Sail Date: April 2012
There were 8 people in our group from the age of 25 to late 50's. 3 males and 5 females. We live in the Inland Empire. We left home at 8:30am, and made it to Long Beach at 10:30am. Check-in at the Queen Mary was very fast, but the ... Read More
There were 8 people in our group from the age of 25 to late 50's. 3 males and 5 females. We live in the Inland Empire. We left home at 8:30am, and made it to Long Beach at 10:30am. Check-in at the Queen Mary was very fast, but the ship didn't board until 11:30am. We were the 2nd group to board... The Inspiration's atrium is extremely dark (decorated in black). The rest of the ship is very tastefully decorated. The staterooms are the most spacious cabins I have ever had (this was my 12th cruise). Even the bathroom was huge compared to others in the industry (your knees aren't in the sink!) The ship seemed very clean. The food was very good. They even served lobster which they usually don't on shorter cruises. I've had better food on Celebrity and maybe Princess, but it is on par with Royal Caribbean and Disney. The service was as good as any ship I've been on. The activities on board were extremely boring! I thought this was supposed to be a party ship, and I was afraid that was what I would find. This was not the case at all! The ship was pretty dead. Deader than I wanted. With the exception of the cruise director herself, the cruise staff was in need of some training. I have to say, the stage show "Shout" is not to be missed! Catalina is a great port! We played miniature golf, rented a 6-person golf cart ahead of time (make sure you do this), and some members of our party went para-sailing (I think you must have reservations to do this as well). Tendering is no problem. Just go before 10am. I didn't get off the ship in Ensenada since i have been there 2 or 3 times and it is just a tourist trap in my opinion. The disembarkation was slower than getting on the ship, and even that only took about 30 minutes. We went immediately when our number was called. Overall, it was a great cruise and I would definitely recommend Carnival for a cheaper option. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
My wife and I booked this cruise as a celebration of our eighteenth wedding anniversary. All things considered, our cruise was wonderful, but with a couple of rather distressing problems. Embarkation Day: We boarded our ship about 11:30 ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise as a celebration of our eighteenth wedding anniversary. All things considered, our cruise was wonderful, but with a couple of rather distressing problems. Embarkation Day: We boarded our ship about 11:30 am, and proceeded to the Lido deck for our midday meal. Upon learning we went to our cabin, and noticed a strong cigarette odor both in the cabin, and the surrounding passageways. We then had a enjoyable evening and late dinner in the dining room. Upon returning to our cabin and being rather exhuasted from our trvels that day we went to bed and fell quickly to sleep. Day 1: We awoke to the same cigarette odor in our cabin and surrounding passageways, and noticed a cigarette butt that had been crushed out on the carpet near our cabin. We then went to the guest servicees desk, and reported these things, at which time they notified housekeeping to look into it. Upon returning to our cabin we found to odor to be much dissapated, and our steward had placed an air purifier on the desk. This took care of the problem. However, later in the day we returned to our stateroom to retire for the evening, and not falling asleep right away were bothered but the sound of a slamming door for most of the night. Thinking this was just some very rude neighbors we kind of passed it off thinking that it would not be repeated. However, Day 2: A great day at sea and returning to our cabin, we noticed the steward was staying on top of the cigarette odors, so we continued to enjoy our evening, and returned to ou stateroom around 10:30 PM to be kept awake by the same slamming door. Deciding to investigate the source we stepped ouutt in th e passageway to discover the slamming was a fire door that was marked Emergency Exit Only. The door was being used by crew members for access to their decks down below. Off to guest services again. After reporting this, the representative notified security to post a guard there to restrict the use of this door. Helpful, I was able to sleep thru the night, but my wife was awakened at about 2:00 AM by the same slamming. She pu ton her bathrobe, and walked to guest services once more to report this, but she got no more sleep this night. I went to breakfast, and my wife went to guest services once more. The result of this visit gained us a new cabin (R 196) with a window no less. Also they rewarded us with a refund of 20% of one days cruise fare each which amounted to less than $25.00. We told the other people sitting at our table in the dining room about our adventures and one of the couples (who were in E48)were also disturbed by the slamming door. After enjoying the remainder of the evening we returned to our cabin for a night of undisturbed sleep. Debarkation Day: as we customarily do, we at our breakfast in the dining room, and after recounting our adventures in E5, the couple across the table (who were in E8) were also disturbed by the slamming door and told us that there cabin steward had placed an air purifier in there room without being asked. After breakfast we diembarked and were off the ship by 10:30AM. It was a really great cruise except for those item noted, and the common denominator for the three affected couple was they were all booked as a Guaranteed Inside Stateroom. Makes me wonder...... If you have any question about this cruise please contact me at Drive9140@aol.com Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
My wife and I flew down to LA over the long weekend for a three-day cruise on the Inspiration. It was our fourth cruise in three years, although the first without our kids since 1991. Our most recent Carnival cruises have been on the ... Read More
My wife and I flew down to LA over the long weekend for a three-day cruise on the Inspiration. It was our fourth cruise in three years, although the first without our kids since 1991. Our most recent Carnival cruises have been on the Magic and Conquest. What made this cruise particularly unique was that the sole purpose of the trip was the cruise. We flew in the morning of departure and flew home on the day of disembarkation. For all our previous cruises combined, the average number of non-cruise days associated with those vacations has been 12 or 13 (i.e., any vacation involving a cruise has included another 12-13 days of non-cruise vacation in addition to the cruise). Usually the cruise is not the major component of the vacation. The boarding process was relatively quick. The initial pre-screening and security screening took only a few minutes. The line-up to be checked in was about 20 minutes. Then it was less than 5 minutes to board after that. This contrasts to our last cruise from Galveston, which was very slow and seemed to involve being herded from one spot to the next. After that, the ship was a ship, although smaller than the Carnival ships we've been on recently. The good and bad included the following: Good I don't typically comment on things that are normal, but good (e.g., the food was good, the cabin was good, the deck chairs were good). The following were unusually good: - the cruise director was very much a background crew member. Unlike John Heald on the Magic, who seemed to think the cruise was all about him, the CD on the Inspiration was unassuming and very much not "in your face" with her audio presence. Other CDs could learn from her approach. - there did not appear to be any PA speakers in the cabins. As a result, we weren't constantly interrupted by "important announcements". When announcements started and we were in our cabin, we paused to determine the topic. If they were important, we stopped and listened. If not, we went about our business without feeling like we were being interrupted. - I really enjoyed the "your-time dining". When I take a vacation, I like to be on my own schedule. So cruise vacations are far from perfect because once you have a couple things scheduled by someone else (port arrival, back on-board time, dinner start and end), it makes you feel like you're not really in control of your own good time. There were a number of benefits to YTD, in addition to being able to start dinner whenever you wanted. With the regular seatings, you know you're in it for 90 minutes or so. Your appetizer will come at more or less the same time as the appetizers for the other tables. The main courses will come at the same time as everyone else's, etc. With YTD, they take your order as soon as your ready, it comes within a few minutes and your main course arrives shortly after you've finished. You don't feel like you're stuck in the main dining room for 10% of (the waking time of) your vacation. I also found that the wait staff didn't try to develop a relationship with us. If I was cynical, I'd say that was because the regular wait staff are really trying to develop a better tip. Bad - the first time we entered out cabin and checked the bathroom, it had a distinct "sewer" smell to it, which never went away the entire trip. I appreciate that shipboard plumbing is not the same as household plumbing, but this was the first time we'd experienced such a problem with odor. - the cabin was cold all the time and since it was an "ocean view" with a sealed window, there was no option to open the window and let some warm air in. All we could do was turn the AC to low/off, but there was no way to heat the cabin. It was probably set to 17C/66F at best and was quite uncomfortable the whole cruise. It was somewhat ironic to be on a Mexican