendors. I felt sorry for women alone because the vendors were grabbing at their sleeves to pull them in. I am sorry CCL has Ensenada on it's stop, it's not a place worth visiting. You will find trinkets and cheap flea market items that can be bought at home. Again i want to encourage all to avoid any shuttle or trip that is not booked off the ship for Ensenada. BTW- 2 ladies from our cruise took the CCL excursion to Kayak there and said it was fabulous. Our shuttle was all white and had a red, white and blue star on the outside - avoid, avoid, avoid. Back on board i had a head, neck, shoulder massage that was wonderful for $29 (what a deal). The gym was fantastic, any workout enthusiast will be thrilled with what they find. The view is all ocean from the treadmills! Overall i can recommend this cruise but will not return until Ensenada no longer a stop. Have fun and enjoy the sun. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007

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