8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I have taken several Carnival cruises in the past. This was probably our last one. We are in our late 50's, not travelling with children. We choose this cruise because it was close enough to drive to. I wish there were ... Read More
My husband and I have taken several Carnival cruises in the past. This was probably our last one. We are in our late 50's, not travelling with children. We choose this cruise because it was close enough to drive to. I wish there were more destinations to pick from that leave from Los Angeles. Embarkation went smoothly. The staff was efficient and the wait was not long. They have this part down pact. I booked our trip on-line, selecting our cabin and requesting 2 twin beds and distilled water for my Cpap machine. Upon arrival the beds were not separated and there was no water. We had to wait for hours before we could get through to guest services for these requests. The Carnival Inspiration is showing her age: worn paint, railings, carpet and decor. My husband is disabled and was forced to climb stairs when time and again the elevator refused to stop at our deck. We had chosen this ship because it had a serenity deck, but were so disappointed to find out that it was anything but serene. It was more of the party place for the college students and rowdies. During our pre-cruise research, the schedule stated that the elegant night was on day 4, yet when we received our daily info sheet we discovered it was on day 2. Two couples at our dining table did not get the updated memo and were very disappointed when they came to dinner under dressed. The food in the dining room was good, not excellent, but good. The food at the buffet was very good with a nice variety. We pre-arranged our shore excursions separate from the cruise line and it went very smoothly. In the end we paid a fraction of what others had paid for the same activities. It's always a risky thing to do and you have to make sure the timing does not get you back to the ship late. Unfortunately, this time several cruisers were very lacking in social skills and their loud and rude behavior had an effect on everyone near them. I am not a goody two shoes by any means, but it's a shame that we need some kind of code of conduct so that other people aren't forced to listen to loud arguments and conversations that would make a sailor blush. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked this cruise because it is the perfect length for a week of vacation( leaving a few days for chores at home or to visit friends). We enjoy Carnival and know we get a great value. The upgrades to the ship were noticeable and ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it is the perfect length for a week of vacation( leaving a few days for chores at home or to visit friends). We enjoy Carnival and know we get a great value. The upgrades to the ship were noticeable and enjoyable. The Guy's Burger joint looked fun and the burgers were great. Had the pig patty, which was a bacon delight, and the chilius Maximus was outstanding! The main dinning room is never disappointing, but we did miss the lobster dinner that was included in the past. I always enjoy the variety of soups. Breakfast was good in the buffet,and great in the main dinning room. Went to the sea day brunch. Tried the pork dish, that was reviewed on cruise critic, and we both thought it was the best dish of the cruise. Lunches were always the burger or burrito joints plus the special themed items of the day in the buffet. All were good and enjoyable. Learned from cruise critic members how to make a milk shake, and had many,many of these! The cruise director was always full of energy and friendly. The shows were as good as always. All the staff were kind and friendly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I picked this cruise because of the convenience and after much research the Inspiration was rated higher and we agree with that review. The Inspiration crew were very welcoming and most helpful. The food was great, so many ... Read More
My wife and I picked this cruise because of the convenience and after much research the Inspiration was rated higher and we agree with that review. The Inspiration crew were very welcoming and most helpful. The food was great, so many choices from excellent pizzas, Guys' Burgers and dinner, our advice is to try everything, because every dish served was great. Our stateroom was an Ocean View Room and the size was just right. The only criticism we have is; the entertainment at night was lacking. We felt that there were not that many options other than the comedy shows. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. Catalina was beautiful and I think the time we were given to explore was excellent, we were able to hike, shop and eat. The night before arriving to Mexico, we finally decided to do an excursion and we picked "La Bufadora." We believe it was a great choice because it included some sight seeing, smart shopping ( we were shown the acid silver test, and lighter and leather test) and enjoy the local cuisine. Our day at the sea was great, we enjoyed the fun atmosphere by the pool and listen to great music by the DJ, there were plenty of cocktail servers asking everyone around if we want more margaritas or beer. It was an excellent time to enjoy the whole experience and we can't wait to go back again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines ... Read More
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines have been turned into a Guy Fieri Burger Bar and a Mexican Food joint. I tried both and they were pretty good. The burgers were more home made type patties but all the different choices of toppings made up for it. Had a trio of tacos and the meats were surprisingly delicious. Never ate in the main buffet room except to grab a late night pizza since it was the only thing open. In terms of the main dining hall for dinner I'd give the place an 8 out of 10. Not the best cruise ship food I tried but none the less pretty good. Flat Iron Steak and Prime Rib were both good on consecutive nights and the sides were as well. Don't bother spending the extra $20 bucks for a better steak as the normal choices were just as good. Drinks We pre-paid for the Cheers Program which cost about $50 bucks a day and got us 15 drinks each per day, definitely a deal when you have nothing else to do on the ship other than relax, drink and have a good time. From what I saw, most liquor was top shelf, Goose or Patron were used the majority of the time for my requests. Unfortunately you can't share the Cheers programs with others, if there's another adult in the room with you then you both have to by the program but still definitely worth it in the long run. The two pools side bars are where we were the majority of the time but they do have a great bar in the back of the ship called the Alchemy where you can get some great cocktails if you getting tired of the tropical stuff up on the deck. Ensenada It is what it is, a port city in Mexico. Most people come to go to the main shopping district, grab a few deals then stop at Hussong's or Pappas and Beer and knock back a few. I did the Blow Hole trip once, not a big deal, something to say you went to once but don't need to see again. Some people don't mind getting hit up all the time by street vendors but for others it's a turn off. If you stay on the ship you're not missing too much. To get into town we paid about $2 bucks per person and then another $1 to get back on the ship. Entertainment Saw one Studio 54 type show one night which wasn't bad in the main theatre. The comedy club had a great comedian at one of the late night adult shows. Other than that it's a lot of bingo games and a family Hasbro show but since it's only a 3 night cruise you don't get a lot of options. In terms of tech, we all purchased the $5 a day WIFI plan for social networking and it worked out well, good coverage and speed throughout the ship. Service Dining room and room service employees were all great. Call you by name and try to give you a personable experience. In terms of our room, the only complaint we had was that the shower drain at times would overflow and go into the sink area of the bathroom but other than that it's like Vegas, how long are you actually going to be in your room anyway on the trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you ... Read More
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you consider that you get your room, food and entertainment. This time it was just me and my daughter. I was really looking forward to seeing the changes since dry dock. Basically, the ship looked the same to me with the exception of the addition of Guys Burgers and the Mexican food right beside it. (Forgot the name, might be Blue Iguana) I got to say that this trip boarding and disembarking were the easiest I’ve ever experienced in all my years of cruising, on any line. We arrived just a tad before noon and walked right into the building to get our sign and sail cards. No line whatsoever. We went straight to the lido deck and didn’t want to wait in the buffet line so we went for the burgers. They were really good and with anything you could possibly want to put on a burger. Came with fries too and they were hot and crispy. Sat down and got our first drink of the day to enjoy with our food. After lunch we went to our room. It was cabin M44, outside cabin with a picture window. The single beds were positioned in an L shape with one bed against the picture window and the other bed on the right hand side. There was a chair next to bed and a small bench to sit on under the vanity. There was plenty of closet space. We didn’t use half the space there was. Bathroom was typical set up with a cloth shower curtain, small sink and toilet. Plenty of cubby space for incidentals. There was a shelf in the corner where I think the old style tv’s used to sit. This time this is where the cabin attendant put our towel animals. There was a small flat screen tv mounted to the wall (24”). We explored the ship until it was time for the muster drill. As first I thought we were going to get off easy. We were herded into the Paris lounge and took a comfortable seat while they explained the process and demonstrated how to put on a life vest. But then we all had to go up to the deck where the life boats were and wait for more instructions. By the time that was over we went back to our room to get ready for dinner. With just the two of us we had no idea what the seating arrangement would be. We had early (6:00 pm) seating in the Carnivale dining room. We were placed at a table for ten, all ladies. It was nice to make some new friends. My daughter and I ordered the steak and lobster for the extra surcharge. When the plate came I first thought, hmmm what a small serving. It turned out to be just right and very good. After dinner we went to the casino to spend our daily allowance and then afterwards we went to do karaoke. Karaoke drew quite a crowd and you only got to sing one song, but one was enough for me. The karaoke host had books but he said that they were out of date and that he may or may not have the song you wanted. He also had a lot of songs that were not in the book so you basically had to ask. The next day (Saturday) we arrived in Ensenada. We had no plans for that day so we just got off the ship and there was a bus taking people into town. It was $2.00 to get to town and $1.00 to get back. However, when we got on the bus, the guide announced that after the drop off in town, they would be going to La Bufadera. The cost was $15.00 and that included the return to the ship. We did that and enjoyed the excursion. There were many vendors and stalls and a free sip of pina colada every other vendor. We took our time strolling down the street and eventually reached the “blow hole” which is the highlight of the trip. That evening, we joined our table for dinner and everyone talked about what they did that day. I had prime rib for dinner and it was very good. After dinner we killed a little time in the casino and then went to the 60’s Show in the main lounge. We enjoyed the show and met one of the dancers afterwards who knew my niece. My niece (by marriage) used to be a dancer for Carnival and the Inspiration was her first contract. That is where she met my nephew who was a DJ on board. Sunday was my day to sleep in. After we got up and had breakfast, we finally made it to the Serenity deck. I love that spot. Plenty of padded loungers, some in the sun and some in the shade plus two jacuzzi’s. I don’t remember how long we stayed there but we eventually left and went for a late lunch. That night I had salmon for dinner and no dessert. By now I’ve had enough food and drinks. I forgot to mention that breakfast Sunday morning was the brunch in the dining room and I had steak and eggs. It was very good. That is why I ordered the salmon for dinner as I had already had my fill of red meat. Truth be told, I could eat steak every day. Sunday night was the 80’s disco show and we both enjoyed it. Now both shows were Playlist productions and it appeared that the singers were actually singing but to canned music, like glorified karaoke. I thought the sound system was good though and hard to tell from an actual band. After the show the cast from the show and guests on board all congregated in the atrium for a Mardi Gras party. After that, it was back to the casino for a bit where my daughter hit a small jackpot. She was so thrilled you would have thought she hit the lotto. Before long I was worn out and ready for bed. The next day we did the disembarkation where you take your own luggage with you rather then set it outside your door the night before. We each had just one small rolling carry on so it was simple. We strolled down to deck 7 at 8:00 am and I swear we were off by 8:10. I forgot about traffic on Monday morning, but even so, my daughter had be home by 9:10. My next cruise will be on the Dream next July but this little trip was just what I needed until then. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We took the 3-day trip from Long Beach to Ensenada. We had an awesome experience and the entire weekend was just one long party. We got to pre-board for the wedding making it very easy, then a beautiful wedding/reception that was followed ... Read More
We took the 3-day trip from Long Beach to Ensenada. We had an awesome experience and the entire weekend was just one long party. We got to pre-board for the wedding making it very easy, then a beautiful wedding/reception that was followed by 3-days of non-stop fun and partying. The room steward was the best, our room was always fresh, clean and he always met us with a smile or friendly word. This was our first cruise and we were impressed by how much space we actually had in our standard room, good water pressure in the shower and toilets worked surprisingly well. Nice linens & pillows, the cute towel animals each night was a pleasant treat, and room was relatively quiet except the drunks/kids in the hallway. We dined with our group in the dining room each night and was treated to nice dinners and friendly wait staff. There were a couple of hiccups there, but the staff was always so friendly, accommodating, and fun, you really didn't mind. The only thing that could use some improvement was the very slow service at the bars. Be ready to spend a bit of time to get a drink, and even when they're not busy don't expect fast service (and they're not friendly ~ except the young gal in the atrium bar, she at least served her drinks with a hello & smile). We used the Carnival Hub app on our phones to communicate with each other, $5 charge is well worth it if you are travelling with a group. Our day in Ensenada was a lot of fun too. We went to the Rosario Beach Party at Papas & Beer. It is just what you would expect for a laid-back Mexico style party bar. They provided us seating in their reserved beach area (broken old plastic furniture), shade umbrellas, decent lunch, cold beers and great service. No complaints. The locals will try to peddle their wears but that is just Mexico, be ready for it. It's only about 30 minutes south of San Diego, so expect the ocean to have the same cold water. When the cruise ended they have that have that process down really smooth too, and we had no delays or problem (we took our own luggage off the boat). Would definitely do this trip again!! If you're looking for a quiet relaxing get away this is NOT the cruise for you. It's a fun party from the minute you board the ship. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I were looking at spending some "Quality" time with our grown grandsons; we decided to book this cruise in October. It fit the bill as pricing and timing were just what were looking for. Also, having explored the ... Read More
My wife and I were looking at spending some "Quality" time with our grown grandsons; we decided to book this cruise in October. It fit the bill as pricing and timing were just what were looking for. Also, having explored the ports of Avalon Catalina and Ensenada Mexico on previous trips and were less concerned with the itinerary than the overall cruise experience. Neither Grandson had cruised before so they had no previous expectations. Embarkation We are familiar with the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) having sailed from there on many occasions. However, we had not sailed from Long Beach in many years so we had some catching up to do. We arrived at 12:00 in the afternoon and parked in easy walking distance after dropping our bags. Parking is $19 a day and in a covered garage. We lined up outside the terminal in the shade and were on board in less than an hour. Terminal personnel were very friendly and helpful throughout. We boarded at the 7th deck atrium, a multi decked meeting, mingling and mixing space similar in design to the Piazza on Princess ships but, the decor was black and neon. Once on board we were informed that our stateroom would be ready in less than half and hour and that we could drop our luggage beforehand. We then toured the ship. Ship Yes, the Inspiration is an older ship, being built in 1996. She was refurbished recently with the 2.0 update that included new themed bars, Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina. The water park was also expanded during the retrofit. Overall, the ship was clean and well maintained. Passengers largely consisted of families with small children, young adults and young couples. A few senior citizens rounded out the passenger roster. Touring the ship we headed to the uppermost decks and visited the mini-golf and sport deck. The grand boys spent many evenings practicing their putting there. Also, they were excited to visit the water park which had a long twisting water slide. Moving forward we explored the Spa area that included the gym, dressing rooms, sauna and steam room. We next moved down to the Lido deck and explored the pool area, making note of the Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint. Both venues got plenty of use during the cruise. Lastly, we toured the Brassiere Bar and Grill. This is more of a buffet and less of a bar and grill as I did not see any food preparation other than sandwiches being put together taking place there. Moving down a couple of decks were visited the Promenade deck, home of the casino, shops, Paris theater, photo gallery and various clubs. We ended up at that Serenity area which is an adult only area with a couple of whirlpools. We moved down another a deck and visited the Atlantic deck and toured the Carnvale dining room where we would enjoy many great meals. We ended up at deck 6 or Upper deck our home away from home. Cabin We booked a single ocean view cabin with 4 berths. This was an experiment of sorts to see how the millennial generation would adapt to the baby boomers. The experiment proved to be successful as no lab rats I mean passengers were harmed during the making of this cruise. With the 2 fold down berths folded up it was easy to get around the cabin with some traffic controls in place. With the berths down however, it was more like a yoga class combined with the traffic jams found on the Los Angeles Freeways. We found the mornings to be problematic with the biggest bottle necks and some of us used the locker room and showers in the spa to reduce waiting times and congestion. The mattresses were newer and firm. The flat screen TV was small and located in corner. The TV had one movie channel, news stations, kid options and the usual carnival programming. Each berth had its own reading light that was conveniently located in such a way that it did not shine on the other berths. The shower was ample in size and a welcome change to those found on Princess Ships. Our room steward Manuel kept our stateroom well supplied with towels and soap. The cabin was outfitted with one desk with drawers, ottoman, one chair, a couple of small end tables with storage and 4 floor to ceiling cabinets for clothing. One of the cabinets had a safe that was locked via a magnetic strip charge card. We used casino cards for this safe and it worked just fine. Dining Or FTTF (faster to the food). Our cabin was conveniently located next to the aft elevators on the Upper deck or deck 6 so we took the stairs either to the Atlantic deck and the Carnivale dining room or up to Lido deck and the buffet. We dined in the Carnivale dining room most nights and enjoyed our breakfasts and lunched in either the buffet, Guy's or the Cantina. I was pleasantly surprised as the food was quite well prepared in all the venues with the exception of the Dr. Suess Green Eggs and Ham breakfast which arrived to our table cold. I especially liked the smaller portions. A real gem or find was the Blue Iguana Cantina which serves up a great breakfast, eggs, burritos, omelettes made to order. Next time we will spend more time there for breakfast. The food in the buffet was less varied but, still good. Guy's hamburger joint was fun and flavorful. Entertainment Or STTE (slower to the entertainment) our cabin was located aft so this is where we got our exercise walking to a from the various entertainment venues. The GG or Grand Guys enjoyed miniature golf, Water Park, pool, Serenity area and the expansive library. We saw a couple of shows after dinner and found them quite good. Also, we saw the Hasbro game show, a must see in my opinion. The Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast was geared for the little ones and the meal was colorful but, cold. My wife and I have a soft spot in our hearts for Dr. Seuss, as we renewed our vows one year with a Dr. Seuss theme. The casino was small in size but, never overcrowded. The clubs had various performers that were quite talented and we enjoyed the music. Service This the area where Carnival "gets it". All staff we encountered on this trip was friendly, helpful and "on purpose". Of particular note our room steward Manuel was always available and kept our room neat and well stocked. Our servers in the Carnivale dining room, waiter and assistant waiter Anthony and Arthur were always prompt and helpful. Their suggestions were spot on and they memorized our names. Nice touch. Did I mention that they dance? They put on quite a show at the conclusion of the meal also, not to be missed. Overall the "energy" of this crew sets this ship apart from other cruises we have been on. Other crew members encountered during our daily activities were courteous and helpful. The service is what will bring me back to Carnival. Ports and Shore Excursions We booked a zip line adventure for the Guys through Carnival. We accompanied the tour group by golf cart during a large part of the excursion. This zip line company does a great job and makes the experience fun informative and entertaining. The instructors Brittany and Brandy did a terrific job, Kudos to Brittany and Brandy. Safety is of course of a primary concern and this company has put together a well thought out and safe excursion. There were 5 zip lines and the tour took about 3 hours start to finish. In Ensenada we were on our own and using the shuttle tour company Del Mar tours we booked a Bufadora excursion. We had visited this many years ago and it has gone through many improvements through the years. The road to the attraction has been repaved and there are now clean bathrooms in several locations. The best fish and shrimp tacos can also be found located behind the shuttle bus and taxi parking lot. The Bufadora did not disappoint and we got a good shower while filming the attraction. Before going to this attraction I would recommend checking the tide charts to see what time high tide is to get the best experience. My only complaint for this tour was the wasted time spent "introducing" us to the various vendors that are "guaranteed" to give us a "good price". I understand that the tour company gets reimbursement from both tourists and vendors. I would recommend to those taking this tour to go ahead of the tour guide so that you can spend more time on your own. Disembarkation We were assigned group 12. We brought our bags up to the Blue Iguana Cantina and had a great breakfast. We played cards for a couple of hours and disembarked, cleared customs, picked up our bags and drove out of the parking lot by 10:00 a.m. All in all disembarkation went very smooth. In conclusion, this cruise proves that two generations can coexist in harmony and in fact can have fun doing it in the same stateroom. My wife and I would repeat this cruise in a heart beat but, would probably do so next time in separate staterooms. Disclaimer: no laboratory rats or passengers were harmed during the production or planning of this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We arrived early - around noon. The queue was already outside, but we only we were onboard the ship 61 minutes from the time we joined the queue, which is very good. Long Beach was in the midst of a heat wave, so the terminal was very ... Read More
We arrived early - around noon. The queue was already outside, but we only we were onboard the ship 61 minutes from the time we joined the queue, which is very good. Long Beach was in the midst of a heat wave, so the terminal was very warm. They could do with the installation of a few fans. We were told our room would be ready by 1:30, but we snuck down around 1:15 and was able to get in. The room was much larger than some other outside cabins I've seen. This was our first Carnival sailing, so we didn't know what to expect. The ship decor was a bit tasteless, but overall it was clean, yet tired. The service was much better than I had anticipated. The crew seemed very happy. The ship's band, "Magic Tractor" played near the casino and was fantastic! We had been to both Catalina Island and Ensenada before, but I don't go on cruises for ports - I go to relax on the ship. I would definitely book this little cruise again for a getaway! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First time cruising and LOVED it! Carnival Inspiration is a dream for those who reside in Los Angeles. The port of Long Beach is easy to get in and out. We did uber to and from our home. Next, the process of getting on board was long ... Read More
First time cruising and LOVED it! Carnival Inspiration is a dream for those who reside in Los Angeles. The port of Long Beach is easy to get in and out. We did uber to and from our home. Next, the process of getting on board was long but ok. I'd recommend getting the Fast to the Fun (FTTF). I wished I paid $50 and came early to enjoy a few more hours on the cruise. I also wish I did the Cheers program as specialty coffee drinks are free in you get this. Other than that, the food was excellent. We had buffet for Breakfast which included AMAZING custom made omelets. For lunch, we would either do Guy's Burgers (BETTER than IN N Out) or burritos. For dinner, we did the sit down dining. Finally, Camp Ocean for our 4-year old was a god send. He couldn't wait to get there and do the activities. GO GO on this cruise. You will not regret it. Oh...buy a lanyard as you have to carry around a plastic card w/ you at all times. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We've been on this cruise before and it wasn't anything to write home about. Everything was just ok and some of the things weren't. I think the problem was we had been on other cruises before and expected too much. This time ... Read More
