1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I stopped cruising Carnival several years ago after a particularly bad cruise on the Carnival Spirit but this cruise coincided with grandchildren's Spring break and family birthdays and it was affordable, though by no means inexpensive. ... Read More
I stopped cruising Carnival several years ago after a particularly bad cruise on the Carnival Spirit but this cruise coincided with grandchildren's Spring break and family birthdays and it was affordable, though by no means inexpensive. Thought the family activities were really fun, the cruise itself left me resolved to not cruise Carnival again for several more years. Two of us shared an obstructed view "junior suite" that was really an average cabin with a balcony so small that you could not sit on it without moving the chairs sideways to the rail. The view was completely blocked by a rescue ship. It seemed that there were few advantages to this class until we compared it with regular ocean view cabins on lower decks. For us, service was pretty much the same as non-suite cabins on other cruise lines with the addition of free bottled water. When we compared it to the standard ocean-view service our family received, though, it was quite different. They received once a day cabin cleaning (no turn down service) and no luggage collection for diebarkation without a special request. The ship has been redone and is generally comfortable. My one complaint was the poor lighting. Our "suite" had bedside lamps that were non-functional and extremely poor lighting in the closet areas. With closet doors opening to the entry instead of the window and no overhead or interior lights, I needed a flashlight to see the clothing storage area. This ship has one fairly small swimming pool that was usually crowded. There was a very nicely designed water slide area that was not crowded that the grandchildren really loved. Entertainment was really awful. The atrium entertainment drove me out with the volume and I spent one sad evening in the piano bar listening to a guy who really couldn't play and didn't want to. I generally avoided it. We enjoyed the spa and found the spa attendants to be better than on most ships. The one drawback there was that the ship redesign put the running track above the spa so that it was quite noisy. Dinner service was spotty. The one night that we were celebrating two birthdays, our desert order was not even taken yet when other diners had finished and left the dining room and their tables were cleared and reset for breakfast. Food was average. Though no fault of the ship, I'm sure, debarkation was delayed nearly two hours and the ensuing lines to leave the ship were extraordinarily long - 35 minutes in our case. As "suite" guests two of us had priority debarkation but chose to disembark with the family. We were unable to gain any privileges for the family, even though the fares for everyone were paid by the "suite" passengers. I would rank this as a good cruise for families with children who are cruising on a budget. Don't expect the service or amenities you might enjoy on one of the other cruise lines but you can have fun anyway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose a 4 day to Catalina and Ensenada since this was our first time as a family of 6 and wasn’t sure what to expect. We booked 2 cabins next door to each other on the Riviera deck (4) so the kids (13, 7, 4, and 4) could be close ... Read More
We chose a 4 day to Catalina and Ensenada since this was our first time as a family of 6 and wasn’t sure what to expect. We booked 2 cabins next door to each other on the Riviera deck (4) so the kids (13, 7, 4, and 4) could be close to us. The embarkation process went smoothly. We purchased FTTF for both rooms. We didn’t need it because we arrived around noon and it wasn’t crowded but on the way out it helps avoid the lines. Either way I will always purchase it since you enjoy other perks like no line at the info desk, and no lines when getting on the tender to go to Catalina. Also, if there’s a long line to exit through customs be sure to grab a porter and he will avoid the line completely and get you right through. That was well worth $10! We had the most amazing head waiter named Arwin. We have some allergies and he was always very accommodating with a smile on his face. He was so nice that one of my twins got teary eyed the morning we left when he found out he wouldn’t be seeing him again. The food was good. There’s a lot of complaints on this site but honestly I am pretty picky and I liked the food. If there was something I didn’t like I just ordered something else! The burgers at Guys were really good. I only had it once and both my husband and I wished we had it more but we had so many other things to try. Their burritos and taco salads were delicious. Steak, shrimp, roasted corn, grilled onions, the works! Don’t eat the tacos. Not good. Even the buffet is decent. I had potato leek soup one day that was delish! I’m gluten sensitive and they did have gluten free bread, buns and pizza but they weren’t good but I was fine with all the other options they had. The kids loved the water slides, pool, and hot tub. The kids club was also a hit for movie watching and making new friends. We enjoyed craft cocktails at the Alchemy bar and there was never a wait. I think it helped that we were traveling mid week during spring break. The comedy club was fun as others mentioned and hubby won a little money in the casino. Overall, I would recommend this cruise for a nice easy getaway at a reasonable price. If you keep your expectations low you will be blown away. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Myself, DH and our son and his family (kids 12.10, 8 and 2 years old) went on this cruise on March 26th. I was a little hesitant to cruise on this ship, as quite a few people were not very kind in their reviews. We have been on 12-15 ... Read More
