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
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The worst, most inedible food I have ever tried to eat. We were a party of 3. Took my mother for her 87th birthday, since she loves cruises and previously has been on 6 cruises. ( no Carnival cruises) Ship boarding in Long Beach ... Read More
The worst, most inedible food I have ever tried to eat. We were a party of 3. Took my mother for her 87th birthday, since she loves cruises and previously has been on 6 cruises. ( no Carnival cruises) Ship boarding in Long Beach went smoothly. People that are leaving reviews must remember that 2700 passengers are trying to board the ship so there are going to be lines. It went smoothly and the lines moved along well. Got on the ship and yes, the decor is dated , but it's clean and what I expected for one of the less expensive cruises. The problem with Carnival is the food situation. We ate in the dining room one night and the food was absolutely inedible. Our entrees were: salmon, Mahi Mahi, and flat iron steak. This food was so tasteless, rubbery, with mushy broccoli that all 3 of us were finished after eating a small portion of our entrees. For the rest of the cruise we ate in the Lido buffet which was worse than the dining room food. The set up for the buffet is so bad in that it is very difficult to reach the food trays in order to scoop food onto your plate. Eggs made from powder Pancakes , French toast, waffles that were sad, rubbery and never replenished Little hash brown patties that were obviously from frozen Baked goods such as croissants that were so old and stale I won't even go into the lunch and dinner items. The buffet closes at 9:30pm and the ship advertises that food is available 24 hrs. True, food is available 24 hours if you care to eat their pizza that is not edible as a food item. They also have what they call a "deli" available 24 hours and I had a few Reuben sandwiches and they were tasty. The best food on the ship is Guy Fiearys Burgers. One of the best burger and fries I have ever had. By no means did the food situation ruin our trip, but I don't understand why other cruise lines can do such a great job of food and Carnival can't even come close. I understand that these short Carnival cruises are one of the least expensive, but I am sure they could do something about the food situation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We choose to do this four night cruise to recover from our long haul flight from Oz. The Carnival shuttle meet us at the LAX International to transfer us to Long Beach where we embarked before the 5 pm sail time. The embarkation went ... Read More
We choose to do this four night cruise to recover from our long haul flight from Oz. The Carnival shuttle meet us at the LAX International to transfer us to Long Beach where we embarked before the 5 pm sail time. The embarkation went without a problem. Although we have previously sailed with Carnival (Alaska) this was the only cruise line which we could co-ordinate our flight with. This was the reason for our booking and that we had no over expectations on what the cruise would be like. Having said this we were not disappointed with the cruise and would sail with them again. One needs to remember the market that Carnival aim for, and that you will not receive anything more or anything less.Those wishing a more upmarket experience need to look elsewhere. The cruise took place during the summer break so there were many family groups on board who made good use of the pool area. It became noticeable that more older groups were selfishly reserving the deck chairs for lengthy periods. Because of the fine weather the buffet eateries were well used, although I must say that I found nothing special about the burgers at Guys. The two ports of call, both Catalina Island and Ensenada were enjoyable. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Needed a quick getaway after a tough school year for a teacher! Hubby would always take a break! The food was just okay, the port (Ensenada) was AWESOME! We had spent our honeymoon there and really enjoyed being there again. ... Read More
Needed a quick getaway after a tough school year for a teacher! Hubby would always take a break! The food was just okay, the port (Ensenada) was AWESOME! We had spent our honeymoon there and really enjoyed being there again. Guy's Burgers was not great the first night, but better later in the cruise (planning?) Our steward , Daranee, was great, suite was nice. The food was okay- not great. For most people it was just a party cruise, for us it was a break, but MOSTLY sentimental. The Blue Iguana was GREAT! Go for the fish tacos, but that's what I had. If you go in to Ensenada, SERIOUSLY go to Tacos Lindos (next door to Hussongs) AMAZING food! The only issue with our cruise is the SMELL! The corridor (which seeped into our suite) was the SMELL of decomposing poop. Was kind of disappointed with the boarding- no champagne! No excursions, since we knew (main part of Ensenada) pretty well. Ensenada will always have a place in our Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are ... Read More
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are paper-thin. We even brought a white noise machine and it could not cover the noise from the hallway. Our room was at the back of the ship on the Empress deck and I feel really sorry for those people who stay in the middle of the ship because of all the partying and loud speakers at the atrium. The house-keeping service was great. The restaurant food was also not bad. The only thing that was disappointing was the tea time. It started at 3pm, and we arrived at 3:10. The server placed us at the back along with those who came late. We were only offered smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. The same items came back twice. When we asked if there is anything else (sweets and pastries), the server told us no. But we saw some people eating them at the front of the restaurant! We sat there waiting and waiting and the only thing that came was the sandwiches. By 3:30 they expected us to leave and no more items were offered. It was the lamest "high tea" ever! Should have just gone to the buffet instead wasting our time at the so called tea time. The entertainment was not bad. Very similar shows and games as the other Carnival ships. If you are thinking of sailing with Carnival Inspiration, be prepared that the ship is old, the decor are dated, and the walls are thin. But the service was alright and I guess for the price you pay you can't ask for much. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the ... Read More
