882 Carnival Inspiration Cruise Reviews

before i Sailed i checked here for a few reviews and didn't see many up to dated ones so i thought i would add one, it was a few ago and i did not write anything down so i will try to be detailed. This was a 4 day cruise from Long ... Read More
before i Sailed i checked here for a few reviews and didn't see many up to dated ones so i thought i would add one, it was a few ago and i did not write anything down so i will try to be detailed. This was a 4 day cruise from Long Beach Ca. Catalina, Ensanada Mx. sea day back to Long Beach So for the People reading this in the future we just started getting serious about the Corona Virus 3/9/20 and everyone was canceling there cruise, Carnival was trying to fill this ship up and so i booked this 10 days before they sailed through the Carnival Players Club ( Casino ) The Deal was $20 pp for a IS and I upgraded it to 6C for $10 so for double i paid $60 plus taxes of $105 and i received $100 OBC and a Drink on us package in the Casino then a few days after i booked is when the cruise industry really getting hammered with people getting Corona Virus. Carnival offered us a $100 more OBC if we didn't cancel but would honer anyone who wanted to cancel so to recap i Paid $165 got $200 OBC and free drinks..i couldn't say no. Before I boarded everyday Carnival sent emails everyday saying if you feel sick or have any signs dont show up you will not board that there was strong screening before you get on...making it easy to cancel for full refunds..and they were true to there word they did screen everyone, they took everyone's temperature as they boarded. never once did i feel like i would get sick, they were not allowing people to spoon there own food in the buffet they plated everything for you and they had full hospital gowns on face masks gloves etc..there were always people walking and wiping rails tables etc. This was my 9th Carnival Cruise 5th Fantasy class Ship and 2nd time on the Inspiration .So i knew the layout and i knew what to expect a older ship with funky coloring i like the ship and the layout and i know where to stay I like my room right by the Elevator that leads to deck 10 right in front of the buffet. easy access to food and the lido deck fun. I stayed in M 199 the room was set up as a king by my request and it had a hanging bed that was folded up out of the way. What i wanted to do this cruise was play some Craps in the casino and read some books I did just that I played a lot in the Casino they Have one of those Crap Bubble Machines that i love I probably played 7 or 8 hours on that plus about the same on live craps. I did not eat in the MDR... i ate Sushi twice Buffet once and Deli once for Dinner everyday is was Guys buggers and Fries...Omelettes for breakfast. The Buffet sucked i did not eat all of it i went and got a sandwich at the Deli later that night.I also had a new guy trying to make omelettes one morning he had to make it 3 times before he got it right,,,besides those few issues no problems with food. I only went to a few shows ...the same as always if you have not seen it go see it if you have ...unless your bored ,,, my guess was the ship sailed at about 90% so there was always people on the Lido deck as usual i walked around a few times tryig to find a quiet place to read and was not able to find it even on the ship the library had people playing board and card games only place was my cabin to read which sucked but im one of those guys who has distraction i cant read... Hey I have never been on a bad cruise I have not Issues but never have they ruined my Cruise this was no different.. My Cabin steward I met him my first day I tipped him $40 and said I am Solo i probably not gonna need a lot from you but Ice please keep my Ice chest full... I had to call him every time but once I only had him clean the cabin once which is the time he got the Ice...he was polite and professional but didn't seem to want to do the extra effort... he would of got another $40 but did not earn it. and yes i kept on the auto tip as well. also like i said with my breakfast i felt they were training people to do it, Besides that everyone was awesome and friendly the Casino crew was top notch from the dealers to the Cocktail servers i was greeted by name every time i walked in there. the staff during the Muster drill was awesome they were the Dancers in the show so they new how to Entertain us while dealing with a boring issue. So here are some weird issues this cruise had that normally you wont run into often We were suppose to leave Long Beach at 5:30 pm I was up on the lido and we just sat and sat finally i went downstairs because it was getting dark and i was hungry.. we set sail at 8:05 Captain came on once and said we were delayed because we hadn't been cleared to leave yet..First day we were suppose to be in Catalina I was going to stay on board the weather was poor and i have been to Catalina many times nothing i wanted see but i was woke up at 7:45 by the Captain saying the weather was to bad to be able to tender back and forth so we were going to make today the sea day and go to Catalina tomorrow and Ensanada on the last day. and any excursions would be refunded, taxes etc. everything would be re booked for Ensanada about 12 pm the captain came back on and said we were heading to San Diego to drop off a sick passenger and please dont try to get off the ship we are only going to stop and drop...then about 30 minutes later he cam back on and said the Coast Guard decided to come and pick him up instead please stay away from the back of the boat...of course everyone was up on the lido taking pictures...and we ended up canceling Catalina altogether and went to Ensanada as planned with the last day being another sea day... Getting off the ship I walked off at 7:45 right to my truck and on the road by 8am Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
A smaller ship has its benefits: It was easier to get on, get off, find a deck chair, and find a chair at the shows. But this is an older ship, it is worn on the edges, had some bed smells, and had a funky cabin layout (The 4 of us were ... Read More
A smaller ship has its benefits: It was easier to get on, get off, find a deck chair, and find a chair at the shows. But this is an older ship, it is worn on the edges, had some bed smells, and had a funky cabin layout (The 4 of us were layered like a Jenga game). The bands play in odd places that don't have chairs to watch them from. Even being an older ship, it is Carnival, and the staff is excellent. Our steward was awesome. The comedians were good. The staff we interacted with around the ship was great. The food was good, not great, not bad. The breakfast in the dining room was not the best, we had the same menu items on the Vista last spring and they were far better then. Catalina is a great stop, but the cruise passengers and their rental golf carts disturb the peace as they race around on their gas powered vehicles. We hiked up into the hills around town, that was really fun. Ensenada is nice along the waterfront and the fish market, but the the main shopping street was too much; very high pressure people on the street trying to get you in their store. I was exhausted from saying, "Gracias No". We bought souvenirs from an older couple that owned a store and did not hassle us. The Love and Marraige show, Hairy Chest Competition, and one of the comedians were fun. This was our first cruise, out of five, that loud passengers woke us up at bar closing time. They woke us up every night as they stumbled back to their cabins. Perhaps because this was a 4 night cruise, not to sound snobby but we had only been on 7 night cruises before this. Our kids liked being in their clubs as usual. We did not do any shore excursions. We booked this cruise 4 days before sailing and paid $1,000 for four people including tax and gratuities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise was a four-night trip on the Carnival Inspiration, round trip from Long Beach, visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada. This was my 16th cruise lifetime, and 4th on Carnival. My most recent cruises were on Princess; my last ... Read More