cruise and to be too cold in the cabin. - after settling in and having something to eat, we set up in lounge chairs at the pool. In the next two hours we were probably interrupted by staff trying to sell drinks no fewer than a dozen times. The first few times, we were exceptionally polite. But it is frustrating to expend that much energy each time. Eventually we would just say no and wave them away. You would think that they would figure out pretty quick who was planning to get loaded and who wasn't interested. - the "entertainment staff" on the pool deck were particularly overbearing to the point of being obnoxious. There are only so many times you can listen to someone imploring the "party people" to get up and do one dance or another. And of course, they did this with a microphone and speaker system turned up so loud that the "encouragement" came out as a mixture of noise and distortion. I appreciate this is Carnival and it is a three-day cruise, so it will include a strong contingent of passengers who are there to "party", but there are others who are simply there to have their own good time and, unfortunately, these staff didn't do much to help them out. Overall, the cruise was a very positive experience. We enjoyed being able to stay on board until 10:00 on the day of departure. Disembarkation was relatively swift, with no more than a 10 minute wait to get off the ship, then maybe another 25 to get through border services. The cruise was much shorter than what we're used to, but it was a fun long weekend. I would highly recommend the Inspiration and we might do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We are from the East coast and have only sailed the Caribbean. We thought we would try something different and do a Pacific cruise. You would think that Southern California and Mexico in the middle of March would be warm, but you ... Read More
We are from the East coast and have only sailed the Caribbean. We thought we would try something different and do a Pacific cruise. You would think that Southern California and Mexico in the middle of March would be warm, but you would be WRONG!! If you see that temperatures are going to have highs in the 50's and lows in the 40's, expect a wind chill effect with the movement of the ship. Carnival Inspiration does not have heat in their rooms. Let me repeat that for emphasis CARNIVAL INSPIRATION DOES NOT HAVE HEAT IN THEIR ROOMS!!! We had to wear sweat shirts it our room and use 2 comforters just to stay warm. We were only freezing in our rooms (and of course outside), the public rooms were fine. That's my only complaint, the rest of the cruise we had a fantastic time. Embarkation was the easiest, 10 minutes from drop off until we were on the ship. The Carnival staff were fantastic, the food was good and the entertainment was some of the best I have seen with Carnival. If you like trivia, there are several trivia contests a day.. music, movie and general knowledge (there are 5 sides to a banana). There are games shows like "Game Show Mania", "60 seconds to win" and "The Marriage Game". They were all a lot of fun. In "Game Show Mania" the host asked for the people that acted the craziest he would pick, the man next to us took off his artificial arm and waved it in the air..... and he wasn't picked!! In "The Marriage game" they had 2 couples that were married 60 and 70 years!! It was hysterical, especially since the one husband was 93 and he had to have his daughter repeat the risque questions in his ear. We rented a golf cart in Avalon, it was $80 for 3 hours and we were able to drive everywhere. (We could tell the stores made a fortune selling sweatshirts, because there were a lot of AVALON sweatshirts being worn the rest of the cruise.) In Ensenada we went shopping, the retail people were pushy but very friendly. You will get sick of them telling you "I have things that cost next to nothing". We began finishing the retailers sentences. I was wearing a Baltimore Ravens cap and people came up with their Ravens merchandise, I took off the hat to stop that from happening. I have seen this posted in other reviews but there are cute small children that come up to you and tug at your pants begging or selling Chicklets. This really bothered me because you want to give them money, but if you do you are going to have them continue this behavior. Debarkation was simple too, we were called at 9am and were in the parking area by 9:30am. Things I would recommend. Watch the weather and bring warmer clothing. The odd number rooms are dockside in Long Beach and Ensenada and even number are facing Avalon. Avalon is a tender port and the views are spectacular. Though we had a wonderful time, I think this cruise is better suited for people living on the West coast, we had to do a lot of traveling to reach Long Beach and it probably would have been better to do another Caribbean cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2012
This was my 3 times cruise with Carnival cruise line only because they got the destinations i want and very affordable, the last cruise before this cruise from Miami to Jamaica was the most fun vacation i ever had in my life, yup in my ... Read More
This was my 3 times cruise with Carnival cruise line only because they got the destinations i want and very affordable, the last cruise before this cruise from Miami to Jamaica was the most fun vacation i ever had in my life, yup in my life...and im 56 yrs old man. OK, to this cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada, Mex. The Inspiration vessel is some what newer than the Glory from Miami?, im not sure but looks good...seems smaller, no long line on the buffet, the food was good for what we paid, i dont expect best food for the price that we booked for 256$/pp for a 4 nights. the staff was very polite, dress up clean and very helpful. We had an issue with the wet floor from the past passengers in our room, but the crew really tried their best to dry it, in the end they gave us a 20$ discount from it. the putput golf costs money to play, i think its 20$/hr. Not a lot of dancing clubs as the Glory line, but it was enough, i sang in the Karaoke club, which was a big club. i think i saw only 1 theater for shows, versus the Glory with 2 theaters. But i saw 2 formal dinning rooms, 1 in the front and 1 in the back of ship. I would go again, it was short enough cruise time... Ensenada, Mexico was fun but was not enough time, it was violent there in downtown, my friends saw a big fight between 2 gangs with no shirts and tattoo, military came and they were all disappear, but during the violent tourists were shatter every where... I would suggest 1st time tourists not to book the city tour, it was a ripped off, you dont need it, all you have to do is to walk 1/4 mile from the dock to the main street and then make a left turn onto the main street to another 1/2 mile and you are in the heart of downtown to walk around all day, or to rent a 4x4 ATV right there on the main st for 25$/hr to ride any where, and to the blow hole too. The city tours take you thru town in the bus no stopping and then take you outside of city on the highway to north for a beach house lunch then back for 26$/pp, but you will lose 3 hrs on land. I would definitely recommended the ATV rental and the Horse back riding. Dont forget to stop by the main sea food market in town for fresh caught fish for lunch. The cruise also stops at Catalina Island a very neat town, a must rent a golf cart to ride around town, plus fishing was good on the pier with tackle rental in town. I really enjoy the trip, strongly recommended to any one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
I appreciate all the reviews on Cruise Critic and so here is mine. We just got back from the Carnival Inspiration 2/20- 2/24. Took my daughter 12 and her friend. Trip started out rocky when Southwest lost my suitcase when the flight ... Read More
I appreciate all the reviews on Cruise Critic and so here is mine. We just got back from the Carnival Inspiration 2/20- 2/24. Took my daughter 12 and her friend. Trip started out rocky when Southwest lost my suitcase when the flight attendant checked my bag at the gate because it was a little too big for carry-on. Piece of advice - either bring a small carry-on - check SW website or check your luggage. Make sure that even your carry-on has id on and in the suitcase - mine didn't. If you are one of the last people on the plane, you might have to give your suitcase to the flight attendant - so make sure you get tag, double check that the flight attendant has put a tag on it, and make sure your suitcase has id - nothing like going on a cruise with no clothes. Southwest did not find my bag the whole time we were gone - Carnival was great about checking with them throughout the cruise and Carnival gave me a free toiletry kit, T-shirt, and 20% off in the ships stores. Southwest also gave me up to $500 to spend in Catalina - which doesn't go far in Catalina - I did find a great store - Avalon Bay Company - 407 Crescent Street - to the right of the pier - had cute - non "touristy" clothes - Maria very helpful. SHIP - Room M191 - state attendant great - tried to get a balcony but I think they only have 40 on board - next time would book a room on the even side of the ship - then would have views of Catalina and Ensenada. Rooms are tiny - not good for more than 2 - squishy with 3. Food excellent -had early seating with other families traveling with children - have to try the warm chocolate melting cake - yum! Kids club great - Club O - for 12 - 14 year olds very fun for my girls. Shows - excellent. Comedy - fantastic - especially adult only comedy - so funny! Guest services incredibly nice and helpful. People on the ship- very nice - mostly families - probably half of ship kids - very different than previous Carnival Cruises - where everyone was drunk. CATALINA - Book all excursions off