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We took this cruise to Ensenada with our extended family, 18 in all, from ages 8-93. We're apparently not cruise snobs, and overall we had a very good time. Having read many reviews here, I didn't have high expectations for the food, but we found it to be very good. At dinner at the Mardi Gras, we encountered no rubbery meat, and since we could order as many appetizers and entrees as we wanted and there were 18 of us, we tried just about everything. The flatiron steak and salmon were favorites. The breakfast buffet had a huge variety of options and no one went hungry, it was quite the opposite. The burger place was very good, as many have reported. The crew was very personable and helpful, and our Mardi Gras waiter XZ (yes, that's his name) was a lot of fun. We were disappointed that his section was already occupied on Saturday, but we got there early enough on Sunday to be able to request him again. My daughter and niece (age 16 & 15) LOVED Club 02, and made many new friends from all sorts of backgrounds. (They are texting with some of them right now.) One 17 year old was sad that this would be the last time he would be able to go to Club 02. The kids enjoyed the poolside activities, as well as the waterslide and miniature golfing. The Ensenada zip line/waterpark was great, everyone found something they enjoyed, including horseback riding. The zip lines were terrific - most were very long runs, and there were four "bridges" connecting the runs that really challenged those with balance issues. One thing that turned me off was all the smoking in and around the casino. A large part of deck 9 was smoky as a result, and that's where a lot of the better places to be were at night, so it took some of the fun out of being there, at least for me, but I'm touchy about that, my wife wasn't bothered. I guess they have to keep their gamblers happy. I was concerned that there would be a lot of drunks, since there were so many young singles and party-animal types on board. There were enough of them that we didn't feel comfortable with our teenage daughters wanting to roam around with their new friends after Club 02 closed at 1:00am. My wife got an icky "Hey Baby" from a couple of middle aged drunks on Sunday at around noon, and some smashed 20-something dude pounded relentlessly on my door at 1:30 Monday morning until I finally woke up completely, got up and confronted him. My brother-in-law next door came out to see what was going on and says that after I slammed the door on him that he then vomited on the wall and floor outside the room. It was very quickly cleaned up though, and there was no evidence 30 minutes later when my son came in. Lenny Schmidt was terrific, we caught his stand-up at the Punchliner. He ripped (not riffed!) hilariously on a bunch of late-arriving knuckleheads for most of the last half of his R+18 act on Sunday night and everyone (the knuckleheads included) loved it. The 20-somethings in our group really liked the Rock'nRoll Nightclub and Karaoke. A bunch of us liked the Playlist Productions: Motor City song and dance show too. I'm rating this very good, but I'd bet that some of our group would rate it as excellent.

We'll do it again!

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by StanDahl

22 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We took this cruise to Ensenada with our extended family, 18 in all, from ages 8-93. We're apparently not cruise snobs, and overall we had a very good time. Having read many reviews here, I didn't have high expectations for the food, but we found it to be very good. At dinner at the Mardi Gras, we encountered no rubbery meat, and since we could order as many appetizers and entrees as we wanted and there were 18 of us, we tried just about everything. The flatiron steak and salmon were favorites. The breakfast buffet had a huge variety of options and no one went hungry, it was quite the opposite. The burger place was very good, as many have reported.

The crew was very personable and helpful, and our Mardi Gras waiter XZ (yes, that's his name) was a lot of fun. We were disappointed that his section was already occupied on Saturday, but we got there early enough on Sunday to be able to request him again.

My daughter and niece (age 16 & 15) LOVED Club 02, and made many new friends from all sorts of backgrounds. (They are texting with some of them right now.) One 17 year old was sad that this would be the last time he would be able to go to Club 02. The kids enjoyed the poolside activities, as well as the waterslide and miniature golfing. The Ensenada zip line/waterpark was great, everyone found something they enjoyed, including horseback riding. The zip lines were terrific - most were very long runs, and there were four "bridges" connecting the runs that really challenged those with balance issues.

One thing that turned me off was all the smoking in and around the casino. A large part of deck 9 was smoky as a result, and that's where a lot of the better places to be were at night, so it took some of the fun out of being there, at least for me, but I'm touchy about that, my wife wasn't bothered. I guess they have to keep their gamblers happy. I was concerned that there would be a lot of drunks, since there were so many young singles and party-animal types on board. There were enough of them that we didn't feel comfortable with our teenage daughters wanting to roam around with their new friends after Club 02 closed at 1:00am. My wife got an icky "Hey Baby" from a couple of middle aged drunks on Sunday at around noon, and some smashed 20-something dude pounded relentlessly on my door at 1:30 Monday morning until I finally woke up completely, got up and confronted him. My brother-in-law next door came out to see what was going on and says that after I slammed the door on him that he then vomited on the wall and floor outside the room. It was very quickly cleaned up though, and there was no evidence 30 minutes later when my son came in.

Lenny Schmidt was terrific, we caught his stand-up at the Punchliner. He ripped (not riffed!) hilariously on a bunch of late-arriving knuckleheads for most of the last half of his R+18 act on Sunday night and everyone (the knuckleheads included) loved it. The 20-somethings in our group really liked the Rock'nRoll Nightclub and Karaoke. A bunch of us liked the Playlist Productions: Motor City song and dance show too.

I'm rating this very good, but I'd bet that some of our group would rate it as excellent.
StanDahl’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4B
We didn't do much more than sleep and change there, but the rooms were nice, the beds comfortable, the bathrooms large enough to use easily. No funky or foul odors.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins