870 Carnival Inspiration Cruise Reviews

This is the second time I cruise out of Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada, the first time being on the Ecstasy. This time I went with my best friend who is wheel-chair bound. Her father dropped us at the Long Beach cruise ... Read More
This is the second time I cruise out of Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada, the first time being on the Ecstasy. This time I went with my best friend who is wheel-chair bound. Her father dropped us at the Long Beach cruise terminal, and we were directed by a very friendly employee to a different line. We bypassed the long line straight to a counter for passengers who required special assistance. Our check in took only a couple of minutes and we were on our way. We arrived at the port at around 1:00 p.m. and were able to board the ship and straight to our cabin. Cabin: Cabin E65 is a handicapped accessible room on deck 7 (Empress Deck) where passengers board the ship. That was a big plus for us as we were literally a couple of steps away from our room . . . but, being right by the atrium is not pleasing at night when you're trying to sleep and are able to hear everything that goes on ouside your door, from the music playing in the atrium, the rambunctious crowd to people walking by your door talking loudly. It didn't bother my friend or me in the least, but I personally prefer the Riviera deck as it's much quieter, but Carnival has no accessible cabins on the lower decks. Meals: It was always a bit of a challenge for my friend and I when trying to eat at the buffet. I would have to help my friend with her food, find a table, leave her there while I again got in line for my food, go back to the table with my plate, and then go back for drinks. By the time I was ready to eat, her food would be cold, and she hated to eat while I was still getting my food. On embarkation day we opted to eat out on deck, but it was uncomfortably chilly so we ended having all of our lunches inside. Our room steward, Ronaldo, was the sweetest, politest steward I have ever met during any of my cruises. He knocked on our door before the muster drill to inform us that we should head on to our muster station, which happened to be the Paris lounge, before people started using the elevators and make it almost impossible to use them. When we got to our muster station there was a young lady going around making sure that all the passengers in the handicap cabins actually needed special assistance. My friend's name was on the list, and we were directed to stay in the lounge as everybody else was taken to the lifeboats. We were told that in case of a real emergency, someone would be actively looking for us. The Food: After the muster drill we headed to our assigned dining room, Carnivale, for dinner and to meet our table companions. I'm not fond of eating with strangers, but our tablemates were very friendly and sociable. The next morning we had the Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat breakfast which was really good and inexpensive. For a nominal fee of $5 per person you get to enjoy a really nice breakfast in the Carnivale dining room which is transformed to all things Cat in the Hat. The decorations are beautiful and picture opportunities abound. Although it's catered to children, my friend and I really had a nice time. We had made reservations to eat the the Chef's table, and it was the highlight of our cruise. Our reservation was for the same day as our Dr. Seuss breakfast, our day at sea. I received a letter that was left underneath our door informing us of the time and place. We were to meet by the bar in the atrium and when we got there, there was a waitress waiting for the group. We were all welcomed with a glass of champagne, but I don't drink alcohol so she served me ginger ale instead. If you've never done the chef's table and have some money to splurge, go for it! I did it once, enjoyed it to the fullest, but I'll never do it again. First, it's too expensive. I paid $172 for two people, which included a 12% gratuity. At first I said, "ouch" to the tip, but after everything was said and done, I realized that the people that tended to the group for 3 hours really work hard for their money. Second, you're fed so much food, you can easily go into a food coma. It starts in the galley where you're given some appetizers, all delicious by the way; then you're given a tour of the galley where you bump into the employees who are so very friendly. You are given a demo on how to make hot chocolate cake, but no sampling. I was extremely impressed with the service. I was ready to push my friend's wheelchair for the duration of the event, but little did I know that they had assigned someone to be her personal assistant. I wasn't allowed to push her wheelchair which made it so much enjoyable for me. The group consisted of 9 people and we were escorted to the library, which was set up, oh, so beautifully. We took a group picture, and then looked for our names, sat down, and the feast began. I can't even begin to explain how delicious everything was. It was a total of 7 or 8 plates, all with small portions, but so filling. The champagne and wine kept coming, but I only drank water. If you decide to do the chef's table DO NOT EAT DURING THE DAY!!!! You'll regret it and it will be wasted money. We had a good, hearty breakfast with Dr. Seuss, but didn't have anything else to eat until dinnertime, and by that time, our stomachs were grumbling. Dinner lasted about 3 hours. . . it was too much food, but so delicious. The shows in the Paris lounge were very good, and I especially enjoyed the last night's performance. I can't say much about the ports visited because we didn't get off the ship, and it was nice having the ship to ourselves, so to speak. Disembarking the ship was a bit of a hassle, but because my friend uses a wheel chair, we were able to cut the line . . . somewhat, but I know that there were unhappy passengers complaining about how unorganized everything was. It took us longer to disembark the ship than to board it. All in all, it was my friend's first cruising experience and she loved it. It's my 6th cruise with Carnival, and I was given a bottle of water and two pins. It was an inexpensive Spring break vacation, and although we didn't leave the ship, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We took our 16 and 13-year-old on their first cruise. The Cruise Director, the service teams, the entertainment was all fantastic! And the food was really good! Our dining room experience was top-notch! We had a little bit of a wait ... Read More
We took our 16 and 13-year-old on their first cruise. The Cruise Director, the service teams, the entertainment was all fantastic! And the food was really good! Our dining room experience was top-notch! We had a little bit of a wait for dinner one night, but it wasn't a deal breaker. Our waiter was so kind and helpful! Our rooms were comfortable (we had aft facing ocean views) and had plenty of room for all of our things. The only thing that would have been an additional 5th star - was more for the 'teens'; activities to do onboard vs. just going to a room to hang out and play video games. Our kids were never interested in chilling in that teen room. When going on Carnival next; think it will just be me and my husband... and we'll take the kiddos on one of the RC cruises with all the outdoor activities they offer (rock climbing, water parks, surfing, etc.). It's important to check out all the details ahead time and we didn't do that; we booked this 3 weeks before we sailed. Oh, one last thing to share - I've read a lot of reviews of people upset about the constant cruise line onboard salespeople pushing services and products on you... and I agree, this is so annoying! I did not get that on this cruise with Carnival. The upselling only came naturally as the conversation lend to it. Great job Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We picked this cruise because it was short and we knew the ship,having sailed on it previously 13 years previously to the Caribbean. This time we went by just ourselves Both of us are in our late 50s. Unfortunately it was April Spring ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was short and we knew the ship,having sailed on it previously 13 years previously to the Caribbean. This time we went by just ourselves Both of us are in our late 50s. Unfortunately it was April Spring break and the ship was over run with children and young adults. The adult only area is small but nice. They really need 2 of them. Several things are different now. You have to pay for virtually EVERY THING. TOO many photos! I know its a selling thing but, overwhelming for me, who hates to have her picture taken. We bought a bubbles program so that we could get sodas at no additional cost. NOT TRUE. They automatically add tax and gratuity, so each drink costs you $2. Too much for a coke! You get food of course, but the restaurant you are assigned to and the Lido buffet serve almost exact same meal. SO its up to you whether you want to be waited on or just do your own thing. The entertainment was okay. Punch liner comic are good. Believe it or not, the dance clubs were empty. Best music was in hall at Violin bar by casino. You have to pay an additional $$$ for WiFi hook up. Port trips were okay. We rented our own golf cart on Catalina. Go to one farthest from port. Saw all of Avalon on our terms. We went to beautiful winery in Ensenada. Too much for what we did but, our hosts were very nice. We were let off in down town, crowded with over zealous sellers. We only bought from women and only small things. Probably won't go on cruise again. Not really a bargain any more. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I departed from LA and the cruise had a Day At Sea, and stopped in Catalina, California, and Ensenda, Mexico. I didn't explore LA cause I've been before but its a fun place. As for both Catalina and Ensenada I debarked both days ... Read More