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the room was cold....but, our steward, Ian got us an extra blanket....it was sooooooooooo great,,,and all of the staff was wonderful...my boyfriend is really into karaoke....what fun....lots of karaoke at the Shangrala Bar...the trip to Santa Catalina was also a wonderful expierence...we rented golf cart and drove it all over the Island.....if you have ever had a hesitation....GET OVER IT...AN HURRY AND BOOK YOUR TRIP....this was only a four day one...oh..I bought sea-sick bracelets....never needed them....took them back when we got back and got our $$ back...the sailing was soooo smooth....I was comforted to see that the lifeboats were all enclosed ....every night we had the same waitress.... Kosyadinka, from Bulgaria....the staff works so hard...she was from Bulgaria....and her husband was also a server....we loved her.. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Quick last minute getaway out of the port of Long Beach on the Carnival Inspiration. I had been on the Imagination twice and this ship offered a few pleasant upgrades from the Inspiration, such as the upgraded Alchemy Bar and and newer ... Read More
Quick last minute getaway out of the port of Long Beach on the Carnival Inspiration. I had been on the Imagination twice and this ship offered a few pleasant upgrades from the Inspiration, such as the upgraded Alchemy Bar and and newer theater where the comedians performed in the evenings. The Lido deck eating areas has been turned over from its previous "Off the Grill" dining area to both the Blue Iguana Burrito/Taco Bar on one side and Guy Fieri's Burger joint on the other. Both of those are nice additions. The Blue Iguana definitely has the better food. The tacos and burritos are excellent with a well thought out salsa and toppings bar. They have also added a Red Frog Pub and Blue Iguana Cantina on the Lido deck to replace the usual Lido bars and these are both nice additions. The ship itself remains the same in terms of layout and style, but most folks who book this trip are on a short getaway and like myself and my husband, you're really not looking for the grand stateroom and the all the amenities of a full week's vacation. For the first time, we stayed in an interior stateroom, on deck 4. While my husband missed the view of the outside, the room was just fine, in good working order, very clean and well maintained by our room steward. One of the downsides for us on this cruise, as with several past Carnival trips, is the food. The best food was had at the Seaday brunch, which is not to be missed. The dinner selections were lacking: not very imaginative, always overcooked, and under seasoned. We did have very prompt and attentive service dining servers.We really wished the Inspiration had an ala carte restaurant venue, or a "for a fee" restaurant. We would have glady opted to dine there at least a couple times. In addition to the poor food quality, the bar service was horrendous. We had purchased the all inclusive beverage package prior to the cruise, but we usually bring along a healthy supply of dollar bills to tip the bar staff so we spread a little good will and get them to remember us. Even that wasn't doing the trick on this cruise to get a smile out of any of the bartenders we encountered! We tried the casino bar, the Red Frog bar, and the atrium bar, and not only was it very difficult to get anyone to acknowledge you (even when there were only a few folks at the bar), they NEVER smiled! No one greeted you- no one suggested a drink- no one chatted with you. Really a great departure from almost every other cruise I've been on, whether it was Carnival or another line. While the bar staff were grim, the pool deck cocktail servers on the other hand were fantastic. Very prompt and friendly and went out of their way to see to it that we had everything we needed. Something we noted about the beverage package: while we were familiar with the rules regarding the alcoholic drink limit per day (15 per day), and that you may not order a drink within 5 minutes of your previous drink, we did NOT know that this also applies to water. Carnival;s new beverage package now covers bottled water, but you cannot order a bottled water AND a cocktail at the same time. You must wait 5 minutes to order one or the other, which both my husband and i found ridiculous. You can however,ask for tap water and a cocktail at the same time. How does that make any sense? i don't know. I really hope this was just the staff's poor interpretation of the policy and not really the intent of the new Carnival beverage package policy. As a huge plus, the disembarkation process was the fastest and smoothest on any ship, Carnival or otherwise, we've ever experienced. We did purchase "Faster to the Fun", so we were able to be grouped in one of the first groups off the boat after the self-assist people. We arrived in the library at 8:40, our designated meeting spot, and we were being escorted off the boat at 8:55 and were through customs by 9:10. Seemless- no waiting, no hiccups. That experience alone was worth the $50 for Faster to the Fun. Well done Carnival. i think we would probably return to Carnival, although I doubt we will do the Catalina/Ensenada trip again. After three times, we've given it enough chances and even though it's a good bargain, it's no longer worth the bad food and negative vibe at the bars. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Parking was easy and the walk from the structure to the check in area was very close. The check in process was quick, a few minutes, and then we were told to wait in a specific "Zone". We waited in Zone 2 until they allowed ... Read More
Parking was easy and the walk from the structure to the check in area was very close. The check in process was quick, a few minutes, and then we were told to wait in a specific "Zone". We waited in Zone 2 until they allowed people to start boarding the ship. Although priority boarders and Zone 1 were ahead of us the boarding process was very quick and smooth. It seemed like in no time at all we were on the ship. I feel I must say that the staff on board are all amazing. I have nothing but great things to say about the staff in every area we were at. They are very friendly and seemed to go out of their way to help you in any way they could. I simply cannot say enough good things about the people working on the ship. Amazing people. That made the short comings of the cruise a little less of a big deal. On our previous cruise we stayed in a suite but this time we stayed in an internal cabin. We figured since it was just for the weekend the smaller cabin would due. Plus the price was great. We are a family of four. The bed was quite big with plenty of room. On the walls there were pull down beds that each of our sons slept on. Once those beds are pulled down it makes it tougher to get around in the room. If you need to use the restroom in the middle of the night and do not want to turn on a light so that you do not wake others, you will need to watch your head so you do not bang it on one of the fold down beds. Even with the tight quarters the room was nice. That's what we get for being cheap and squeezing four into an internal cabin. I am not complaining as I feel we got what we paid for. This is just a heads up to anyone thinking of doing an internal cabin with four. I think the same thing would happen if you had a sea view cabin right across the hall. If you can swing two cabins that might be a better option. Now the food...hmmm on previous cruises the food seemed better. I personally do not go insane with the food. I eat the same amount that I do when I am not cruising. But if you like to eat a lot of cruises this cruise has lots of food. There is a buffet that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a great salad bar located close to the main buffet and an area that has desserts. The food is not bad. If you are picky and only like certain foods I am sure you will find something you like. They also serve pizza pretty much 24 hours a day. However, the pizza is not that good. But it'll do the trick if you feel like having a slice or two or three... You are assigned a dining area where restaurant style seating is available. In these areas you are seated and given a menu. Here you have a decent selection of food to choose from. Plus you can eat as much as you'd like. On previous cruises you could order a steak and lobster and if you wanted another lobster you could ask. But now you have to pay $20 for steak and lobster and a few other selections. On previous cruises you did not have to pay anything extra. So this was a new thing to me. In my opinion on past cruises the food was better. One night I ordered grilled mahi-mahi and it came out hard and dry. I was unable to eat it. I ordered lasagna and it was ok. Another night I had the prime rib which was good. Our last night I had grilled chicken breast and it was a bit over cooked but I ate it. On this cruise they had a Dr. Seuss breakfast that you had to pay a small fee to take part in. I think it was $5 per person. Although the place was decorated kind of cool the food was terrible. I think it was a cool idea but it was executed very poorly. Do this at your own risk. I would not do the Dr. Seuss breakfast again. We were the first to arrive and be seated and the absolute last to have our order taken. We saw people leaving as they were finished with their breakfasts while we had not even had our order taken yet. It was so bad I left to go eat in the restaurant. The shows and entertainment on the ship was good. Our boys wanted to go check out the kids club area and they enjoyed it. The live entertainment is good too. For this all to be included in the cruise price it really cannot be beat. The shopping on board is not so great. They have a cool store that sells watches but other than that the gift shop is weak. My kids were wanting to check out the toy selection but it was really weak. The gift shop had little to nothing that interested any of us. I was surprised because you would think people would enjoy shopping on the ship. I feel Carnival is lacking greatly in that area. There was a great candy shop though. That pretty much wraps up the things I wanted to say. I think this is a great family vacation. Carnival has a few short comings but no show stoppers at all. For the price you get an excellent amount of things to eat and do on the ship. This cruise is very family friendly. We would do it again as we truly did have a great time. Read Less
42 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was the third time we have taken carnival inspiration on its 4 days baja cruise and enjoyed it thoroughly again with its ports of catalina and ensenada and full day at sea. This is a quick get away cruise with easy parking and ... Read More
This was the third time we have taken carnival inspiration on its 4 days baja cruise and enjoyed it thoroughly again with its ports of catalina and ensenada and full day at sea. This is a quick get away cruise with easy parking and boarding and we always plan our own excursions in port. this time we dined at wrigley's mt. Ada estate for lunch in catalina with magnificent views and hired a taxi to take us to four wineries in the valley de guadalupe while in ensenada with a lunch stop at punta morro for excellent sea food. we found the service on board to be excellent and friendly and the food in the carnivale dining room to be very good. the back of the vessel buffet is "hit or miss" with some very good things and some things which just were appetizing to our group. we enjoyed the ability to get lemonade and green tea throughout the cruise and then walk down stairs to the "serenity deck" to enjoy the scenery. for a 4 days get away this cruise has a little bit of everything you would expect on a longer cruise with spotlessly clean cabins, good dining, fun ports, and friendly service. we also enjoyed the meet and mingle party in the alchemy lounge and enjoyed running into cruise critic members all throughout the cruise. a very pleasant get away. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the ... Read More
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the weight room so we heard employees working out above us all night long. We had weights dropping on our ceiling waking us up with a jolt every night. The balcony's were too small to sit in the chairs provided. They are squeezed in the space so there is no where for you legs. To sit in them you have to remove the little table they give you and lift the chairs up over the railing to turn them sideways. Then you can't get back in the room until after you turn the chairs around again. Don't waste your money on a Jr. Suite. In fact, don't waste your money on this cruise. The Safety Briefing started at 4:45pm and lasted until 5:55pm. We were made to stand in lines shoulder to shoulder while we listened to it in multiple languages. Many people could not stand that long and needed to sit, despite the protest of the staff. We did not have time to change for our 6pm Dinner seating and were turned away at the door because we had not changed our clothes. The dining room had great choices and great wait staff members but the chef was not able to cook meat. We had tough veal, chewy pork loin, over done lobster (that we had to pay $20 extra for) and leathery steak. The food was horrible and not available the entire cruise as promised. Many places were closed most of the cruise. The Breakfast Buffet was the worst, cheapest food I've ever had so we tried to avoid it by going to the Dining Room for breakfast only to find that they fill your plate from the BUFFET! They have no snacks available at anytime during the cruise, a Mexican buffet with no chips and salsa and the taste bar they brag about is a joke and was rarely open. I lost 2 pounds and my husband lost 4 pounds during this cruise. I'm very