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I have been on 4 other cruise lines but chose Carnival for this particular cruise because I was travelling with my 20 year old daughter. Having heard Carnival's reputation as "one big party" I thought it would really appeal to her. That was a mistake! The trip started out perfect, we left Toronto at 11:30am Sunday and arrived in Tampa, collected our luggage and the Carnival Rep at the airport had us on the bus and to the Port in less than half an hour. It was 3:00PM, no line up and we were on the ship and in our stateroom in less than 10 minutes, our luggage arrived a few minutes later. In all the cruises I've been on I have never gotten my luggage that quickly. I had requested early seating but soon found out that that was a request only, I booked this cruise a year ago so I don't understand why it was a request only, it should be first request first serve. Spoke to the Maitre D, he did manage to arrange first seating. We only went to the dining room twice. In my opinion there was not much of a selection, perhaps I'm spoiled by RCL and Celebrity, but Carnival only had 2 kinds of salads, garden and Caesar, one soup and a choice of 3 entrees, none of which I enjoyed (other than the lobster). We went to the Brasserie for 5 nights, again, not much of a selection for a buffet, a quarter of the selection that other lines have. 2 things carnival does do well, cinnamon buns, absolutely delicious and hamburgers, served at both lunch and supper in the Brasserie they must have had a 1/4 pound of hamburger in them, excellent. Room service was ok if you wanted a light sandwich or continental breakfast again, not even close to the selection of other lines. The ship itself is 7 years old and really showing its age, the carpets were stained and tattered and just showing its age in general. Ports of call were very good, my daughter swam with the sting rays in Grand Cayman the ship excursion was $69 US we paid $35 each on the pier. You can touch them, pet them, feed them swim with them, I've been on many tours, it was the best. Costa Maya, not really a place, it looks like someone made a port in a mexican seaside village and invited the cruise ships in, I found out all the little shops in the port mall are owned by a cruise ship consortium and the vendors rent space. Cozumel is beautiful, we shopped had lunch at Carlos N Charlies and then hit the beach. Very strong undertow, I was walking along the beach when a wave hit me and pulled me right in, it took a few minutes to get out, minus my bathing suit top. Belize is very charming, we went to the Mayan ruins and rainforest tour. $80 US on the ship, we paid $40 on the pier. Our guide Manny spoke excellent english and gave us a wonderful tour, he grew up in the village near the ruins and told us that as a child he and his friends played in the tombs, he said they didn't understand what it meant when the archaeologists arrived to explore. I've seen many ruins, these were by far the most impressive. It is a 25 minute tender from ship to shore, you can barely see Belize from were the ship anchors. I didn't see any of the shows, my daughter said they were ok. The drinking age is 21, however they did serve her in some of the lounges. I never saw the room steward despite paging her on numerous occasions. We were not able to control the room temperature so we requested extra blankets, we never did get them. We sent laundry to the cleaners and were told it would be back the same day by 7:00pm, 3 days later I had to fight with the pursers desk to get it back. Minus a pair of pants. Eventually we gave up trying to find them, I thought rather than argue I would hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. They automatically deducted gratuities, I adjusted to $ .00! I know these people depend on tips and I normally give more for good service, in this case I feel it was not deserved. The worst of the trip was on our final day, we were told that if we weren't in the lineup to get our passports bach by 10:00am we would be charged $250.00 US, we were there on time, waited in line almost 2 hours to get our passports and were then sent to a lounge to await our color being called to disembark, at 12:30 we were called. Got our luggage and boarded the bus. There was a couple on the bus who had a 1:30 flight, when they asked the Carnival rep if they would make it he said, "no problem" we got to the airport and were made to sit on the bus for half an hour. The young couple finally went to the front of the bus and asked if they could get off to make the flight and were told no. None of us got off until after 1:00, the last I heard that couple were being given the run around. That same rep refused to open the luggage hold because someone had "given him a hard time" he made us wait 10 minutes, before opening the cargo hold. I would not recommend Carnival, its no the worst vacation I've ever had, but all the other cruise lines I've been on are much more upscale, why pay the same amount of money, when you can get so much better elsewhere.

Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by D Gardner

Trip Details
I have been on 4 other cruise lines but chose Carnival for this particular cruise because I was travelling with my 20 year old daughter. Having heard Carnival's reputation as "one big party" I thought it would really appeal to her. That was a mistake! The trip started out perfect, we left Toronto at 11:30am Sunday and arrived in Tampa, collected our luggage and the Carnival Rep at the airport had us on the bus and to the Port in less than half an hour. It was 3:00PM, no line up and we were on the ship and in our stateroom in less than 10 minutes, our luggage arrived a few minutes later. In all the cruises I've been on I have never gotten my luggage that quickly.
I had requested early seating but soon found out that that was a request only, I booked this cruise a year ago so I don't understand why it was a request only, it should be first request first serve. Spoke to the Maitre D, he did manage to arrange first seating. We only went to the dining room twice. In my opinion there was not much of a selection, perhaps I'm spoiled by RCL and Celebrity, but Carnival only had 2 kinds of salads, garden and Caesar, one soup and a choice of 3 entrees, none of which I enjoyed (other than the lobster). We went to the Brasserie for 5 nights, again, not much of a selection for a buffet, a quarter of the selection that other lines have. 2 things carnival does do well, cinnamon buns, absolutely delicious and hamburgers, served at both lunch and supper in the Brasserie they must have had a 1/4 pound of hamburger in them, excellent.
Room service was ok if you wanted a light sandwich or continental breakfast again, not even close to the selection of other lines. The ship itself is 7 years old and really showing its age, the carpets were stained and tattered and just showing its age in general.
Ports of call were very good, my daughter swam with the sting rays in Grand Cayman the ship excursion was $69 US we paid $35 each on the pier. You can touch them, pet them, feed them swim with them, I've been on many tours, it was the best. Costa Maya, not really a place, it looks like someone made a port in a mexican seaside village and invited the cruise ships in, I found out all the little shops in the port mall are owned by a cruise ship consortium and the vendors rent space. Cozumel is beautiful, we shopped had lunch at Carlos N Charlies and then hit the beach. Very strong undertow, I was walking along the beach when a wave hit me and pulled me right in, it took a few minutes to get out, minus my bathing suit top. Belize is very charming, we went to the Mayan ruins and rainforest tour. $80 US on the ship, we paid $40 on the pier. Our guide Manny spoke excellent english and gave us a wonderful tour, he grew up in the village near the ruins and told us that as a child he and his friends played in the tombs, he said they didn't understand what it meant when the archaeologists arrived to explore. I've seen many ruins, these were by far the most impressive. It is a 25 minute tender from ship to shore, you can barely see Belize from were the ship anchors. I didn't see any of the shows, my daughter said they were ok. The drinking age is 21, however they did serve her in some of the lounges.
I never saw the room steward despite paging her on numerous occasions. We were not able to control the room temperature so we requested extra blankets, we never did get them. We sent laundry to the cleaners and were told it would be back the same day by 7:00pm, 3 days later I had to fight with the pursers desk to get it back. Minus a pair of pants. Eventually we gave up trying to find them, I thought rather than argue I would hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. They automatically deducted gratuities, I adjusted to $ .00! I know these people depend on tips and I normally give more for good service, in this case I feel it was not deserved. The worst of the trip was on our final day, we were told that if we weren't in the lineup to get our passports bach by 10:00am we would be charged $250.00 US, we were there on time, waited in line almost 2 hours to get our passports and were then sent to a lounge to await our color being called to disembark, at 12:30 we were called.
Got our luggage and boarded the bus. There was a couple on the bus who had a 1:30 flight, when they asked the Carnival rep if they would make it he said, "no problem" we got to the airport and were made to sit on the bus for half an hour. The young couple finally went to the front of the bus and asked if they could get off to make the flight and were told no. None of us got off until after 1:00, the last I heard that couple were being given the run around. That same rep refused to open the luggage hold because someone had "given him a hard time" he made us wait 10 minutes, before opening the cargo hold. I would not recommend Carnival, its no the worst vacation I've ever had, but all the other cruise lines I've been on are much more upscale, why pay the same amount of money, when you can get so much better elsewhere.
D Gardner’s Full Rating Summary
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