Sail Date: March 2012
The most recent trip on Carnivals Inspiration was , sadly, a huge disappointment. My last cruise with them to the Carribean I would have rated 4 stars based on the amount of money that I paid. In other words, there are much much better out ... Read More
The most recent trip on Carnivals Inspiration was , sadly, a huge disappointment. My last cruise with them to the Carribean I would have rated 4 stars based on the amount of money that I paid. In other words, there are much much better out there but they cost more, but the food was pretty phenomenal, and overall it was a great deal for the price. I got back from the Ensenad cruise today and would give it 2 stars. The food was awful. The formal dining room of course had the better food, but it tended to be very bland.We ordered fruit and pastries from room service. have you ever seen watermelon that ahs sat in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days after being cut? The 'pastries" had thick film over the jelly part, looked old and very very poor quality. it all went in the trash. The portions were so small that my college aged son had to order 2 or 3 entrees, and most of the other guests were doing the same. In addition, in order to make more money carnival now charges for SODA !! in addition, they automatically charged my credit card $80 for gratuities for room steward etc. i guess im old fashioned but always thought a tip was given not mandatory, if so why not make it a part of the price. The kids club, the main reason that I chose a cruise was awful. Every 3 or 4 hours it is mandatory that you go and pick your kids up.i brought my daughter at 11 am and was told to pick her up at 12 and bring her back at 2 then she had to be picked up at 4:45 ti 7 then again at 10...in other words dont expect to be able to go to your cabin for a short nap... It was explained to me that they needed to "clean up" hhhmmmm...why not keep the kids and clean after? Overall, not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Worst company ever encountered. Not at all empathetic to customer's situations. i should have booked from Disney or princess or any other which i will do for my next cruise. Cruise had ample parking space if you are travelling by ... Read More
Worst company ever encountered. Not at all empathetic to customer's situations. i should have booked from Disney or princess or any other which i will do for my next cruise. Cruise had ample parking space if you are travelling by car. We did not take any hotel accommodation as we arrive at Long beach port right at the boarding time for cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation did not take much time and was quite smooth. Con: - Bad customer service / guest admin dept. infact worst. - Our toilet smelled like urine - Buffet food resembles cafeteria food - Swimming pool is too small for the amount of people on the boat, but I guess you can't help that. - expensive drinks (alcoholic) Pros: - i guess None in my experience with Carnival except the experience i had with my companion on the cruise. Please spend your money on a better cruise line. The low fares will lead to TERRIBLE customer experience if anything goes wrong on your trip. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I was part of a group of five -- the oldest was celebrating her 88th birthday. We're locals, so we drove to the Port of Long Beach (and paid $60 for four nights of parking on leaving the structure -- nice to have a monopoly!). When ... Read More
I was part of a group of five -- the oldest was celebrating her 88th birthday. We're locals, so we drove to the Port of Long Beach (and paid $60 for four nights of parking on leaving the structure -- nice to have a monopoly!). When driving to the port, one should know that if any of the passengers has a handicap parking placard, it's effectively useless, as the parking structure has only about a dozen handicap-reserved spaces. Fortunately, though, there's ample drop-off/pick-up parking. Boarding was as expected -- crowded, but relatively efficient. However, I had set up my credit card to cover both occupants of my cabin when I filled in the on-line forms. My partner called to change her billing to her credit card. When we checked in, both of us were listed on my credit card. She changed it at the desk. More about this later. Our cabin was adequately sized, in good condition, and well equipped. The mattresses were firm and comfortable. Cabin service was excellent. The ship decor can best be described as extremely tacky. Others here have commented on the lamprey-like ceiling decor in the Brasserie buffet restaurant, and the Atrium looks like low-class Las Vegas. There were a lot of children on this cruise, and the Lido pool and whirlpools were loaded with them, as was the Brasserie. The Lido pool and food service area was very loud, with lots of activities aimed at a young crowd, such as deejays and the hairy chest contest. The Serenity adults-only area had, at times, lots of young, imbibing adults who were somewhat rowdy, and one of our group tried it one morning and found the whirlpools had not been heated since the previous evening and were only lukewarm. The Carnivale dining room, though, was an unmitigated disaster. The food was poor quality, badly prepared, and took a very long time to arrive. The steaks were tough, and one of us ordered medium rare and received it well done. Another received chicken that was undercooked. A fish dish tasted bad; it was replaced with salmon that had been onboard too long. Our two waiters and the bar waiter were very gracious and did their best to make up for the galley's problems, but I ended up supplementing our meals with good pizza from the buffet. One of the couples who shared our table had been on the Inspiration last August for a Caribbean cruise out of Tampa and noted that the food was considerably better during that cruise. And I can't forget the cornball "entertainment" interrupting the dinners. The less said about it, the better. Entertainment: there were two production shows in the Paris Lounge. The first, a Latin "extravaganza", was exclusively Caribbean-themed, which is discordant with a Mexico itinerary. The choreography, costumes, and settings were, in keeping with the rest of the ship, in very bad taste. The performers worked hard, and the singers were quite good, as was the sound mix in the room. The second show, "Shout", was considerably better. The choreography, sets, and costumes were gaudy but well done, and, as in the other show, the performers and sound were good. We didn't partake of the other entertainment venues and can't comment on them. Photographs are a big business onboard, but we were turned off by the unsurprisingly tacky backgrounds provided. We tried to find a plain textured background for a group photo, with no luck, and the Atrium staircase photos had no backlight, so dark hair blended into the background except for the neon that reminded me of Steve Martin's arrow through the head. We bought one group shot from the dining room. The last morning on board, we found that the provided bill showed both of our charges on my credit card, even though my partner had twice attempted to get her charges put on her own card. Guest Services finally fixed it, we hope -- we'll find out when we get our card statements. Debarkation was badly done. Two in our group needed wheelchair assistance, and we were literally the last passengers off the ship -- we waited for about 45 minutes, and only one wheelchair and attendant were available to handle our two, so one waited onboard while the other was brought through immigration, baggage claim, customs, and into the pickup area. In summary, I have no complaints about the personnel with whom we dealt -- they were unfailingly courteous and gracious. But there's more to a cruise than that, and I wouldn't recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
My husband and I set sail on the Carnival Inspiration on February 13,2010. We were ABSOLUTLY HORRIFIED on how terrible the food was. The first day we had an undercooked hamburger on the lido deck and tasteless fries. We were hoping that ... Read More
My husband and I set sail on the Carnival Inspiration on February 13,2010. We were ABSOLUTLY HORRIFIED on how terrible the food was. The first day we had an undercooked hamburger on the lido deck and tasteless fries. We were hoping that breakfast would be better, but the scrambled eggs looked mushy and the pancakes were tasteless. At lunch we thought "nobody can screw up pizza", but they did! Surely,since that night was "formal night" in the dining room,the food would have to be better.NOT THE CASE! I will say that the waiters were very nice and tried their best to serve us in a nice way. They even danced for us after we ate every night which was fun to watch. We had some sort of meat that was supposed to be prime rib,and by the time we cut away all the fat,we were still hungry. The salad was tasteless and the dessert was a small piece of fudgey cake that sat in my stomach the rest of the night. My husband got sick the next day with diareah. He barely made it to the excursion to Grand Cayman which was the highlight of the cruise, but they only gave us three hours on the beach,very disappointing. The next day,I got sick with an upset stomach and diarreah. I barely made it to Cozumel,which was very disappointing. We paid $75.00 each for a trip to the beach which included a free buffet. I couln't believe that I was eating cheese mac and chicken legs (the only safe looking items)The entertainment on the ship was boring with the exception of the show "Shout" Why couldn't they have those singers and dancers more than once? The disco was "hoppin" on the first night, but again, the singer disappeared after the first performance.The beds were as hard as a rock,and I was disgusted to find that two mattresses were placed on a "fence like" slate that served as a "boxspring" No wonder our aches and pains have increased since the cruise.The shower had practically no water pressure and forget trying to get any cool water, it was always HOT even after we reported it to our room steward.Our steward Teddy,did keep our room nice and tidy,but the ship could have been cleaner,the windows were dirty which was a turnoff.We even smelled sewerage! The woman in the $10 store had a puss on her face like we were a bother to her. I was impressed by the Romanian hairdresser in the spa, who corrected my hair problem in just five minutes. The photographers were very professional too. Again, my major complaint was the fodd. It was tasteless, and it made us sick. It made many people sick as well. Almost everyone we talked to said they were sick from the food. One man said he had been "shitting all week". The day we had to leave I was so afraid to be away from the toliet because of yet another case of diarreah. I was so tired from that and also from the night before because the supper made me so nauseous. I can't tell you how disappointed I was in this "much needed" vacation. Instead of feeling refreshed, we feel exhausted,and in need of another vacation, which we cannot afford after spending around $3,000 on the cruise,the shops,and the excursions.Carnival has ruined any future cruise for me. It set the tone, and I will never ever cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
This is our second cruise and we choose Carnival again because we liked our fist cruise on Valor. We know Inspiration was relatively older so we set out expectation very low - clean cabin, average food and some quiet time. I ... Read More
This is our second cruise and we choose Carnival again because we liked our fist cruise on Valor. We know Inspiration was relatively older so we set out expectation very low - clean cabin, average food and some quiet time. I can't give a full review to this ship and its services because our experiences will tell you it is not needed. Cabin - Dirty, period. The bathroom had sewage smell, called for repair/clean up twice, never fixed. Our son dropped his toy under our bed so he used a stick trying to get it out, he got the toy out, as well an opened condom package, a piece of chipped toe nail and something else disgusting. Food and the service - The food in the dinning room was below average which is not a too big problem to us - we are not too picky. We had open seating and the service was very slow, the average wait time was 25 minute from ordering to getting the starters. Twice, the waiter did not pour water for us (and the table next to us) until after he gave us the starters. I ordered "hand-picked" greens one night, I got spoiled black colored baby spinach - not just one but more than a dozen. I know people say you get what you pay for, that's just not what I or anyone wanted to pay for. Sanitation and food safety should be kept at the highest stand regardless the ship class. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
