Inspiration not Inspiring: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by SoCalTraveler

Carnival Inspiration 2
Member Since 2011
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Inspiration not Inspiring

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We had a grand suite, which has a large pole in the middle. Bath has small Jacuzzi tub. Amenities not refilled. Even if you ask. TV reception poor. Internet connection strong. Balcony. Room is NOT heated, a consideration in the winter, although the comforter was great. Only one outlet in the room. One outlet in bathroom which cannot be used for hair iron. The safe requires a credit card or license to lock or open. Thin walls, so we heard the kids next door, who remarkably only slept from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. When awake, their favorite activity was banging on our common wall.

Food selection in buffet is thin. Some food is not labeled, such as the sushi. Pizza, which is served continuously, is not great. There is a deli, but pastrami and corned beef served cold, heated when sandwiches are put in panini maker. Mongolian Wok very good.

Dinning room food selection is good. Always found something to eat, usually more than one thing. Service was slow. More Dinner is a two hour event. One night it took 8 requests to get a bottle of champagne opened. Finally opened with dessert. We had a 8:15 seating so getting out for a 10:00 p.m. show was always impossible.

Dining room for breakfast and lunch is slow and service is spotty. Many requests must be made twice. We are still waiting for my son's french fries. Maybe Carnival will mail them. One day we needed maitre d' help to get (a) coffee and (b) tea.

The Taste Bar was only open once.

The show was good, and the comedy show was OK, but not great. Constant interruptions by folks buying and selling drinks. We drink too, but I don't stand in front of others and conduct my business with the server.

Went to see a free show, the marriage game. While it is going on the staff brings in 100 or so guests who want to play Bingo, blocking view and making noise so that about 1/5 of audience can't see or hear. In full view of the cruise director, Steve, who is on stage. Also on stage are three staff selling Bingo sheets. According to Steve, Bingo must start on time, even if it bothers the previous show.

The gym was adequate in size. Sauna and steam room are gender specific. The sauna was never warm enough. The steam room, on the other hand, can double as a steamer for the lobster tails. Some stalls in ladies rest room not functioning, were not scheduled to be fixed until the cruise ended.

Pool is not large. Jacuzzis near pool tended to be full (it's amazing how many people can fit) with kids and young drunks. Jacuzzis in the Serenity area much better, although one evening only one was available as the couple in the other one were "busy." (hey, Cruise Critic is a family site.)

On two occasions, I nearly sat on a beer bottle cap, once in steam room where it could not be seen, and once at Jacuzzi.

As another reviewer remarked, this is the Wal-Mart of cruising. My observation is that this is not the good Wal-Mart. The ship attracts a wide range of guests, but a large group are 20 somethings who are there to drink. For $300 per person, a good deal for three days away. We paid for the best room on the ship (we hosted cocktail parties each night for our group) but paying a premium price gets you nothing more. Less

Published 01/18/13

Cabin review: GSU98 Grand Suite

We were in U98, one of the few balcony cabins on this ship. The cabin has no heat, a consideration since night time temperatures were in the 30s. There is a large pole in the middle of these rooms, too big for pole dancing, large enough that you will run into it in the dark. Only one phon, but phone service is poor, so no matter. The safe requires use of a credit card, something that you don't want to carry to the pool. Moreover, if guest 1 locks the safe, guest 2 can't open it even if you share a credit card account. Ample closet and storage space (but cheaply made), but weird hangar system. Bathroom has Jacuzzi tub, a plus, which is big enough for two 5 year olds. Flat screen TV with poor reception. Bed very comfortable. Bath amenities not replenished, even if you ask.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Not much to see in port. We have not been here since 1984. Since that time, a proliferation of drug srores claiming to sell Rx. Fairly safe; we only observed two arrests in progress. Had drinks at Papas & Beer, a bar with numerous locations, some across from each other. Hussong's, founded in 1880 something, is an institution which has not remodeled since the 1890s.
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Member Since 2011
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