Myself, DH and our son and his family (kids 12.10, 8 and 2 years old) went on this cruise on March 26th. I was a little hesitant to cruise on this ship, as quite a few people were not very kind in their reviews. We have been on 12-15 cruises in the past. The ship is smaller than we are used to; however, there are benefits to this. Such as, you don't have to walk a country mile to get to your room or events every day. We booked interior rooms. Normally, we try to get a window or a balcony, but expenses prevented this on this sailing. My daughter-in-law required a frig for medicine and a crib for the 2 year old. The housekeeper had it delivered into the room before 6:00 pm! He kept the room very clean. We only requested morning service. I like to keep the rooms tidy, and with a 12 and 8 year old in the room, it was a must. I know these people work hard, so giving him one less room to turn down was something I thought he would appreciate. He did leave a towel animal every day. We were supposed to be porting in Catalina on Tuesday, but this didn't occur. We found out that the wind was high, and this made it difficult to run the tenders. Tuesday became our full day at sea. I think the smaller ship and its slower moving caused quite a few people to become seasick. I saw a a young teenage boy vomit in the main dinning room. Fortunately, I was the only one to witness the event. We did hit Catalina the next day. Mostly, we walked around for a bit. There isn't a lot for kids to do, so we headed back to the ship for lunch. We ported in Ensenada the next day. Again, not a lot to do there for kids. The 8 & 10 year old opted to stay on the ship at their camps. We walked around a bit, and made a few purchases. We returned to the ship again for lunch. Now, I will say this; the kids were fine with this, as they spent two days prior in Disneyland. The food was good. I found the main dinning room in the evening to be an enjoyable experience. I am in agreement with others who have said that people come to the dinning room very casual. We did dress up (not too formal) for formal night. My favorite dish was salmon and my favorite dessert was Creme' Brulee. Very yummy! The kids enjoyed the dishes served on their menu. The eight year old is a boy, and he was thrilled to have 24/7 pizza and ice cream! The buffet was adequate, and I enjoyed the Blue Iquana was good. I had a breakfrest burrito and I had the tomato and fresh mozzarella sandwich from the sandwich counter twice. The second time I had it on a wrap, as it was too much bread for me. We went to brunch on our sea day, as well as the afternoon tea. Our 2 year old grand daughter is very charming. She waves and smiles at everyone. One of the waiters from another table came over to see her. She ended up liking him so much, she kissed his cheek. He wanted her to dance with him during one of their shows. She wanted to dance with her grandpa. We later learned he wasn't fond of children, so she had worked her charms on him. They made over here every night, as well as the other children. All of them are well behaved. We didn't attend the shows. Some of our family went to the comedians late show. They said he was funny but very "crude." They said the sing around the piano player was really great. We hit Karaoke and trivia several times. They both were a lot of fun. My birthday fell the day after we left the ship. I found a birthday card from the staff, as well as a $50.00 gift card to the spa! I was shocked and thrilled. I went up and purchased some expensive hair products. It was a great touch! Thanks Carnival! The younger three children loved their camp and the crew. They opted to attend more than anything else going on! The 12 year old is shy, so she went less than the others. I do think they all enjoyed themselves. We purchased the FTTF option for both cabins. We arrived after 11:00 am to the port, so they had already started allowing zone one to board. Although, our room was ready, and not having to drag the bags around was nice. We only tendered once, so it wasn't a big deal to use these. Now, on debarking the ship was another subject. We went down the waiting area for FTTF folks at 7:00 am, so we could try to get to Universal Studios by the time they opened at 9:00 am. We didn't get off the ship until 9:00 am. There were people trying to change their flights over the delay. This was not Carnivals fault. We were told by other cruisers that a passenger had tried to bring in illegal contraband from Mexico and was found out. She got into an altercation over this with a crew members. Port Authority held everything up over this. It was a young lady that had been overly drunk the night before. She had cursed all over the place, talked very loudly and tried to take over the comedians act. He didn't stand for it. The family members left every single place they went when she was present. It was sad that so many were affected by one persons actions. Overall it was a good trip. I like a longer cruise, but limited time and the kids wanting to go to the amusement parks, we opted this route. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We wanted to try a cruise out of Long Beach. Stayed in V-19 a Junior Suite. Nice time and for sure you should try the Chefs Table!! The room was nice and yes the balcony is small but its nice to have air and early embarking. Not a fan of ... Read More
We wanted to try a cruise out of Long Beach. Stayed in V-19 a Junior Suite. Nice time and for sure you should try the Chefs Table!! The room was nice and yes the balcony is small but its nice to have air and early embarking. Not a fan of kids so the Serenity are was our hang out. Good food and really good service. Catalina was a great stop for us. We had good drink service as well. A little cooler than we expected but made the best of it. If I had to do it again, I probably would but I think I would find a more adult cruise with no kids. Not a ton of them on board and for the most part well behaved but I think its strange seeing kids belly up to the bar for soda? Never experienced that before. I also like the curb side service. Saved tons of time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Let me first preface this by saying that this was my wife and I's first cruise. We figured we would take a 4 day cruise to see if this kind of vacation suits us. We had heard positive things in the past from other cruise goers and thought ... Read More
