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This was our first ever cruise. Overall, we feel cruising is a fairly good deal for your $. We did enjoy ourselves on the Inspiration. However, we did find the focus to be all on drinking and gambling. Since we do neither, we got bored with the ship's focus on this through entertainment, events, and functions. The shows were quite good, the food was excellent, the service was good. However, with 3 long days at sea, my husband and I found ourselves wandering the ship a lot bored and wished we'd had more time in port. Others seemed to be enjoying themselves, drunk and staggering around the boat dropping loads of $ off their "sign and sail" cards. I would imagine they were shocked by their tab by the last day. Advice we'd give: Pack your own snorkeling gear so you don't have to bother renting it and waiting in line at ports. Don't book excursions off of Carnival. There are lots of vendors awaiting you at each port and they are always about half of what Carnival charges. Cozumel was a dream. We loved the snorkeling there, and I swam with 4 dolphins at the Chankanaab National Park for $125. It is $180 through Carnival. You must take a cab to get anywhere and the rides range from $8-$10 from our experience. The cab drivers drive very fast and are all over the road. Its a bit scary. The cruise line staff stressed not to rent mopeds and after seeing how close we nearly clipped a few moped drivers, I can see how dangerous it is there. Cayman was a disappointment, but StingRay City is really a neat experience which made it more fun. My husband and I ate in the formal dining room each night at our assigned time of 6:15. It was excellent gourmet meals (Escargot, Lobster, Filet Mignon, and many choices). We always over ate! There were midnight buffets too. We also ate often in the Brassiere for quick meals since lines on the LIDO deck were often too long for us. The food everywhere was good. I was disappointed to find that not everything can be ordered for room services (as my Carnival agent had told me). For example, the only breakfast you can order has to be "cold." No hot foods for breakfast - room service. Room service was very fast though and it is inclusive, no extra charge. Room Stewards cleaned our room two times a day. We rarely saw them. We did get the towel animals, but not every night like some. The ship is full of photographers who take your formal portraits constantly. We were photographed 7 times with different backdrops. You could have doubled that number. The photos are $20 for an 8x10 and they have a photo gallery where you go and view them. The last night we dressed up in the "wild west" type get-ups and enjoyed that. We only bought one photo, but if we were there with a big group it would be a great way to get family photos and not pay the usual sitting fees of a studio. No cost for photos other than the prints themselves. There were weddings and honeymooners on the ship and we watched them be photographed too. The photographers are pretty good from the prints we saw. You can have your film developed on the ship for $6.95 a roll (overnight). I ended up paying more at CVS in Tampa, so that's a good deal. The rooms are small. We had an Ocean View. I was glad to be able to see out. We watched the waves when we were in the room, saw the stars at night, and saw our ship come into ports through our window. I think we'd be claustrophobic without a window. The suites looked especially nice with their balconies, but most avoided much time in their rooms. Its just too small to be in there long. But, it served its purpose. It feels like a cheap motel room. The bed was comfortable though and the pillows were soft and good quality. The showers are very hot, more hot than cold water. The toilets worked fine, but ship toilets are incredibly loud! You lock up all your valuables and $ in a safe that works well and use your sign and sail card to buy anything on the ship and it serves as your room key. We didn't buy much but somehow racked up $333.00 on our card! Its easy to do. The ship's gift shops are very reasonable and I found the ports, even Mexico, a bit expensive from what I had experienced in other Mexican cities, so I ended up buying some souvenirs on the ship instead. They have good sales the last night too. Things we didn't expect!........the ship rocked significantly and we had to pop our motion sickness pills every 8 hours the whole week. We were ok with the pills though. I guess it is "high seas," after May and the ship was really going up and down. Even in the theatre at night the ship's staff commented on it. I didn't see a lot of people sick though so it wasn't as bad as some cruises I've heard. The ship is so massive you'd never think you could feel the waves as much as we did. The weight/exercise room is not much. We worked out twice but they use those air pressure machines and they are not great if you are used to lifting weights regularly. Running on the treadmill is a challenge when the room is rocking side to side also. Most of the services in the "spa" are at a cost and we didn't do any massages or use the barber/hairstyles. You can even have your teeth bleached on the ship! The pools are a big disappointment in size and salt water. Most only used them to cool off, if that. The Karaoke bar was really entertaining each night and we often visited it after the late show (8:45 pm). We won't cruise Carnival again due to all the juvenile - college - like emphasis on "PARTY MAN!".....but may cruise again with our children. I would certainly NOT want my children or especially teens to be around this cruise line and their constant remarks about getting drunk..it was ridiculous. We enjoyed ourselves despite this and avoided some of the groups that were loud and obnoxious by finding quieter spots to enjoy the deck on the boat by day. The ship itself is older and somewhat gaudy, but it wasn't terrible. IT is quite clean and well maintained. Most the staff were friendly, but you could tell they were sick of being around all these happy cruisers by the end of the week....especially those serving in the buffet bars. The waiters in the formal dining room were excellent and always friendly. We met a few other couples at our table and enjoyed our conversations with them. Surprisingly, the majority of the cruisers were from Florida and many of those were from Tampa. (our port location). Embarkation, and Debarkation were a piece of cake and took very little time, as long as you listen to instructions, have all your ID and forms completed. We were off the boat by 8:30 am in Tampa and picked up by friends. It was a good time for my husband and I, we'll just find a different cruise line next time and hope it is a bit classier. We'll never forget the clear, blue green waters of the Caribbean and the sights we saw snorkeling (eel, lobster, lots of colorful fish, coral - although much of it dying, and of course - swimming with the dolphins!).

Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by carol

Trip Details
This was our first ever cruise. Overall, we feel cruising is a fairly good deal for your $. We did enjoy ourselves on the Inspiration. However, we did find the focus to be all on drinking and gambling. Since we do neither, we got bored with the ship's focus on this through entertainment, events, and functions.
The shows were quite good, the food was excellent, the service was good. However, with 3 long days at sea, my husband and I found ourselves wandering the ship a lot bored and wished we'd had more time in port. Others seemed to be enjoying themselves, drunk and staggering around the boat dropping loads of $ off their "sign and sail" cards. I would imagine they were shocked by their tab by the last day. Advice we'd give: Pack your own snorkeling gear so you don't have to bother renting it and waiting in line at ports. Don't book excursions off of Carnival. There are lots of vendors awaiting you at each port and they are always about half of what Carnival charges. Cozumel was a dream. We loved the snorkeling there, and I swam with 4 dolphins at the Chankanaab National Park for $125. It is $180 through Carnival. You must take a cab to get anywhere and the rides range from $8-$10 from our experience. The cab drivers drive very fast and are all over the road. Its a bit scary. The cruise line staff stressed not to rent mopeds and after seeing how close we nearly clipped a few moped drivers, I can see how dangerous it is there. Cayman was a disappointment, but StingRay City is really a neat experience which made it more fun.
My husband and I ate in the formal dining room each night at our assigned time of 6:15. It was excellent gourmet meals (Escargot, Lobster, Filet Mignon, and many choices). We always over ate! There were midnight buffets too. We also ate often in the Brassiere for quick meals since lines on the LIDO deck were often too long for us. The food everywhere was good. I was disappointed to find that not everything can be ordered for room services (as my Carnival agent had told me). For example, the only breakfast you can order has to be "cold." No hot foods for breakfast - room service. Room service was very fast though and it is inclusive, no extra charge. Room Stewards cleaned our room two times a day. We rarely saw them. We did get the towel animals, but not every night like some.
The ship is full of photographers who take your formal portraits constantly. We were photographed 7 times with different backdrops. You could have doubled that number. The photos are $20 for an 8x10 and they have a photo gallery where you go and view them. The last night we dressed up in the "wild west" type get-ups and enjoyed that. We only bought one photo, but if we were there with a big group it would be a great way to get family photos and not pay the usual sitting fees of a studio. No cost for photos other than the prints themselves. There were weddings and honeymooners on the ship and we watched them be photographed too. The photographers are pretty good from the prints we saw. You can have your film developed on the ship for $6.95 a roll (overnight). I ended up paying more at CVS in Tampa, so that's a good deal.
The rooms are small. We had an Ocean View. I was glad to be able to see out. We watched the waves when we were in the room, saw the stars at night, and saw our ship come into ports through our window. I think we'd be claustrophobic without a window. The suites looked especially nice with their balconies, but most avoided much time in their rooms. Its just too small to be in there long. But, it served its purpose. It feels like a cheap motel room. The bed was comfortable though and the pillows were soft and good quality. The showers are very hot, more hot than cold water. The toilets worked fine, but ship toilets are incredibly loud! You lock up all your valuables and $ in a safe that works well and use your sign and sail card to buy anything on the ship and it serves as your room key. We didn't buy much but somehow racked up $333.00 on our card! Its easy to do.
The ship's gift shops are very reasonable and I found the ports, even Mexico, a bit expensive from what I had experienced in other Mexican cities, so I ended up buying some souvenirs on the ship instead. They have good sales the last night too. Things we didn't expect!........the ship rocked significantly and we had to pop our motion sickness pills every 8 hours the whole week. We were ok with the pills though. I guess it is "high seas," after May and the ship was really going up and down. Even in the theatre at night the ship's staff commented on it. I didn't see a lot of people sick though so it wasn't as bad as some cruises I've heard. The ship is so massive you'd never think you could feel the waves as much as we did.
The weight/exercise room is not much. We worked out twice but they use those air pressure machines and they are not great if you are used to lifting weights regularly. Running on the treadmill is a challenge when the room is rocking side to side also. Most of the services in the "spa" are at a cost and we didn't do any massages or use the barber/hairstyles. You can even have your teeth bleached on the ship!
The pools are a big disappointment in size and salt water. Most only used them to cool off, if that.
The Karaoke bar was really entertaining each night and we often visited it after the late show (8:45 pm).
We won't cruise Carnival again due to all the juvenile - college - like emphasis on "PARTY MAN!".....but may cruise again with our children. I would certainly NOT want my children or especially teens to be around this cruise line and their constant remarks about getting drunk..it was ridiculous. We enjoyed ourselves despite this and avoided some of the groups that were loud and obnoxious by finding quieter spots to enjoy the deck on the boat by day.
The ship itself is older and somewhat gaudy, but it wasn't terrible. IT is quite clean and well maintained. Most the staff were friendly, but you could tell they were sick of being around all these happy cruisers by the end of the week....especially those serving in the buffet bars. The waiters in the formal dining room were excellent and always friendly. We met a few other couples at our table and enjoyed our conversations with them. Surprisingly, the majority of the cruisers were from Florida and many of those were from Tampa. (our port location).
Embarkation, and Debarkation were a piece of cake and took very little time, as long as you listen to instructions, have all your ID and forms completed. We were off the boat by 8:30 am in Tampa and picked up by friends. It was a good time for my husband and I, we'll just find a different cruise line next time and hope it is a bit classier. We'll never forget the clear, blue green waters of the Caribbean and the sights we saw snorkeling (eel, lobster, lots of colorful fish, coral - although much of it dying, and of course - swimming with the dolphins!).
carol’s Full Rating Summary
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