ship if possible. Snorkeled with Catalina dive shop - unfortunately had to get excursion through ship because they had an deal with the ship $50 per person - nice people - problem with wetsuits - hard to put on without zippers - water only 55 degrees and a little hard to get in water at Lovers Point - heard that fish were beautiful - I bailed out of going - just too cold. I recommend to snorkel when it gets warmer. Parasailing - Island Water Charters Parasailing - $65 per person - great - very nice people - book right when get off tender - tandem sailing - very safe and fun! ENSENADA - A MUST MUST MUST DO - Las Canadas Zipline - 40 minute drive - go into town to take taxi - don't take small buses from port - double the price - unfortunately I didn't know - should only cost about $40 round trip - driver will stay while you zipline. Course at least 6 different lines - obstacle course - guides very nice and patient - one in front of group and one at the end - very safe - not crowded now - will be in summer - 400 zipliners a day. Price only $25 for 2 - I gave the guides each a $20 tip because they handled screaming girls very well. Highlight - planks in air that you jump to - if too scared you can also walk around that section. Beautiful scenery - worth the drive - on the way back to the ship we had our driver take up to the blow hole. Better to see Blow Hole in the morning - not good in the afternoon - shopping great - 2 blocks of vendors - cash only - lots of bargaining - great deals - a little aggressive. Best Guacamole in Havana Banana's restaurant - if you just go to blow hole - don't take tour through ship - just have taxi in town take you - I think round trip about $30. I hope that this review helps - so much fun! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This was our 5 cruise to Ensenada and our 6th on Carnival. Being old hat in regards to this cruise destination, we didn't have high expectations, just really wanted to get away for a relaxing weekend...and Carnival Inspiration ... Read More
This was our 5 cruise to Ensenada and our 6th on Carnival. Being old hat in regards to this cruise destination, we didn't have high expectations, just really wanted to get away for a relaxing weekend...and Carnival Inspiration Delivered!!! Embarkation: A total breeze. We showed up around 12:00, the porter grabbed our bags from us right in the parking garage. We walked into the check in area and had a very brief wait in line, got our room keys, took the embarkation picture and we on board moments later. From the time we parked, we were on board less than 30 minutes. Everyone was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. Lunch was served on the lido deck. Mongolian wok station was very good and the line was short and moved quickly. Got access to our room by 1:15, and we were greeted by our stateroom attendant who was nothing but exceptional the entire trip. The ship was much more subdued in colors compared to other Carnival ships we have been on. The overall motif of the ship was really appealing. This was the 1st time we have been on this class of ship where they have completed all the Evolutions of Fun upgrades. The water park is a great addition to this class of ship. The Serenity Deck is also very relaxing and "kid free". The biggest thing that made this a great cruise was the entertainment. All the bands were fantastic! The shows were current and very entertaining. And to top it off the comedians were some of the best we have seen. They were on par or better and ones you find at any comedy club. Short sets but hilarious!!! Food....Carnival has gone to the basics, everything was very tasty and the prime rib was very tender. Only problem was that there was too many good things to choose from. The molten chocolate cake is not to be missed either. Disembarkation: A breeze!!!!! Walked off ship at 7:10...through customs and in the car by 7:25....15 minutes!!! Yes 15 minutes!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Embarkation was a total breeze. Got to the parking garage at noon, we were on the ship eating lunch in less than 30 minutes. Lunch each day was in the Lido buffet. It met our expectations. Pizza was a favorite, as were the sandwiches. ... Read More
Embarkation was a total breeze. Got to the parking garage at noon, we were on the ship eating lunch in less than 30 minutes. Lunch each day was in the Lido buffet. It met our expectations. Pizza was a favorite, as were the sandwiches. Salads were good too. On last day at sea, they had the chocolate dipped fruit/pastries. FANTASTIC! Did not try the mongolian bbq, but it looked great and always had a line. Desserts were good in the buffet. Breakfasts each day - buffet again. Omelets were great and the eggs in the buffet line were good too. Mini breakfast quiche was terrific and always a great selection of fruit. Dinners each night - Carnivale dining room. Welly was our server and Alfredo too. They were awesome. The food each night was great. Had the beef brisket on night one (utterly awesome), lobster/shrimp on second night (very good), and the gourmet burger on nights 3/4. That's right, two nights in a row. It was THAT good. Overall, no complaints about food or service in the dining room. Met and/or exceeded expectations. Cabins - very clean, extremely comfy beds (I mean extremely), and our steward Marson was incredible. There was a faint sewage smell at times coming from the shower drain, but it was faint and could not be smelled in the room, even with the bathroom door open. Our family had two cabins next to each other, and there was absolutely no bad smell in cabin #2. Ports - stayed on ship in Catalina. It was such a nice day we just sat on deck and soaked up the sun. Not much to do in Catalina and the lines were really long to debark on the tender. Ensenada - smelly little town, but an easy walk to the touristy areas and some good bargains and shopping fun. Did not eat there, just walked around for a while. Shows/entertainment - really good. Shout was great on the last night. One of the comedians was excellent. Love all the trivia and fun events Carnival puts on. People had a blast on the Mexico party night. Misc - renewed our wedding vows onboard. Fun time, with cake, champagne, music, and getting "married" again by the captain, kinda cool. Pricey tho! Debarkation - Pretty easy. We checked luggage so we were some of the last to get off, but still in our car by 10:30am, in time to beat the a.m. LA traffic on our drive home. Highly recommend this cruise to those of you with kids. Great family time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly and quickly. Had lunch on the Lido deck while waiting for luggage to be delivered to room. I think that in the future we will opt to carry on our luggage even though it might take a little more ... Read More
Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly and quickly. Had lunch on the Lido deck while waiting for luggage to be delivered to room. I think that in the future we will opt to carry on our luggage even though it might take a little more time to screen through security. We chose early dining 6:00 in the Carnival Dining Room but you do have option of not attending and going to open seating in the Mardis Gras dining room if you want to eat a bit later or you can go to the Lido deck for choices of buffet, pizza, deli, or hots and burgers. I like to have a reserved seat for dining and prefer having the same wait staff as they cater to you and are much more efficient. Talking with others that tried the open seating said they prefer the reserved seating also after trying the other. Our waitstaff were attentive and fun and greeted us enthusiastically each night (we were group of 8). Food selections were good and we did not have a entree we didnt like. Lobster and grilled shrimp excellent,as was the prime rib and the veal parmesean. The chocolate melting cake was so good I had chocolate overload as ordered it three nights...oh boy! Tried the deli for lunch one day...grilled rueben sandwich very good, husband had pizza which he said was not bad at all for cruise ship. Went to lido buffet one morning for breakfast, good selections but dig deep to get the hotter eggs etc. After that went to sit down breakfast in Mardi Gras dining room which service was a bit slower then at dinner because of few waitstaff but food hotter and fresher. If you are in hurry, stick to lido buffet or get limited room service breakfast. Day of sailing signed up for a wine package for 3 bottles of wine at $63.00 plus gratuity and was given tear off card to present in dining room at dinner (selections of wine available on back of tear off). Tried three different ones and all good. Presented card to waiter and the bottles were served with our dinner. Room steward introduced himself and was very attentive during our stay. Booked with a group and chose ROS so ended up with inside cabin on lowest deck. Would not have been our first choice but price was right and thats the cabins we got with our group. Couldnt upgrade as ship sailed full. Room was very adequate however and bathroom and shower good size - happy with that. Shampoo and body wash in shower dispenser. Small toothpaste, small body lotion also. No hair dryer - had brought my own traveling one. Two closets which good for short cruise but for longer, ask for more hangers. Safe in closet. No mini-fridge. If longer cruise I would have liked and outside cabin but being an inside cabin didnt bother us at all though room seemed smaller then outside cabins. Entertainment was excellent!! Especially the Carnival crew singers and dancers. Went to one comedian show and was pretty good. Listened to some of the bands and one was just okay, other was good. Casino paying off first two nights not so much last night of cruise. Pet peeve children in hot tubs!! A little annoying is the waiters trying to sell drinks while you are around the