I departed from LA and the cruise had a Day At Sea, and stopped in Catalina, California, and Ensenda, Mexico. I didn't explore LA cause I've been before but its a fun place. As for both Catalina and Ensenada I debarked both days and explored/shopped like crazy! We get dropped off in the touristy spots and they offer other adventuring options from there i.e zip-lining or travel tours. My group didn't personally do that stuff but just walking around and enjoying the view was nice. I really adored how easy it was to get on and off the ship! I usually travel by plane so in comparison embarkation/disembarkation was like floating through the clouds; it was swift, easy, and a lot friendlier than going by plane. In essence, the ship itself was huge. I have no previous experience with boats but this one certainly had lots of room. However, despite that, the cabins were pretty small. Although it may have just been the package I got. There were five of us in one room (three adults and two children) and it was very tight but doable. The ship itself had so many entertaining activities that we didnt spend much time in our room anyway! As for the entertainment, it was definitely the star of the show! They had multiple live musicians throughout the boat (SHOUTOUT TO MOD SQUAD YALL WERE AWESOME!!), as well as comedy shows, and even a theatre troupe that performed shows nightly. I spent lots of time listening to the musicians who were more than happy to entertain. They were eager to take requests and were overall extremely friendly and encouraged a relaxed and happy atmosphere. The theatre troupe too. All the entertainers genuinely made me feel welcomed and at ease in the middle of the ocean. I simply cannot emphasize enough how they really made the trip worth it. As for the basics, Inspiration had both a dining area and buffet and food spots open 24/7. The food was really really good! They had regular options like seared sea bass and steaks to what they dubbed 'rare finds' ie alligator fritters and frog legs. I ate so much on the cruise it was ridiculous! Speaking of ridiculous, thats exactly how the service was. The service works were ridiculously nice, ridiculously accommodating, and ridiculously happy to help. I was honestly surprised at how friendly all staff members were. And last but not least, the children. My group had 4 children, a 2 year old, 5 year old, 11 year old, and 13 year old. The kids 5 and up spent the majority of the time swimming to their hearts content in the swimming pool and hot tub. As for the 2 year old we just passed him around between us cause we didnt really want him alone though the cruise did offer a daycare option that watched him while we had dinner. The kids had a blast as well. The ships various activity options catered to all of different needs and interests. Conclusively, I, as well as my family, 100% plan to go again and are already discussing our next trip. This cruise was unimaginable fun and I can't wait to do it again!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This trip formed part of a two week trip to the west coast of America, this being the last leg of the trip before embarking on our flight back to London. The check in onto the boat was smooth and once on board we were given our access ... Read More
This trip formed part of a two week trip to the west coast of America, this being the last leg of the trip before embarking on our flight back to London. The check in onto the boat was smooth and once on board we were given our access keys to the Stateroom which we had chosen with a balcony and all the trimmings. The room was cleaned every day by a happy member of staff who clearly had a job she loved doing, every night she had made sculptures out of towels that made us smile. Her smile would have lightened any thing that went wrong but it didn't. Our Dining experience was not always to an acceptable standard. We had been given Mardi Gras as the Dining area to attend. We attended this restaurant on the first Elegant night of our stay. We waited outside the restaurant for 20-30 minutes before we were shown to our table, we chose from a meal from the menu and it took 45 minutes before our starter arrived, the meals were lukewarm and tasteless. Our main course arrived 20 minutes later, our meals at least turned up at the same time, the ravioli was lukewarm with no recognisable taste to it. My main course was tasteless, the steak was cold and pale pink. I engaged with the staff on several occasions, asking that they take the meal away. In the end i had to ask to see the manager. He apologized and said he would speak to the catering team/chef. It was clear to me that batch cooking was being used which suggest a lack of staff competent enough to meet the standards Ii had anticipated. A couple on the next table had one starter (soup) served with no sign of when the other would appear. In the end the soup was returned to the waiter as it was getting cold and the lady did not wish to eat alone. Both meals were eventually served together but again only lukewarm. We then decided to use other food outlets on board and the service there was OK and cooked freshly. The different forms of entertainment were to a reasonable standard the jewel in the crown was the Rhapsody In Blue Piano Bar that we visited every night, fantastic host,(Skip) who enjoyed what he was doing, playing music and songs to suit all requests that had been made, a great sense of humour he was able to engage with all of those who he entertained each night. Bravo. Other pop up musicians were located around the ship to add atmosphere with songs that they had chosen. We had not been made aware that the trip coincided with school Spring break time so there were several unruly children on board, who tended to roam around the ship in packs. Overall the service offered throughout the ship was good, some always giving more than others. The noticeable failure was that tables were left with food and drink on for long periods of time before they were cleared and prepared for the next customers to enjoy, Bar services were quite good. Went on two excursions, the first was to Catalina Island and was excellent, lovely location with friendly staff, went on the Submarine/glass bottom boat trip, good shopping opportunities and plenty of food and drink areas to enjoy. Second trip was to Ensenada, this was a disappointing trip, we were taken to shore and we went on an island tour, wherever we stopped we were approached by street sellers. There was really very little to see and we did not feel that the trip was worth the money we paid for it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise was chosen by my in-laws in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. This was the first Carnival cruise ever for my family. My wife and I did a different cruise line years ago and came in under the impression that a ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by my in-laws in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. This was the first Carnival cruise ever for my family. My wife and I did a different cruise line years ago and came in under the impression that a Carnival cruise wasn't going to be as nice because it was "cheaper". I was completely wrong! Our embarkation time was at 1330 but we arrived in Long Beach a little bit earlier to avoid traffic delays and parked in the parking garage about two hours ahead of time and planned to walk around the pier. As we were walking out of the garage, we met a Carnvial cruise employee who told us it was okay to get in line after we told her our time was at 1330. She said it was okay to get in line and check in early which as really great! The whole process took about 30 minutes or so. While waiting in line, they were people of all ages there. My biggest concern were the 20-something college age kids who were there during spring break causing a problem. More on that later. During that time, we were also inundated with photographers asking us to take pictures. Since we weren't planning on buying any of the pictures, I stood there and made subtle funny faces. Once we got on the ship around 1230, we were told our room wasn't going to be ready until 1330 so we went up on the Lido deck with all our suitcases and hung out. I must have ate about 3 Guy Fieri burgers during that time which was incredibly good! This ship was good size. We were told it was at full capacity and since there was so much stuff going on, it didn't see to be that many people on it at all! With all the entertainment and activities going on, my family did not encounter very much of the college/spring break crowd at all. The cabin was tiny, but that was expected. We were there only to sleep and take showers. It was cramped with a family of four in it, but we made it work. Our attendant met us on the first day and introduced himself. After that first encounter, he greeted us by name every time we passed in the hallway. Unlike our other cruise, Carnival did not have assigned seating so it was first come, first served. That didn't matter because we were seated every time we dined. What really impressed me was how they took care of my children because they have food allergies. My daughter is allergic to peanuts, my son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and shellfish. The dining staff showed a genuine concern for my kids and we were able to pre order from the menu the next day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service and food were outstanding! I had at least two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts for dinner each night and every night was delicious. We definitely got our money's worth for food. We didn't pay extra for the sodas and drinks. Since I am not much of a drinker myself, the temptation to run up the drink bill was very low. We ported at Catalina Island and Ensenada. First Catalina Island. There was a beach about a mile from the pier that we had to walk to. That didn't matter because the water in the Pacific Ocean during this time of the year was ice cold so we didn't plan on going to the beach. What we did instead was rented a golf cart for about an hour and drove around the island. It was really beautiful especially up at the top so you can see the town of Avalon. We went into a couple of shops and after about 3 hours or so, we headed back to the ship. We took a snorkeling tour in Ensenada. However, we didn't book it through Carnival. AAA had a great rating for a local snorkeling adventure called "Baja Blue Divers" so we booked our adventure through them. Since they didn't have a permit to park and wait for us at the pier, we had to walk about 1/2 a mile and wait on a street corner for them to pick us up. Of course, we were bombarded for local peddlers to buy their stuff. When they did finally arrive, they introduced themselves and had the appropriate markings identifying who they were. They drove about an hour outside of town to a local spot they go to which is definitely NOT a tourist spot and spent a good part of the day there. Afterwards as part of the package, we went to a local dive for fish tacos which were OUTSTANDING! I highly recommend this outfit for your snorkeling adventure. When we arrived back at port, disembarkation went very smoothly and were on our way in no time. All in all, this was a great cruise for the money. Our kids had a great time and Carnival Cruise did a great job for us. Couldn't be any happier. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because it is budget friendly and sailed on the dates we wanted. The night before our cruise, we stayed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach which is right next to Carnival Inspiration. We had the Faster to the Fun and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is budget friendly and sailed on the dates we wanted. The night before our cruise, we stayed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach which is right next to Carnival Inspiration. We had the Faster to the Fun and our embarkation couldn't have gone any smoother. Our room steward was very attentive and took good care of us, our room was always clean. The dining staff was great and the food was so good. My daughter is lactose intolerant and our waiter, Gavin and his team made sure that all of her food was prepared without lactose/dairy. We played a lot of the on board games and won a few too! The disembarkation was just as smooth as the embarkation. In fact, we had to keep up with how fast the cruise staff got us on a off the boat. This was a great cruise and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
At our 58th anniversary we booked a four days since we live in Yorba Linda, approximately a 45 minute drive to the cruise ship. The drive was easy but in the morning there are a lot of truckers with containers on the same road. There ... Read More
At our 58th anniversary we booked a four days since we live in Yorba Linda, approximately a 45 minute drive to the cruise ship. The drive was easy but in the morning there are a lot of truckers with containers on the same road. There was plenty of parking in the garage at 11:00 am. There is a seven minute walk from the garage to the ship. Check-in was uneventful, except now you cannot bring bottled water to the ship. It was taken away, also empty bottles so you can't refill them. Southern California had a cold spell when we started our cruise. The main disappointment for our cabin and the ship as a whole was: "The ship has not heat". Yes, that's right, no heat in the cabin, or on the ship as a whole, only air conditioning. At age 82 I get cold. We ask for portable heaters, but he cruise line said they have none; it would create a fire danger. We were supplied with extra blankets, and we slept in our pajamas plus wrapped in the bathroom robes. The ship's carpet were fairly new and clean and the personnel was super friendly. Only the Carnival Inspiration has a unique buffet room decorated with shining 8" winding pipes, lit with at the end with a lighted dome, that felt to us like snakes all over. We dined thereafter in our assigned dining room. That was nice, but no more white tablecloths, except on fancy night. Formal has been done away with. On the plus side, the Aft deck has large and small water slides, that should be great fun for kids in warm weather. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
HI. Let me start by saying that this is our 5th cruise and all of them so far has been on budget ships, so i'm not expecting luxury for the prices we pay. This is a way to bring the kids on a budget and we have been doing this for the ... Read More
HI. Let me start by saying that this is our 5th cruise and all of them so far has been on budget ships, so i'm not expecting luxury for the prices we pay. This is a way to bring the kids on a budget and we have been doing this for the past 5 years.Well this is the worst ship ive been on. i'll name a few of the pros too. Embarkation was very good and fast and Patricia was very nice ( I try to remember names). The ship is an older ship but well kept, we choose a late embarkation time because was our first time in california and we spent the whole morning sight seeing. As soon as we arrived our room was already done and a very bad smell was coming from the toilet. My mothers cabin was the same. We didnt pay too much attention and we went to the Lido to have a late lunch. I took my mother on the norwegian last year and she was surprised on how different the food tasted. although i think carnival has more option food wise, i didnt like anything that day, so i had a slice of pizza which was not too bad and because of the time difference we were pretty tired and didnt go to the dining room. The next day we were in catalina, the weather was bad, but this is not carnivals fault, we will just wont travel ever again on winter break, but the island was very cute, had a cape cod feel, we rented a golf cart and had amazing views of the mountains. when we arrived back on the ship, the dining room was closed and was gonna reopen at 6 but we were starving. only the burger place by the pool was open and we all ate that and everybody felt sick on how greasy those things were. my mother once again was complaining that the norwegian didnt close the buffets, and blah blah blah, but