Let me first preface this by saying that this was my wife and I's first cruise. We figured we would take a 4 day cruise to see if this kind of vacation suits us. We had heard positive things in the past from other cruise goers and thought we would give Carnival a shot. Getting onto the ship was ok. We were 5 minutes early for our allotted time and instead of letting us wait, which would have been the much faster line the person outside chased us down and forced us into the early line which was quite long. We got on board around 1pm. Entering the boat we were ushered to the lido buffet. Into what could only be explained as a mad ant pile of humanity, it felt more like a sardine can than a boat. It took us 30 minutes of stalking people as they ate to find a seat. Finally we did. The buffet food overall was similar to an average all-inclusive resort in Mexico, bland and cold. The shining star in the buffet was the Deli, amazing sandwiches. We could have lived off the sandwiches and Guys' burgers alone. We then went to find our stateroom. It was as we expected small but functional. We were mid ship 7 deck E135. The windows were so filthy that we could barely see out of them. We chalked this up to the joys of being at sea. Clearly a disadvantage of being on a boat that does not have any balconies. The TV only had 4 stations, TBS, TNT, TCM and one movie channel. My wife's luggage was waiting for us outside, but mine did not show up until 4 hours later. Definitely not ideal but not the end of the world. We saw several shows on board, by far the best was the comedy club, B.T. was hilarious both times we saw him. The other entertainment was very lack luster. We got off the boat at both port stops. We rent a golf cart on Catalina island and this is my wife's highlight of the entire trip, it was a blast! In Ensenada we moved along to a shuttle bus that cost $4 round trip to downtown. We were on this bus for all of 5 minutes before it dropped us off at what appeared to be a back yard make shift market place. We felt uncomfortable there so we found the nearest main road and started walking. We walked for 15-20 minutes before realized we could actually see our boat. So we just walked back to it. We are not your average 30 something travelers. We do not drink alcohol or like to party. With that being said we bought the bottomless bubbles drink package. What a waste! They don't tell you they charge you tax on the beverage you've already paid for when docked. And the only time we could use it was at sit down dinner service. The only place you can get I filled is by a waiter or at a bar, good luck with that. They have self service beer stations but you have to fight to get a soda?! In the buffet they only served lemonade and Ice tea. That's what we ended up drinking the entire cruise. Clearly We are not cruisers! now we know. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was my second time to Catalina and Ensenada but on a different cruise line....The other people that I was with was their first time....The crew was fantastic, very friendly and accommodating. Plenty of great food...This is a really ... Read More
This was my second time to Catalina and Ensenada but on a different cruise line....The other people that I was with was their first time....The crew was fantastic, very friendly and accommodating. Plenty of great food...This is a really good cruise if you've never been on one before for a couple of reasons...not too long out at sea and you get an idea if this kind of a vaycay is for you...The one thing I would do differently is take my own luggage on board at the beginning of the trip and at the end of the trip take your luggage with you off the boat instead of leaving it out the night before you pull into port. The excursion to La Bufadora was a little disappointing...we booked this through Carnival and the bus took us to this old casino before we went to La Bufadora and it was a waste of time. It also took up the time we could have spent at the open flea market looking at the crafts...we didn't have enough time to really enjoy the open market and surrounding attractions....The service on the ship was phenomenal...I would like to note that tips are always very much appreciatedI by all the staff on the ship...I would definitely recommend this trip to my friends!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I went on this cruise with a girlfriend who wanted to celebrate her birthday. Don't get me wrong we had a nice time but, not like some of the previous ones. I have been on 13 Carnival cruise before this one. It is an older ship. This was ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a girlfriend who wanted to celebrate her birthday. Don't get me wrong we had a nice time but, not like some of the previous ones. I have been on 13 Carnival cruise before this one. It is an older ship. This was the first time I have been on a cruise where they charge $20.00 for a lobster dinner in the dining room. That was a total shock & we did not purchase. The phone in our room would not dial room service, and the handset sounded like a rattle. So we just went upstairs to get our morning coffee. No biggy. The room steward was nice, but we could only get ice in our room once a day. ? Strange. Prior to sailing I was told by a Carnival person I could check sodas on board. Well, after the muster drill my luggage arrived, the sodas were gone & I paid $19.00 for a six pack. Live & learn. The staff was friendly, the shows were good, The glass elevators were not working. I will be sailing on Carnival again, just not a 3 day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over ... Read More
We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over 15 cruises so far). We sail primarily with Disney and have done a few with Royal Caribbean. The cruise overall was okay. It wasn't spectacular but for under $1k for 4 people for 3 nights and 4 days with food included, you really can't expect too much. We went knowing that it was a small/older ship and adjusted our expectations accordingly. We really enjoyed Guy's Burgers and the Mexican place (Blue Iguana) by the pool. We ate there every day for lunch. The food at the buffet was VERY limited and not exactly our taste so we never ate there. Food during dinner at the main dining restaurant was fine. Nothing out of this world memorable, but it wasn't bad. CONS - Some areas of the ship are not accessible by wheelchair. Our 11 year old son is special needs and there was no way we could get him to the mini golf area in his wheelchair. We had to carry him up the stairs. - Waterworks was cool BUT, the water is NOT heated and is pretty cold. The main pools are warm so I didn’t really quite understand why they wouldn’t warm up the water in the water slides area. Because the water was too cold, not many kids were there. - Senior crew members are nice and friendly but there are many newbies who are clueless. I lost count how many times I asked a crew member a question and was given the wrong information or he/she simply said, “I don’t know” - LIMITED family friendly activities - The DRUNKS!!!! (there were so many of them). This was a party cruise no doubt! PROS - Kids club counselors are awesome. They really do a great job keeping the kids entertained. I would say that Carnival runs their kids program very similar to RCCL. Our 5 year old daughter enjoyed her time there. - Main dining room crew really do try to go above and beyond. We had a great headwaiter who catered to all our dining room needs and he even played with our children (always a plus for us). - Spa staff was knowledgeable and friendly Our very first cruise was with Disney and it was that experience that got us hooked into cruising. We tend to gravitate towards cruise lines/ships that cater to FAMILIES. My husband and I were talking about our cruise experiences with different lines and I think what makes Disney our absolute favorite and what truly sets them apart from the rest of the pack is the lasting impression they leave their guests. Most cruise lines cater and provide service for the “masses” while Disney focuses on PERSONALIZED service. Granted, DCL does charge WAY MORE so it’s a give and take. If this would have been our first cruise, I don’t know we’d be enticed to cruise again any time soon. But with Disney, the first impression they left our family was so incredible that we couldn’t wait to book our next cruise with them while still onboard their ship! Lastly, would we do this cruise again? Yes, if the price was right and the timing was perfect (ie: long weekend where the kids don’t have to miss school). Cruising is our preferred way to vacation. We like the convenience and offers our special needs son the flexibility he needs when travelling so whether its with Disney, Carnival or RCCL, we will continue to see and travel the world by sea =) If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Prefer Carnival line because of younger crowd. I am 72 but enjoy the diversity of ages and since I like to gamble...the casino is usually rocking til 3am. There are shows and games and plenty of activities and the staff is the best. I ... Read More
Prefer Carnival line because of younger crowd. I am 72 but enjoy the diversity of ages and since I like to gamble...the casino is usually rocking til 3am. There are shows and games and plenty of activities and the staff is the best. I was surprised because the last two carnival cruises ... well the food left a lot to be desired but this one the dinner menu was just delicious. Since food is just a small part of cruise for me it didn't stop me from using carnival but again food was really good on this cruise Customer service a good experience also. There had been a small problem with my account and when I brought it to their attention it was fixed immediately and they sent a tray of chocolate covered strawberries to my room for the inconvenience. The ship and rooms clean as was the public rest rooms. Highly recommend the Inspiration... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Let me just preface this review with my age....71 and have sailed 25+ cruises. I prefer to sail carnival because of younger crowd. I have tried other lines and found when sailing with older cruisers dynamics totally different. I like ... Read More
Let me just preface this review with my age....71 and have sailed 25+ cruises. I prefer to sail carnival because of younger crowd. I have tried other lines and found when sailing with older cruisers dynamics totally different. I like the casino and their casinos are rocking way into the early hours and carnival has a lot of things going on .... again way into the night when younger patrons. I want to be entertained when on vacation and there is plenty to do.....took a cruise on HAL to Alaska and medium age was 60+ and there was nothing to do other than trivia and casino literally was closed by 9 because it was empty. I was very pleasantly surprised at food in dining room....the food has not been great on last couple carnival cruises but this boat had really good food in dining room and it was a nice surprise. I don't sail for food because I can always find something but again, good. Only stopped in Encinada but I highly recommend a local restaurant Guadalajara.....food so good and amazing. There were four of us and had tacos, large bowl of guacamole and coke cola and total bill $14. Cabin steward saw first day and never again but every time we requested something it magically appeared and room nicely maintained. There were a lot of shows and games for adults and children. Customer service very pleasant and because they had given me wrong rating on my card I received a plate of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to room.... Only negative I can come up with is glass elevators in atrium to working .... but who cares...I don't. Read Less
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 2.0 4.3

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