This cruise was a four-night trip on the Carnival Inspiration, round trip from Long Beach, visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada. This was my 16th cruise lifetime, and 4th on Carnival. My most recent cruises were on Princess; my last cruise on Carnival was about two years ago. This was my first cruise as a solo (divorced) traveler. I picked this trip simply because the timing worked out, and the price was right. Even having to pay double occupancy fare, with taxes, port fees and gratuities prepaid it came to under $500. I arrived early on Monday morning at the pier at 10:30am. My boarding pass showed I was in boarding group A3 and has a check-in time of 12:30pm. The parking garage is incredibly convenient, being right next to the terminal building. Part of it is currently under construction for expansion, but I had no problem finding a spot, and ended up on the ramp between the 1st and 2nd floors, right near the exit. Incidentally, this location charges $23 per night for parking. There were several porters sitting around by the curb at the edge of the garage, but I couldn’t immediately tell if they were bringing luggage out for people leaving or picking up new luggage. So I walked past them before being directed back by the friendly Carnival staff at the crosswalk. At the terminal building there was no one waiting, and the staff welcomed me to come inside and “get the process started”. They have three lines at the entrance – one for priority and FTTF, one for people arriving at their check-in time, and one for people arriving early. It didn’t matter though, since again no one was there. So I walked into the terminal at 10:42am and was through security at 10:45. Then I had nothing to do but wait inside the large domed building on their cushy bench seats. They started calling priority and FTTF boarding at 11:13am. Since there was still not that many people there, they continued by calling groups A1 and A2 at 11:14, followed by group A3 at 11:15. So the folks who purchased FTTF, for which one of the perks is earlier boarding, got on a whole two minutes earlier than me. After walking a long distance through an inclined ramp that went around and around, I made it to the upstairs check point at 11:18 and was on board at 11:21. (Rooms are announced as being not available until 1:30, and the doors to staterooms corridors are all closed at this point). I had lunch at Guy’s Burger Joint, which is the first opportunity I’ve had to try this. It was actually a pretty decent burger, and they give you a small side of fries on the side. They have a pretty expansive condiment bar, with sauces and toppings such as bacon and mushrooms. Also on the pool deck is the Blue Iguana Cantina, offering street tacos, burritos, and taco salad bowls. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, closing at 3:30pm (2:30pm on the last day at sea). Guy’s is open Noon-6:00pm. Incidentally, the Cantina also has an expansive salsa bar, so you can dress up your tacos any way you like. I was surprised that for burritos, the only tortilla offerings they had were wheat or jalapeno. They have two self serve beer kiosks on the Lido deck, one between Guy’s and the Cantina and one inside the buffet area, where you swipe your card and pour your own beer and it charges by the ounce ($.37/oz). I tried the one outside once – it coughed and sputtered up foam. And the resulting ounce of liquid I ended up with did not taste like the Dos Equus it claimed to be. Fortunately I did not incur a charge for this; I guess the machine knows when it’s not working. And even more fortunately, they have the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar and the more popular Red Frog Rum Bar, both of which feature their own menu of cocktails, and daily featured drinks for $1 off. I like how Carnival has its self-serve beverage station set up, out at the Lido deck near the pool, with machine dispensers for coffee, hot water for tea, and cocoa as well as water and lemonade all day (and other juices at breakfast times). It’s nice being out in the open with room to move around it. It’s so much more…user friendly then how things are setup on Princess. And I love having instant access to cocoa all day long. Except – the machine is a one-touch button that pre-fills the mug a specific amount. And that amount is 60% full. So you have to press it again and pull your cup out before it overflows, allowing the rest to pour down the drain. For some reason they had a person dressed up as Mr. Potato Head, taking pictures with people on the Lido deck on embarkation day. Still haven’t figured out why. Muster was call 25 minutes late according to the posted schedule, at 3:55pm. As is the norm these days, no need to bring a life jacket to muster. I was in the Paris theatre, and was impressed that the captain came to our muster station to talk, accompanied by the chief engineer and hotel director. I’ve never seen the high brass at muster before. I had Your-Time dining this trip, which was the first time on any line that I’ve done this. I’ve almost always done traditional early dining before. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Your Time dining worked. I arrived the first night at 5:55pm (it opened at 5:45), and was seated right away at my own table. There wasn’t even a line to get in really, just a few people. They pull your room number at the front, which gives your waiter your name; it is a nice touch when they address you by name. My waiter this night was Julio, and it was his first night onboard too (he previously was on the Fascination). Nice guy, but this would be the only night I saw him. I started with the poblano and corn soup, which frankly was amazingly flavorful with just a bit of spiciness. I then had the lasagna, which looked good but was overly beefy and under-seasoned, nor was I a fan of the creamy white cheese they use. But it was still pretty good. And of course I had the chocolate melting cake for dessert. It’s basically like an undercooked brownie-cake with a side of vanilla ice cream. Sooo good. I left at 6:55 and noted that there was still no line outside. My dining each subsequent night went pretty much the same, and all of the food was enjoyable. I noted at one point on the first night that a pop version of My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic) was playing on the speakers. Why do they play this on cruise ships?? ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment onboard was pretty good. I should mention that I never had issue getting seating at any show, early or late shows, whether I showed up 5 minutes early or 20 minutes early. Seating just wasn’t an issue here. The stage shows were…okay. Studio VIP and Motor City. You can tell the cast has some talent, although if I were to be nitpicky I’d say they’ve gotten a little lazy on the choreography. Just not a lot of attention to detail in uniformity. But my big problem is the design of the shows, which I just don’t find to be well written with a good flow to engage audiences. I’ve found the shows on Princess to be written much better, and on Princess they have a live orchestra that really adds to the experience. Where Carnival really excels is in their Punchliner Comedy Club. With two comedians on board and 2-4 shows nightly ranging from PG to explicit, there’s a lot of offerings. They blow Princess out of the water here. It’s among the best in comedy shows I’ve seen anywhere, on land or sea. Andre was a great host and has some talent of his own, and in particularly the comic Douglas Williams was fantastic. I also really enjoyed the Piano Bar, which is in a little lounge in a separate room off the atrium. Michael has great personality for this venue, and he’s quite talented. I also attended the Love and Marriage show, hosted by CD Ryan Rose, which was incredibly funny and well run. And that coming from a single, divorced guy. Incidentally, the CD on this trip w did a great job and was all over the ship. PORTS We had tender service in Catalina, and honestly it was the smoothest and easiest tendering I’ve ever done. No tender tickets needed. Just show up and go. Assuming you can figure out where to show up – they are not very good about posting anywhere where you’re supposed to go. It’s not in the FunTimes or on the Hub app. There’s no signs in the stair/elevator landings. I think they made an announcement, but I was in my stateroom and couldn’t hear it. Anyways, tender service was scheduled to begin at 7:45; I headed down at 8am. I basically kept going down as far as I could, wandering eventually to deck 4, where the signs say “Medical Center”. And that’s where you go, apparently. But I walked right on the tender, no waiting, and we were soon underway. Golf cart rentals in Catalina are $50 an hour, btw. It’s been a few years since I was here and I don’t remember them being quite that high. But I walked around on my own, first along the waterfront before heading up the hill to the Wrigley Botanical Gardens (admisson $8 general, $6 senior). They have a nice collection of cacti as well as plants such as aloe and agave, and a variety of small trees such as shrub oak. The old stone monument, built in 1933, offers some nice views down to the bay. I also did the Garden to Sky Summit trail, which goes up to the top of the hill offering even more fantastic views around the island. Ensenada was the next day; we docked in at 7:35am. Once again I found my way down to deck 4 and walked right off. I can tell Ensenada has been working on improvements over the last decade. They’ve improved their waterfront walk and added in fountains (which didn’t operate until the afternoon). It seems like there were less people around the pier area trying to hawk stuff. Though downtown, you still see a lot of this. I had lunch at a colorful little street café, and got approached every few minutes by 5-year old girls trying to sell trinkets. As