if i remember correctly i think she was right. We try to get a few drinks but the mix for most of them had an after taste, yack... we didnt even spent so much money on drinks this time, but didnt enjoy either. that same night we decide to try the dining room and oh Lord. One thing that we most enjoy on our family cruises is the time we spend with the famiy at dinner but this time the food was really awful, nobody ate. The waitress picked up my mothers soup before she was finished, seriously she had her spoon in the air, and never came back with the dessert menu. We got tired of waiting and left without dessert. The entertainment which is my favorite thing on Carnival ships was so mediocre. I remember having other cruises that the director is so great, but on this one She was just ok, actually we love the punchline comedy but beside that every single thing was pretty boring. We loved ensenada. Our cabin steward was awesome. Now for the day at sea is when things got pretty ugly. We woke up in the morning to a very windy temp and very choppy waters, by 10am the ship was rocking like i never seen before. I went to the guest service and complained to the lady and she said that was nothing they could do because was the weather, and i remember had sailing with ROyal Caribbean and had the captain announcing that they were looking for calmer waters, but this captain was going full speed. I heard a gentlemen complain that his wife was getting sick and arguing that we were so close to long beach, so why the captain was speeding up in that kind of weather, so thats when my mother started to get sick as well, we took her to the cabin and before we could get in to our rooms, someone vomited on the stairway. they closed that part and someone vomited by the elevator. I dont know how many people got sick that day, but i saw at least 4. By 3 o'clock we heard an announcement that the captain was going back to catalina to take shelter from the wind, so i ask you why so late? so my trip was a nightmare partly because of the weather, i will never travel on winter break again, there was too cold for swimming and nothing to do on that cruise, the food and drinks was worst then all the other ships i've been to. The inspiration inspired me not to cruise again, or at least for a long long time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Chose this cruise mostly due to restrictions on time. Only had Friday through Monday available. Starting out on a cold windy rainy day was our of our control. Luckily Carnival let us on ahead of our scheduled time, hopefully this let some ... Read More
Chose this cruise mostly due to restrictions on time. Only had Friday through Monday available. Starting out on a cold windy rainy day was our of our control. Luckily Carnival let us on ahead of our scheduled time, hopefully this let some others in early missing when the rain started. The dining was wonderful. Due to the late embarkation (purely caused by weather, not the cruise line) first dinner was random seating. I asked that night if we could be switched to a table for just two. The next morning there was a not slipped under out door stating our wish had been granted. After looking around more in the dining room I was amazed they were able to grant that since there weren't many tables for only two, The service in our room was just perfect. Couldn't have been any better. We hadn't planned on a shore excursion yet left the ship anyways since there were was a place to shop right next to the ship. Tom D. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I would love to wright a great review because their was some really good points, however Carnivals poor customer support to the issue my son and I had was very bad so BAD REVIEW!! First if you travel you can come in contact with these ... Read More
I would love to wright a great review because their was some really good points, however Carnivals poor customer support to the issue my son and I had was very bad so BAD REVIEW!! First if you travel you can come in contact with these nasty critters. I make a practice to check the bed and furniture and quarantine all travel items when going home or to friends. I did check the mattress and no obvious problems however without bed bug covers you can not be assured!! When we came back in the evening their was small blood fairly fresh splats on the bedding. I checked the mattress not inside the sheets!!! The main person who managed the cabins was excellent and brought someone to check and changed the bedding. I was told the results of their check was negative and I did not see anything?? I noted in two days I had three bites and my son one (bits are three in a row and can look like mosquito bites). As I mentioned this to staff, I waited to have a friend at home who can identify the difference check when we came back before making a formal report to the Carnival. Yes, sure enough bed bug bites. I am glad spent a lot of time ensuring my items were quarantined and treated (25 min in a super hot dryer works and suitcase enclosed in a sealed non torn bag). No concerns at my friends or my home at this time (bed bug cups for under the post of your bed is the best that I have heard of to monitor if the pests hang onto you when you come home!!) Now bed bugs are a reality of travel or even sitting on a bus or movie, however how Carnival handled my complaint was not!!! I was told when I called the customer support line that no follow up call regarding my concerns would occur and this was stated twice!! so no miscommunication. Carnival bad form!! Carnival administrative staff that manages reservations and tabs is also concerning, mainly one who could not read the bill and kept making false statements of what I owed and then after upsetting me would rudely correct her mistake!! We had one on the final night who was satisfactory... It is sad that the customer service department at Carnival is so bad... or despite the bed bugs I would have written a fairly Ok review. The staff especially the person who takes care of cabins were excellent. Even thought their was mostly over 18 activities and activities kids could participate in were not well spaced out, the staff that performed were excellent both on and off stage. Ya to you and all the staff with exception of the front desk/administrative person. Food was great at pool side and ok overall.. ya I was not cooking. We were looking forward to fresh fish and the fish we had each time was pretty not really fresh.. however remember I am not cooking so it was fine!! The hot tub and pool and slide were good and loved the mini golf. I like to make an honest review. CARNIVAL, all I asked was for a call back on a pretty serious situation. please note value for money is that the stress from the bed bug issue and front staff/administrative staff made this a poor value and made the embarkation poor. The cabin except for the bed bugs was very good too!! If Carnival customer service would have been decent we would have consider booking again for a longer cruise. Again bed bugs can happen anywhere just do not bring them home and it is how the place deals with them and you!! I could not have been fairer. P.s I will spread the word as far as I can now.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My family and I went on this cruise for the superbowl. While the cruise it;s self wasn't too bad the food at the Captains Table was AWFUL! We went 4 times (I dont know why) and each visit was worse that the other from food with awful ... Read More
My family and I went on this cruise for the superbowl. While the cruise it;s self wasn't too bad the food at the Captains Table was AWFUL! We went 4 times (I dont know why) and each visit was worse that the other from food with awful taste /no taste, to served cold not one meal was worth the effort. I also came into contact with the Customer Service Manager who was rude and dissmissive when I inquired into items removed from my siutcase. This woman did NOTHING!!! If this what cruise life is about I don't thnk I will be spending any more money for this cruiseline. I also was not happy with staff in my room repeatedly throughout the day, each time we left they came in. This was not a comfortable feeling. I've also never had more trouble obtaining water in my life this was absolutely ridiculous! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Me and my wife tried this 4-day cruise again after a while. Embarkation and disembarkation went pretty well. Cabin was nice, but lots of children noise from outside. Shower knobs are a little confusing. The service was good, main showroom ... Read More
Me and my wife tried this 4-day cruise again after a while. Embarkation and disembarkation went pretty well. Cabin was nice, but lots of children noise from outside. Shower knobs are a little confusing. The service was good, main showroom musical entertainment was average, but stand up comedy was good. The ship was fairly clean and food was plenty but average. Lots of extra charges, including corkage, behind the scene tour of the ship, the captain reception was a joke; no free drinks or anything. My favorite decks were 9th floor Promenade with live band and 10th with pool and buffet restaurant. Overall the cruise was a good value. Since we visited the ports before, no shore excursions were taken. My suggestion: allow plenty of commute time to reach the ship better to reserve your check in time early, so you can find your cabin and catch the lunch, otherwise it will be selected for you the night before the sailing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first cruise in 25 years. A lot has changed since then. Not a bad thing, but change none-the-less. The ship: Carnival Inspiration was a nice ship. It is 20 years old from what I have read. Very clean overall. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise in 25 years. A lot has changed since then. Not a bad thing, but change none-the-less. The ship: Carnival Inspiration was a nice ship. It is 20 years old from what I have read. Very clean overall. The cabins. We had an outside cabin on the main deck. We were pleasantly surprised by how big it was. Now not huge, no, but for an average cabin, it was plenty big enough for my wife and I. We had a king size bed and the bed was also surprisingly comfortable. Not a top of the line pillow top bed but way more comfortable than the Holiday Inn bed we slept on the night before we departed. The bathroom was of course small but that is to be expected but big enough. My only complaint was that toilet was too close to the wall when you sat down but I am a very tall man. Closet and storage space was ample and you had room under the bed to place your suitcases if you wanted. We had 2 closets to hang our clothes and a 3rd one that had the safe (we didn't use the safe) and shelves to put your clothes that you didn't want to hang up. However, there was no temperature control in the room. The overhead blower/fan was the only way to control the temp in your room. If it got too cold, you turned the blower down or off. If you wanted it cooler, you opened it up. After a day we finally figured out what worked for us. No big deal. Dining. Breakfast. We usually ate at the buffet. Meh. The food was OK. The variety was nice and the theme was different each day. They did have an omelet bar but they were OK. Pancakes and waffles were massed produced and to be honest, the pancakes really weren't very good at all and same with the waffles. The eggs were scrambled but on the dry side. Bacon was greasy and not crisp. The milk was cool but not cold. The danish were dry. HOWEVER, you could go to the Marti Gras dining room and order from a menu but the hours there were very limited. Usually only a 2 hour window. Lunch. We usually went on the shore excursion but came back to have a late lunch. We never did try the buffet for lunch but opted for the hamburger joint. I have to admit those hamburgers were pretty darned good! But the fries were greasy and limp but the burger made up for that. Dinner. We had a late seating dinner at 8:15. The menu had very good options and the food was very good. Not quite excellent but very good. If you wanted a really good steak and lobster, that cost you an additional $20. We didn't opt for that but others at our table did. And, the nice thing about it, you could basically order as much as you wanted. You wanted 2 shrimp appetizers, order it. You wanted two different main courses, you could order that as well. I imagine there are limits but we didn't nor did anyone else on our table reached that. And we had one guy order literally 5-6 appetizers each night. Misc dining. They had a 24 hour pizza joint. We didn't try it but our friends who came with us did and they loved it. They also have a deli where you could order made to order hot or cold deli sandwiches. We didn't go there either but just wanted to share those options with you. Entertainment and activities. We went to the comedy club almost every night. The comedians were good but a tad bit on the raunchy side so do NOT bring the kids. However, they do have an early show that is PG rated that you can bring the kids. We went to one of those as well and it was entertaining. Casino. A nice sized casino. Lots of tables and slot machines. Games for everyone. Of course I liked it as I came out ahead $80 playing blackjack. ;-) Activities of all kinds for all ages. This is a Carnival Cruise "Fun Ship" so there were a lot of activities for all ages. We played trivia quite a bit. That was fun. Went to the Piano Bar. They guy could play but his singing was so-so but he was enjoyable. I counted 2 small stages that had someone playing in them during the waking hours. I love sitting and listening to them. Service. Very good. Our cabin was cleaned up twice a day. Once when we left in the morning and once again in the evening. However, they did not pick up dirty cups or dishes that we brought back to the room even if they were stacked up and put on our desk. I just found that a little odd. However, they did pick them up if you left them outside your cabin door. The other strange thing is that they did not put on clean sheets everyday but did make your bed for you. I don' know why I was expecting that but they didn't and it didn't make any difference to us as we sleep in our same sheets at home for much longer. Ports and Shore excursions. We stopped off at Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico. We didn't do much at either port as the weather was cool and rainy. But Carnival did offer many options. We did go to the "blow hole" in Ensenada but that was a big let down for us. I was told that we went at the wrong time of day. Oh well. Medical Center. Ah, didn't think you would read that here did you? Well, my wife got sick on the 4 day, sea day, and we had to take her to the medical center. The staff was nice and knew pretty much what they were doing. My wife is a nurse so she is a little bit more judgmental and the thing that freaked her out is when they put the IV in, the nurse didn't wear any gloves. That freaked my wife out. But my wife came out A-OK so all is well. That is one place I hope we never have to go to again. Not that it was bad but it just sucks to get sick on a vacation. Would we go again? Yes. In a heart beat. I would probably enjoy it even more the 2nd time as I now know what to expect and what to do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We love, love, love Carnival! This was my 8th Carnival cruise since 1996. I have never had a Carnival experience I didn't really like! So far it is my brand. I have also cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Oasis twice. This ... Read More
We love, love, love Carnival! This was my 8th Carnival cruise since 1996. I have never had a Carnival experience I didn't really like! So far it is my brand. I have also cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Oasis twice. This particular Carnival sailing out of Long Beach just after Christmas did not disappoint. We began our adventure in Long Beach at the Hotel Maya near the port. We loved our stay there. We did not make it to the Queen Mary but I would have loved to have experienced a brunch there on Christmas Day had we planned far enough in advance. There was plenty to do in Long Beach. Movies, dining, malls nearby. I noticed the Laugh Factory and though it would have been great to catch a live comedy show while there. There is also an aquarium. The cruise itself was everything I've come to know and love about the brand and exactly what I expected. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Our cabin was quite spacious and clean. We were on the Upper Deck cabins 39 and 35. The crowd was definitely different than the southeastern crowd of folks out of Jacksonville and Charleston that we are used to. We love the fun but it was nice to be with more refined passengers who spent more, as did we, for this particular holiday sailing. The ship was exactly as we envisioned it. I for one, am not a huge fan of the larger ships. In my experience larger ships equal more people with the same amenities. Don't get me wrong I love the people, but the smaller ships have always been more fun for us. We were blessed with amazing weather on this sailing! We traveled with our teenage kids, both boys. They found ways to entertain themselves, mostly ping pong. There were many kids their age that participated in the 15-17 clubs offered by Carnival. We utilized the formal dining each night and enjoyed great service. The first night was a little harried as the ship departed much later than anticipated and our service staff felt the pinch. A favorite of ours on this sailing was Carnival's new Guy Fieri burger bar and the Burritto bar!!!! My husband ate there everyday! The burgers were quite good! A nice touch for repeat cruisers. We did not book excursions but rather got off the ship and saw what was available. In Catalina Island, we purchased a golf cart for 4 and paid $40 for an hour of mapped out touring of the island. A perfect way to see the sights. In Ensenada, we disembarked and grabbed a shuttle for $3 per person round trip to downtown. While on the shuttle they offered an opportunity to see the blowhole and zipline at prices that I am quite sure were well below the ships excursion pricing. We had a friend in Ensenada who picked us up and showed us way more of the island than can be offered by typical excursions. While walking around Ensenada we grabbed food at a local sports bar and bought typical tourist items. There is a bar called Hussong's that is really popular. Only drinks no food. If you want to get way off the beaten path there are restaurants and wineries throughout baja. Don't be afraid do get off the ship and explore. Rosarito has beautiful beaches and Splash is a great restaurant. A new twist in entertainment for us on board was Jessie the Acoustic guitar player. She had a small gathering of folks in between dining seatings and invited people to come sing a song with her, acoustic! I usually like to do one karaoke song but this time I got to do it live! Good thing I remembered most of the words. We attended PG and adult comedy and enjoyed it. A last note, we attended our first military appreciation event on this sailing. I am sure this has been offered on previous sailings but its not something we have participated in. It was extremely moving and emotional. All branches of service were represented and kudos to Carnival for including this event on your ships. The cruise director was genuine and kind in her welcome and encouragement to all in attendance to share who they were and the branch of service they represented. All in all, this was another fabulous Carnival experience. Great room service, dining service, food, drinks and fun for all!!!! How can you go wrong? Keep up the good work Carnival, take good care of your loyal employees, they really make or break the experience!!!! Your loyal cruisers since 1996!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because it sailed over Christmas. We wanted to take a Christmas vacation this year instead of spending it at home, and Carnival Inspiration filled the bill. We live in Las Vegas so a Long Beach, CA departure was as ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed over Christmas. We wanted to take a Christmas vacation this year instead of spending it at home, and Carnival Inspiration filled the bill. We live in Las Vegas so a Long Beach, CA departure was as convenient as it gets for us. The cruise was fine, it met expectations. This is our third cruise, our first being Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), our second being Carnival, and then this one again with Carnival. Carnival just doesn't seem to have the quality that NCL did, on both trips. We are taking another one on NCL this summer to see if the wonderful first experience can be repeated or not, or it if was just a lucky trip. Sorry, I digress. Booking: I booked through a private booking agent I know, so it was easy and great Price: I always book early because I desire specific rooms. I don't want to wait for last minute deals so I choose to pay the full rate. The price for this trip was fine and affordable. Embarkation: Smooth and easy. I parked in the Carnival parking garage ($19/day) and hauled our own bags through the terminal. They have the process down to a science, therefore, quick and efficient. The plenty of people to support the large groups arriving and we were on board in about 15 minutes from the time we found our parking spot until we stepped on board. Free Champagne During Embarkation: When we arrived on board we offered free champagne and was a classy tough. Probable because it was the Christmas Cruise. The last Carnival I did they offered you a drink, and when you take it and have a sip, they ask for your Sail and Sign card so they can charge it to your room. This time was different, it was complementary. Great job folks. That gesture goes a long ways with me. Entertainment: Entertainment was very good for a cruise ship environment. I mean that I don't expect them to be top performing/$180 per ticket acts. They have a local singing group that is very good and entertaining. Great fun. They have lots of activities scheduled and all of them were quality. We watched the shows in the main the first and last nights, the second night we watched the stand up comic. Food: Mediocre. For some reason our Carnival trips have seemed a bit skimpish on the food. The selection is ok but not elaborate. The quality is, "it doesn't suck" category. The only thing that made me say "now THAT is yummy", was their hot cocoa, and it is made with hot water in a machine. All other food is just, well, free. Cabin Service: Cabin service is very good. I've never had a bad experience with a cabin attendant on any of my three trips. I really admire our cabin crews, they always work hard and set your cabin at the right times of day for you. They always call you by name, even the first time they come face to face with you. This trip our cabin attendant knocked on our door the first day and introduced himself to us, and then looked at each one of us and spoke our names. He was great and I tipped him well as his reward. Dining Room Service: We ate there one night. The service was slow, portions small, food quality mediocre. I think our server was new. Spa Service: Great people and great experience. The Spa is expensive, it always is, so expect it. But they will pamper you accordingly. It's a vacation and I spend money on things I would never spend money on any other time of the year. I helps create the memories and I am always glad I did it. This is no exception to that. Parties: They held wonderful parties in the main lobby with the Christmas theme. Great touch and great job. Always had live entertainment, operated snow machines for a white Christmas, passed out hats and bells, great job. Shore Excursion: We did the topless bus tour and shopping of Ensenada. The bus portion was about an hour, shopping about an hour. It was raining that day so nobody rode on the top deck, and we didn't get off to do anything. Nobody wanted to because of the weather. They did stop downtown to let us shop. It was kind of a run down/depressed area. I noticed that when we rode up the street the bus driver honking his horn, and the tour guide was calling out specific establishments over the bus speakers (which can be heard outside the bus). The shopkeepers would come out and wave. I regarded this as the signal to everyone that the tourists just arrived. Of course when we stopped the we all went back the way we were shown. However, when we returned to the bus and departed, we went through a more clean and reputable looking district. I would have preferred to shop those stores but we were not shown them on our way in. Debarkation: Smooth, organized, efficient. No hassles and very quick. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First timer looking for a quick cruise experience. This is a nice short one. Ship was full for the Holidays with lots of families. The staff was professional and made the cruise run smoothly. It was just not the right time of year. ... Read More
First timer looking for a quick cruise experience. This is a nice short one. Ship was full for the Holidays with lots of families. The staff was professional and made the cruise run smoothly. It was just not the right time of year. The water was choppy enough on Christmas from west coast storms to make the captain change course. Other experienced cruisers said this was the worst choppiness they have felt. It was cold, so few people tried swimming or the water slides. Food was average at best. No gourmet stuff here. The sit down dining venues seem to serve a lot of the same food as the buffet. The burgers were decent. Excursion to Ensenada was fine. The Bufaladora trip was fun but forces you to walk through a long tourist trap road full of merchants before you see the natural wonder. If you are looking for a first time quick cruise, do not take this during winter. Wait till summer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I chose Carnival for the price, finally receiving a special that allegedly included all the port, taxes, and any "air filter disposal fee" kind of bs nickel-and-dime hidden costs. For the most part, that was correct. THE ... Read More