pool area especially even though you have a bucket of beer on your table or glasses of other beverages. Learned to just put up a hand as they approached! Lots of picture taking too everywhere but we did end up buying two pictures as they made us look pretty good for a change! Stopped at Catalina Island and Ensendad, Mexico but will write about them in excursions. Back at Los Angeles port we decided to do the self-assist and take luggage off ourselves as we had a bus leaving for airport at 9:00am and the ship had our deck going off at 9:45am. Customer relations offered to give us a earlier disembark ticket but the earliest for them is 8:45am so rather then chance it we walked off with our stuff at 7:30 and had plenty of time to get our bus. One couple took the earlier disembark ticket and were fortunate that the bus didnt leave til 9:30 or they would have had to get own selves airport. They said it was fault of customs not having enough stations open to accommodate number coming off ship. HIGHLY recommend that at this port you walk your luggage off ship (customs was a breeze when we disembarked) especially if you have early flight or ride. If not, then eat a leisurely breakfast on the lido deck and wait for the lines to go down. Conclusion, our trip on the Carnvial Inspiration was fun, great food, wonderful entertainment and after all, a cruise is what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I have been on a Holland America cruise to Alaska, a Carnival cruise to Cabo San Lucas, and 2 Carnival cruises to Ensenada/Catalina. Carnival Inspiration is a phenomenal ship! I personally love Carnival cruise lines because all of the ... Read More
I have been on a Holland America cruise to Alaska, a Carnival cruise to Cabo San Lucas, and 2 Carnival cruises to Ensenada/Catalina. Carnival Inspiration is a phenomenal ship! I personally love Carnival cruise lines because all of the opportunities for my as a teenager. On all of my Carnival cruises, I have went to the teen club called "O2" and I have personally loved it, and met kids to hang out with for the whole week. Unlike my Holland America cruise which I feel was more geared toward older people. I also liked all of the entertainment on board. Even the 18+ comedy shows were not strictly enforced and I was able to watch them, and they were great! Also, the night clubs were open to teens until 10:00 which I really liked! The dining was great, and I made so many family memories. Even just trying escargot with the rest of my family is a moment I will never forget. Along with the great server doing awesome magic tricks! However I was not impressed with the hypnotist, he tried hypnotizing me, and it did not work, therefore he claimed "I was not doing it right." I talked to everybody that "it worked on" and they all told me that they faked it. The cabins and room service was great, even if I wasn't in my cabin until 4am :) well I did not think that my review would end up being this long, but I will definitely be sailing with Carnival more, (I am going January 7th, 2013 to Catalina/Ensenada) and thank you for reading my review :) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
My family and I went on this itty bitty 3-day jaunt on board the Carnival Inspiration in January 2012 to Ensenada, Mexico and back from Long Beach, CA just so I could "test-drive" cruises. I tend to get motion sickness at the ... Read More
My family and I went on this itty bitty 3-day jaunt on board the Carnival Inspiration in January 2012 to Ensenada, Mexico and back from Long Beach, CA just so I could "test-drive" cruises. I tend to get motion sickness at the drop of a hat and my parents were a little concerned about that, since we're planning to go on a 12-day cruise on board the Caribbean Princess in August 2012. After speaking with multiple co-workers about their Carnival experiences, I kind of went on board with low expectations in terms of service, food, quality of the ship and noise/atmosphere. I think it would be safe to say that my expectations were blown out of the water, so to speak. I guess I'll just give a little brief run down of what I was happy with and what I wasn't so happy with. Pros: 1. Food. Everyone I spoke to complained about the buffet and the main dining areas. While I sorta agree with the buffet being a tad "meh," the main dining areas were AMAZING. The food was fresh, beautifully prepared and even though we opted for anytime dining, we kept asking for the same server and bartender/sommelier, who were both pretty awesome. I loved how Carnival offered a "Ever wanted to these?" portion of the menu and I managed to sample alligator! Delish! Oh, and unlimited ice tea, lemonade, tea and coffee? Yes, please. I really almost managed to wean myself off Diet Coke over the weekend, thanks to their beverage selection. My family and I also loved the Mongolian stir-fry station they had set up outside near the swimming pools. 2. Service. Again, see above re: dining staff. Most of the other Carnival staff members we met were professional and efficient as well, aside from 2 exceptions. 3. Amenities and entertainment. I personally loved their comedy acts and the Vegas-style performances (I think one was called "Shout!" or something along those lines? Not sure anymore). I couldn't get over how BIG the ship was and how much there was to see and do. We never set foot in the spa or fitness facilities the entire time we were on board. Cons: 1. Crowds. Every main area of the boat was always packed and it did at times seem to be overrun with really loud and drunk people. However, there were plenty of quiet places to hide in, so this never really became a problem. 2. Ports and excursions. After reading multiple reviews of Carnival's land excursions, we decided to just wing it and ended up having a good time on our own. 3. Day 3's Day at Sea. This was my "Ack!" moment of the cruise, when the ship anchored out at sea for the entire day and bobbed on the waves. It was the only day during the cruise when I felt I might be sick, due to the constant motion of the waves. I tried looking out over the horizon as others had suggested - no use whatsoever. In the end, I learned that just always being on my feet and moving seemed to help, as well as chewing ginger candies and popping Dramamine. All in all, a really great trip! I'd repeat this in heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We had been thinking of experiencing a cruise for many years, but it never fit into our plans (all our destinations have been Europe) until my wife's very best and dearest friend from college asked us to join her and her husband for a ... Read More
We had been thinking of experiencing a cruise for many years, but it never fit into our plans (all our destinations have been Europe) until my wife's very best and dearest friend from college asked us to join her and her husband for a Carnival Inspiration cruise to Avalon and Ensenada. Without a doubt, we are glad we accepted the invitation. Our stateroom was adequately sized, very comfortable, well maintained, and well located. The forward and aft elevators were sufficiently far away to give us great privacy from traffic and noise, but close enough for easy access to the rest of the ship. Our steward was a great help in many ways, including knowing our names within the first couple of hours and promptly readying our room while we were out and about. We have to call room service elsewhere for this service, but our steward was tuned in to this travel peculiarity of ours. Carnival Inspiration food is more than adequate in quantity and quality. One can hope for no more when thousands are being fed. However, the Chocolate Melting Cake is world-class and if sprigs of fresh basil were put on the ship's rendition of Pizza Margherita (available 24/7) we could have existed on nothing else. Also available 24/7 from a deli are some fine renditions of Reuben and Corned Beef sandwiches. If one is looking for a generally quiet environment, forget it or sit on the fantail all the time. Music and people talking are everywhere which fits not only Carnival's inclusive "family fun" theme, but also the all Italian senior officer crew. Like my wife from Naples, Italy, they too only function at their best apparently in a cacophony. As to the crew and staff, all were very helpful, professional and engaging to us. The ship and facilities are well maintained although like all of us showing the usual wear and tare of time and use, but dealing with it gracefully. Sure the decor is a bit dated (Andy Warhol meets Baroque), but that is part of the ship's charm. Lastly, getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Carnival has it down to a science. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Embarkation was a breeze as our flight had been delayed and we arrived around 3pm. No lines. Walked thru security, nice not having to do the airport disrobing and straight to a waiting agent. No problems checking in, had our photo taken ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze as our flight had been delayed and we arrived around 3pm. No lines. Walked thru security, nice not having to do the airport disrobing and straight to a waiting agent. No problems checking in, had our photo taken and on board in minutes. Our room was a Porthole on the Empress deck, E9. Inside price with two large portholes, plenty of light. Nice renovations, plenty of room for two. Two outlets by headboard and desk/vanity and one outlet in the bathroom (shower only). Three closets, room safe, lcd tv, 2 chairs, king bed(suitcase storage under bed)robes, open, uncrowded feeling. No noise from ship but could hear the fun in the hallway occasionally. Mardis Gras Dining Room service and food were great. Lobster on the second night. I had plenty to eat, but if you need or want more, just ask. Dinner every night was served hot and timely. Lido - Plenty to eat. Sure there are lines but they can be avoided by altering your eating schedule by half an hour. Disappointed in the bland and dry red velvet cupcakes and various cookies. Pizza was good, ice cream and frozen yogurt yummy, other desserts and treats were tasty, deli sandwiches were good, Mongolian barbq always great (station with a line most of the time its open). Room Service - Limited menu. Ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and they arrived promptly, with the cheese nicely melting, yum yum. Other comfort food ordered and same prompt and hot delivery. Football Playoff Weekend and plenty of TV's tuned in, lot's of fans wearing their teams colors, good natured, and loud, cheering, booing and generally having your neighborhood get-together. Fun, Fun, Fun, even when the Packers lost. Activities and Shows - I could see someone feeling like there is TOO much to do. There is something going on from morning thru the night. The weather was cool and limited pool and jacuzzi use. Plenty of lounges available :) Disembarkation - Did the self-assist and off the ship and thru Customs before 8am. Got to Long Beach airport so early that we opted to change our flight to get home earlier. Overall, another FUN cruise aboard Carnival. They had a Future Cruise booth open on this cruise and we purchased two certificates. Already planning our son's 21st Bday aboard the Splendor. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Our family of four decided to spend Christmas on a three day cruise this year. Our son would have just turned 21 and it would be the first time he could enjoy a DOD! Although it was quite expensive we booked a Grand Suite as our Christmas ... Read More
Our family of four decided to spend Christmas on a three day cruise this year. Our son would have just turned 21 and it would be the first time he could enjoy a DOD! Although it was quite expensive we booked a Grand Suite as our Christmas present to the family. About a week or two prior to our cruise I was contacted by Carnival and asked if we would like to upgrade to the Owners Suite after some discussion we went for it, after all it was Christmas and it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. We arrived at the port early, who can wait to get on the ship? Because the owners suites aren't on all of the ships the VIP area was having trouble printing our key cards. After several attempt the agent we were working with escorted us onto the ship and made sure the keys were printed and that we set. She was very pleasant and went out of her way to help us. Just what I have come to expect from Carnival. Once we got on the ship we went to our suite and were blown away. It was so much more than we had expected. We had a seating area with a couch that made into a double bed and chairs that made into a single bed, this made the kids happy since they wouldn't need to share a bed. The bed room was also quite large with a flat screen T.V. and a recliner as well as a large bed. There was a walk-in closet with plenty of hangers, two sinks in the vanity area and a jacuzzi tub and toilet in a separate room, and lots of power outlets!!! We were very happy we had splurged for this special cruise. Mark our steward was very pleasant and efficient making sure we had everything we needed. We had lunch from the deli and then spent sometime wandering the ship. We had chosen the anytime dinning for this cruise, it would be our first experience with anytime dinning. The first night our waiter introduced himself to us and was friendly and helpful and the bar service was good although the food selections were disappointing as were the portions. The next morning we decided to eat on the Lido deck, our son had been looking forward to the omelet station. We then got ready and headed into Ensenada where did a little shopping, had a few drinks and some lunch then headed back to the ship. That night was formal night, so we all got ready and headed down to the dinning room. Unfortunately the service wasn't what it had been the previous night I have no idea what our servers name was, or who was supposed to be her assistant waiter. I felt like I was more of a responsibility than I was a guest, although I could see she was quite busy, that isn't an excuse for rudeness. I was disappointed in the food also, if the lobsters get any smaller they will need to call them Langostinos! My daughter and I went to the 10:00 pm comedy show which we enjoyed, she went on to the casino and I went back to our room. Christmas morning after seeing what Santa had brought we had breakfast in the dinning room. Once again we received the wonderful service we are used to on Carnival our waiter and his assistant both introduced themselves wishing us a Merry Christmas. We had a full table that morning and really enjoyed our fellow guests and our servers. We spent Christmas day relaxing and enjoying our family, my daughter and I went to the sauna. We decided to order room service for lunch, after calling in the order we waited well over an hour before I called to see what the problem was, it was another 20 minutes before our food arrived. It would have been nice if when I placed our order they had mentioned that they were backed up and it was going to take along time. Dinner that night was even worse than the previous night, the service was slow, the portions were small and the quality was poor, my husbands Filet was over cooked and not even the size of a hockey puck. The only bright spot in our evening was our hostess,she was friendly and made us feel welcome as we waited for our food we watched as she sat other guest making them feel just as welcome has she had made us. Our last night on the ship was spent packing our bags and cashing out our players bank, the kids went back to the comedy club and my DH and I relaxed in the cabin, we spent a lot more time in our cabin since it was so nice. The next morning we once again went to the Dining room for breakfast, this time we were seated at a table by ourselves, the dining room wasn't overly busy but the service was worse than ever. After waiting over 20 minutes for our orange juice, which was sitting at the serves counter, my husband requested it again and was told by the server that we were the fourth table and he would get to us. I waited tables for years and often had up to six tables at a time, there is no excuse for taking that long to pour juice, and you never talk back to a guest, you apologize and do what the ask. It may not sound like it but I am a loyal Carnival Cruiser, it is the only cruise line I have ever cruised with. One of the reasons I love Carnival is that they have such wonderful crews. Even this cruise, other than in the dinning room, everyone was great, very friendly and helpful. I don't know if it was the anytime dining that was the problem or what but I was very disappointed in the wait staff. As for the food, over the years it seems to have gone down hill the portions and the quality aren't what they used to be. Not only do they need to have new items but they need to be quality items. We tried the alligator fritters, there was meat in them? they were more like hush puppies. I am afraid that if Carnival doesn't improve the quality of the food in the dining rooms it will start to loose guests. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
The loud music at the pool....should be limited especially when it was well known average age onboard was over 60!....There is not enough room on the solitude deck for all those who want peace in the daytime. Most other spots were way too ... Read More
The loud music at the pool....should be limited especially when it was well known average age onboard was over 60!....There is not enough room on the solitude deck for all those who want peace in the daytime. Most other spots were way too close to the "beat" Entirely too much drink selling when it is obvious loungers are deep in their fascinating books and do not want to be DISTURBED. The decor in the buffet room needs redoing(the colors!)...and it is too crowded, but it never was impossible to find a seat with some inventive searching. If people who have finished eating on the outside decks should move on in an effort to be compatible and helpful to others instead of taking up a whole table to read a book.. buffet-life would be heavenly . Politeness does not seem to be paramount in the behaviour of some passengers. Jumping lines, crowding and grumpy faces...didn't we all learn better in kindergarten? The crew was first class wonderful, the gift shops were fun and inexpensive and the entertainment always worth seeing. I found the adult comic uncomfortable, but i just never went back after the first time. A tide book for ports...yes, it was discussed in our group re problem in Puntarenas. It took entirely too long to disembark at Long Beach and we did nearly miss our homeward flight. Customs guy said "we weren't expecting you" but could that be possible? The food in the dining room was terrific, never disappointed and the staff always welcoming. We never waited for our table, using anytime dining. We always had a variety of choices on the menu and good advice in choices. There was a slight smell of sewage several times on the trip, strongly when leaving Tampa, forgive us Tampa, we blamed you. But, it reared it's ugly head again when we were at sea, something I have never noticed on any other ship. All and all, I would cruise Carnival again, perhaps on a slightly newer ship. Oh and parents, watch your little ones on the slide deck, the railings could be slipped through easily. A child was lost off the Golden Gate bridge several years ago, when skipping playfully ahead she fell through the tiniest space: so each time I saw a little one climb up the rail while traversing the Canal my heart was in my throat. Parents need to be more aware! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