If you are someone with low expectations then this cruise line may be ok. Never imagined that my christmas would be ruined this way. Let alone my relationship. I was looking for something really wonderful for my first cruise ... Read More
If you are someone with low expectations then this cruise line may be ok. Never imagined that my christmas would be ruined this way. Let alone my relationship. I was looking for something really wonderful for my first cruise experience so I found something for a little over 1200 dollars. It was the biggest waste of my money. first I will start with the good points: -nice ship -really spacey and beautiful room -ports of call (grand cayman and cozumel were fantastic) -didn't feel crowded eventhough it was a full ship heres the bad stuff: -first and foremost the food: I was expecting something decent because I have heard nothing but raving and ranting about the food. it was stale and disgusting and I did not have one thing that didn't taste like day old cafeteria food. This is completely unacceptable. A decent meal is not hard to achieve and shouldn't be on a cruise so expensive. It was not even to the quality of crappy fast food you can get at wendys. Me and my boyfriend are young and really not hard to please.. but my health suffered from all the bad food that I forced myself to swallow. - customer service: Nobody knew what was going on besides the information people and even they had a little confusion. Though it was nice to have people from all around the world (I myself am colombian and love to be around people from different countries), A lot of them spoke little english and were hard to understand. Not one person understood one thing I asked or could carry on a simple request. -Waiter- the waiter was lifeless, not friendly and barely spoke to us. Came over once to check on us if we got lucky that night. The maitre d was nowhere to be seen. -shows and entertainment: Not appropriate for all ages. They had very boring events and then some that were a bit "too" much. Very corny and cheesy contests that were tacky and not entertaining in the least bit. I did not pay 1200 dollars to see harry chests, absolutely ridiculous. Not one event captured our interest or made us happy. Once again I stress upon you that we are not hard to please and on sea days we were miserable. -time in ports of call- we were in grand cayman (the most beautiful place) for barely 2 hours, had lunch and then we were almost late getting back to the ship. what a waste. in cozumel we were there longer but stayed the bare minimum because everything closed down at 4 so the experience was shortened as well. I do have to say that getting off that horrendous ship of annoying employees made those 2-3 hours feel like heaven. Not sure if I am allowed to say this on here but I feel cheated. I feel ripped off and these people took a grab at my money any chance they could... to communicate with someone, to get help, to have a friendly person to talk to. No courteousness whatsoever. I intend to let everyone know what a crap cruise line this is. Please go with someone else. I may never cruise again. They knew nothing about dealing with someone who had diabetes (such as myself) and I am in the process of suing them for ruining my christmas eve. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
First off, this was my first cruise along with my fiancee, it was our honeymoon cruise and we found out we are not "cruisers". We had shopped around for a honeymoon spot and decided after seeing many Carnival commercials to ... Read More
First off, this was my first cruise along with my fiancee, it was our honeymoon cruise and we found out we are not "cruisers". We had shopped around for a honeymoon spot and decided after seeing many Carnival commercials to give cruising a chance. So, we started looking for ports around Destin Florida. We found the port of Tampa and saw that the day after our wedding the Inspiration was leaving for a 5 day cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We booked it! Once we arrived in Tampa we went to the port at 12:30pm, we had a Cat-12 suite so we went to the VIP line and was processed and on the boat within 5 minutes, bypassing the long lines. This was a great service and we expected to see more "perks" for suite renters on the boat. We were disappointed in the end. The ship itself (Inspiration) I have read is a fairly old ship, however I was impressed at how well it was maintained. Everything was clean, they were always dusting, painting, repairing somewhere on the boat. While it was old it was much nicer then some reviews I have read would lead you to believe. It does have an old Vegas style look to it, but it is clean. At 1:15 we went to find our suite and it was ready for us so we went inside. We wanted to have "luxury" so we opted for a cat-12 penthouse suite onboard, the room was nice and very large compared to the other rooms we saw on board. It came at a much higher cost then the other rooms on the ship which was expected. There was always something going on while on that boat, we decided not to partake in most of the activities because we just aren't "cruise" people, we don't drink and are not very social. We love to spend time with one another so we did a lot of walking around, exploring and some shopping. We were always passing some interesting event like fear factor, comedy shows, port talks, bingo, etc. No lack of activity. The one aspect of the cruise that was disappointing was the service we received. It was decent, however we thought that being in one of the most expensive rooms there would be perks. There were none other then VIP boarding. Our room steward never introduced himself to us and never asked if we needed anything. In addition there was trash from the previous cruise on our balcony and after a few requests and 2 days later I finally had to get a plastic bag and pick up the cigarette butts and empty drink cups from our balcony. Our room was very dusty and other then the bed being made we didn't see much else happen. Other service issues were in the main dining room, when we booked the cruise we requested early seating and a table for 2 since it was our honeymoon. Neither request happened, we got late dining and were at a shared table. Like I said, we don't socialize much so we opted to skip the dining room and eat in