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Many other reviewers have described the ins and outs of boarding and what to bring and some very helpful information that you should pay attention to and take to heart. So I wont repeat their reviews here. Cruise 12/5/05. Both ports of call Cayman and Cozumel were reduced. At Cayman, 9 to 1 and Cozumel, 9 to 5. That is we had to be on the 1 pm tender from Cayman and the 5 PM tender from Cozumel. This was too short for both stops. Do not miss the last tender. 5 people missed it at Cayman and I spoke to 2 of them. They were charged 500.00 for their tardiness. This was our first cruise and before we left I read lots of reviews and I think it is time for a reality check. The ship looks fine, the service is good and even with 2,200 people on board, most times it didnt seem over crowded. There was a good variety of music and entertainment& however to call the food great or the service excellent is a gross exaggerate. If you have never been cruising before do not go with high expectations. If anyone thinks the food on this ship was excellent, then they need to eat out somewhere other than Dennys. Breakfast was eatable, lunch was fine, dinner was fine, but there wasnt one meal on that ship as good as an Outback (and I do not consider Outback the height of fine dining). I do not mean that we did not have a good time. We ate, drank, danced, hot tubbed, gambled, met great people, participated in a few ship board activities, watched some shows and enjoyed some quality quiet times under the stars. The shopping on board was very good. The prices were excellent. I was surprised that they were so low. Souvenirs, booze, jewelry, cigarettes, clothing, were all fairly priced. I might even say that there were some real bargains. Overall, the trip was OK. But thats all it was, OK. Why people feel the need to build it up to the greatest vacation, I have no idea. I think they need to travel more. I do have some problems with the trip and I do not know if they are common throughout the industry. We booked a Snorkel and Stingray trip on board (because of the reduced time in Cayman we were afraid we might miss the boat) It costs 65.00 each. As we stood in line at the dock, more than one salesman walked by our line of 200 or so with signs advertising the same trip for 40.00 each. I dont mind a mark up, but 25.00 each!! Whenever you enter or leave the ship you are required to present your Sea and Sail card to be swiped through a machine by a crewman to verify that you are you. If you book your excursion on board, you are told to meet at the Paris lounge at a specific time and then without an explanation or directions, are told to follow a crewman. This person leads you across the lobby, down 5 flights of steps and into a long line on to a tender. My wife has a problem with stairs and if they had taken the time to tell us where we were going, she could have taken the elevator and met the group on the exit deck. 2 lines are formed, the cards swiped and off we went. However when reentering the ship, only one line was open so just imagine 3 tenders with 200 people each lined up as you shuffle one by one into the ship. It was ridiculous. At Cozumel it was even worst. Those tenders held 400 people. It had to have taken us at least 45 minutes to get back on board. I have read other reviews where someone complained about the horse racing payouts, but I am surprised that I havent read anything about the Bingo games or Casino tournaments. Bingo costs 10.00 per card or 3 for 20.00. They ran at least 3 bingo games during our 5 day cruise. Each time there were at least 800 to 900 people playing. Now even if everyone there only bought 1 card at 10.00. That equals a minimum of 8,000.00, the total payout was about 1,500.00 for a minimum profit of 6,500.00 per game. 3 games means a minimum profit of over 20,000.00. The Casino tournaments, both Blackjack and Slot machines. You pay 20.00 to participate, the top ten go into a playoff and the winner gets 500.00. At the two I watched, each had over 80 people. Thats 1,600.00 in, 500.00 out. Now I do not blame them for making a profit, but (and this is just an estimate) Carnival had to have raked in over 30,000.00 and that is a low estimate. Now regarding all the exciting things to do onboard. Well.. 900 people on the Lido deck get to watch a limited number of people participate in various activities, like Fear Factor, Alligator wrestling and the like. There are 3 ping pong tables, a game room arcade, the casino, a basketball court, etc. but just imagine 2,200 people and think about how often you could gain access to these entertainment items. If watching other people do things is your idea of Lots to Do, then you will have a great time. I think that cruising is OK. It is not the greatest thing going, it is not the height of travel experience. I do not like lines. I do not like others in control of my schedule and I really do not like the over-the-top hype that passes for reviews. Try a cruise, but do so with realistic expectations. Consider it about on the level of a Pocono resort weekend.

Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by RTD

Trip Details
Many other reviewers have described the ins and outs of boarding and what to bring and some very helpful information that you should pay attention to and take to heart. So I wont repeat their reviews here. Cruise 12/5/05. Both ports of call Cayman and Cozumel were reduced. At Cayman, 9 to 1 and Cozumel, 9 to 5. That is we had to be on the 1 pm tender from Cayman and the 5 PM tender from Cozumel. This was too short for both stops. Do not miss the last tender. 5 people missed it at Cayman and I spoke to 2 of them. They were charged 500.00 for their tardiness.
This was our first cruise and before we left I read lots of reviews and I think it is time for a reality check. The ship looks fine, the service is good and even with 2,200 people on board, most times it didnt seem over crowded. There was a good variety of music and entertainment& however to call the food great or the service excellent is a gross exaggerate. If you have never been cruising before do not go with high expectations. If anyone thinks the food on this ship was excellent, then they need to eat out somewhere other than Dennys. Breakfast was eatable, lunch was fine, dinner was fine, but there wasnt one meal on that ship as good as an Outback (and I do not consider Outback the height of fine dining). I do not mean that we did not have a good time. We ate, drank, danced, hot tubbed, gambled, met great people, participated in a few ship board activities, watched some shows and enjoyed some quality quiet times under the stars. The shopping on board was very good. The prices were excellent. I was surprised that they were so low. Souvenirs, booze, jewelry, cigarettes, clothing, were all fairly priced. I might even say that there were some real bargains. Overall, the trip was OK. But thats all it was, OK. Why people feel the need to build it up to the greatest vacation, I have no idea. I think they need to travel more.
I do have some problems with the trip and I do not know if they are common throughout the industry. We booked a Snorkel and Stingray trip on board (because of the reduced time in Cayman we were afraid we might miss the boat) It costs 65.00 each. As we stood in line at the dock, more than one salesman walked by our line of 200 or so with signs advertising the same trip for 40.00 each. I dont mind a mark up, but 25.00 each!! Whenever you enter or leave the ship you are required to present your Sea and Sail card to be swiped through a machine by a crewman to verify that you are you. If you book your excursion on board, you are told to meet at the Paris lounge at a specific time and then without an explanation or directions, are told to follow a crewman. This person leads you across the lobby, down 5 flights of steps and into a long line on to a tender. My wife has a problem with stairs and if they had taken the time to tell us where we were going, she could have taken the elevator and met the group on the exit deck. 2 lines are formed, the cards swiped and off we went. However when reentering the ship, only one line was open so just imagine 3 tenders with 200 people each lined up as you shuffle one by one into the ship. It was ridiculous. At Cozumel it was even worst. Those tenders held 400 people. It had to have taken us at least 45 minutes to get back on board.
I have read other reviews where someone complained about the horse racing payouts, but I am surprised that I havent read anything about the Bingo games or Casino tournaments. Bingo costs 10.00 per card or 3 for 20.00. They ran at least 3 bingo games during our 5 day cruise. Each time there were at least 800 to 900 people playing. Now even if everyone there only bought 1 card at 10.00. That equals a minimum of 8,000.00, the total payout was about 1,500.00 for a minimum profit of 6,500.00 per game. 3 games means a minimum profit of over 20,000.00.
The Casino tournaments, both Blackjack and Slot machines. You pay 20.00 to participate, the top ten go into a playoff and the winner gets 500.00. At the two I watched, each had over 80 people. Thats 1,600.00 in, 500.00 out. Now I do not blame them for making a profit, but (and this is just an estimate) Carnival had to have raked in over 30,000.00 and that is a low estimate.
Now regarding all the exciting things to do onboard. Well.. 900 people on the Lido deck get to watch a limited number of people participate in various activities, like Fear Factor, Alligator wrestling and the like. There are 3 ping pong tables, a game room arcade, the casino, a basketball court, etc. but just imagine 2,200 people and think about how often you could gain access to these entertainment items. If watching other people do things is your idea of Lots to Do, then you will have a great time.
I think that cruising is OK. It is not the greatest thing going, it is not the height of travel experience. I do not like lines. I do not like others in control of my schedule and I really do not like the over-the-top hype that passes for reviews. Try a cruise, but do so with realistic expectations. Consider it about on the level of a Pocono resort weekend.
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