well as groups of older men with instruments trying to play you a song. I was offered several massages with happy endings out on the street, along with all manner of pharmaceuticals and typical trinkets that are mostly identical in every shop you come to. I did visit the science museum just off the pier, which is a huge new building, of which only about 10% is finished and running. But for $3 you can visit a room with displays and videos about endemic plants and animals on the various islands around the Baja peninsula. On our last day at sea before returning home, I went to the Sea Day Brunch that is apparently a popular thing to do. I arrived at 8:30, which was the opening time, and the line stretched out of the Mardi Gras dining room and halfway around the atrium. And this was despite having competition with the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast going on at the same time in the Carnivale Dining Room. This was the longest I waited the entire trip to be seated for dining – and it still only took 6 minutes. Of course with the initial opening, service was a bit slow, and it took over a half hour to get served any food. But it was still good, and I recommend it. I had the eggs benedict and a blueberry muffin (served warm), along with a side of “brunch potatoes”. As far as dining goes, I should note that lunch is never available in the MDR’s. I often enjoyed this on Princess, especially on embarkation day. But it’s not offered on Carnival, or at least this ship. For cooked meats – they give you two options: medium rare or medium well. Getting drinks on the ship was never a problem, as I found servers to be plentiful anywhere I was. And the staff in general was great ship-wide, always friendly and seemingly glad that you are there. I should also note that this ship has the waterworks slides, as well as a 9-hole mini golf course area that also has a foosball table and two pool tables (not that the balls ever stay put much on a moving ship). And there’s one ping-pong table, midship deck 11, port side. Well eventually you have to go home. On disembarkation day the full breakfast buffet opens early, at 6:30am (instead of the normal 7am – on Princess incidentally they always open at 6am). The disembarkation process is more streamlined than on Princess, where they have you wait in a lounge somewhere while they call through dozens of different groups. Here on this Carnival ship anyway, they just call by deck starting at 7:30. You have to be vacated from your room by 8:30, and everyone is supposed to be off the ship by 9:30. I didn’t wait that long, as I hate long good-byes. I noted that a line started forming around the Deck 7 atrium just before 7am, which is when they allow those off who have priority or who are carrying their own luggage. I didn’t head up myself till about 7:08, and by then there were only a dozen or so in line. I made it off the ship and down to security in 10 minutes, and breezed through security in about 30 seconds. In summary, the Carnival Inspiration is an older ship but with recent renovations to give it some of the amenities you’d expect on newer vessels. It’s well maintained enough that it’s easy to forget its age, and the crew is by and large friendly, helpful, and energetic, displaying great pride in their work. Although it’s just a short 4-day voyage, and they don’t offer really any enrichment type classes on the places you’re visiting, it’s a nice little vacation getaway. 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Sail Date January 2020
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. ... Read More
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. There were kids there but most were kept in check. The ship was easy to navigate and nothing was too far away. Cabin has only one plug so bring a strip. Nothing good on tv that has two complimentary movie channels. Casino is nice with all games, including craps. Bingo paid well if you won unlike Celebrity’s bingo. Water slide looked like a blast but it was too cold on this voyage. Entertainment that we saw was pretty boring. Dress like the 50’s, sing 50’s songs. Next night, dress like the 70’s, sing 70’s songs, etc. The high energy cruise director made things fun when he was in charge. Service in the cabin and the dining room were excellent. The food was good but not memorable. Karaoke was fun as was Papas and Beer in Ensenada. I would go on this cruise again. For an inexpensive getaway it can’t be beat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday before the cruise. I had never been to the west coast so I wanted to see as much as possible before the cruise. I am in love with LA and probably will not return anytime soon because it a long way ... Read More
I arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday before the cruise. I had never been to the west coast so I wanted to see as much as possible before the cruise. I am in love with LA and probably will not return anytime soon because it a long way from home but it is still a domestic flight with limited food selection and no on board entertainment. I was with a friend and her daughter for the four days and met up with the final member of our party the day before cruising. I had rented a car from Enterprise and was given the option to return the car to Long Island. That was a great decision because after we turned in the car, my party was given a ride to cruise terminal. A five minute ride. This was the second time on the Inspiration, the first time was in March 2010. I fell in love with cruising. Embarkation was easy with no lines or waiting. My assigned time was 1:00 pm but I got there by 12 noon. The food was excellent then and is still good, however I was not happy to pay $20 for lobster and it was given to us free back then. The ship has been refurbished since my first sailing. The old girl looks great for her age. She has balconies, I don't remember if she had them in 2010. There was new tables and chairs in the buffet along with new carpeting. I was in an inside room, M 219 and my friends were in M 251. The room was spacious and easy to get around in. I was on the upper deck the first time with three boys with two to three showers daily was a bit tight. I love the older ships because the rooms are larger. The only area I was not happy with was in the Carnivale dining room. My group of four was seated with eight other people and it was tight. The others were very nice but sometimes my party was not seated next to each other. There was only one other seating of twelve. One couple seated with us, had family members at a table with ten. It was somewhat awkward eating next to a woman who was left handed, I am right. I always love the Motown Show and it did not disappoint. The comedian was good, but the trivia show, I will take a pass. New Year's Eve, my group spent on the Lido deck. My group was given tiara's and horns that were on the dresser the first day of the cruise. In the lounge where they had the trivia, I got 2020 light glasses and light sticks. They were passing out party favors when we got to the Lido deck. Just before midnight champagne was passed out. It was an good party. I absolutely loved Catalina Island. My group and I rented a golf cart to explore the island. I kept the golf cart for about 90 minutes and were given a refund of $23. Our next port was Ensenada Mexico. My group split up and went different ways, one took a tour of the island with a stop at the blow hole, mother and daughter rented a golf cart to explore the city but was chased by dogs, neither was hurt or injured. I took the bus in town for $3 up and a dollar back. I arrived in town around 9 am and everything was closed. There were very few people walking around. I saw several people sleep on the ground. I saw a 7-Eleven and walked into the store to get something to drink. The young girl spoke some English and was very helpful. I spoke some broken Spanish. Around 10 am, shops started opening up. Most of the vendors wanted you to come into their shop. I found some great leather purses. I bargained with the gentlemen and brought two for my daughters. I walked back to the buses and before I actually got to the parking lot, a bus was parked near was I walking and asked if I was going back to the ship. I got on the bus and it was one dollar. Disembarkation was easy and by time our floor was called, finding our luggage was easy. All of us rode the bus back to the airport for $29.99 each person. Overall this was a great cruise. I would definitely go on the Inspiration again if I am in the area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right ... Read More