the brasserie most days. On board the service was good, but it wasn't what I would expect when renting a suite. We did dock at two ports, first was Grand Cayman. We actually tendered, not docked. Grand cayman was interesting but somewhat disappointing in terms of the beach. Since we were only in port for 6 hours we wanted to make the most of it, so we opted to have a local taxi take us to the beach and then we were going to eat lunch and do some quick shopping. The taxi driver took us to 7 mile beach and we were charged $4.00 per person for the ride (not a bad deal!) and then when we tried to get on the beach we were charged $18.00 per person just for beach access and a chair! The beach itself was dismal, not much sand and what there was covered in rocks and coral. I am not sure if we just got a bad patch of beach or not, but it wasn't the "tropical beach" we had imagined it would be. After the beach we left and couldn't get a cab so a local from the beach offered to drive us back to the hard rock cafe, he seemed very friendly so we went with him after a short conversation. His name was Willie, a black man with a heavy Jamaican accent and he is extremely friendly and happy. The whole way to the Hard Rock he pointed out saying "yesterday dat buildin wan't dare" saying he came to the island in 1978 and all these buildings were new. We arrived at the Hard Rock and Willie said he was glad to drive us and didn't ask for a dime, I tipped him $8.00 anyway for the ride and he gave us his phone number and said if we needed a ride anywhere else let him know! After that we ate lunch at the hard rock and then went shopping. I bought a Citizen watch and my wife bought a watch and some perfume, we saved about $150 in retail plus whatever taxes would have been by buying the items on the island and not in the states. After Grand Cayman we went to Cozumel and docked at the falling down international pier. Boy that was miserable! As soon as we docked we were swarmed with flies on board, every dining area was covered and it made eating on board a miserable experience after that port! But in Cozumel itself it wasn't great. We wanted to go to the beach (yes we are beach people!) and the only beach we could go to was part of a shore excursion for $90 per person, not worth it for us. Instead we got off the boat, shopped for a few minutes and were back on. Cozumel itself for us was terrible. If you are looking for Mexican goods, then go and be happy! But it was hot, there was a big fence and if you went beyond it you were on your own in terms of safety, and they didn't recommend taking taxi's that were not part of shore excursions. We just didn't feel very safe leaving the dock area so we were back on the boat in no time at all. Briefly to discuss our stateroom, we were in U90 and it is a cat-12 suite. We had a lot of room, I was surprised to see how large it actually was. Walking in we had 2 twin beds pushed together to make a queen, and it was the hardest best I had ever slept on. In fact we didn't sleep on it much at all. There was also a sitting area with a small sectional couch that was very comfortable so my wife and I spread out on it and slept their most nights. Carnival is talking a lot about comfort beds, either our suite was missing it or the comfort beds are terrible! In addition to the bed and couch we had a small fridge and it was in desperate need of being defrosted, the ice compartment was a solid block of ice. We also had a VCR and TV, room safe, jacuzzi bath tub and shower, large walk-in closet plus the private balcony. The room was very nice, only complaint was the bed in terms of furnishings. I would recommend brining egg crates, an aero bed or something else to sleep on because you'll have to go to the Carnival Spa for a massage because it will break your back. When it came to getting off the boat, the Disembarkation process was pure chaos. We opted the self assist where you carry your own bags off the boat. We were told at the Disembarkation talk that at 7:30 it would start and they would make an announcement when it was time to start. We waited on our balcony and saw people at 7:10 getting off the boat. We were confused so we grabbed our bags and headed to deck 7 and was shocked to see that almost everyone on the boat was in line and they were getting off! No announcement was made, nothing. In summary, the boat itself was great. It was very clean, food options everywhere (Loved the 24 hour Pizza and Ice Cream!) And the ride itself was smooth. The ocean was incredible to see the shades of blue that it was and we even saw dolphins many times. There is a lot of onboard activities but if you aren't a social person, a drinker or a gambler then perhaps a cruise is not for you as we learned! Also, if you are looking for beaches, don't count on these two islands unless you are willing to fork out big bucks. Only go if you are looking for great deals on high end goods and alcohol. Everywhere I looked people were having a great time, and we did have fun ourselves (want to make that clear!) Just make sure that cruising is definitely for you and you know what you are in for! I read some of these reviews and we weren't sure, but in the end, we are glad we opted to go. We won't do it again anytime soon, but it is an experience everyone should have! I do warn you however, don't get a suite because you get the same attention and service in the cheaper rooms that a suite provides. We would have loved to get priority on and off the boat, reserved seating at the nightly shows, and personal steward service. Suites only offer larger rooms with private balconies and that is it! We will not cruise with carnival again, we may opt for a different cruise line for an Alaska cruise, but carnival just didn't impress us nor did they have the luxury we were looking for in spending as much as we did on our suite. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
My family booked 5 cabins through Carnival to sleep 17 people, with 7 adults and the remainder between the ages of 9 to 18. The Carnival agent booked the cabins with husband and wife in separate rooms in order to give the over 55 discount ... Read More