EMBARKATION: Easy peasy. We got there around 2pm - carried on our luggage. No fuss, no lines. Went straight to our room. Unpacked a little, grabbed our Fun Times and toured the ship. FOOD: Ate at the poolside grill - food was a huge ... Read More
EMBARKATION: Easy peasy. We got there around 2pm - carried on our luggage. No fuss, no lines. Went straight to our room. Unpacked a little, grabbed our Fun Times and toured the ship. FOOD: Ate at the poolside grill - food was a huge improvement from the Carnival Paradise. I'm talking 200%. Granted my cruise experience is limited to Carnival but this was my 2nd cruise and the Paradise had awful food. The Inspiration had a huge assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables. I ate pretty healthy all weekend. Our dining assignment was the Mardi Gras room. We switched tables the 1st night and ended up with a great group. I skipped Elegant night in lieu of sleeping off a bad hangover. Ate all of our meals in the dining room, everything was fresh and carefully prepared. Service was professional and efficient. It was such a different cruising experience from our first cruise. PASSENGERS: Since this was a Christmas cruise not everyone was here for Christmas. I'd say 80% of the passengers were Indian and Chinese. It made for a very pleasant time on board because many of the Indian women dressed so beautifully for Elegant night. Their saris and beaded dresses were exquisite. One thing I noticed is Indian and Chinese men do not step aside for women like American men. I found myself in an elevator with Indian or Chinese men and having a bit of an awkward tussle to get out of the doors first. Oh well, lesson learned. Again, lines were 4-5 people deep. The entire ship was decorated inside with festive wreaths and Christmas trees. Very tasteful. Nothing offensive. The Inspiration had a Channukah celebration too - there were quite a few Jewish families on board as well. Nice mix. Didn't see too many Americans but it worked out really good because there were so many families on board, the entire ship was asleep by like 9 am. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did La Bufadora. We paid for it in Mexico and got stuck on a really ghetto tour bus. The driver "Yoshiro" was NOT Asian, he was a US citizen that married a Mexican chick and moved to Ensenada. He was latino but... born in LA. It showed. He was very distant and L-O-S-T. We stopped at the fricking gas station to get gas! Somehow we ended up on a bus where 9 of the 15 passengers wanted to go horseback riding AND to La Bufadora. It sucked. He couldn't figure out if he wanted to drive the Blowhole people up the hill first or drop off the horseback people, drive up the hill and come back and drive again. We ended up dropping off the horse riders and then going to the Blowhole and getting an extra hour up there. I got ripped off at Habana Banana AGAIN and wound up running back to the tour bus, 15 minutes late. Agh. CARNIVAL INSPIRATION CREW: Great people! Always cheerful, always friendly. At least on Main deck they did! Everything was clean, clean, clean. I smelled bleach all the time. I love that. The Empress deck midship was kinda sewer smelly though. I will continue to book Main deck mid or aft. There is no more tipping the stewards or maitre 'd. No aggressive sales pitches for photos or drink. It was nice. ENTERTAINMENT: The main shows were really good. The comedy was bland, both adult and family. The comedians couldn't find their rhythm because I truly believe the audience didn't "get" their jokes. Wrong demographics and it drained their energy. I left both shows about 10 minutes into their acts because it just was not funny. The clubs weren't fun either because there didn't seem to be enough young adults on board. Again, 80% of the ship was in bed by 9pm. The casinos were jumping though. Bingo was toned down, so were the raffles. I don't know why but everyone seemed really relaxed and the energy was at a very low decibel. Aside from the Christmas decorations on board (and my door) it didn't feel like Christmas. There was tasteful Christmas music playing all over that I really enjoyed. OVERALL: I had a great time. I am disappointed that the Inspiration only goes to Ensenada and not Cabo but I'm definitely going to book again in 2012. :) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
This was our second cruise on board the Inspiration. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. This trip my in-laws came with us in a separate cabin. My mother-in-law turned her ankle during the muster drill during a freak accident. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on board the Inspiration. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. This trip my in-laws came with us in a separate cabin. My mother-in-law turned her ankle during the muster drill during a freak accident. The medical staff was great. I don't know why, but I confuse fore and aft on this ship a lot, but not on others. That's probably more my fault than theirs. The ship is very clean and we saw people cleaning all over the ship on a regular basis. The food in the MDR was good, except the first night. The service in the MDR was excellent. That night none of the dishes really appealed to me. We ate in the Lido regularly and found it very good. The lines were long, but moved quickly. Our stateroom was clean and our stewards were the best I've ever had. They regularly asked what towel animals my kids would most like to see and they made them. We enjoyed the shows much more this trip than last year. Last year it seemed like they had 3 days worth of shows for a 5 day cruise. This year they had ample shows, comedians, etc for the full cruise. The comedians were very funny. Again this year was better than last year. Last year we complained about the long line at the Camp Carnival check-in as a result of people not pre-filling out their paperwork and then doing it one at a time at the check-in. That situation has been resolved and I never was more than 3rd in line to drop my kids off or pick them up. My kids loved going to camp carnival and even asked to go during the day this year. They especially wanted to do the Night Owls party, which we allowed. My 6 year old stayed out until 1am and my 9 year old stayed out until 3am. They loved every second and didn't want to leave even at those late hours. The counselors were great. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
First of all this was my sixth cruise my DH fourth cruise and my DD first one she is almost 2 and a half. My mother also went with us this was her third cruise. We booked two interior cabins R98 and R102. We have traveled with an ocean ... Read More
First of all this was my sixth cruise my DH fourth cruise and my DD first one she is almost 2 and a half. My mother also went with us this was her third cruise. We booked two interior cabins R98 and R102. We have traveled with an ocean view however never with a balcony and for us interior is just fine. We drove 10 hours to Tampa and stayed in the Hyatt Regency the night before it was a great hotel and exceeded our expectations. We won it on Priceline for 60 dollars a night which was a steal for such a nice hotel. They did have parking available for 10 dollars a night compared to 15 a night at the port however we chose to park at the port since we had DD and she was needing a car seat. Embarkation was great no problems we arrived around 12:00 and were on the ship about 12:45 there was a line however it moved quickly. We arrived on the ship ate and it was time to go drop off the carry on luggage to the room. We tried camp carnival everyday however it never worked out for our daughter she has never been to daycare and even though they tried and were very welcoming to her she just continued crying when we would leave so they would call us on the free cell phone they provided to tell us to come and get her. Overall i think camp carnival was a great program and she would have enjoyed it if she were a little bit older or had more experience being left alone. They had about 14 kid in her age group enrolled in the program so there were always kids in there. We went and did the dolphin encounter and turtle farm in Grand Cayman and loved it she didn't care too much for the turtle farm and they only allowed us 30 min there but it was a good experience and not much to see when all they have are turtles. The dolphin encounter was great and clean there were changing rooms and lockers for free that you could put your belongings in even though the Carnival papers stated the minimum age was 3 they allowed her to participate. i just had to hold her and they had smaller life jackets available she really cared more about the water than the dolphin however she still had a great time and we got a great picture of her with the dolphin. The only complaint was that they wouldn't allow underwater cameras and it was very obvious that it was so they could sell their pictures to you they were 25 dollars each!!!! or you could buy a CD of them for 139 of everyone in your group. It was a major rip off but we bought one of our daughter cause we wanted to remember it. Overall i am glad we did this excursion it was our second time in Grand Cayman and we had already done the stingrays so there really wasn't much else we wanted to do. In Cozumel we left our daughter on the boat with my mother and my DH and I went and did SNUBA it was amazing this was our third time to Cozumel and the other times we snorkeled and wanted something closer but not yet ready for SCUBA diving snuba was such a great experience we stayed under the surface for 32 min exactly once again i was very annoyed that the use of underwater cameras are not allowed i don't see the point of the ship selling them if they aren't allowed on excursions and feel like this should be something that is disclosed before you purchase it. This was however an experience of a lifetime and we are now excited about Scuba on our next trip. The days at sea were great as always and the food i thought was very good. The service overall was good. The room steward didn't keep ice in our room we had to ask for it they only filled it up one time without being asked. This was something i didn't understand as it seemed so simple and it was necessary for us as our daughter still takes a bottle so we needed to keep the milk cold. Overall it was a great cruise and we are definitely looking forward to another one. I would recommend this ship great layout great service the two show that they had were great. The comedians weren't wonderful but for a free show i would recommend going. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