I chose Carnival for the price, finally receiving a special that allegedly included all the port, taxes, and any "air filter disposal fee" kind of bs nickel-and-dime hidden costs. For the most part, that was correct. THE LIST OF THINGS I LIKED is probably enough to get you onboard: considering the amount of eating and drinking, the cleanliness was surprisingly exceptional, so much so that I stopped myself from putting empty glasses in random places. the crew seemed out-of-their-way helpful and friendly. The cabin window was much bigger than I expected, the shower had good pressure, heat, and height adjustment, and having a cabin light in the headboard is pretty smart. The variety of places to drink (Atrium Bar, Casino Bar, Alchemy Bar, pool bars, etc.) suited me. The Cheers program was a good value. And 24-hour ice cream and pizza is never a bad thing. THE LIST OF THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE. NOISE & NO WIFI. 1. The parents let their kids run down the halls all day and all night, banging the floor like constant drums, making it impossible to relax and sleep. It woke us every morning by 7am. 2. No wi-fi, even if you pay extra for it, as I did. If you are wifi dependent, make sure you bring reading materials, games, etc. Our phones didn't work either, so bring walkie-talkies. Other minor stuff: 3. AFTER taking my money, I learned in the small print that Carnival reserves the right to a) charge passengers for gasoline, and fees related to dockage, wharfage, inspection, pilotage, immigration, IRS, navigation, berthing, storage, security, customs, etc, 4. You can't sail until you sign a contract that allows Carnival to disclose our personal or sensitive date to unaffiliated third parties- UNACCEPTABLE. 5. The casino and casino bar allow smoking. 6. Guest services. Over 50% of the time I couldn't understand them (almost the whole crew learned English as a second or third language) and 25% they didn't have basic information we requested. 7. Nobody warned me of the boring, long, disorganized safety seminar thing, which is a horrible way to begin a trip, as unavoidable as it is unnecessary. Nor did they warn me how horrible it is getting off the boat, a horrible way to end a trip. 8. One plug. I'd do another cruise only if it was adults only. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Wow! What a fun cruise for the price. The perfect quick getaway to get you in the holiday spirit. My son just turned 6 months old so we wanted to start him young. He is the son of a son of a sailor. I had not been on Carnival since my ... Read More
Wow! What a fun cruise for the price. The perfect quick getaway to get you in the holiday spirit. My son just turned 6 months old so we wanted to start him young. He is the son of a son of a sailor. I had not been on Carnival since my early 20's when it was a booze cruise for party animals (not exactly family friendly) so originally, I was hesitant to book this cruise. My wife and I had done the same 4 night cruise on the Star Princess in 2015, with stops at Avalon and Ensenada, and wanted to again but the dates didn't work out. Going on the Inspiration was a great choice. The crew members are top notch and overly friendly . They went out of their way to help with my son which made my wife and I very grateful. The food options are plentiful and really good when you consider how many people they are cooking for. We ate in the "Anytime" dining hall 3 out of the 4 nights and the food was delicious with a nice variety of menu options. Very well kept pool area with what seemed like newer whirlpool hot tubs. Mother nature blessed us with great seas and beautiful weather throughout the trip and it was always fun to see people of all ages from all over the world having a great time by the pool. My only complaint was the extremely rude staff member Rebecca on deck 7 at the elevators as we got off the boat at our home port in Long Beach. You know you are in trouble when you ask a staff member for their name and they respond with " Why, so you can complain to my bosses?" In our conversation you mentioned you didn't care if I lodged a complaint because you were getting off the boat soon anyway and that it wouldn't be the first time someone complained about you. Time to find another job because your attitude sucks and it sounds like a pattern here. However, aside from this unpleasant interaction with the one lousy Carnival employee I could find, the debarkation process was very easy. We got through customs in less than 5 minutes and the park structure is right outside the cruise terminal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted a mother and daughter getaway and the hot tub she had bought me came either with a 2 night trip to Vegas or 4 night cruise on Carnival. So naturally we chose the Carnival cruise as we had cruised Carnival before. We had an ... Read More
We wanted a mother and daughter getaway and the hot tub she had bought me came either with a 2 night trip to Vegas or 4 night cruise on Carnival. So naturally we chose the Carnival cruise as we had cruised Carnival before. We had an amazing time, bought the Faster to The Fun and got on the ship really quickly, our cabin was ready and our room steward welcomed us by name, impressive! It is great to cruise near Christmas time as the ship was decorated for the season! Large ship which was great so we did lots of walking from one end to the other and almost always took the stairs rather than elevator. we walked over 38 flights of stairs a day Our cabin was configured as 2 twin beds so we had lots of floor space, and ocean view. AS it was an older ship , no balcony, but for 4 nights that was just fine. Good sized bathroom with shampoo and shower gel provided in the shower. We were on Main Deck, mid ship. We chose early dining, there was also late and your time dining. We liked the early sitting for dinner, but due to the low ceiling the restaurant was very noisy and it was difficult to hold a conversation with our table companions. We had breakfast up on the Lido deck, there was 24 hour ice cream and pizza, and room service. The food by the pool area would change. Good choice of food. I loved the cold fruit soups on the dinner menu. Entertainment was good, nothing was very long usually about 1/2 an hour but well done. The Punchliner Comedy Club offered PG and adult comedy shows. We went to every one! Then there was Bingo if you wanted it, not me, and the Haysboro Game Show and some others. The parties on deck were not well attended as it was rather cool but the parties in the atrium were well attended. It's amazing how possesive and inconsiderate people get over a simple bead necklace that is thrown out to the crowd. Some share while others push and shove and hit you in the face just to get that 10th necklace!!! The program for children was Dr Seuss and they have lots of fun activities too. The service was excellant, our room steward Manuelito was awesome, not quite so impressed with the dinner staff, they were frindly but not quite so enthusiatic as some other waiters. We were always welcomed back as previos guests wherever we went on the ship. WE went prasaling in Catalina Island and that was so much fun, I was nervous before but it was well planned and once harnessed in we just lifted off the back of the boat! Awesome views and so quiet up in the air. We went horseback riding in Ensenada and really enjoyed that once we got used to sitting in the saddle. it was much warmer up in the mountains. The excursion not to be missed was the Behind The Fun, you need to book this as soon as you get on the ship as it is limited to 16 people on the at sea day. It takes you behind the scenes on the ship and is very interesting. No camereas are allowed but they do do take a phoo of you with the captain ind give it to you as part of the tour. We also got a lovely dessert plate in our cabin from the Chef de Cuisine thanking us for visiting. a great tour!! In all we loved the ship and everything in it, just a tip if you like like flavoured teas take your own as they charge extra for anything other than black tea. Lemonade was amazing!! Oh and if you want to enjoy the spa treatments, tey are not cheap and they really try yo push sales , but the hot stone massage WAS great!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because the dates worked for us after 5 days at Disneyland. Our cruise family included myself, DH in one OV cabin and my DD and her BFF (both 13) in the OV cabin beside us. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, second ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the dates worked for us after 5 days at Disneyland. Our cruise family included myself, DH in one OV cabin and my DD and her BFF (both 13) in the OV cabin beside us. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, second out of Long Beach and first not having a balcony. We decided to go with 2 OV cabins instead of one suite to give the girls and us more space and two bathrooms! It worked out very well. We had FTTF and arrived at port around 11:00 - it took way less time to get from Disney to the port than we anticipated. However we were able to check in right away and were among the first on board an hour later! We were in our rooms with drinks in hand by noon!!! Our bags arrived within the hour - love love love FTTF. We all had lunch, a quick tour and nap well before the muster drill. It was great getting on board so early! This is our third cruise with FTTF - it is a MUST buy for us each time. We were in U170 & U174. They were pretty spacious and the layout for the girls was great. Tons of storage space and the L-shape layout for the twin beds gave them lots of space in the room for getting ready! We had anytime dining - only had one night that we had to wait a bit with a buzzer and that was on Elegant night. No biggie, grabbed a drink toured the shops and were called within a half hour. The food was really good - surprisingly good. We all enjoyed the service and food very much - DD's BFF ordered from the Steakhouse menu the Surf & Turf and LOVED it. We also enjoyed having the Cheers Program. We didnt max our our limit any of the days but I felt really free to try different drinks - chocolate martinis, fun ones at Alchemy, different wines etc. We for sure came out ahead compared to what we would have paid on a per drink basis and I love not worrying about how big my bar bill will be at the end. I really enjoyed the ability to get bottles of water, Vitamin water AND energy drinks as part of the plan as well! Staff were great - Dee the Cruise Director has tons of energy and I have never witnessed a party in the lobby bar on the last night like I did on this cruise!!! Our room steward Gemma was amazing our room was always taken care of twice a day. The entertainment staff were awesome - everyone seemed to know our names and always said hello! The casino was a lot of fun too - even won the slot tourny!! The ports of call for this cruise were meh.... but I expected that. We went on this cruise for a quick cruise fix - hence my title - the price couldnt be beat. Although I won't cruise out of LA in December again, it was sunny and nice but not hot enough to really hang out by the pool. This was a bummer and the kid missed being able to do that. The only less than great moments involved debarkation - we were zone 1 with FTTF and I think the majority of the ship did self assist. We had to be out of our room by 8:15, they closed breakfast in the Lido by 9:30 (I am sure it was that early) and we didnt get off the ship unti after 10:30! Lots of waiting around compared to what we have experienced on much larger ships. But again - I think short cruise meant lots of self assist folks. We had too much luggage with our previous 5 days in Disney and another 3 days in LA ahead of us to manage the stairs on our own! So if you are looking for a quick trip at a great price this is a great option! I would go on the Inspiration again, just during a warmer month! I also missed having a balcony but would choose 2 OV over the suite if we had the same 4 people again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have sailed on Celebrity and Norwegian and they have been great or exceptional. I knew that a 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada on the Inspiration was not likely to match those trips. I was right but give the cruise a ... Read More
We have sailed on Celebrity and Norwegian and they have been great or exceptional. I knew that a 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada on the Inspiration was not likely to match those trips. I was right but give the cruise a "4" rather than "average" because it is a good value and as long as you aren't expecting too much, you won't be disappointed. This was over Thanksgiving and the ship was full - I suspect that isn't unusual and would have thought Carnival would have worked out some of the rough edges better. My sister and nephew came along to get their first taste of what cruising is like - they thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We also had two 15 year olds with us who had a blast in and around the teen club. Food was very good - once you got it (see below). Port of Long Beach, not LA. Right alongside the Queen Mary with a very convenient parking garage that seems to have enough spots to handle the two ships that Carnival alternates from the location. At least based on our experience, consider handling your own luggage. We had a total of four suitcases. One was ruined by the time it got to our cabin and another badly damaged getting off. (BTW, after embarking guest services gave me a decent credit with no hassle whatsoever.) Two dining rooms - we chose "Mardi Gras" where you supposedly could choose your dining time. Not exactly. Each night the line was awful and unless you were willing to start standing in line an hour or so before it opened, you would wait for about 30-60 minutes to get a buzzer and be advised it would be a 30-40 minute wait. It isn't - waits were typically between 1 and 2 hours - in talking to the many folks waiting with buzzers in hand, some were standing around for even longer. (Probably because the buzzers aren't very reliable - for 2 of the 3 nights we gave up waiting for the thing to light up and vibrate and started going to the desk every 30 minutes until we could get seated.) Waiting in line and having to argue your way into dinner after standing around was the biggest criticism I have. We tried to switch to the other dining room for either seating but never heard back. I feel for the friendly and efficient dining room staff who have to face a disproportionate number of unhappy guests from the git-go. Couldn't figure out why but buffet breakfast lines (inside) were much longer than we experienced on other ships of comparable size. Pool deck offered breakfast before splitting into (great) hamburger and Mexican snack bars. Not much to do on Catalina Island but it's worth a visit - some significant waiting coming and going for tenders. Ensenada is not a typical cruise port but presumably nobody is taking this cruise for the exotic ports of call! Casino is surprisingly large and even more surprisingly, pretty generous. Didn't see the comedians but went to the two singing & dancing performances (tributes to Motown and Studio 54 disco). Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I picked this ship because I've been on The Imagination already and wanted to compare them. I like this one better because the entertainment was really good. Shows were great, the comedian, Jailyn, was hilarious, music was really good ... Read More
I picked this ship because I've been on The Imagination already and wanted to compare them. I like this one better because the entertainment was really good. Shows were great, the comedian, Jailyn, was hilarious, music was really good in the various venues, karaoke was fun. For the most part there was always something to do. Casino was just so-so. There are lots of areas to relax if you wanted to. The cafe was not very good and not worth paying for. Food was better than I expected. It was actually delicious! Always something good on the buffet. Blue Iguana was delicious. If you like shrimp try the shrimp burrito. Guy's burgers were really good but it was confusing going thru the line. They have a menu up as if you choose something from it but all they really do is give you the burger, bun and fries and then you go to the toppings bar and add everything yourself. Breakfast buffet was really good and had good choices. We had late dining but ended up asking to be switched because they sat me and my daughter with a bunch of couples who kept getting intimate and it was kind of not what we want to see when eating. They accommodated us quickly and with no questions asked to "your time dining." Wait time was longer to be seated but well worth it. Some of the things on the menu were the same as the buffet so we just orders what was NOT on the buffet. Prime rib and beef tenderloin were so good! Mac n cheese was good, soup and salads good, escargot good, bread good. Desserts were not very good. Wait staff were super fun and very attentive. The Carnival Hub app was a very useful tool. Glad they added that. Okay, I think I touched on everything. I had a blast and I hope, if you're going on this ship, that you do too! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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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