My family booked 5 cabins through Carnival to sleep 17 people, with 7 adults and the remainder between the ages of 9 to 18. The Carnival agent booked the cabins with husband and wife in separate rooms in order to give the over 55 discount but assured us it would be a piece of cake to exchange rooms once we were on board. Well, starting with the embarkation we found it was not all that simple. They didn't even have one of our party listed as being a passenger, so it took about 30 minutes to get that straightened out, even though we had the paperwork. Once on board my husband could never get his Sail and Sign card keyed to our room. They finally issued him a room only key. The passenger that had trouble boarding was listed as age 17 even though she is 59. The cruise was booked to celebrate the graduation of one grandson and the 22nd birthday of another. It was the first cruise for both. My husband and I have been on several cruises but this was our first Carnival cruise. We boarded the ship at around 2 PM. and were able to go to our cabin shortly afterward. The first thing we noticed was the sewage smell in the corridor outside our cabin. This did not improve throughout the time we were on board. We had an oceanview cabin on the Empress deck which slept 3 very comfortably. The bathroom was of adequate size and was stocked with a nice basket of disposable razors, pain relievers, mouthwash, etc. That was a nice touch. Although we never learned our cabin stewards name he was excellent. The birthday grandson was booked in an interior room across the hall which slept 4 and while it was an adequate size the air conditioning did not work that great. Birthday boy was assaulted by another passenger the first evening which resulted in 3 stitches to the bridge of his nose and some chipped teeth. The ship physician was very nice. Witnesses to the altercation informed us that is was unprovoked and they gave statements to security. Security informed us there was no action they could do on board ship, but when we returned to port we could talk to local authorities, and they would submit all paperwork to them. Upon leaving the ship we did immediately talk to an officer from the Hillsborough Sheriffs department. The only witness statement they had been given was from the attacker's girlfriend and all they could give us was a case number. The whole incident put a big damper on the remainder of the cruise. Food on board was tolerable but not up to par with what we have experienced with other cruise lines. The appetizers were better than the entrees. Our server never introduced himself and seemed irritated and hurried the entire cruise. The buffet on the Lido deck had a nice variety. The kids loved the pizza bar. We never had to wait in line there. The midnight buffets were well presented. There were always available chairs on deck. We even found some very nice quiet spots to enjoy our morning coffee. The exercise area could have had more equipment. My daughter took advantage of the spa and beauty salon services and enjoyed those. She had the massage with the heated stones and said it was to die for. She had her hair cut and styled and the stylist did an excellent job. Our day in Cozumel was fun. The ship anchored and we boarded tenders to go ashore. It was very well organized but the crew in this area did not seem to be very happy. Daughter and family took a snorkeling shore excursion and they all had a great time. We took a taxi ride up the coastline, stopped for lunch at an oceanside restaurant, toured a tequila factory and ended up in downtown for some shopping. Our cab driver was great. We saw a lot of devastation from the hurricanes last year. We were informed the storm sat over them for 60 hours. Being from Florida we could certainly sympathize. We ended our day there with a stop at Carlos and Charlies. The two 22 year olds enjoyed that! We had some discrepancies in our final statement that caused a stop at the Pursers desk the morning of Disembarkment. There were only two people working the desk. We were there at 6:30 in the morning and had to wait in line for an hour. I left my husband in line and went back to the room and was glad I did. The cleaning crew were already cleaning the room with the door wide open. We had left our carry on bags and my purse there because we thought we had time for breakfast. We had been told we did not have to be out of the room until 9:00. We were off the ship by 9:30. We did manage to enjoy ourselves most of the time but do not feel we will ever take another Carnival cruise. It just was not up to par with the other cruise lines we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
It was a time for celebration for families whose children were graduating from high school and about to set off for college. I was responsible for booking approximately 150 people for this cruise from our high school. It was disappointment ... Read More
It was a time for celebration for families whose children were graduating from high school and about to set off for college. I was responsible for booking approximately 150 people for this cruise from our high school. It was disappointment from pre-sail time until the end of the cruise. Before sailing, our primary stop, Cozumel, got changed to being Calica, which I am aware is the cruise lines prerogative to do so. A limited number of ships were being allowed in due to hurricane damage that still existed. (I was dismayed when I returned home, to hear another sailor from the week before who was allowed to dock there.) As we pulled out of Tampa, the rains began. This early June sailing crew was unfortunate enough to sail midst a tropical storm. There were no attempts to alter ports or the route, but we had constant reminders from the captain as to our distance from the storm. We needed no reminders as the waves were tremendous, the winds gusting, and the barf bags plentiful. For two days we were basically confined inside and not allowed on deck. There were NO extra activities planned to occupy our time inside. In fact, it was like the social staff went on vacation. We were not allowed to stop at our first scheduled stop which was Grand Cayman. Carnival graciously gave each individual a twenty-five dollar on-board credit for the port fee where we did not stop. Big deal. We had to spend it on the ship so they were out nothing, but we were minus a port and Grand Cayman minus the bucks that would have flowed freely there. The meals were blah and the personnel basically avoided your glance so they would not have to speak to you. There were some exceptions of outstanding service from some. Port day found partly cloudy weather but at least the rains had ceased. That was our only