Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by sassysandlin
The Inspiration was my first cruise ship so I don't have another one to compare it to. So, everyone may have had a different experience and opinion but I will be as honest as I can possibly be. This was a special anniversary cruise for my husband and I. Leaving from Tampa on 04/25/09 to ports of call in Grand Cayman & Cozumel and returning to Tampa on 04/30/09.The ship only has one small swimming pool, which is most of the time a very congested area. The water to the slides sometimes got cut off & was very disappointing for the children. It was said to be too windy and for the bigger slide I can understand but not the smaller slides or water park area. Most of the time we didn't have a problem finding a chair unless it was around the congested pool area. Be very careful about buying drinks due to they are very expensive. A funship drink of the day is $6.95 w/a souvenir plastic glass to keep. If you have the glass refilled it is $5.95, which I did not know & now have collection of about 12 glasses. A 16 oz Bud Lite is $4.75 and don't forget the 15% gratuity unless otherwise indicated, which is another thing I learned.....after the fact. We left $100 for gratuity when closing our "sail and sign" account and was unaware that some of it was going to our bar server, when we had already tipped them 15% after each service.The casino is fun but if you double your money in one sitting....walk away with it or you will end up losing it. The slots are basically a waste and don't hit for much. The disco club was alot of fun and the karaoke lounge was also pretty good. The comedy club was good even though our comedian wasn't very funny. It's all a matter of your sense of humor I guess. The food was better than I expected, especially the dinner. You can get two of everything, so order up if there is something you especially like. The staff are really fun to watch dance & sing. And they work very hard to take good care of you. The Maitre D is also a fun spotlight. The burgers on the Lido deck are pretty good and there are variety of different buffets on different days. The tea, juice, & milk are free but soda is not. If you must drink soda I would recommend buying a fountain card & get as much as you want. Or take a small soft travel cooler w/as many as it will hold. There is also only Coca~Cola products on board. There is was a 24 hr pizza and soft serve ice cream bar. And also, room service is free.There was a charge to play bingo, which I thought should be free. There are lots & lots of photo opportunities with no obligation to buy. Around $22 for an 8x10.The steward always kept our room nice and clean. Fresh linens, bath & beach towels. They never bothered anything of mine but they tidied it all up. There were cute towel animals w/chocolates on our bed when we would come in from a long night. Always read your Carnival caper to see what activities are planned for the following day. We were one of the first cruises that the Cozumel port of call got cancelled due to the Swine flu epidemic. There was no back-up plan for another port of call on behalf of Carnival, the captain or upper mgmt. Everyone was fine with their decision to not go to Mexico for our safety, & everyone understood that. They gave $20 back (of our own money) for our government fees and taxes for Cozumel. But there was no compensation or another port of call from Carnival itself. There wasn't a free drink or even a free bingo card. Nothing. Instead of going somewhere else we were at sea and slowly heading back toward Tampa. The stabilizers were out on the ship and it was a pretty rocky ride. I was told by everyone that "I would never know I was on a boat" but I very much did. Since the ship was going so slow to kill the time to get back to Tampa, it was riding each & every wave in the rough & rocky sea. There was plenty of time on Carnival's behalf to make a decision to either stay in Grand Cayman or find another port of call. They knew of the high risk Swine flu epidemic in Mexico but chose to make the decision 9 hrs later. By then it was too late to go back to Grand Cayman but there were other ports of call to go to. A letter was slipped under our door at 11pm, when alot of families are already asleep. They made a vague announcement throughout the ship but if you were asleep or at the disco or casino you couldn't really hear it. There was a hush~hush impromptu meeting the following day for the overwhelming amount of upset passengers. I wanted to scream...then cry, because the only thing Carnival would do was keep us at sea & go slowly back toward Tampa. I knew I couldn't get my children the shell souvenirs I promised them. And I had this awful sinking feeling in my stomach, that I let them down, & thats all they asked for were...some simple seashells. Shells on the beach that we found ourselves...no matter how big or small...& I knew we weren't going to have an opportunity to find any. We live in TN and I knew once we were back in Tampa we would be shuttled away straight to the airport. And Carnival could've cared less. Everyone was stuck on THEIR boat spending money. Buying THEIR souvenirs, THEIR pictures, THEIR drinks, THEIR bingo cards & needless to say, everyone gambling in THEIR casino. Carnival made a killing by having everyone stuck on the ship instead of spending their money at some port of call. In the end, we spent over $700 including the $100 gratuity & I left with a bitter attitude. I felt like cattle being prodded through debarkation. And Carnival preparing for the next new load to embark. Chop Chop...Smiles on everyones faces!!!!!!everyone.....except the the shafted passengers.
sassysandlin’s Full Rating Summary
our room had a picture window, large closet and a very cozy full size bed w/an additional twin bed that could be folded down if needed. there is a mini bar w/pricey canned soda and water, but no alcohol. They also is no hair dryer in the room. it did have a small color flat screen tv and a lighted vanity w/chair. there were also beach towels and robes in the room. view was great and was in a very quiet area. the steward did a wonderful job keeping fresh towels and linens. if there are any handicapped cabins available i would get one of those instead. they have large automatic doors and the bathroom is bigger also. some friends had one and i was jealous of these cool amenities! but ONLY get one if there is one left over...or if you are a heavier set person I would recommend it due, to the regular bathroom and shower are pretty small.
Carnival Inspiration Deck Plans
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
It's very expensive there. My husband bought a 6 pack of canned Bud Lite and it was $12.75. The shops were sorta pricey too. We didn't get many discounts from the locals due to we were the only ship there at the time, & the next day there was to be 3. So it was kinda like an off day for them. Many of the excursions got cancelled due to the weather. We thought we were going to Cozumel so we thought we could pick up souvenirs there....but at the time, we didn't know...that wasn't going to happen. We went on the Nautilus undersea tour. It was pretty neat and a reasonable price of $39.00 each. We saw some Barracuda, stingrays, coral & two shipwrecks. The crew was very nice and were very willing to answer any questions.
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