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right near the entrance and was even able to board early. We had a noon board time and we were on board by 11am. 2. The rooms- felt much smaller than NCL, RCCL and disney. 4 of us in a room. 1 king size bed and one set of bunk beds, one bunk is on the floor and one comes from the wall. Once the bunkbeds are open you are unable to walk around the king size bed. I had to climb over my husband to get to the bathroom. Window was dirty and hard to see out of. 3. Housekeeping- Once we boarded we were asked if we wouldn’t housekeeping in the morning or at night, you could only pick One. So this meant the bunk beds were always down and left little room to actually walk around in the room. 4. Bathroom was a nice size, when you flushed the toilet it flushed either once or three times. There is a safe in the room, You just need a card with a strip on the back to be able to open and lock the safe. I used my sail card. 5. Only one outlet in the whole room. We brought a power strip. 6. Walls are thin, we brought a sound machine . 7. Catalina island- tender was rough, didn’t take long. Island was nice, not a lot to do. We rented golf carts. First golf cart company was cash only, $50 per hour. Another block down the street another company took credit card for the first hour and cash for the second hour(50$ per hour) so if you are going to do this you will need cash. If you take the cart for only one hour and return it within that hour they will give you your $50 cash back. We took the full two hours and got to see the entire island. I believe kids under 5 are required to have a car seat. They do provide a map. We took bottled water with us. When we board the ship the odor of garbage was overwhelming wheels waiting to get through security. 8. Ensenada- got off the boat and took the four dollar bus to “downtown”. This was only about a mile from the ship. Once off the bus they offered to sell us discounted excursion tickets. We opted to walk around down town and were hassled by store workers every 4 feet. Some even sent small children, poorly dressed and with no shoes on to try and sell us items. Very sad. The offered my husband drugs, women and guns. We went back to the downtown shuttle and it took us back to the boat. The 4$ was roundtrip. 8. Many times while walking around the different floors of the ship you could smell sewage. Especially near the steps and elevators. Last sea day was very rough, many people throwing up on the floor. 9. Main dining room we had early seating and had Z as our waiter. He was awesome!! 10. Third night on the ship i ordered a glass of wine during the theater show. After the show when the lights came up I saw my wine glass was covered in lipstick marks, I don’t wear lipstick. Took the glass to customer service where the representative called the bar manager. Ryan Martin, he was less than helpful and angry that the desk clerk called him down to speak to me. He said there was nothing he could do. Disembarkation was easy and we paid 34$ to Uber To lax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We picked this cruise to go with some friends who were also cruising. It also is conveniently located to some family so we could maximize our vacation over the holiday. This was my first time on carnival. Embarking the ship was so easy ... Read More
We picked this cruise to go with some friends who were also cruising. It also is conveniently located to some family so we could maximize our vacation over the holiday. This was my first time on carnival. Embarking the ship was so easy and not a long process at all! Very fast and friendly! The cruise director and entertainment staff were very fun and entertaining. The Motown show was very fun. We enjoyed the NYE celebration on the top of the deck. And the comedians were pretty good as well. Let me say that my previous cruises have all been with NCL. So maybe my standards were a little high. The pictures are overpriced. They took up so much space doing the portraits and the packages were overpriced. The food on the buffet was not at all what I expected. It was not open as often as i thought the buffet should be and the food that was on it was not flavorful or appealing. We stopped there for lunch and ate dinner in the dining room. The burger, taco bar and pizza were the best food on the boat. I would say that the salsa bar was great it just needs tortilla chips to go with it. They didnt have any. The lunch time deserts were great! Better than the after dinner options that we stopped to see after dinner. The food in the dining room was ok. It was definitely better than the buffet at lunch. The desserts were ok. The best was the chocolate cake. The service by Z is outstanding. He was wonderful at keeping the drinks full and the kids happy. He really wanted us to feel at home during dinner. His other co-wait staff wasnt very friendly. The girl was rude and looked inconvenienced the whole time. The Atrium bar staff was extremely friendly and the drinks were great! The Alchemy bar had the best selection of mixed drinks on the ship. The tall bartender with glasses was fantastic and friendly. On a separate visit to that bar we recommended someone join us, we had a different person and he was not as friendly. Finally, the cleanliness of the ship could use some work. The sanitizer stations were empty. The bathroom by the atrium on the 8th floor is a busy bathroom after a show. It was also busy on the last morning. To have 3 stalls broken, clogged and not flushing seems to be a maintenance issue. The housekeeping staff, Nat, for our room was very friendly though and he really had that room clean upon our arrival and was great! The only complaint about our room was the location. We were right under the kitchen and 3 and 4 am or 4 and 5pm are extremely busy. It sounded like someone was dropping ovens on the ceiling. Kids are pretty easy going. Other than the ice cream machine, burger bar and pizza bar I didnt see many of our kids eating much of anything else. In the dining room even the older children liked the kids menu food. My daughter loved the kids club. The scavenger hunt was her favorite thing. My younger daughter enjoyed the ice cream. I would definitely recommend checking weather for this timeframe before choosing this cruise. It was fairly chilly and if your family enjoys pools and sun decks, this cruise may not be for you this time of year. Catalina was beautiful. Get off the ship and get a golf cart and see it all. It was probably my favorite part of the trip. If you are getting off the boat in Ensenada, Papas and Beer was the only thing downtown that we would recommend. There is a beach south of the ship but we didnt realize that until later in the day. I will say that the sunsets are beautiful! Make sure to be upstairs at sunset and take in that amazing view on this cruise. You wont forget that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I think the whole mentality of Carnival being a "walmart" or "cheap" cruise is highly unfair and false. The value of this cruise was great: great service, great food, fun games to shows to watch and participate in. I ... Read More
I think the whole mentality of Carnival being a "walmart" or "cheap" cruise is highly unfair and false. The value of this cruise was great: great service, great food, fun games to shows to watch and participate in. I have cruised with Princess before and even comparing that cruise with Carnival, Carnival did a great job in every department. Do you like steak? Fish? Frozen yogurt? Pasta? Chinese food? Pizza? Cheeseburgers and fries? Their vegetarian options were great as well. I loved their vegetarian lasgana and their pasta. My favorite thing to eat on the cruise was their creme bruele. The double (king) sized bed was extremely comfortable, the shower was big for an interior state cabin. The comedy shows were funny (I recommend to go to the PG ones - they were more clever to me rather than X rated). I personally think the people who have rated this cruise poorly are nit-picking over things that don't matter. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are cruiser's, it's not our first rodeo. We took our 2 grandkids, ages 6 and 8 years old boys Food; there is not much food for kids. Dinners were caribbean, french in lido buffet. There is pizza. They make them two at a ... Read More
We are cruiser's, it's not our first rodeo. We took our 2 grandkids, ages 6 and 8 years old boys Food; there is not much food for kids. Dinners were caribbean, french in lido buffet. There is pizza. They make them two at a time, cut them in 4 pieces each and serves 4 people two pieces each. they make grilled cheese, but they don't grill them, they toast them with mayo inside. Not good. Long line here too. But wait, they have chicken nuggets, french fries and pizza by ordering room service but you must pay for these items. Plus you'll have to wait on the phone and for it to be delivered. TABLE SERVICE: people in Lido did not p/u dishes, they waited till your done Dining room; four of us eating brunch. My wife's food came after we 3 were done. She had to eat alone. Kids menu had mac and cheese but it was to fancy for kids. Swimming pools: baby and toddlers in diapers not swim wear. Kids ocean program: these people are the best. They did a great job for my grandkids. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Class Reunion was to take place on this Cruise Ship. It was set up by the worst Travel Agent in Tehachapi, CA.......... No Meeting set up anywhere... No information provided... That was a worthless gathering... We felt totally left ... Read More