glad for the burger bar as it was to only consistently good food. The drinks are great when you can get one as the bar tending staff is so slow it was faster for us to go get our own drinks EVERY TIME we wanted one. I observed more underage drinking than I ever have and security does nothing to stop it. They just follow these minors around so they don't fall down the stairs or off the boat. They hadn't cleaned the Lido deck before we got on the ship the first day, there were drink spills all over so we had to avoid the sticky mess while walking around. The ladies rest room on the Lido deck was filthy the entire cruise with only two toilets and one plugged and over flowing most of the time. That toilet didn't work the entire cruise yet they left it open and smelly. There are two main elevators to get to the top levels and one was broken for the entire cruise. They were so unorganized that it appeared that the staff had never been on a cruise themselves. To top it all off, when I would try and speak with someone to complain we could not understand them. Very few of the staff speak understandable English. I spoke with several passengers who had cruised with carnival many times and I was told not to judge them by this particular cruise as it was they worst they had every seen and not typical for carnival. However, it will be pretty tough to get me or any of my family members back on a carnival ship. Thank god for our Cabin Stewardess. Mai was fantastic! She is the only one on the ship that made us smile. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was the first cruise out of dry dock and featured the 2.0 upgrades. Guy's Burgers absolutely meets and exceeds expectations. I never ate more burgers on a cruise before. The toppings bar is wonderful. Blue Iguana Cantina with the ... Read More
This was the first cruise out of dry dock and featured the 2.0 upgrades. Guy's Burgers absolutely meets and exceeds expectations. I never ate more burgers on a cruise before. The toppings bar is wonderful. Blue Iguana Cantina with the taco, burrito & salsa bar were excellent. The ship looked beautiful with fresh paint, new decking, everything spruced up. The Lido Buffet is updated and the serving presentation is a little different. Same great food. The YTD was smooth and we never waited. One of our favorites is the Sea Day Brunch and we enjoyed breakfast there. Had to have split another burger with my husband and I was too full to have much of anything from the Chocolate Extravaganza, but I did get a little something. The Superbowl atmosphere was exciting and the game was shown in the Paris Lounge, Candlelight Lounge and most TVs throughout the ship. The appetizers were delicious, of course so were the drinks. Our cabin was roomy enough for two and the steward was pleasant and helpful. The weather was GORGEOUS!!!! It was absolutely perfect for our walk into Ensenada. We like going early and returning to the ship early because it is empty. I scheduled a massage this time for 2pm while in Ensenada. OMG just what I needed to get all the stress knots out. I may have to make that a part of my activities. All in all we had a smooth, wonderful time. Thank you Carnival, for doing such a great job. Staff Members Danny & Trevor are so pleasant and make the trivia contests fun and engaging. Counting down to our 28th Anniversary Cruise on March 25.....Platinum Status is within reach...Happy cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We had a delightful time enjoying our embarkation wedding with 70 guests, as well as cruising with 44 of our sailing guests! Carnival took care of all of the details from beginning to end--including day of coordinators, our wedding cake, ... Read More
We had a delightful time enjoying our embarkation wedding with 70 guests, as well as cruising with 44 of our sailing guests! Carnival took care of all of the details from beginning to end--including day of coordinators, our wedding cake, open bar, logistics, etc. We had a pleasant experience working with The Wedding Experience. But, since this is a review of the cruise itself, let's get to the details. Grand Suite: Perfect for getting ready before the wedding. The room was decorated (Thanks to a great travel agent!) and we had ample space for the photographer and 2 or 3 friends moving around with preparations. Got some beautiful shots on the balcony as well. The closet was big enough to fit my wedding gown, a gown for formal night, and the rest of our clothes. It was nice to have a more standard sized restroom, as someone who usually does inside rooms. And yes, the balcony has ruined me for future inside staterooms. We had breakfast on the balcony the second day, and put some of our sparking wine to work for mimosas. Group activities: Using the theatre for the wedding, perfect. Using the nightclub for the reception, awesome and intimate, but with space for everyone to spread out. Having our group cocktail hour in the shared space (theatre) perfect. Every one of my guests took on the benefit of that open bar ;) Excursion: We did the wine tour with Pedro. Amazing. He was hilarious on the way to the winery. The tour at LA Ciatto was awesome and so was the wine. 26 of the attendees were our wedding guests, so the rest of my review is tailored towards that. At the second winery, the Dona herself congratulated us on our wedding. Pedro serenaded us on the way back. Weather was perfect. This felt like the second day of our wedding!! Service: Everyone was exceptional. They were so sweet and remembered us throughout the weekend. The ship: It is small and intimate, which is refreshing after being on 3,000+ passenger vessels in the past. Our guests found it easy to find their own space to bond and hang out on the ship, whether in the library or the nightclub. They said they hadn't laughed so hard in years! Food: For the wedding reception, our guests gave the hors d'oeuvres rave reviews. However, they felt the food fell short the rest of the cruise. I usually picked a meal I was happy with, but this was not always the case with our guests. We did love the sea day brunch, however. That food was awesome. I also recommend the sea day afternoon tea, but be on time (unlike me). One positive of the food being just okay is that I probably did not gain weight on this cruise. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation was a breeze as our guests were on time and wedding parties board first. However, we had a hard time getting the wedding dress on and off. I wish I would have gone with the advice I was given to have something to transport it on, because you can't get the port's carts to take the items off. Had a lot of back and forth before deciding to put my gown in a box and carry it off ourselves. So, do bring a box if you decide to that route :) Overall: This is a great cruise for the value. If you want a premium experience, there are a ton of options. But, if you want to have a great time and make memories while staying within your budget, this is a great option for a vacation. As we disembarked, they were preparing for dry dock. So, this cruise should be even better in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Every now and then, and sometimes a bit more often than we deserve, a cruise is "blessed" from beginning to end. This was the first time we cruised for MLK weekend, my 16th cruise with Carnival, hubby's 13th. We were able to ... Read More