decent day except for the final day heading home when the sun shone brightly. All were gathered poolside to soak up all of the rays that they had missed for the rest of the cruise. Our entertainment that day poolside? Only a hairy chest contest and ice sculpture. Poor. Our room was a real treat to two overweight senior citizens, a 24 year-old, and a 21 year-old. The rooms were booked nearly a year prior to sailing. This room was to be an oceanview for 4. I do not think so. There were 2 single beds, a bunk, and then to our surprise the 4th was a floor level pull out that came from under the single and stayed at that levelreal comfy. There were 3 lifejackets and 3 towels yet this was a room for four. Others is the group had rooms that must have been heated. Our conclusion: This was the cruise to hell, but oh no, that is on Grand Cayman where we did not stop. Thus, I am unsure what this was. No more Carnival for this group of 150. Do not bother with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2005
This was our first family vacation and things really turned sour right from the beginning. We are a family of four with 2 daughters 8 & 14. First Day - We arrived aboard and checked in our cabin to find that there were three (SINGLE) ... Read More
This was our first family vacation and things really turned sour right from the beginning. We are a family of four with 2 daughters 8 & 14. First Day - We arrived aboard and checked in our cabin to find that there were three (SINGLE) beds to accommodate 4 people! The room steward says that he cannot accommodate a rollaway because only one of single beds could only move one way. We then were told that time was of the essence and that we had to prepare for the life safety drill. We go thru this process and then go to the Pursers Desk to get our sail and sign in cards situated by placing deposits and such. We then tell them about our room and the attendant(The gentleman purser dressed in the white uniform) points to the bold read sign with white letters stating that there is no other upgrades or other rooms available PERIOD! Therefore My DH and I had to share a Single Bed together the entire trip! After trying to get everything situated, We then noticed that we had missed our dinning room time at 5:45PM (as stated on our reservations from our travel agent) so we quickly grabbed a bite to eat in the brasserie being starved from traveling all morning. I then tried to locate anyone with information concerning the Camp carnival groups orientation and found out that we had missed that also. By this time we both had felt so frustrated that my DH and i just looked at each other and said "I need a drink!" Would you believe that It was 7:00PM when My DH and I actually got some time to just relax and have a drink to wish one another Bon Voyage for our trip? By the way we had ordered two specials that came in the Carnival yellow souvenir plastic glasses....in which NO ONE EVER TOLD US that we could reuse them and save two dollars each if we reused them again to order drinks...that is not until the very last day at sea on the pool deck when a young lady came up to us and asked us if we wanted a cocktail. We said yes and then she asked if we wanted the special with the souvenir cups that would save us $2.00 each. I couldn't believe my ears that no one had ever mentioned this to us! Second Day - On our second day aboard we dropped the girls off to their destinations for their camp carnival groups...which was good...the girls had a ball! However the really big pain was this major detail that needs to be addressed concerning the younger Carnival groups...You could not drop your son or daughter off early for certain events...for example... Let's say that a show starts at 7:00PM ...you could not drop off your youngster off before seven..the group counselor's would not show up until 7:00PM on the dot...You waited in line to check them in and then you quickly walked thru the ship to the showroom and tried to find your hubby in the dark in the stadium that was saving a seat for you. So if you happen to hear "psst, Honey" in a whisper walking down the isle during a show... please try to understand that Carnival needs to some addressing on this and that it's not the parents fault! Here it is on our second day in the middle of the afternoon and low and behold....We had it brought to our attention that our seating time is not what is stated on our reservations but on our sail and sign in cards...UGH! We once again go to the purser's desk and it's the same guy in the white uniform and informs us that we have to wait until our seating time 8:00PM to talk with the Matre D in the dinning room. This really screwed things up for us! You see... Our youngest daughter (8) had her formal dinner (COKETAIL PARTY) at 5:45PM with her group in the kids carnival program. Our oldest daughter had no formal dinner with her group, so she of course wanted to eat with us (for the first time in the dinning room) for the formal dinner. We all dressed up and we were so VERY VERY VERY disappointed that we could not get a family portrait taken together. The photographers are only available at certain times to take photographs. With our situation it definitely was not possible eating at two different times that far apart. The dinning experience was horrible to say the least! We were seated at our table and had appetizers and ordered a bottle of wine (Chardonay - Captain's Choice) which was absolutely divine! Best chardonay i have had yet! I had steak and my DH had prime rib. My DH began to eat and turned to me and said to wave over the waiter if i happen to see him pass by. Our waiter came over and My DH explained that the prime rib was extremely tough even to cut with my steak knife. Our waiter then leaves and does not come back until 30 mins later with the maitre D (Baboo). I then explain the situation to him and he says that there is nothing he can do! I was quite appalled and asked why he would not take back his plate and give him another. He replied that because my DH had taken 4 bites out of his prime rib dinner, he could not take it back and then added that dinner is now over and now it was time for dessert! We just sat there in shock...we just could not believe it! We then kindly asked the waiter to cork our wine. The waiter told us that when we come back to the dinning room for dinner that we could finish the bottle of wine, and that if it was not finished