For 22 years now I have suggested to the wife that we take a cruise, she gave in this year. We decided on a 5 day trip in October thinking that this would keep the children at a minimum. Since this was our first experience we decided to go ... Read More
For 22 years now I have suggested to the wife that we take a cruise, she gave in this year. We decided on a 5 day trip in October thinking that this would keep the children at a minimum. Since this was our first experience we decided to go all out and get the Grand Ocean Suite. The ship was nice. The food was good but not outstanding. The ports of call were beautiful and the kids were out of control. After weeks of research we decided to go with Carnival. They had the best price on their 5 day trips to the Western Caribbean and the best price on their Grand Ocean Suites. If we ever go on another cruise the Grand Ocean Suite will be a must! The suite is a great escape when one gets ready to sit back and relax for the evening. You get a large room with a king size bed, sofa sleeper, sitting area, walk in closet, full size bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, large balcony, refrigerator and a nice size LCD TV that had a good choice of cable channels. The suite was an excellent choice! The ship, the Carnival Inspiration, is an older ship that has been kept in good condition. Everything was clean and for the most part up to date. There is only one formal dining room but there is a second dining area that one can get food anytime of the day or night. The food was all good but nothing to brag about. The one formal night in the main dining room they did serve lobster, steak and shrimp. The other nights they had a choice of other meat dishes, fish and chicken. We are not the type to over indulge but I was told before the trip by others that had been on a cruise that you could order as much as you wanted at dinner, this was never offered in the main dining room. In the second, cafeteria style, dining room you can eat as much as you can stand. Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel Mexico were both great ports of call. The ports were clean and the water was unbelievable! In Grand Cayman we to a really nice bus tour of the island and in Cozumel we did our own thing with a taxi into the downtown area. The people were all overly friendly and helpful. The only downside to our experience was the parents on our deck who pretty much their kids to run the ship. The parents went off to have their vacation and let their kids do whatever. At night there was running in the halls, yelling, screaming and banging on suite doors. Many calls were made to security but many times nothing could be done because the parents could not be located. One day I'm sure we will again take a cruise. It is a great getaway and a fun experience. We have since found that there are adult only cruises for those who want peace at sea, that will be our next cruise! Here is a link, http://ostrowsky.net/lifestyle.html , to a site where I have posted pictures if you are interested in seeing the Carnival Inspiration. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
I have posted a complete and VERY long review of our experience and impressions on the Carnival Inspiration page, but this review will cover the highlights! We sailed on the Carnival Inspiration on October 3-8, 2011 to the western ... Read More
I have posted a complete and VERY long review of our experience and impressions on the Carnival Inspiration page, but this review will cover the highlights! We sailed on the Carnival Inspiration on October 3-8, 2011 to the western caribbean, leaving from Tampa. This was the first cruise for both of us and we are late thirties business owners. We left the teenagers at home! Check in was very easy. From curb-side to boat was less than 30 minutes and all the staff we encounted in port and when entering the ship were friendly and knowledgable. Finding the port was somewhat difficult as our GPS insisted on sending us over a bridge that was closed for repairs! Food was very good, the staff were mostly great and most of the cabin stewards knew our names by the second day! We only ate in the dining room for one meal (the one formal night) and service was not as expected for that meal but the food was very good. Buffet was good most meals, salad bar was great, pizza is exceptional and mongolian wok was very good. The ship was very clean, although it did have an occasional odor on the port side hallway on the Empress deck that was very unpleasant. The pool area is a bit too small for the amount of passengers and was packed to capacity at all times. The serenity area is great for adults only and would be even better with a pool! Standing at the front of the ship, on the top deck, became our favorite place as we entered and left ports and a covered deck on the rear of the ship, outside of the buffet, became our favorite outdoor area during general cruising. This trip was mainly about relaxing and that was best accomplished by not planning activities but taking things one minute at a time. Just sitting in the fresh air, watching the wake from such a huge ship, viewing the sunsets and enjoying a few drinks was how we enjoyed this journey. Valerie Storm, the female comic, put on a great adults only show but we did not attend any other shows or activities. We did visit the casino and played some slots, blackjack and roulette. We enjoyed the casino but did not win. The shops on board were interesting, but strangely hidden. The only one that is overtly visible is the package store which you must travel through to reach the other shops. Overall, this was a great experience and a great value! We loved the cruise and will be looking for more great deals to book again! The weather was great for most of the trip but became rough on the last day as a storm began to move in. Even so, the boat remained stable and I felt safe. We loved the overall feel of the ship and will miss the Inspiration as she moves to California in December. We are looking forward to giving her sister Paradise a try! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Just got off the Carnival Inspiration for the third time. We had done a previous 7 night western and a southern on her. The ship is such a great layout. Not too big, not too small. The addition of the waterworks is great. Since we ... Read More
Just got off the Carnival Inspiration for the third time. We had done a previous 7 night western and a southern on her. The ship is such a great layout. Not too big, not too small. The addition of the waterworks is great. Since we were traveling with our 3 kids we originally booked two interiors but were upgraded to a grande suite for just a few dollars more and jumped on it. The balcony was great, bathtub was a huge blessing and the extra space was wonderful. Was supposed to go to Grand Cayman and Cozumel but could not tender in Cayman. Port charges were refunded but we got to Cozumel at 5 p.m. the night before we were originally slated to get there. Where was great since we had a night in cozumel. Kids in camp carnival and mom and dad in Fat Tuesday. We had the cmp phone so that they could contact us if any problems. Camp said phone might not work but it did. Camp carnival staff was wonderful. This was the first time we used it and my son was pissed if he was late or missed something. Cannot wait until the littlest turns 2 so he can go. Staff was amazing as always. Everyone does such a great job and they really make such an effort to make your vacation super. Especially with the kids. Thanks to Tanis and Alaina in the Brassiere for going above and beyond. Cannot thank you enough! My suggestions to carnival which are not complaints. Maybe some sort of divider in the suites. Curtain perhaps. Also it would be great if you could only put lights on in 1/2 of the room. You can put outside lights on, inside lights on or bedside lights but in the suite I woul like no lights by the sofabed or king bed (if that makes sense). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
This was supposed to be a 5 night cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Because of the weather we were given a itinerary change via letter the day we boarded the ship. We would no longer be going to Grand Cayman. :( We had the dolphin ... Read More
This was supposed to be a 5 night cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Because of the weather we were given a itinerary change via letter the day we boarded the ship. We would no longer be going to Grand Cayman. :( We had the dolphin swim booked there so they credited our sign/sail acct by the time we got on the ship. We went to guest services and re-booked the same excursion in Cozumel. Over all we had a good time on this ship. We had nothing to compare it to though other than stories of friends and family who have cruised before. The time we spent in Cozumel was awesome and we actually stayed in port from 5pm one night, overnight and until 8pm the next day. Apparently this was the 1st time Carnival has done this. Many of the crew members were very excited because they got to go out on the town once done work that night. Food: was pretty good. We had late dining and I highly recommend that. We ate in the dining room every night but one. Steak is awesome, lobster was good and of course the choc melting cake can not be passed up. I was disappointed that they have taken the shrimp cocktail off of their "regular menu" and its only available on formal night with the lobster. We kind of complained to our waiter and the mait re de and they ended up bringing us the shrimp each night. Only our table though. The food in the buffet area was pretty good, salad bar was excellent, the sandwich stand was good. The ommlettes by the poolside grill were excellent and if you like spicy then go have a stir fry from the Mongolian grill. The burgers and fries poolside were so so. Cabin: we purchased the inside open cabin selection so Carnival put us where they wanted. Saved money this way. We ended up on the top floor of passenger cabins at the front of the ship. I have to say it was a excellent location. If I had of picked my own cabin I would have picked one near a elevator but we NEVER had people walking by our room ( aka kids running) and waking us up etc... it was nice and quiet by our room and we liked it a lot. The bed was converted into a king for us and it was VERY comfortable. The cabin was big enough and kept very clean. Our room steward was fantastic ! Pool Area: absolute nightmare !! LOL We avoided it at all costs. There is only 1 small pool on this ship for 2500 passengers. If you like to hang in a pool with 50 screaming and jumping kids then ....enjoy ! hehe. Could not take the noise from the kids and the loud announcements, poolside games and loud music. We hung out on the adult only serenity deck all week long. The serenity deck is awesome however it's only got 2 Jacuzzis for the 60 adults that want to be there all day, and they are hot and not refreshing at all. Would love to see it get an adult pool. Please note with this that we are early 40's ,love to drink, dance and go out, but the pool is not a place to relax at all. The kids are in the hot tubs too, ugh. Entertainment: We loved loved loved the 2 comedians that were on board. The comedy lounge was PACKED each night they were on stage, go early to get a good seat as it ends up being standing room only. Do NOT sit in the front rows if you don't want to be singled out by the comedians ;) Never caught any of the shows, there was some talent shows but we watched them on the tv in our cabin and they seemed lame. We did go see the "love game" and it was pretty funny. Extras: We had no issues getting on or off the ship. Each went quickly and smoothly. We were on the boat in 30 min and same with getting off. The staff were kind and courteous and were constantly cleaning. The ship was spotless. I have 4 children and the way the kids/teens were supervised on that ship was outrageous. It's almost as though they were not cruising with any adults at all. There were packs of teenagers roaming the ship day and night and never once did I see them talking to an adult. They were between 12-17yrs old and usually drunk or smoking cigarettes they had stolen or found. Carnival does NOTHING about this. Cozumel was amazing, we really enjoyed ourselves. The Dolphin swim was worth the money and you can take along a waterproof camera and avoid buying their photos for outrageous amounts of money. Get out of the port area though and start walking down the main street to those vendors, you can get MUCH better deals out there than right in the port. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
For 22 years now I have suggested to the wife that we take a cruise, she gave in this year. We decided on a 5 day trip in October thinking that this would keep the children at a minimum. Since this was our first experience we decided to ... Read More
For 22 years now I have suggested to the wife that we take a cruise, she gave in this year. We decided on a 5 day trip in October thinking that this would keep the children at a minimum. Since this was our first experience we decided to go all out and get the Grand Ocean Suite. The ship was nice. The food was good but not outstanding. The ports of call were beautiful and the kids were out of control. After weeks of research we decided to go with Carnival. They had the best price on their 5 day trips to the Western Caribbean and the best price on their Grand Ocean Suites. If we ever go on another cruise the Grand Ocean Suite will be a must! The suite is a great escape when one gets ready to sit back and relax for the evening. You get a large room with a king size bed, sofa sleeper, sitting area, walk in closet, full size bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, large balcony, refrigerator and a nice size LCD TV that had a good choice of cable channels. The suite was an excellent choice! The ship, the Carnival Inspiration, is an older ship that has been kept in good condition. Everything was clean and for the most part up to date. There is only one formal dining room but there is a second dining area that one can get food anytime of the day or night. The food was all good but nothing to brag about. The one formal night in the main dining room they did serve lobster, steak and shrimp. The other nights they had a choice of other meat dishes, fish and chicken. We are not the type to over indulge but I was told before the trip by others that had been on a cruise that you could order as much as you wanted at dinner, this was never offered in the main dining room. In the second, cafeteria style, dining room you can eat as much as you can stand. Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel Mexico were both great ports of call. The ports were clean and the water was unbelievable! In Grand Cayman we to a really nice bus tour of the island and in Cozumel we did our own thing with a taxi into the downtown area. The people were all overly friendly and helpful. The only downside to our experience was the parents on our deck who pretty much their kids to run the ship. The parents went off to have their vacation and let their kids do whatever. At night there was running in the halls, yelling, screaming and banging on suite doors. Many calls were made to security but many times nothing could be done because the parents could not be located. One day I'm sure we will again take a cruise. It is a great getaway and a fun experience. We have since found that there are adult only cruises for those who want peace at sea, that will be our next cruise! Here is a link, http://ostrowsky.smugmug.com/Cruise/Carnival-Cruise/19552192_sgS3Tn#1534813964_gKPP6Vd , to a site where i have posted pictures if you are interested in seeing the Carnival Inspiration. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We dont have anything to compare the Inspiration to but it was Clean, always being maintained and in good order . Getting on the ship was a breeze! The buffet food was pretty good although the temp of the food was hit and miss. The main ... Read More
We dont have anything to compare the Inspiration to but it was Clean, always being maintained and in good order . Getting on the ship was a breeze! The buffet food was pretty good although the temp of the food was hit and miss. The main dining was excellent, the staff was spot on. The staff on the ship is very nice. If you pass a staff member on the ship they always say hello or something to that affect. The comedy shows are excellent along with the main cruise shows. You must get there early or will not find a seat. The chair hogs are not a myth they are real. The pool is always full and way to small but it worked. The Serenity deck was relaxing. I was really worried after reading some reviews about this ship but I can honestly say that the people who have negative experiences must be going into this ship with very high expectations and are very hard to please. I would book another cruise on this ship in a heart beat. We were extremely pleased with our inside cabin R14. It was EXTREMELY quiet! The only time we heard any ship noise was when they were setting anchor or letting ropes out. I could not imagine spending the extra money for a balcony or ocean view on "this" ship unless the price was cheaper than a inside cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We had a blast. Usually I can't eat out anywhere because I have Celiac and I get very sick to any exposure to Gluten. I mentioned this to my travel agent. Next thing you know, I have staff giving me a menu specif to a gluten free ... Read More
We had a blast. Usually I can't eat out anywhere because I have Celiac and I get very sick to any exposure to Gluten. I mentioned this to my travel agent. Next thing you know, I have staff giving me a menu specif to a gluten free diet, prepping stations were gluten free and the gluten free foods were fab! My teen boys and 8 year old daughter wanted to check out the boat while I had dinner with my group. The boys didn't watch her well and she became lost. She did what we always told her to do..."Go to a person in uniform". They took her to Guest Services, who then contacted me via phone within minutes. I got her right away. When I picked her up, my heart was racing. I asked her if she was scared. She said, "At first I was scared and then I went to a person in uniform and they took me downstairs and they played with me and gave me cards to keep forever." She said she didn't need to cry because she was having fun. Excellent trip! Most memorable for our family thus far! My mother was also on board. We live many States apart. The kids got to go play in the water slide while mom and I enjoyed a Long Island Iced Tea and enjoying the beautiful ocean. The staff was so much fun. I had to give our hostess Ekatrina a big hug on the last day. The entire staff is just a joy! Read Less
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 2.0 0.0

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