Every now and then, and sometimes a bit more often than we deserve, a cruise is "blessed" from beginning to end. This was the first time we cruised for MLK weekend, my 16th cruise with Carnival, hubby's 13th. We were able to find parking on the 1st floor, a little down the way from the exit pay booth. Our wait to check in was about 20 minutes. I was surprised that there were dogs sniffing people as we approached the last check in before walking on the gangway. This was the 1st time we encountered this. It was no inconvenience and didn't hamper or delay our boarding. The Inspiration and her crew were marvelous. This was the last cruise before dry dock and the upgrades so it was like saying good bye to a good friend. The public areas were neat and clean. We love the food at the Lido Buffet, Deli, Pool Grill as well as the MDR. We did YTD and that also went very well. We managed to time it just right and avoided any waiting. The Taste Bar is great as well. The pepper pot is delicious and a 'taste' is perfect ... can't ruin dinner. We also enjoy the Sea Day Brunch and usually eat twice, early and before they close; we only ate early this time but the bagel & smoked salmon, side of corn beef hash hit the spot. Of course, I had to have a few items from the Chocolate Extravaganza ... YUM. The Mongolian Wok is usually very crowded and a long wait but this cruise, I was able to eat twice from there. I love their food, not the line. We redeemed our Barclay's Mastercard "Fun Points" for Cruise Bar Cash and enjoyed Long Island Iced Teas, Guinness Beer, maybe a shot or two as well. The service was excellent every where we went. Our cabin steward kept our cabin in great shape. The waiters were friendly and provided good service. I look forward to shopping for a few items for myself and stock up on Clinique skin care items -- no tax saves enough to buy something else. The Motor City show was spectacular. On Sunday evening at 10:00 p.m. they showed Jurassic World in the Main Showroom on a HUGE screen. Bags of popcorn were handed out as you walked in. IT WAS FANTASTIC. The weather even cooperated and was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S the whole time. The sun was out all day in Ensenada and we were able to enjoy our customary walk into town to visit Starbucks, check emails. We went a different way into town and found the fish market and another shopping area. The Cruise Gods were with us because when I stopped at the jewelry store I visit each time we travel here, the salesman poured me a shot of THE SMOOTHEST tequila. Our walk back to the ship was leisurely and enjoyable. The voyage back to Long Beach was fairly smooth. Sea Day was beautiful and unbelievably calm for several hours. I walked on the Sports Deck and watched the sunrise, my favorite way to start Sea Day ... need to be hungry because there's a lot of food to sample. Customs cleared the ship quickly Monday morning and as we were on Empress Deck (my standard deck/cabin/location), we heard the announcement that our deck was clear for early debarkation at 7:05 a.m.!!!! We were off the ship, out of the garage, and on the freeway back to Las Vegas by 7:30 a.m. WOW, it was the fastest I've gotten off the ship without FTTF. WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL CRUISE!!!! Looking forward to being the first cruise after dry dock to see the renovations!!!! We are booked for Superbowl weekend, Feb 5-8. Can't wait to review then. In the meantime, this is a great ship and cruise; I highly recommend to the first time cruiser and seasoned cruisers as well. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Took this 3 day cruise as part of a large group leaving from Long Beach down to Ensenda, Mexico and Back. This was our first time on Carnival having previously sailed on Princess and Disney. By far this was the poorest excuse of a ... Read More
Took this 3 day cruise as part of a large group leaving from Long Beach down to Ensenda, Mexico and Back. This was our first time on Carnival having previously sailed on Princess and Disney. By far this was the poorest excuse of a cruise one could imagine. Stood in line in the cold waiting to check in for an hour, then people coming late to check in were ushered inside and allowed to board while we were still in line. Nothing special about these folks other than being late. Whats up with that. Got n-on board the ship Riviera Deck outside cabin, Quite small and décor reminded us of Walmart ala Circus Circus, looked like someone threw up color on the carpet and walls, no worries not planning on spending any time in there anyway. Acquainted ourselves with the ship and went to the 6:00 dinner in the assigned dining room. Waited for 30 minutes at table with other guests before we could order, then took another hour to get food. Horrible waiting times as they were clearing other tables before we got our food which sad to say was pathetic, kind of what I would have expected in prison, poor quality and mushy. Never went back! Ship was freezing, there is no heat, so even though it was January and a bit cool there was no way to warm up anywhere on the ship, was told since it is a summer ship only A\C is available so turn off the vent in your room to let it warm back up to 60 degrees. Proble is on the Riviera Deck you sit right above the food lockers, butcher shops garbage dumps etc so if you don't let the air circulate you get horrible smells so either freeze or puke, we chose freezing. Crowd for this ship would have been typical people of Walmart, loud, obnoxious, drunk, no manners or class. Also everywhere you turned, someone trying to take your picture, sell you some cheap jewelry or drain your wallet with other lame merchandise. Second day decided to let the wife do the spa treatments, although over-priced they did a great job and the staff was friendly, professional and accommodating. Kudos to them, this was a solid win. Dinner that night was at the buffet which again was marginal but better than the dining room and off to the musical shows, late night comedy and casino. Musicals were fair, signers were off key, but probably due to the fact that they have ear pieces and can't hear what is going on around them, Comedians were not very good, but I think comedy in general has gone from trying to be funny to trying to shock people so that being