that it would be delivered to our cabin on the last day at sea to finish it then. Needless to say that we NEVER returned back to the dinning room and that our $45 bottle of wine was never delivered to our room! Arriving at cozumel Paradise Beach made our vacation most memorable! We highly recommend this for a most enjoyable day! On arriving home i quickly called called Carnival's headquarters in Miami and they told me that this issue was a travel agent issue and that this is why you should not book any travel's with ANY TRAVEL AGENT and only book with Carnival themselves! My mouth about dropped to the floor! I then quickly called my travel agent to quickly address Carnival accommodating 4 people with 3 beds and to place a major complaint in. I was told that it normally takes about 3 weeks to get a reply from Carnival headquarters in writing. Here it is to date one month and four days that i have not received a reply back from Carnival! This really has been an eye opening experience to our family in which we really made allot of lemonade with all the sour lemons that were given to us during our FIRST FAMILY VACATION! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
To celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary, my family of eight cruised the Western Caribbean via Carnival's 'Inspiration' from October 10 through the 17th, 2004. This cruise was anything but inspiring. Although we truly ... Read More
To celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary, my family of eight cruised the Western Caribbean via Carnival's 'Inspiration' from October 10 through the 17th, 2004. This cruise was anything but inspiring. Although we truly enjoyed being together as a family for the first time in years, the venue to do so left much to be desired. Since all members of my family had booked suites on the Inspiration, embarkation was a breeze. I was very disappointed to find that our itinerary had changed. While I understood the Grand Cayman being dropped due to hurricane damage, I found it hard to accept that we would not be stopping in Cozumel because "another Carnival ship needed our spot", as explained to us by a Carnival representative. I was a bit dismayed at the small size of the room, bathroom and balcony (compared to other ships) upon entering, but that was easily put in the shadows by the inexcusable obstacles and disappointments we faced as time progressed. Our Verandah suite cabins were quite worn (large scratches on walls/furniture, peeling wallpaper, peeling chrome in bathrooms, dirty carpets.) The mattresses were thin and worn which made sleeping impossible for several members of my family. Our room steward was a gem. She brought my husband and me additional mattresses in an effort to make us comfortable. While this did help to keep our hips from grinding in to the board under the mattress, the 'extra' mattresses were just a worn and saggy making for an achy body. As the week progressed, so did the severity of the stench of urine in our room (V3). Our balconies were not at all private. There were people walking beneath and up the stairs in front of V1 at most times. Each person would inevitably turn to look straight into our rooms. The movie channels only worked in some of our suites, and several times while watching a movie, it would cut out half way through. Shore excursions: most were very inaccurately described and of very poor value. Only one of the four excursions we took lived up to the excursion description. • Merida City Overview & Shopping in Progreso: instead of 2 hours of history and 45 minutes of shopping as described, this tour involved 15 minutes of history and 2 ½ hours of miserable tourist hostage-shopping. • Sergeant's Caye Snorkel Adventure in Belize City: rather than visiting the barrier reef and manatee research station as described, those on this excursion were told that the reef was "destroyed by hurricanes and tourists." They were taken to a different site with dead coral and then transported to an island where they were pressured to purchase snacks. • Jungle Beach Break in Costa Maya: while return from this excursion was described as "every 45 minutes" and the use of non-motorized water sports equipment was described as "included in the ticket price," the first available return was actually three hours from arrival and a fee was charged for the use of snorkel equipment. • Xunantunich Maya Site in Belize City: this shore excursion was just as described, a good value and quite enjoyable. The Inspiration was poorly maintained. I knew our ship was in dry dock before our cruise undergoing repairs....It was obvious they didn't get to do much!! I was told that while in dry dock, the ship had to be moved several times due to weather???? Some aspects such as carpet stains, chips, scratches and scuffs can be overlooked, however others can not. Such as, elevators that were inoperative, coffee, soda and ice dispensers were broken, Espresso Bar often closed or "out of milk". Hot Tub 'out of order' several times. One of the washer/dryers on deck seven would not work although accepted money. Tips, tips and more tips seem to be the theme on this Carnival ship. Even the operator's of the tenders to shore expected tips, as they are not Carnival employees, but independents hired by carnival to operate the tenders. On the last two days of the cruise, it seemed that Carnival couldn't wait to get passengers off of the ship. The entertainment late Friday night was cancelled because the comedian went to perform on Inspirations 'Sister Ship' the Elation, instead of performing on the Inspiration as scheduled. That was just uncalled for. The night before we were to return to Tampa, almost everything closed up at about 6pm. The Lido bars were closed, pools drained, etc. Sadly, at this point, we were as anxious to depart as Carnival was to have us leave. Our room stewards, the room service staff and the dining staff were wonderful. Our experience with rest of the staff on Carnival Inspiration was distressing. They were uniformed or indifferent to all of my family's questions and concerns. I met a woman on board that was livid. Apparently her five (5) year old daughter and taken her sail & sign card and made several purchases in the ships stores. 5 years old and the Carnival staff let her sign for purchases!!! When her mother went took the purchases back and explained what had happened, they refused to take the items back and credit her. They blamed her for letting her 5 YEAR OLD daughter have access to her card. While most of our family has extensive cruise experience with other lines, for three members it was their first cruise. Those of us who have cruised other lines have convinced the others that not all cruise lines lack of care and concern of the passengers like Carnival. I sincerely hope the Carnival staff in the Guest Relations Department is more informed and concerned about the past, present and future concerns of the passengers, to which I wrote a letter, in hopes they make an effort to correct these problems. Sadly, every member of my family has vowed to never cruise Carnival again nor can we recommend this line to others. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
If you are an experienced cruiser with any other line than Carnival you probably will not enjoy this cruise. Maybe we caught them on a bad week but we're not risking our cruise dollars with Carnival again. The bad outweighed the good ... Read More
If you are an experienced cruiser with any other line than Carnival you probably will not enjoy this cruise. Maybe we caught them on a bad week but we're not risking our cruise dollars with Carnival again. The bad outweighed the good on this ship. First, the Brasserie Buffet was a pig sty. The staff didn't remove plates or glasses from the tables and the place was littered with half eaten food and dirty dishes were piled high on many tables. By the time we found a clean table we were so grossed out we weren't hungry any more. Even on the aft deck outside the Brasserie there were so many dirty dishes and glasses that some of the guests were piling them on several other tables so they could have a place to sit! The service staff on this ship was mainly Asian and hardly spoke any English; they were of very little help when we needed something and it always seemed like we were bothering them. The regular band was on vacation and the substitute band was always on break more than they were playing. When they did play we could hardly hear them because instead of putting them center stage on the Lido deck they were tucked away in the corner. This totally killed the atmosphere on the Lido. There was absolutely no music at the bars on the Lido, when we asked about music we were told the bartender with the CD was off duty! Ok, this isn't a big deal but we looked forward to setting the mood of the cruise with a steel drum band, like the other cruises we'd been on. Instead we found a couple chairs aft where we could enjoy the water view and met some new friends at the table next to us. We soon found out they had the same type cabin we had, an ocean view stateroom. We also found out they paid $600.00 less than we did and their cabin was on a higher deck!!! Great. Carnival told us that it was the travel agents fault but we price shopped with Carnival before we booked and they were the same price. Carnival didn't make it right. One of our first stops was to visit the main dining room to request a table for 2. We like to dine as a couple and have had no problem doing so on every other cruise. We were told "NO, we don't offer tables for 2" We were told we'd have to dine at the table for 8. It was either that or the Brasserie! No, please not that again! So if you like to dine as a couple, forget it, it's way too much of an problem for the dining room staff. I'm not having any fun reliving this so I'll get to the point. After telling Carnival of our difficulties on the "Fun Ship" (there were more) they offered us a bottle of wine to make it right. We spent over $2,000.00 on this vacation and were extremely disappointed, funny how they think cheap wine will make everything alright. We are not picky people but when we spend that amount of money we expect things to be done right...and we know the difference. We won't cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
Where to begin, first of all heaven forbid anyone greet us! We had raw sewage come up into our bathroom (shower sink toilet) even before we set sail. We were told that this was normal. They did come clean it up without changing the shower ... Read More
Where to begin, first of all heaven forbid anyone greet us! We had raw sewage come up into our bathroom (shower sink toilet) even before we set sail. We were told that this was normal. They did come clean it up without changing the shower matt or picking up my liters of shampoo & conditioner so needless to say there was still the *mess*. Okay, then we had the *friendly helpful happy fun* crew...NOT! No one would even smile when we would say hi! The crew was not what we had heard all about in all the ads!!!! We were snubbed several times !!! And not at all the *party* ship! By 1:00 am all were in bed! We had several run ins with the pizza man (that's the only place open after the midnight buffet). He actually refused to make us a few calzones one night! Had a crew member actually grab the glass I was holding out of my hand because I told him that the drink wasn't diet soda! He the tossed the drink into the sink and slammed it down, slammed ice into it that overfilled it before slamming in in front of me saying there's your diet! We had called room service several times and received NOTHING! Then there's the captain's cocktail hour! My friend asked for the martini that was on her tray and she just snubbed him not once but TWICE!!!!!!! Gave me my drink but actually snubbed him! Now the formal dinners were interesting!!!!!! We had late (8:00) dinners and were done with dinners at 8:20! RUSHED you think!?!?!?!! Every time I was to put my silverware down they would just take my plate! Well I guess I was done with that. You think?! Our first night with them was very friendly! We had tried and tried to get them to talk a bit but NO WAY! Not until the third dinner (which was my friends last time for that!). It's was sad that we couldn't wait to get off the ship! The excursions were AWESOME! Had run into the cruise director once on land and it was like yeah, so your on the same ship good for you, whatever!! I can tell you this we will NEVER go on carnival again !!! We talked to several people on this cruise and they thought the same if not worse, so think twice before getting your ticket on carnival because take it from me it wasn't what they claim it to be! 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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