Class Reunion was to take place on this Cruise Ship. It was set up by the worst Travel Agent in Tehachapi, CA.......... No Meeting set up anywhere... No information provided... That was a worthless gathering... We felt totally left out................ The "Masquerade Ball" lacked music and dancing... So, it was just people in costumes, or not... who barely spoke to each other. Nothing really. The Inspiration ship pales in comparison to others, such as the Miracle or Imagination... Tea Time, has always been a pleasant experience, and we have always looked forward to attend those. This time, we were told: "Lipton Tea is complimentary, but, the others are $2.00."........ Instead of individual tea pots, they just poured water in the cups............... So, corners are cut................. and what used to be elegant, has faded down to........... We Cruise often. We enjoy it. It is a luxury........ We see corners cut, and Grandeur is lost. The reason for this post, is a WARNING to all who enjoy Cruising as we do........... Much to my dismay, I must inform, and warn people, of Fraud and Thievery on Cruises. My wallet was in the top, zippered exterior part of my suitcase, in the closet, in the cabin. The ONLY person who ever entered the room, was the Room Attendant. On the way to the Parking Garage, I had counted the cash in my wallet because we needed that to pay our Handyman upon return from the trip. I did not use any of the Cash. My husband had plenty of Cash in his wallet, the Cruise and Excursions had all been pre-paid, and we had Credit Cards for Souvenirs. When our Handyman came, I reached in my wallet to pay him, and discovered the missing money... The next day, I discovered that my Social Security Card was also missing... The Room Attendant was very clever........ He left one $20. and the singles, so, I still had a stack of money, but the in-between was all gone. He also placed an other card from my wallet, where the Social Security Card was... My Social Security Card has my name and signature, which is easy to replicate.............. I feel violated. This is Fraud and Thievery. Carnival Cruise Line was immediately informed, upon each discovery, and so far, has not done a thing..................... I believe that such a report should remove the Room Attendant from accessing any other cabins, ever. He can work other posts, but, not be allowed in cabins. He can't be trusted. He should be investigated, because, this is not just Cash.......... but, a Social Security Card... What does he do with Social Security Cards? There is usually a safe in most cabins. From now on, we'll have to use it. I never, ever, expected a Room Attendant to take anything............ Now, we will never trust any of them................ I think that we will refuse them entry to clean. We can make our own bed. An other point, Cruises are charging a tip on our bill. This should NOT be allowed. We should tip what we want, if we want.......... It should NOT be mandatory... Our cabin did not have a fridge............ Chocolate covered strawberries were in our cabin when we arrived, but, without refrigeration, soon had a black fur coat, and had to be discarded... Our cabin was FAR from the elevators, and so, we had to walk a lot............. Elderly people should not be placed so far away from elevators. The Mardi-Gras Dining Room was a nightmare to enter........... There is a sign that reads: " Go up one level to come down..." We searched each and every single day... No matter how we went, we were always wrong... We went to the other Dining Room, and were TURNED AWAY......... We were told that we were assigned to the other Dining-Room ONLY. All in all........... we never want to go back on Inspiration............. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I hopped on this cruise for a quick getaway. We’re booked on the Horizon for next year, but couldn’t wait that long, and I needed to get to my happy place: the ocean. It’s been twenty years since we were on a Fantasy ... Read More
My husband and I hopped on this cruise for a quick getaway. We’re booked on the Horizon for next year, but couldn’t wait that long, and I needed to get to my happy place: the ocean. It’s been twenty years since we were on a Fantasy Class ship (Elation), and we had some reservations about the condition of this ship. We noticed that the ship underwent a recent refurb, so we took the chance and went with the Inspiration. I was pleasantly surprised. We usually book balcony cabins because we like to have breakfast on the balcony when sailing into or docked in port, but for this cruise, we booked a guaranteed ocean view stateroom and ended up with a cabin on the Riviera Deck. The cabin was fine. It appeared to be clean, and worked for this short 4-day cruise. We did smell the occasional sewage odor in the bathroom, but I always pack an air freshener for this purpose. We saw our room stewards often, and they were friendly. The food was just ok in both the dining room and at the buffet, but Guy’s Burger Joint and the BlueIguana Cantina were the stars of the show. In addition to good burgers, Guy’s has good fries. I had the best fish taco from the cantina. Note that in the morning, you can get omelettes and breakfast at the cantina as well; no need to wait in line at the buffet for the same offerings. There are also sandwich and pizza stations, which I visited once, and both were ok. There is definitely better pizza at sea, but in a pinch, the pizza on this ship will do. Fresh fruit and vegetables also abound. I don’t recommend the Sea Day Brunch. Service took way too long, and once again, the food was just ok. As far as entertainment goes, Carnival opens a “big ol’ can of fun.” There’s something for everyone. Having said that, however, everything might not be for everyone. Some of the venues can get a little raunchy late into the evening. I also had a nice and relaxing facial at the Spa. Overall, we had a great time. We had beautiful weather and calm seas – can’t ask for anything more than that! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted to try out something that’s fun and relaxing and were told Carnival Cruise Line could be one good choice. Since the itinerary was able to fit into our overall schedule touring LA and taking another cruise ship, we decided to ... Read More
We wanted to try out something that’s fun and relaxing and were told Carnival Cruise Line could be one good choice. Since the itinerary was able to fit into our overall schedule touring LA and taking another cruise ship, we decided to sail on Carnival Inspiration. We were impressed by the Long Beach Cruise Terminal which is run by Carnival Cruse Line. The fun element started when we were brought to a cocktail table where they would verify our identify. Everything was really just like s flash, scanned and we saw our photo. We didn’t have to go go thru another round or registration and the key card was sent to the stateroom by 1:30pm. The activities on the ship were American orientated but people were enjoying on the ship. It’s Halloween season and many guests were dressed up every day in their own favourite Halloween characters. The main dining room had very friendly and helpful staff. Most dishes were nicely served, which we didn’t have any problem. Except for few Asian / international delights which might need some improvement in terms of the naming of the dishes and cooking styles. I enjoyed the brunch and hi tea on the last sea day, they were deliciously presented. Ensenada is such a nice port in Mexico and I was glad we signed up for a city tour which brought us to the town area. In the evening we would explore few places for dancing and realised Salsa and Bachata were popular on this ship. Great Singers! Though Carnival Inspiration is not a premium ship, it provides the general comfort and fun elements to the guests. For instance, every dinner the staff would gather to dance with the guests. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the close proximity to Long Beach. Plus it was my birthday and did not have to fly anywhere. I read a previous review about calling the cruise a Wal-Mart cruise. It was every bit of that review and more. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the close proximity to Long Beach. Plus it was my birthday and did not have to fly anywhere. I read a previous review about calling the cruise a Wal-Mart cruise. It was every bit of that review and more. The ship was over run with young screaming kids. One fellow passenger asked a father of a screaming child to control the child. The father wanted to fight this passenger an elderly man. We sat in the dining room and after a party had left the table the personnel sorted through the silverware that looked unused and reset the table. Even the same coffee cups! At the formal dinner the place setting only had one fork. No salad fork. On other cruise lines there were several more utensils for appropriate usage. Last evening we sat in the buffet area and the bussing staff was no where to be found. Counted 12 plus tables with dishes that had not been cleared off for over 30 minutes. The dress code was not enforced at the main dining room.. People in shorts tank tops and hats on backwards. Stayed in a suite that had an outdoor balcony. The room was spacious and clean. The run frog bar has an amazing knowledgeable bar tender by the name of Spartan. He is the best ! The crew was friendly throughout the ship. The crew director, Savannah is totally annoying with her barrage of annoucements. she finishes each announcement with , "Say bye!" That has to go! 4 days is long enough. I guess if you advertise a low price you get what you get. Next time will be an adults only cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
For a family of 7 it was the right price. Boarding was easy and quick. We were able to grab a seat by the pool, take a dip in the pool and made our way to the wonderful buffet. The kids (4 of them) favorite part was of course the ice ... Read More
For a family of 7 it was the right price. Boarding was easy and quick. We were able to grab a seat by the pool, take a dip in the pool and made our way to the wonderful buffet. The kids (4 of them) favorite part was of course the ice cream. My mom and sister's favorite part was getting coffee delivered to the rooms. The only downside was the kids zone for ages 13-14 was always closed. the other two age groups would be open. Both of our shore trips were great. We took the glass boat tour in Catalina and the Gold Coast Tour in Ensenada. We came along the devils home right outside of La Fonda where we stopped to take a stroll on the beach, get a free drink and eat some great chips and salsa. My mom is a huge Steven King fan so she enjoyed getting a closer look at the creepy home. Our tour guide was great. Our dinner staff was great and the entertainment was great. Wish they would extend the time for family kaorake and comedy shows. they were kind of short. It was kind of hard to enjoy the over 21 hot tubs when the 13-14 year club was closed so we had to be surrounded by the teenagers who invaded the hot tubs on the Lido deck vice enjoying their club that was open..... The food was awesome. everyone tried something new..... From alligator fritters, braised rabbit and frog legs. Plus the endless seafood on the menu. The only true bad thing about the cruise the pricing of the pictures. it was insane how expensive they were. Other cruises offer a great bulk pricing but Carnival doesn't. Spent over 150 for 10 pictures and left a lot of great pictures on the wall. But overall it was a awesome cruise. Thank you for a great time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed it! I would give the staff service 5 stars as they always took care of us at all times! The Cruise director kept everyone informed and the passengers entertained every day. We were not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed it! I would give the staff service 5 stars as they always took care of us at all times! The Cruise director kept everyone informed and the passengers entertained every day. We were not impressed with the food but overall dining was good. The room was very quiet, clean and the bed was really comfortable. (Deck 4 cabin R195) We really enjoyed all the live music playing throughout the cruise. Lady Red at the Piano bar was a favourite! The bartender's were very tentative and professional. I loved the Spa Salon. Not something I normally do but ended up going twice to get a blowout special by Alexander S. Be prepared for bad weather, thankful I had warm clothes and we missed out on Catalina Island but it was for safety. Definitely can feel the rocking at times but we wore a patch and never felt sick. Embarkation and disembarkation went fast and smooth. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I went on this ship as it was the only thing available at the last minute when trying to find a cruise to take my 30y.o. sister on who has never cruised before. I had done this itinerary twice before (Ensenada twice and Catalina Island ... Read More
I went on this ship as it was the only thing available at the last minute when trying to find a cruise to take my 30y.o. sister on who has never cruised before. I had done this itinerary twice before (Ensenada twice and Catalina Island once) and I had done this ship before in 2015 being in a wedding as my friend was married on it. The ship looks old, worn, and dirty. We saw crew members dusting the walls in the morning but important things like cleaning our oceanview window so we could have a clear view outside and pickup up trash in the public bathrooms were missed. The handwashing machine near Blue Iguana didn't work properly most of the time, just flashing a red light and and hand sanitizer near there was never filled. The bathroom nearest the buffet on port side, the air dreyer never worked and there were no paper towels available. Within 20min of boarding the ship we sat down in the buffet to eat lunch and the wooden bench part of the seat in one of the booths completely fell off the bench making my sister almost fall. Two crewmembers walked by, saw it was broken, and did nothing. Certain coffee makers and other drink dispensers didn't work the entire cruise. Our sheets had holes and there was only one outlet in the whole room. The food in the dining room was more miss than hit and no one encouraged hand washing like they do on NCL. I rarely touched the ladles and spoons to serve myself, using a blue cloth napkin instead, yet I'm still sick the day after the cruise. The casino house edge on roulette is insane with Carnival adding a B (bonus) green space to the the standard 0/00. The lady running the trivia was unfamiliar with the subject matter of some of the trivia games and while generally having people from all over the world work on the ship is an amazing display of diversity, in this case it made trivias less fun when you can't understand the host. Not only when running the Harry Potter trivia was she unaware of simple things like Ron's last name being pronounced Weasley and not Wesley but the second question asked was WRONG! "Of the three main characters, who is the oldest?" The correct answer is Hermione, yet on her sheet (and clearly because she's not versed on the subject matter to know otherwise) the answer says Ron, which is incorrect and leaves a damper on the experience itself when those running a trivia don't know the correct answers. German C, the DJ on board always looked like he hated being there. Nightclub hits was supposed to start at 11:30 in the dance club but normally he didn't stop playing oldschool or 90's hits until 12:15am or later making the fun of dancing to current music only last about 45min or so. Also, our server on the third night in Mardi Gras was not very kind nor patient. And the person staffing the pizza area in the back of the buffet always had an attitude as if you were bothering him. The Cruise Director Ryan Rose was great and so was his right hand man 'Fernando(?)'. They were the positives of the cruise. The two shows in the theaters while short and had basic choreography and wasn't anything new or exciting, was still entertaining and the male lead singer/dancer was very good. My sister enjoyed the nightclub but wished they played current hits starting earlier in the night since it ended early. Too many times she tried to eat a caesar salad but it either had too much or too little dressing no matter how she specified it. Overall she enjoyed herself so in my opinion if you haven't been on many cruises, or haven't been on new and large ships or haven't stayed in a balcony cabin before and don't have much to compare it too you may enjoy this cruise for a quick getaway if you are local to the area. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I'm just off the Carnival Inspiration and thought I'd share! Our intinerary was supposed to be Long Beach - Catalina - Ensenada - Long Beach. What it turned out to be was Catalina - San Diego - Ensenada - San Diego - Long ... Read More
I'm just off the Carnival Inspiration and thought I'd share! Our intinerary was supposed to be Long Beach - Catalina - Ensenada - Long Beach. What it turned out to be was Catalina - San Diego - Ensenada - San Diego - Long Beach. There were two medical emergencies, one on the way, one on the way back, so that's why the unscheduled stops. We got to Catalina on Tuesday morning after kind of a rough night at sea. People started disembarking and then they shut down the tenders due to high winds and rough water. I hadn't left yet so didn't get to see the island at all. We then traveled to Ensenada, arriving the next morning. I did the Taste of Mexico/Tequila Tasting excursion which was fun. Naturally we had the obligatory shopping stop. That night was the formal dining. There were a lot of seasick people on this ship. It was cold and windy the entire time. People were still in the pool though! I would not recommend this itinerary for people prone to seasickness or who mind the ship rocking and rolling. I'm not sure if it's the same during the summer, though. The food was okay. Obviously preparing food for this many people is not going to be gourmet, but there was always something tasty to eat even if you didn't really care for the dining room selections. Typical buffet food. I wish Carnival would have better coffee. It's really kind of terrible. The Guy's Burger was good. The service on board was top-notch. All the ship's personnel were friendly, and boy do they work hard. Special shout-out to our waiter Manuel - he was great. I was in cabin M216 (aft) and was very comfortable. My first time in an inside cabin and I didn't mind it at all. This ship is old but in very good shape. Everything was clean. I didn't notice any of the foul odors that others have posted about. I'll be taking Carnival in the future, but not this itinerary. It was a reasonably priced week getaway and the good far outweighed the bad. Want to try one of the new ships next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking for a family friendly 4 day cruise and we found it! First time on Carnival Crew was very very nice My cabin was clean all the time Orlando our cruise director was a delite! Loved the dining was pretty good ... Read More
We were looking for a family friendly 4 day cruise and we found it! First time on Carnival Crew was very very nice My cabin was clean all the time Orlando our cruise director was a delite! Loved the dining was pretty good always a vegetarian selection Our kids enjoyed the kid activities such town animals, arcade, kids club - (although this was disorganized and s small fight broke out with several 10 years old in the kids club) yikes! Guys burger bar and taco bar by the pool was great! The winner for us was Alchemy Bar which mixed delicious martinis! Don’t miss this bar! Photo ops were everywhere so that was also a plus! Perfect amount of time on the cruise- Tiny bit sea sick due to boat going so slow- The Stufio VIP show on the last night was hysterical! Go to the comedy shows too If you a party this is your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We appreciate Carnival Inspiration Crew for making our first family cruise a wonderful and memorable experience. Our steward Bernard was friendly and we appreciate his hardwork. We dined every night and it was a great experience for my two ... Read More
We appreciate Carnival Inspiration Crew for making our first family cruise a wonderful and memorable experience. Our steward Bernard was friendly and we appreciate his hardwork. We dined every night and it was a great experience for my two boys (8 years and 6 years-old) to try and enjoy a variety of foods. We thank the people who served us and we appreciate their hard work. We also enjoyed the dining entertainment- your crew can definitely dance! My boys also enjoyed the breakfast with Dr. Seuss and the family comedy shows. We will for sure cruise with Carnival again. Our excursion in Ensenada- La Bufadora was really great. Belen was our tour guide and was very knowledgeable and welcoming. I am glad that I booked our excursion through Carnival. Our day at Catalina Island was also fantastic. We enjoyed riding around with the golf cart. We appreciate that your price is fair and deliver and provide us a priceless experience!!! With gratitude, The Mendoza Family Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We took this cruise to celebrate a friend's birthday. The cost was right and it seemed like a good time was awaiting us on the ocean. Let me start with, THE GOOD: Good friends Funny times at Karaoke The Tequila part of the ... Read More
We took this cruise to celebrate a friend's birthday. The cost was right and it seemed like a good time was awaiting us on the ocean. Let me start with, THE GOOD: Good friends Funny times at Karaoke The Tequila part of the Ensenada tour THE BAD: The food was awful. Dinner was not served on time nor at a temperature, you would consider "warm". On one evening, a friend paid for the upcharged "surf and turf", watched all of us eat our "lukewarm" meal, and still hadn't eaten his (after an hour and 25 minutes). Not until we got up to walk around and look for the food service manager did his food arrive. The service was forgettable. How do you include a gratuity on a final bill when the service you received was terrible. Water started with ice then, you'd receive a warm second glass. I'd ask for a coca cola and by the time we were ready to leave the table, the drink would arrive. The excursion is dangerous, in a sense. You take 20 people out to drink beer and tequila, then you entrust them to walk back to the boat on their own?!?! I get it, it's a tasting, but the sensible thing to do would be to make sure "EVERYONE" is transported back to the boat at the same time, the same way we left the boat... TOGETHER... Our bed felt like to twin mattresses pushed together and didn't offer a great rest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was the third Carnival cruise for my husband and I. We have previously sailed on the Splendor and Dream. We were part of a group of 56 in a wedding group. We were flying in on JetBlue to the Long Beach Airport and had ordered ... Read More
This was the third Carnival cruise for my husband and I. We have previously sailed on the Splendor and Dream. We were part of a group of 56 in a wedding group. We were flying in on JetBlue to the Long Beach Airport and had ordered the Carnival shuttle. We were told to go to the left when exiting baggage and that the shuttle would be waiting there. We did not see the shuttle anywhere. Another passenger was also looking for it. We each called Carnival and it turned out that the shuttle had been there the entire time on the right not on the left. The shuttle driver had a tiny paddle that none of us had seen. EMBARKATION: We ordered Faster to the Fun and had a 12:00 check-in. We got to the terminal and dropped our bags off with the porter and quickly made it through the check-in. We were stopped just prior to boarding and told that we needed to check-in with Guest Services. That made me somewhat paranoid. So we went there and were told that there had been a problem with our room (E71) and that they had to paint a spot on the ceiling. We were given 2 free drink passes and went over to the bar across from Guest Services. Before we received our drink orders, the rep said that our room was ready. She directed us to our room where the sign and sail cards were waiting in the mail box. By this time it was 11:55, so we actually got to our room before our scheduled check-in time! We had an ocean-view room, before we had booked balconies so it seemed really small. The mattress was really comfortable. I needed a firm pillow. The steward brought the firmest pillow that I have ever seen and it was so thick we thought it was 2 pillows in the same case. I ended up stuffing a beach towel in the regular pillow and it worked really well. We went up to Lido and met up with some of our group. We hit up the buffet. It was Italian themed and typical buffet. We sat by the pool and visited our friends. Some of the guys got burgers from Guys. I stole some of the fries and they were the best fries ever. We wanted to go in the hot tubs but they were all over-flowing with people. The ones on the Serenity deck were also over-filled. Some schools were on spring-break so that was part of the problem, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of partying. After muster, we ended up on a balcony on the aft side of Lido to watch the sail away. It overlooked Serenity deck but was very quiet. We went to the late dinner. I don’t remember what I ordered but it was some kind of Asian noodle dish. And of course warm chocolate melting cake for dessert! After dinner, we went to the casino for awhile and quickly lost. We headed back to our room at about 10:15. Big mistake. We were just 2 doors down from the Atrium lobby and the music was so loud that our room was vibrating. We went to Guest Services which was in the lobby and complained. All they could do was close the firedoor. It did not help. Finally around 11, they shut it down. Tuesday - Catalina We met up with some of our group in the main dining room for breakfast. I had my favorite avocado toast and a side of bacon. It was excellent. We then took the tender to Catalina for the wedding. We walked to Step Beach. It was not marked so we all walked past it and had to ask around before we found it. They hired a local minister and had a beautiful ceremony. Next we met up at Steve’s Steakhouse for lunch. We had to order from a limited menu because of the size of the group. We had 4 options from which to choose. Most of us ordered the fish and chips. Mine was stone cold. Also the restaurant was on the second floor and they did not have an elevator. We then hung out for an hour or so and did a little shopping. One member of the group, got a call from the upgrade fairy and were given the Owner’s Suite, so they arranged a surprise wedding reception. The suite is beautiful and had a bathroom with a whirlpool tub bigger than our room! After the reception, we went to dinner. It was formal night and Carnival does not enforce the dress code at all. There was a man in a tank top and flip flops and a woman had on fuzzy bathroom slippers that were allowed to dine. A woman was in line with just a bikini top and sarong cover-up. I’m not sure whether or not she was allowed in. I had the end-cut of the prime rib and grilled shrimp for dinner. The prime rib was the best that I have ever tasted. I didn’t have room for the creme brûlée so had to pass on dessert. We went to the casino and I won about $20 on slots. We were tired and decided to go to bed. Once again, the music was blasting. We complained and they offered to let us switch to a lower-rated room. It was 10:30 at night on the 2nd day of a 4 day cruise and we didn’t really feel like packing up everything to switch rooms. So we waited the music out. Wednesday - Ensenada I started the day with my avocado toast and bacon. We then walked off the ship. I got nervous when the drug sniffing dog kept smelling my purse, but it was just my gum. We booked the La Bufadora Adventure through Carnival. The bus was very uncomfortable and the seats were smaller than Southwest Airlines. We first went to a historical building that was once the first casino on Ensenada. There were about 10 vendors in the patio. The best thing about the spot was we were off the crowded bus for a few minutes. We next had about a 45 minute ride to the blow hole. We had to walk through a flea market where they sold “genuine replicas”. You could not walk more than 2 feet without being approached by vendors. I was given about 10 small sips of Pina coladas from different vendors. We watched the blow hole sprout water. After paying 75 cents to use the bathroom, you are given a few squares of toilet paper. Anyway we went back to the flea market and had some delicious grilled shrimp and fish tacos. I wanted a virgin Pina colada and was told it would be $12. I said too much and walked away. A few booths up, I got one for $5. It was so delicious. They carved out the pineapple and served it in that with several slices of fresh pineapple. We walked past the stalls but nothing appealed to me. The tour guide encouraged everybody to order tacos to eat on the bus. So on the ride back, the cramped bus was filled with people chowing down. We got back to the ship and had a letter from Guest Services. They reported our complaints to the music director. They also comped us $80 for our excursion. We hung out with friends and then went to dinner. I ordered the veal parmesan and it was nasty. It was cold and dry and had hardly any sauce. We went to the love and marriage show. Our newly-wed friends were one of the three couples chosen. Orlando, the cruise director was hilarious and this was the highlight of our cruise. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. One thing that was disturbing, one of the other couples when asked if a parrot was in their bedroom would repeat and they both said “Dumb B****”. I felt so bad for the wife. We wanted to go to bed but decided to kill some time until the music died so we went to the casino. I came out about $25 ahead on slots. We then went to our room and once again had to make the nightly walk to guest services to complain about the noise. (We were only 2 doors down). The reps there weren’t too happy about the noise level either because they couldn’t hear the passengers. Fun Day at Sea We slept in and then went to Sea Day brunch. We had delicious filet mignon and eggs. We hung out for the jewelry raffle to find it was only a crappy keychain. We bought a few fashion accessories and ordered our pictures. We went back to the casino. I started playing some kind of Asian slot machine. I wasn’t sure how it worked, but I walked away with $150 because I kept winning free spins. We then went to the early comedy show. I think it was the same material from our last cruise on the Dream. Next was dinner. I had the tenderloin which was really good and carrot cake. We then went back to the casino and I won another $40 on the Asian machine. We cashed out and returned to our nightly “private concert” in our room. We then made our nightly report to guest services and waited for the DJ to shut it down. Debarkation Debarkation was very smooth. We hung out at Lido buffet until after 9. Then breezed through customs. Our shuttle was waiting and we quickly made it to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ... Read More
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ship is not very big and it’s easy to get around. Our cabin in Empress Fwd was nice and clean but we found it to be very noisy all night till 1am. They had some kids activities in a theater right above our cabin involving running and jumping, every night. I wouldn’t recommend this location for the cabin. Dining in the main dining room was good, but service could be little bit better. We never got our meal at the same time for everyone in the party. Your plate gets cold while waiting for your friends plate to be served, sometimes 20min later. They just bring meals whenever it’s ready for each person. Although, day at the sea brunch was very good and we enjoyed tea time in Mardi Grass restaurant. The major surprise was the Chefs table dinner. Beyond everyone’s expectations. It cost additional $75/person but it worth every penny and many more. It’s a truly amazing culinary experience and I will be back on this cruise just for that. Good Entertainment and overall atmosphere makes it Happy time and great place to celebrate any occasion. We liked all the music, theatre performances but most of all the comedy club. All comedians were very funny and we had great time. The gym is nice and there are yoga and spin classes in the morning. We took a spin class which was very good and equipment was in a good shape. Sunday we arrived in Encinada. It’s easy to get out the ship on your own and either take a bus or walk in to a town. There are number of shops, restaurants and bars in few blocks of downtown. We took a tour to 2 vineyards and we were glad we did it. The vineries are ok but ride was very scenic and we could experience a country side while we still had enough time left to check out downtown and visit few shops before the bus took us back to the ship. The disembarkation starts at 7am from Empress level. We carried our bags and left the ship early without any delays. This was overall very enjoyable trip, I only wish we had a different room in a quieter corner. We most likely will be back soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags ... Read More
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags were at our door around 3 room was ready at 130 . There was a tons of activities planned in the afternoon, we attended the fun aboard show which was informative and you have s chance to win prizes from shore excursions to spa credits to wine. Our cabin was a porthole room , spacious for 2 , great little view of the outside world . The bathroom was all in one , shower sink and potty . The water from shower goes all over so don’t leave any dry things laying around or they will be soaked . There was a sewer smell that came from the potty every so often but keeping the lid closed kept it at ease. The cabin would always smell like smoke when we returned to it . Think that was in part to bad ventilation , A tip bring room spray it helps for unwanted odors. We sprayed it up into the air vent. There was always an event going on , too much sometimes you didn’t know which to go to . The comedy , dance and games shows were top hits for us . The piano bar and atrium bar was our optional entertainment . Trivia was held on the atrium & if the cruise director was hosting it was a laugh & good time to be had. Dining was hot or miss the food was either excellent ok or blah , never consistent . The deli & pizza seem to have the freshest tasting food . The main dining room offered many options for anyone’s tastebuds. The fish , rare finds & sides were top hits with us . Shore excursions offered were great , in Catalina it’s best to your on your own since the town is small , so either rent a golf cart , take the local bus or walk . Lots of great restaurants & shops . Ensenada highly recommend a tour to la bufadorA so much to see on way there and once there lots to see , sample & shop . Bargain hunters paradise remember don’t take 1st price and walk when they don’t agree to price, they will chase you down for even better deal. The service on board was top notch , servers remembering your name/order, everyone saying hi , asking if they can help or trying to entertain . The cheers package is great you can try new drinks , plus get sodas & fancy coffee , water & teas too. All without the extra worry of costs . I would recommend this cruise for 1st timers, people who want a quick getaway or a family group cruise . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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