said they were just doing what everyone else does, but doesn't mean they are funny. Go to bed Freezing, but sleep in clothes to stay warm. Day at sea is nice spent time on decks too cold to do much else but nice day at sea. Spent time at Casino until smoke was so bad you couldn't see the top of the craps table so left and tried to find something else to do, not much to do during the day. Afternoon was spent in business meetings which was a reprieve from the chaos. Also took Behind the scenes tour of Ship. I would highly recommend this, you have no idea what goes on to keep the ship running but that being said, I get why they have poor food onboard, you can't personally prepare individual meals for that many guests, I like princess and Disney as you could choose to go to a nice restaurant and pay for a nice meal, no such luck on Carnival. Evening was spent in Casino, and early family friendly comedy show which was actually better as the shock factor mentioned earlier was not present. And finally here is where it goes downhill. Ship is scheduled to dry dock for a few weeks so staff is more concerned with preparing to get us all off and on to dry dock so.... They plan to dock at 2:30 in the morning so you can plan on being awake for that loud process, ok, that is part of the cruise, but then they immediately start offloading the ship so loud noise all night now way to sleep during the racket so finally got up at 7:00 having a restful 2 hours of sleep due to these inconsiderate folks and take the early disembark to get away from that floating hell. I will give a shout out to our Steward Kevin who was very accommodating and sympathetic to everyone and overall the staff on the ship were mostly friendly and considerate. But.... That being said, I would rate this cruise a solid 1 out of 5 and will never ever set foot on any of their ships again! Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We have cruised on several lines including Carnival over the years. Wife and I wanted to try a shorter trip close to home to Catalina Island and Ensenada. Before booking we closely looked at reviews about this exact cruise. It funny that ... Read More
We have cruised on several lines including Carnival over the years. Wife and I wanted to try a shorter trip close to home to Catalina Island and Ensenada. Before booking we closely looked at reviews about this exact cruise. It funny that some people have a great time with maybe minor issue or two, but other people have nothing to say but bad things while on board. This trip was way beyond my expectations. We got boarded and debarked on the Inspiration quicker than any other cruise. We were in our cabin at 12:30pm with our luggage in the cabin. Our cabin steward KEVIN was the best. The food was all good, entertainment great , and the service from every person on the ship was fantastic. There weren't many kids on board and didn't see one person out of control. The ship was clean and didn't smell as people have mentioned. The bed was great and the shower was actually big. The ac was the best I had in any cabin. I guess it all comes down to what kind of attitude you have when going on a cruise. Either be positive, go with the flow, and have fun or be grumpy and have a bad attitude and bitch about everything. Not one person did I hear complain about anything. And we met some fine couples that we will be in touch for a long time. Great job Carnival Inspiration and keep up the great work. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Okay for starters the food was horrible even in the dining room service was bad ,my dinner took 2 1/2 hours and was ice cold "literally" , the people in the dining room wouldn't even apalogise for the terrible service they ... Read More
Okay for starters the food was horrible even in the dining room service was bad ,my dinner took 2 1/2 hours and was ice cold "literally" , the people in the dining room wouldn't even apalogise for the terrible service they just said to come back the next night to give them another chance....I don't think so fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.The buffet food was better than all the other food but even it was worse than hospital food. Room service had me on hold for an hour and a half until I called guest services and I then received an immediate call from room services only to have more crappy cold slop delivered to my room. I booked an appointment with the spa for a full massage package for my wife and they never even gave her a massage just a facial and some other treatments that weren't asked for and they were unwilling to refund my money either instead making the customer feel like they did something wrong. Numerous complaints were documented by guest services and no adjustments were made at all and corporate won't do anything for me either. If your looking for a floating Walmart than this is your ship for sure ...........I will never book another cruise with this line and I will share this review everywhere I can in hope I can save people from going through the worst cruise experience available !!!! Thankfully we purchased the unlimited beverage program (15 drinks per day is what they consider unlimited lol) without it I would of stayed in Mexico !!!!! Do not book with Carnival !!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
The wife and I decided to get our twin sons a little cruise we could all enjoy for their 21st birthday this year, which fell in September so we couldn't celebrate then as they're in college. One of the boys girlfriend was ... Read More
The wife and I decided to get our twin sons a little cruise we could all enjoy for their 21st birthday this year, which fell in September so we couldn't celebrate then as they're in college. One of the boys girlfriend was invited along, so her family joined in the fun, all total there were ten of us in four cabins. Now we know these vessels Carnival uses for these four and three night sailings are older, but for three nights we figured there would be enough to keep everyone busy and happy...all in all it worked out fine. Two cabins were ocean views and we got interiors for us, with the kids sharing one using a cot that Carnival uses for some cabins.....it did not work well for an adult, might be fine for a child, but would not recommend getting one of these triple cabins if everyone is an adult....they do have drop down bunks in some cabins, not using the cot. The kids had to take turns on the cot it was quite uncomfortable sagging to the floor. Food was rated pretty well by all in our group, have to say the eggs benedict was very good in the dining room, and the sea day brunch was very good too. The buffet was fine with plenty of choices, the outside grill and mongolian wok was very good, omlettes to order too were very good. All hot tubs and the pool were in good working order, with the ladies steam room