We've been on this cruise before and it wasn't anything to write home about. Everything was just ok and some of the things weren't. I think the problem was we had been on other cruises before and expected too much. This time a friend that I met on board the Inspiration called me and said "are ya ready for a cruise?". We set a date and we booked our rooms. The first time we booked a balcony room, this time we booked a porthole room, one of the cheapest on the ship and got a beverage package. Embarkation went smooth, better than i expected. Boom we're on the ship drinking cocktails and getting settled in. Find our friend, find the smoking section and lit up a cigar. This is where we met 4 other couples, and we all started to sit around in a big circle. We all got to know each other and decided to all go ashore in Ensenada together. Everyday we'd meet someone new and spend time getting to know them. I think people that come on this cruise and give it a bad review want to be treated like they're on a luxury cruise line and this isn't what this trip is...I mean this trip cost us 800 and another 400 for drinks. 1200 for a 5 day/4 night cruise and you didn't get treated like royalty? how dare they...lol. The ship is clean. The new additions they did last year work well. The food is what you'd expect on a 4 day economy cruise. The staff is always working hard. The customers are always rude (just like all the other cruise lines). The decor is out dated, and the rooms are small....go and meet some nice people, take a break from work for a week and still have the weekend at home to recover. The cruise is what it is....we made the best of it and had a ball Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The food was good, to very good. You need to know what you like to eat. The buffet was lacking at times and we thought that the food could have been left out longer but the MDR was good. Not all the food was perfect but it was all good. My ... Read More
The food was good, to very good. You need to know what you like to eat. The buffet was lacking at times and we thought that the food could have been left out longer but the MDR was good. Not all the food was perfect but it was all good. My eggs in the dining room were cold ish, but most everything we ate was enjoyable. The room was bigger then we thought it was going to be. The staff was great! It was a fun cruse, we enjoyed every minute (except for the losing in the casino). This was our first time on carnival and we found it to be a good fit. We expected a super 8 or motel 6 vacation and got a much better quality then that. So much better than Norwegian. The night time entertaiment was fun, the cruse director was great, it was great what a fun trip. The ship moved a lot at times so bring your motion sick med's if needed. Embarkation is slow but went smoothly, disembarkation only took like 18 minutes total. I realy enjoyed the comedian and entartainment, I even got to play simon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I are frequent Carnival cruisers. We decided to book the Carnival Inspiration 4 day voyage for Sept 19, 2016 as it was soon after my recent retirement and we were looking forward to having our 1st Guy's Burger (not yet ... Read More
My husband and I are frequent Carnival cruisers. We decided to book the Carnival Inspiration 4 day voyage for Sept 19, 2016 as it was soon after my recent retirement and we were looking forward to having our 1st Guy's Burger (not yet available on The Miracle cruises). We had a fabulous time! The shows were terrific and energetic! The dance band "Magic Tractor" was fantastic, had everyone singing and dancing every night! Guy's Burgers did not disappoint, had one each day for lunch! They were special, and even the fries were a step above! I even used the gym each morning so I could splurge all day long at Guys and the soft serve machine! We met a lot of great passengers, had delicious breakfasts and dinners in the main dining room, with great service. Our inside cabin had plenty of room to get unpacked and comfortable, and let us get out and enjoy the ship's decks and all they had to offer, as well as funds available to enjoy the ports of Catalina and Ensenada. This was a great cruise, for the experienced cruisers like us, or new cruisers wanting a first time try (watch out, they are addictive)! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose this cruise as a gift for my hubby's 60th birthday. He loved it! While we enjoyed the cruise overall, there were a few flies in the ointment you might say. First oops was, they got our boarding pass pictures mixed up with ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a gift for my hubby's 60th birthday. He loved it! While we enjoyed the cruise overall, there were a few flies in the ointment you might say. First oops was, they got our boarding pass pictures mixed up with someone else and security held me back, treating me like some kind of terrorist and never apologized. I was NOT happy with this but they finally figured it out and we boarded the ship. Number one and a half was the stability of the ship. I've been on 2 other cruises (both Princess) and other than 1 stormy night at sea, they were as stable as being on dry land. The Inspiration was like one giant rocking chair floating in the water. Good thing we brought our Pepto and nausea tablets! Number two was we had a little misunderstanding with our room cleaning situation and the phone didn't work right. It took 3 different attempts with guest services to get it right but all in all, Carnival staff more than made up for it by treating us to steak and lobster (normally charged for on this particular cruise) and a free bottle of wine. Number 3 was no hot shower for me on the first day. Brrrrr. They sent someone to fix it though and everything was fine after that. The food was deelish especially the Guy burgers and that chocolate molten cake...mmmmm! Things to bring if you go or ( when we go again): bring sodas in an aluminum can, not a plastic bottle. Bring a little clock for your room and make sure to have a watch. Make sure to bring your own tote/shopping bag when you get off in Ensenada so you can fill it up with goodies you buy. And don't forget to go tinkle BEFORE you get off because finding a bathroom on shore was a real hassle. McDonald's makes you buy something before you can use theirs and it was stinky and deplorable! The 70's show on night 4 was GROOVY baby! We got to be VIP's and danced on stage with the cast. SO much fun! The line dancing and social dancing on the lido deck was a blast too! It was definitely a 20-30 somethings cruise but we made it our own. We danced to hip and sassy music of Magic Tractor in the Violin lounge. They were rockin!!! I was told at first there was no formal night but there is. It's called elegant night so, bring your dress up duds. Men: you don't have to wear a tux and ladies don't need a fancy ball gown. My hubby wore a dark shirt and black pants and I wore a black cami with a white tutu skirt...again: we made it our own! Do I recommend this cruise? Yes. Absolutely! For the money, you just can't beat it! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose this cruise because it was only 4 days and I was looking forward to being in the sun and good food and relaxing. I've been on 4 different cruise ships over the last 15 years and had cruised on Carnival one time prior to this ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was only 4 days and I was looking forward to being in the sun and good food and relaxing. I've been on 4 different cruise ships over the last 15 years and had cruised on Carnival one time prior to this but it was about 12 years ago. The first thing I noticed was how trashy it felt in the atrium area. Not the least bit elegant...The music was ear blasting. The food was the worst I've ever had on a ship. The Vegetable choice was no choice - green beans. Desserts were 5 different dishes versus a full selection on a separate table on other cruises. Cheese was difficult to even find. It turned out to be hidden amongst other food and was little blocks of white and American cheese and very little offered. The most surprising to me was the full side of the upper deck overlooking the pool for smokers. A full bar for smokers next to the casino was packed! For dinner we had to set in assigned seats. The entertainment was very sad to say the least. Drinks as usual were pricey and I swear they put very little liquor in them starting the 3rd day. Children were everywhere and unaccompanied by parents. They offered very little in the way of excursions. We went to the Bufadora which was about 45 minutes to get to then were told we had 2 hours to eat and shop. No ATMs there. It cost me a $35 pottery purchase and 'fee' to get some cash. $100 cash cost $165.00! I will say our tour guide Jocelyn was very helpful and informative. Our cabin steward, Anita was very good. Our cabin was a junior suite and for us 3 ladies, was okay. The elevators and floors were confusing. You can't take an elevator to reach the different floors, you had go up or down using different elevators on different floors in different areas to reach your destination. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise ... Read More
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise experience was the worse of all! The vessel is old with not much upgrades, shows are short, no live band, not so much activities for teen age kids. All they emphasized on board was to sell and sell, booze, jewelry, paintings,souvenirs, photos, etc., etc! Crews were okay except for the captain who cut my kid while in the pizza line. He was rude and arrogant just because he is in-charge. That would be our last for the Carnival as we are looking a much nicer cruise line in the future. Never, never again with Carnival especially the one that docks in Long Beach, CA. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We recently came back from a great 4-day cruise. Faster to the Fun (FTTF) is worth every cent -will never, ever go on a Carnival cruise again without it. Arrived at the terminal just before 11 and took about 5 minutes to check in. ... Read More
We recently came back from a great 4-day cruise. Faster to the Fun (FTTF) is worth every cent -will never, ever go on a Carnival cruise again without it. Arrived at the terminal just before 11 and took about 5 minutes to check in. Without FTTF, I’d estimate it would take 15-20 minutes based on the size of the line. We started lining up to board about 11:40 and were on board a little after noon. We immediately went to Shore Excursions to sign up for the Behind the Fun tour. Again, so worth every penny – I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about what goes on behind the scene. It’s $55 per person and is an amazing tour (more about that later). We ate at the Blue Iguana for lunch -- very yummy. DD went to Guy’s Burgers and said it was very good as well. We purchased Cheers for us and Bottomless Bubbles for the kids (2 17-year-olds). For us, Cheers was totally worth it and we definitely got our monies worth. As a side note, please remember to tip your waiter/bar staff because the Cheers program has really taken away many of their tips. We asked some of the wait staff we had gotten to know well and learned $1.00 would be a reasonable tip. They work so hard and get paid next to nothing (heard it’s about $300 a month, not counting tips). As far as Bottomless Bubbles, that was a waste of money for our kids as I don’t think they had more than 4 sodas the whole trip. Definitely buy the bottled water through the in-room store if you like to take bottles of water to the gym or on excursions. It was only $3.99 for 12 bottles and beats hauling the bottles on the ship. We went on this cruise because the kids wanted one last cruise before aging out of the kids’ program (and we couldn’t afford a longer cruise, because after all, we have two kids in college now!) They made so many friends and loved the cruise. They didn’t do much at Club O2 outside of meeting people the first night. After that, most of the time was spent hanging out with their new friends outside Club O2 but it’s a great way to meet kids initially. One friend from the ship has already made a trip from Arizona to Northern California to visit DD. DH and I ate in the Mardi Gras Dining Room every breakfast except debarkation morning and the kids joined us for dinner every night for Your Time Dining. Regarding YTD, the first night we went about 6:30 p.m. since the kids wanted to go to the O2 Meet and Greet. We got in with no wait. The second night was formal night and we took pictures until 8:45 thinking there would be no wait. But when we got there, we had to get a pager that never went off. At 9:30 we went to the dining room and they were seating anyone with a pager that didn’t go off. In hindsight, we should have signed up for a pager before taking pictures. For the other two nights, we picked up pagers 30 minutes before we wanted to eat (so if you want to eat at 7:30, sign up for a pager at 7). I think if we take another Carnival cruise, we’ll do late dining because I missed having a regular wait staff (although the service every night was excellent). Do be prepared for service that is probably longer than you are used to. My impression was it wasn’t the wait staff but the kitchen staff that was slow. If I had one gripe it would be on formal night when we got seated late, the waiter seemed more interested in cleaning up and preparing for the next day than serving dessert but that’s understandable since it was so late. But I felt like it’s not my fault they seated us late (DS jokes he’s still waiting for that Sprite he ordered at dinner). The food in the MDR was very good. It’s restaurant quality but don’t expect a 5-star restaurant. Sea day brunch was very good. It goes on until 1 p.m. so there is no excuse to miss it if you’re a late riser! We only did the Lido buffet the last morning. There was a good selection and it’s good, buffet food (key word - buffet, don’t expect more). For entertainment, the Love and Marriage and Hasbro shows are fun to watch. We saw the late night comedian one night. He was funny but it wasn’t our style of comedy so we didn’t go back. We saw the VIP show the last night and it was very good. Our cabin steward, Natt, was excellent. We had four people in the cabin so I’m sure it was quite challenging working around our clutter but he did a great job! With FTTF, you get priority embarkation so you get onboard really early. Your luggage is delivered early (and it was) and you get priority tendering in Catalina. We showed up at the designated place and they immediately took us down to board the tender with no waiting. We had a 10:45 arrival time for our golf cart. We went to the Rhapsody Lounge at 10 o’clock not knowing how long the process takes and were on Catalina Island with 20 minutes to wander around. You also get a priority line at Guest Services and priority debarkation if desired (7 a.m. self-assist or 8:40 a.m. checked baggage). It was worth every penny. With the Behind the Fun tour you see the galley, food storage area, engine control room, bridge, crew muster stations, crew common areas, crew training room, and theater dressing room. You get to ask questions of the management in these areas after they tell you about their jobs/daily activities. You’ll get a cap, lanyard, and group picture for souvenirs. Debarkation was a breeze, especially with FTTF. Carnival really has their act together here. Overall it was a great cruise. If you’re looking for 5-star experience everywhere you go, choose a different cruise line but if you’re looking for a fun time, with great service, and good food and entertainment at a reasonable price, Carnival is your ticket. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We took a cruise for the first time. We had a few friends with us. Every time we went to eat they always took great care of our needs. All the staff was fun and friendly. I can't wait to go agian. The shows where fun and the comedy ... Read More
We took a cruise for the first time. We had a few friends with us. Every time we went to eat they always took great care of our needs. All the staff was fun and friendly. I can't wait to go agian. The shows where fun and the comedy show had me crying because i was having to much fun. The rooms stayed very clean. The staff at the pool keep every one happy and drinks full. We stopped by the jewelry store on the ship and they made my wife feel like a queen. I can not say anything bad about our time on this cruise. The days that we got off the ship. The staff made it easy to under stand what we needed to do and what we needed to take with us and what time to be back. We had the time of our lifes and can't wait to do it again. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We took this cruise to Ensenada with our extended family, 18 in all, from ages 8-93. We're apparently not cruise snobs, and overall we had a very good time. Having read many reviews here, I didn't have high expectations for the ... Read More
We took this cruise to Ensenada with our extended family, 18 in all, from ages 8-93. We're apparently not cruise snobs, and overall we had a very good time. Having read many reviews here, I didn't have high expectations for the food, but we found it to be very good. At dinner at the Mardi Gras, we encountered no rubbery meat, and since we could order as many appetizers and entrees as we wanted and there were 18 of us, we tried just about everything. The flatiron steak and salmon were favorites. The breakfast buffet had a huge variety of options and no one went hungry, it was quite the opposite. The burger place was very good, as many have reported. The crew was very personable and helpful, and our Mardi Gras waiter XZ (yes, that's his name) was a lot of fun. We were disappointed that his section was already occupied on Saturday, but we got there early enough on Sunday to be able to request him again. My daughter and niece (age 16 & 15) LOVED Club 02, and made many new friends from all sorts of backgrounds. (They are texting with some of them right now.) One 17 year old was sad that this would be the last time he would be able to go to Club 02. The kids enjoyed the poolside activities, as well as the waterslide and miniature golfing. The Ensenada zip line/waterpark was great, everyone found something they enjoyed, including horseback riding. The zip lines were terrific - most were very long runs, and there were four "bridges" connecting the runs that really challenged those with balance issues. One thing that turned me off was all the smoking in and around the casino. A large part of deck 9 was smoky as a result, and that's where a lot of the better places to be were at night, so it took some of the fun out of being there, at least for me, but I'm touchy about that, my wife wasn't bothered. I guess they have to keep their gamblers happy. I was concerned that there would be a lot of drunks, since there were so many young singles and party-animal types on board. There were enough of them that we didn't feel comfortable with our teenage daughters wanting to roam around with their new friends after Club 02 closed at 1:00am. My wife got an icky "Hey Baby" from a couple of middle aged drunks on Sunday at around noon, and some smashed 20-something dude pounded relentlessly on my door at 1:30 Monday morning until I finally woke up completely, got up and confronted him. My brother-in-law next door came out to see what was going on and says that after I slammed the door on him that he then vomited on the wall and floor outside the room. It was very quickly cleaned up though, and there was no evidence 30 minutes later when my son came in. Lenny Schmidt was terrific, we caught his stand-up at the Punchliner. He ripped (not riffed!) hilariously on a bunch of late-arriving knuckleheads for most of the last half of his R+18 act on Sunday night and everyone (the knuckleheads included) loved it. The 20-somethings in our group really liked the Rock'nRoll Nightclub and Karaoke. A bunch of us liked the Playlist Productions: Motor City song and dance show too. I'm rating this very good, but I'd bet that some of our group would rate it as excellent. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose Carnival because it was close by. Lets review: 1. We notified the department for special needs we had a special needs son, we were only offered someone to wheelchair him to our cabin. not handicap friendly at all. 2. The ... Read More
We chose Carnival because it was close by. Lets review: 1. We notified the department for special needs we had a special needs son, we were only offered someone to wheelchair him to our cabin. not handicap friendly at all. 2. The smell in our Balcony Room and hallway was the smell of a backed up sewer. When brought it to the attention of the management, they could not smell it at first.Then when other guests started complaining, all they did was cover up the smell with air freshener, but the smell was back quickly.We managed to get 10% room credit from the manager. Having asthma, it wasn't a pleasant experience. 3. The food was terrible. been on cruises before. The cruise companies are supposed to pride themselves on the food. 4. If not for the customer service from the underpaid staff, we would have given a terrible rating. Bottom line, no more Carnival for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
In the middle of the night on our second night out, the bathroom drain began to back up and filled the room with sewage water. Four cabins on Riviera deck aft flooded. The smell was horrendous. A call to customer service had plumbers ... Read More
In the middle of the night on our second night out, the bathroom drain began to back up and filled the room with sewage water. Four cabins on Riviera deck aft flooded. The smell was horrendous. A call to customer service had plumbers down to work on the drains A man from guest services also arrived to find us new rooms. So after about a half hour of waiting around in the hall (the adults from the cabins) they found us new cabins. (So much for the story that they are fully booked and you can't change a cabin once you board.) In two of the rooms, there were children asleep in the beds. They had to be carried out by family in order to avoid walking in the flooded rooms. One of the children was my grandson, and I was able to get him into another family member's room nearby (which did not flood.) Then we had to pack everything (walking around on the wet floor) ourselves and move to another cabin. This was at 2:00 in the morning. It was a nightmare, and Carnival gave us a measly $54 for our trouble. The new cabin was between two rooms full of unsupervised teenagers who made noise all night. There was a large group of teenagers on the ship, some organized group, and I never saw any of them with adult supervision. The noises from the girls' rooms on either side of us with their boy visitors made it abundantly clear no adult was monitoring what was going on. The group was all over the ship, rudely shouting and taking up most of the seating areas. No adult was ever with them. I would estimate there were about five dozen of these children running loose. Customer service was bad. No one ever answered the phone at the number to make reservations for the Suess breakfast, and on the third day, I went to the front desk where they made the reservation for me by email. For some reason, my card was refused on the second day, and I had to go give them another credit card. In all, I made about five visits to the front desk, and I got service, but not much in the way of apology or smile (with the exception of a supervisor named Dorothy who gave me the token $54.) A girl working at the muster station putting bracelets on kids (for safety reasons) does not like her job. She was short and just this side of rude to my grandsons, and to me when I asked a question about the bracelets. I wish I had caught her name. She was blonde, wore glasses, and apparently worked in the youth center. She needs a new job. The wait staff in dining was uneven (we had "Your Time") but most were very friendly and efficient. The bar staff around the ship was always good. The food on the trip was mostly good. The Guy's burger was delicious. The buffet sandwiches were also very good. The American Table concept isn't my favorite, but I found something I liked each night, as did my grandsons. They loved the ice cream in the buffet. The youth program was fine, not outstanding as we have experienced on other lines, but the kids enjoyed playing the games. They did very little, however, in the way of arts and crafts. Outside of the kids' facilities, the boys had lots of fun at the water slide and playing mini golf. We took the kids to the Suess events, which they enjoyed, but we didn't see any other entertainment. Most of the time, we payed in the Casino (whose staff is a notch above the rest of the ship in terms of helpfulness and smiles.) We did not go on any ship-sponsored excursions since we have been to the ports of call before. You get what you pay for, I am told. This cruise was the only thing available at the time we had to go somewhere, so the fact that it was cheaper than our usual cruises (not on this line) made it somewhat more attractive. It turned out to be pretty bad, and I won't be on Carnival again any time soon if I can at all avoid it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
2nd time on Carnival. 1st time was ok, this time not so much. I hate to report that I had such a negative experience and will likely never sail Carnival again. It was a 4 night cruise. Yesterday morning after 3 nights sleeping in room, I ... Read More
2nd time on Carnival. 1st time was ok, this time not so much. I hate to report that I had such a negative experience and will likely never sail Carnival again. It was a 4 night cruise. Yesterday morning after 3 nights sleeping in room, I flung back the covers further than I guess I had before and discovered a body fluid stain and other areas that looked liked they came from a dirty body parts or possibly other bodily substance. Oh my gosh I was beyond disgusted. I had slept in that bed for 3 nights and it looks like the sheets were not changed between us and the prior guests. I tried to call customer service but was placed on hold a couple of times. I went down there and talked to them in person. They called someone to basically smooth things over who offered to change all of the linens, vacuum, clean, and disinfect the room. That didn't help me feel much better. I stayed out of the room for the bulk of the day. I hated being in there. Thankfully last night was our last night. I then started noticing how even though there are hand sanitizer stands everywhere no one seemed to use them except us. I then was sanitizing my hands before and after I got my food because I was touching tongs and other utensils and equipment that others had been. I was just really grossed out in general so now I was on high alert. On Disney Cruise Line (DCL) they hand everyone walking in to an eating area a hand sanitizing wipe (except on deck where they are located at the various places to eat for you to self serve). The last thing I noticed that no one was cleaning common surfaces like they do on DCL (banisters, buttons, door handles, etc.). On DCL it seems like they are constantly cleaning these items throughout the cruise. Makes sense because they can't possibly do all of that cleaning between trips and have it be effective. But, low and behold they were starting to clean them as we were disembarking today. I am an easy going, laid back person, about budget travel. Not everyone can afford to travel and pay more like others can afford to so I tend to not look down on cheaper cruise lines and accommodations. Well that's over. I am just so grossed out and so so glad to be home. Read Less
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 2.0 4.3

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