still not working though. We all thought the entertainment was good, not great but adequate for the three nights, the comedians did pretty good job. We heard the Inspiration is going in for a dry dock to get some new carpeting and updates which I must say are well needed. Some of the restrooms are in need for repairs. Have to say I wish they would have some "regular" coffee available in the upsell shop, only could get a double espresso then add hot water to it for a good cup of coffee. Will say we spoke with some very happy, funny kind employees all over the ship, it's nice to see Carnival seems to take care of their staff, they do work so very hard for us guests to have a great vacation, our cabin stewart did a great job, as did the wait staff. Hey, it's not luxury cruising, your not paying luxury prices either, so enjoy your vacation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My family (including 3 kids: 17, 11 an 9) spent Dec 21-25 on the Carnival Inspiration for our Christmas break. This was our first cruise and after reading reviews, we expected a great time, fun-filled vacation. Unfortunately, our trip was ... Read More
My family (including 3 kids: 17, 11 an 9) spent Dec 21-25 on the Carnival Inspiration for our Christmas break. This was our first cruise and after reading reviews, we expected a great time, fun-filled vacation. Unfortunately, our trip was less than great. Our port at Catalina was delayed by a day, putting our first day spent at sea. The seas were incredibly rough and the boat ROCKED and ROCKED! I had no idea that a cruise ship would be tossed around. The bartending staff said that the winter months off Cali are like this, so why didn't Carnival warn vacationers ahead of time? After rocking around for the first full day, we were supposed to tender into Catalina at 7:30a on the second day. However, at 8am, we were moving and moving fast and away from Catalina. It was not until 11am that the cruise director announced that we were not able to port at Catalina and instead, we were making our way to Ensenada for an early-evening port, which meant our third day was spent at sea (again, rocking and rolling). We spent the night docked and were able to spend a full day in Ensenada. Our last night was spent sailing back to Long Beach. In all, we spent 1 day and a few hours on land. All of the other time was at sea. Given this and the usual winter sea weather, you'd think Carnival would be well prepared for a lot of "ship time." The ONLY THING TO DO FOR ADULTS was to play bingo and the casino, which wasn't even open half of this time. Bingo consists of three fast games and the cheapest buy in is $20. They offered this twice in the same day. That's it. The "shows" were high school musical quality, dated costumes and performances. The best entertainment was the Mardi Gras dining staff dancing to "Gangnam Style." Really, that's it! The saving grace in all of this was the staff: atrium bartenders, Ali - the Lido deck server, David the Magician, and the comedian who made fun of kids. The buffet and self-serve food was mall food court quality (plentiful, hot) and the dining room options were banquet style. To have lobster or finer cuts of meat were $20 upcharge. Desserts were great! Service was great! The kids club's were great. Our 9 and 11 year olds had a blast. Met lots of kids and kept themselves entertained and well-hydrated! The best purchase was the bottomless soda package!!!!! In all, this was our first and likely last cruise. I am just surprised that the ship didn't have much to offer adults except for a few very dated shows and bingo. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Wonderful staff, wonderful boat. All was fabulous. The food int eh dining room and the buffet was absolutely stellar (not counting breakfast, since breakfast quality on any ship line is medium), as good as I have had on 13 cruises to date. ... Read More
Wonderful staff, wonderful boat. All was fabulous. The food int eh dining room and the buffet was absolutely stellar (not counting breakfast, since breakfast quality on any ship line is medium), as good as I have had on 13 cruises to date. Comfy, well managed. The entertainment was very good, but the ship safety drill was too long. Did the same drill on the Imagination 1 day later (B2B) and it took 30 min. Inspiration took took 1 hour plus. But all in all, a relaxing and enjoyable trip. Wish these ships would be more creative with day activities. Too formulaic--do you hear me? Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We have sailed with Carnival and also other cruise lines, so we are not new to cruising. We also knew that we would not be getting the same experience on a 5 night, over Thanksgiving, that we would get on a 7 day cruise. We decided to ... Read More
We have sailed with Carnival and also other cruise lines, so we are not new to cruising. We also knew that we would not be getting the same experience on a 5 night, over Thanksgiving, that we would get on a 7 day cruise. We decided to purchase the FTTF as our flight was arriving early and we could use the tender service and disembarkation features of the FTTF. Checking in we got into the FTTF line and there was no one ahead of us, however the check in agents completely ignored us until I spoke up. We boarded the ship around 11:45 and went directly to our cabin. One of the stewards was there and was a little upset as the cabin was not ready (which is a benefit of FTTF) so we dropped our bags and went to the LIDO for lunch. The food was OK but the service was terrible. No one was picking up any dirty plates from tables and they were piled high everywhere. We dismissed that as first day confusion. We had an outside cabin on the upper deck and it was clean. Very basic room with bed and on single chair, so not to comfortable to spend any extended time in but we knew that when we booked. Cabin had good storage space and a good size bathroom. Muster drill was over 1 hour and very poorly organized. On Princess they scan your sail card when you enter the room so they have an exact head count. Carnival gave a demo on how to put on your life vest. We then sat there, as they told us they were taking a head count but no one was. We were then taken from this lounge out the back doors and all (hundreds of us) told to climb up one deck. Here we waited again, then an announcement saying the life boat would come down and we would get into them. We had anytime dining so went to the dining room to find two lines around the atrium. Had dinner in the buffet, the food was the worst I have ever had. Cold and unedible. We then only went to dining room where we had to line up at least 30-45 min prior to the opening if we wanted to get in. Food was not very good but better than the lido. If you want a drink with your dinner you had to get in from the atrium bar, one deck below. That bar was extremely busy and they only had one bar attendant. I think Carnival has cut back on its dinning and bar staff which will loose them a lot of clients. I could go on and on. Carnival has lost all caring for their cruiser and if this was our cruise we would not be back. This is our 3rd with them and I can say we will not be back. Carnival needs to return to treating their customer with care and respect that we had seen in the past. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We were so excited to go on our first cruise. We paid for Faster to the Fun which was definitely worth it and got started. Once we got going on the cruise, there was disappointment after disappointment. First, our room stunk of smoke. The ... Read More
We were so excited to go on our first cruise. We paid for Faster to the Fun which was definitely worth it and got started. Once we got going on the cruise, there was disappointment after disappointment. First, our room stunk of smoke. The room itself was fine, especially for a cruise, but stunk. We called down to complain so they sent someone who did nothing and said they'd send someone else. HOURS later, someone else came and did nothing. Fast forward again to the next day (after I got sick from the smell) and someone else came and said they could use some machine to fix it. They left the machine for longer than expected at 11pm when we were exhausted and it didn't help. We asked about changing our room and no one even valued us with an answer. That wasn't the only thing... ever single member or the waitstaff or casino staff was rude, short and unpleasant with the exception of our two dinner waiters. At breakfast buffet - rude, at the casino - disrespectful and it seemed it was because I was a woman gambling at table games, at sit down breakfast - rude, inattentive and full of attitude. I have a severe wheat/gluten allergy and anyone who I asked to accommodate (with the exception of our dinner waiters) seemed as if we were asking them to jump off a bridge and serve their water soaked bodies to us. If it weren't for the fact that my boyfriend and I made fun for ourselves in port and around the ship playing cards and people watching, it would have been the most awful trip of my life. I do not recommend this trip to anyone. To top it all off, after returning, I voiced my concerns to Carnival and they seem to barely care. After 3 tweets, a survey and two emails, I finally received a response saying sorry, we'll give you a bon voyage gift next time you sail. They'd have to pay me to sail with them again. I asked for a refund. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
First this was our 5th Carnival Cruise. It just seemed to me there was a lot of cost savings and we, the passengers, paid the price. We were told to be there between 11:30 and 12:30....arrived at 11:15. We're used to waiting ... Read More
First this was our 5th Carnival Cruise. It just seemed to me there was a lot of cost savings and we, the passengers, paid the price. We were told to be there between 11:30 and 12:30....arrived at 11:15. We're used to waiting outside at Long Beach (only place we've ever had to) but the Customs folks were just silly. I could have brought a lot of items on board and they wouldn't have cared but Lord help me if I had soda I'd better be adhering to the letter of the law. We got on board by 12:30 and the room wasn't ready so we had to go to the buffet cause the other dining rooms weren't open and neither were all of the dining options at the buffet.....took them another half hour or so to open. Seemed a bit strange to me. Dining was ok....nothing spectacular. We received 2 liter bottles of water and no free drink voucher for the sea day brunch. The only time we had table cloths was on formal nite. Frankly, imo, formal nite on a 4 day cruise is a waste of time. The tea time was cut back severely....2 different types of sandwiches and 4 desserts. They ask if we wanted more tea and we said yes. We were given more water and no more tea bags....guess we were expected to reuse. First stop was Catalina Island.....we stayed on the boat. We'd been to Catalina before and as my dad would say....didn't lose anything the first time to come back to look for. We did not have the ship to ourselves.....lots of people stayed on board. Second stop was Ensenada Mexico....We got off just to walk around town and have our obligatory margarita. It's 2.00 to ride into town and 1.00 to ride back....not a bad deal. The entertainment was good. The cruise staff put on 2 excellent shows and the comedian was funny. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Cruise for 2 for about $500 for 4 nights...and that includes the recommended tip. We did the cheapest booking without the ability of selecting our room. For the snobs that post here, check your expectations at the dock. I had a clean room, ... Read More
Cruise for 2 for about $500 for 4 nights...and that includes the recommended tip. We did the cheapest booking without the ability of selecting our room. For the snobs that post here, check your expectations at the dock. I had a clean room, hot/safe food, free entertainment and reasonably priced drinks. The crew is always exceptional on Carnival Cruises, they are hard working and always muster a smile with a pleasant comment. Having cruised many times, it is clear that this cruise is scaled back on some of the amenities that Carnival offers, but again, look what you are paying. My biggest disappointment was the lack of bar entertainment. Many times the bars in well traveled areas were vacant of entertainers. The violin bar was always staffed, but this is the smoking bar by the casino and my wife is sensitive to cigarette smoke. Hailey Morgan was a special treat when she was tickling the irvoys in the piano bar. Singing along is encouraged in this bar. She is only on contract till mid December 2015 though. Www.haileymorganonline.com For those who have not done the "Behind the Fun" tour, the $55 per person is well worth the price. Our tour lasted 3-1/2 hours and visited the engine control room, the bridge and backstage. A significant amount of time is spent describing what life is like for the crew...this only helps you appreciate them more. The comedy shows and the big stage entertainment is good and meets basic expectations...maybe a little more than meets expectations for the comedy. I have only done the faster boarding out of Long Beach, but if it is as bad as others have described it for regular boarding, just pony up the extra $50 per cabin for the Faster to the Fun, or just board late. The food in the main dining room is always better than the buffet area. In short there is NO WAY I could get as much for so little money for 4 nights. 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

Find a Carnival Inspiration Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise