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My wife and I were looking at spending some "Quality" time with our grown grandsons; we decided to book this cruise in October. It fit the bill as pricing and timing were just what were looking for. Also, having explored the ports of Avalon Catalina and Ensenada Mexico on previous trips and were less concerned with the itinerary than the overall cruise experience. Neither Grandson had cruised before so they had no previous expectations. Embarkation We are familiar with the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) having sailed from there on many occasions. However, we had not sailed from Long Beach in many years so we had some catching up to do. We arrived at 12:00 in the afternoon and parked in easy walking distance after dropping our bags. Parking is $19 a day and in a covered garage. We lined up outside the terminal in the shade and were on board in less than an hour. Terminal personnel were very friendly and helpful throughout. We boarded at the 7th deck atrium, a multi decked meeting, mingling and mixing space similar in design to the Piazza on Princess ships but, the decor was black and neon. Once on board we were informed that our stateroom would be ready in less than half and hour and that we could drop our luggage beforehand. We then toured the ship. Ship Yes, the Inspiration is an older ship, being built in 1996. She was refurbished recently with the 2.0 update that included new themed bars, Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina. The water park was also expanded during the retrofit. Overall, the ship was clean and well maintained. Passengers largely consisted of families with small children, young adults and young couples. A few senior citizens rounded out the passenger roster. Touring the ship we headed to the uppermost decks and visited the mini-golf and sport deck. The grand boys spent many evenings practicing their putting there. Also, they were excited to visit the water park which had a long twisting water slide. Moving forward we explored the Spa area that included the gym, dressing rooms, sauna and steam room. We next moved down to the Lido deck and explored the pool area, making note of the Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint. Both venues got plenty of use during the cruise. Lastly, we toured the Brassiere Bar and Grill. This is more of a buffet and less of a bar and grill as I did not see any food preparation other than sandwiches being put together taking place there. Moving down a couple of decks were visited the Promenade deck, home of the casino, shops, Paris theater, photo gallery and various clubs. We ended up at that Serenity area which is an adult only area with a couple of whirlpools. We moved down another a deck and visited the Atlantic deck and toured the Carnvale dining room where we would enjoy many great meals. We ended up at deck 6 or Upper deck our home away from home. Cabin We booked a single ocean view cabin with 4 berths. This was an experiment of sorts to see how the millennial generation would adapt to the baby boomers. The experiment proved to be successful as no lab rats I mean passengers were harmed during the making of this cruise. With the 2 fold down berths folded up it was easy to get around the cabin with some traffic controls in place. With the berths down however, it was more like a yoga class combined with the traffic jams found on the Los Angeles Freeways. We found the mornings to be problematic with the biggest bottle necks and some of us used the locker room and showers in the spa to reduce waiting times and congestion. The mattresses were newer and firm. The flat screen TV was small and located in corner. The TV had one movie channel, news stations, kid options and the usual carnival programming. Each berth had its own reading light that was conveniently located in such a way that it did not shine on the other berths. The shower was ample in size and a welcome change to those found on Princess Ships. Our room steward Manuel kept our stateroom well supplied with towels and soap. The cabin was outfitted with one desk with drawers, ottoman, one chair, a couple of small end tables with storage and 4 floor to ceiling cabinets for clothing. One of the cabinets had a safe that was locked via a magnetic strip charge card. We used casino cards for this safe and it worked just fine. Dining Or FTTF (faster to the food). Our cabin was conveniently located next to the aft elevators on the Upper deck or deck 6 so we took the stairs either to the Atlantic deck and the Carnivale dining room or up to Lido deck and the buffet. We dined in the Carnivale dining room most nights and enjoyed our breakfasts and lunched in either the buffet, Guy's or the Cantina. I was pleasantly surprised as the food was quite well prepared in all the venues with the exception of the Dr. Suess Green Eggs and Ham breakfast which arrived to our table cold. I especially liked the smaller portions. A real gem or find was the Blue Iguana Cantina which serves up a great breakfast, eggs, burritos, omelettes made to order. Next time we will spend more time there for breakfast. The food in the buffet was less varied but, still good. Guy's hamburger joint was fun and flavorful. Entertainment Or STTE (slower to the entertainment) our cabin was located aft so this is where we got our exercise walking to a from the various entertainment venues. The GG or Grand Guys enjoyed miniature golf, Water Park, pool, Serenity area and the expansive library. We saw a couple of shows after dinner and found them quite good. Also, we saw the Hasbro game show, a must see in my opinion. The Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast was geared for the little ones and the meal was colorful but, cold. My wife and I have a soft spot in our hearts for Dr. Seuss, as we renewed our vows one year with a Dr. Seuss theme. The casino was small in size but, never overcrowded. The clubs had various performers that were quite talented and we enjoyed the music. Service This the area where Carnival "gets it". All staff we encountered on this trip was friendly, helpful and "on purpose". Of particular note our room steward Manuel was always available and kept our room neat and well stocked. Our servers in the Carnivale dining room, waiter and assistant waiter Anthony and Arthur were always prompt and helpful. Their suggestions were spot on and they memorized our names. Nice touch. Did I mention that they dance? They put on quite a show at the conclusion of the meal also, not to be missed. Overall the "energy" of this crew sets this ship apart from other cruises we have been on. Other crew members encountered during our daily activities were courteous and helpful. The service is what will bring me back to Carnival. Ports and Shore Excursions We booked a zip line adventure for the Guys through Carnival. We accompanied the tour group by golf cart during a large part of the excursion. This zip line company does a great job and makes the experience fun informative and entertaining. The instructors Brittany and Brandy did a terrific job, Kudos to Brittany and Brandy. Safety is of course of a primary concern and this company has put together a well thought out and safe excursion. There were 5 zip lines and the tour took about 3 hours start to finish. In Ensenada we were on our own and using the shuttle tour company Del Mar tours we booked a Bufadora excursion. We had visited this many years ago and it has gone through many improvements through the years. The road to the attraction has been repaved and there are now clean bathrooms in several locations. The best fish and shrimp tacos can also be found located behind the shuttle bus and taxi parking lot. The Bufadora did not disappoint and we got a good shower while filming the attraction. Before going to this attraction I would recommend checking the tide charts to see what time high tide is to get the best experience. My only complaint for this tour was the wasted time spent "introducing" us to the various vendors that are "guaranteed" to give us a "good price". I understand that the tour company gets reimbursement from both tourists and vendors. I would recommend to those taking this tour to go ahead of the tour guide so that you can spend more time on your own. Disembarkation We were assigned group 12. We brought our bags up to the Blue Iguana Cantina and had a great breakfast. We played cards for a couple of hours and disembarked, cleared customs, picked up our bags and drove out of the parking lot by 10:00 a.m. All in all disembarkation went very smooth. In conclusion, this cruise proves that two generations can coexist in harmony and in fact can have fun doing it in the same stateroom. My wife and I would repeat this cruise in a heart beat but, would probably do so next time in separate staterooms. Disclaimer: no laboratory rats or passengers were harmed during the production or planning of this cruise.

FTTF but STTE or Faster To The Food but Slower To The Entertainment

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by BEFdoc

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
My wife and I were looking at spending some "Quality" time with our grown grandsons; we decided to book this cruise in October. It fit the bill as pricing and timing were just what were looking for. Also, having explored the ports of Avalon Catalina and Ensenada Mexico on previous trips and were less concerned with the itinerary than the overall cruise experience. Neither Grandson had cruised before so they had no previous expectations.

Embarkation

We are familiar with the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) having sailed from there on many occasions. However, we had not sailed from Long Beach in many years so we had some catching up to do. We arrived at 12:00 in the afternoon and parked in easy walking distance after dropping our bags. Parking is $19 a day and in a covered garage. We lined up outside the terminal in the shade and were on board in less than an hour. Terminal personnel were very friendly and helpful throughout.

We boarded at the 7th deck atrium, a multi decked meeting, mingling and mixing space similar in design to the Piazza on Princess ships but, the decor was black and neon. Once on board we were informed that our stateroom would be ready in less than half and hour and that we could drop our luggage beforehand. We then toured the ship.

Ship

Yes, the Inspiration is an older ship, being built in 1996. She was refurbished recently with the 2.0 update that included new themed bars, Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina. The water park was also expanded during the retrofit. Overall, the ship was clean and well maintained.

Passengers largely consisted of families with small children, young adults and young couples. A few senior citizens rounded out the passenger roster.

Touring the ship we headed to the uppermost decks and visited the mini-golf and sport deck. The grand boys spent many evenings practicing their putting there. Also, they were excited to visit the water park which had a long twisting water slide. Moving forward we explored the Spa area that included the gym, dressing rooms, sauna and steam room. We next moved down to the Lido deck and explored the pool area, making note of the Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint. Both venues got plenty of use during the cruise. Lastly, we toured the Brassiere Bar and Grill. This is more of a buffet and less of a bar and grill as I did not see any food preparation other than sandwiches being put together taking place there.

Moving down a couple of decks were visited the Promenade deck, home of the casino, shops, Paris theater, photo gallery and various clubs. We ended up at that Serenity area which is an adult only area with a couple of whirlpools. We moved down another a deck and visited the Atlantic deck and toured the Carnvale dining room where we would enjoy many great meals. We ended up at deck 6 or Upper deck our home away from home.

Cabin

We booked a single ocean view cabin with 4 berths. This was an experiment of sorts to see how the millennial generation would adapt to the baby boomers. The experiment proved to be successful as no lab rats I mean passengers were harmed during the making of this cruise. With the 2 fold down berths folded up it was easy to get around the cabin with some traffic controls in place. With the berths down however, it was more like a yoga class combined with the traffic jams found on the Los Angeles Freeways. We found the mornings to be problematic with the biggest bottle necks and some of us used the locker room and showers in the spa to reduce waiting times and congestion.

The mattresses were newer and firm. The flat screen TV was small and located in corner. The TV had one movie channel, news stations, kid options and the usual carnival programming. Each berth had its own reading light that was conveniently located in such a way that it did not shine on the other berths. The shower was ample in size and a welcome change to those found on Princess Ships. Our room steward Manuel kept our stateroom well supplied with towels and soap. The cabin was outfitted with one desk with drawers, ottoman, one chair, a couple of small end tables with storage and 4 floor to ceiling cabinets for clothing. One of the cabinets had a safe that was locked via a magnetic strip charge card. We used casino cards for this safe and it worked just fine.

Dining

Or FTTF (faster to the food). Our cabin was conveniently located next to the aft elevators on the Upper deck or deck 6 so we took the stairs either to the Atlantic deck and the Carnivale dining room or up to Lido deck and the buffet. We dined in the Carnivale dining room most nights and enjoyed our breakfasts and lunched in either the buffet, Guy's or the Cantina. I was pleasantly surprised as the food was quite well prepared in all the venues with the exception of the Dr. Suess Green Eggs and Ham breakfast which arrived to our table cold. I especially liked the smaller portions. A real gem or find was the Blue Iguana Cantina which serves up a great breakfast, eggs, burritos, omelettes made to order. Next time we will spend more time there for breakfast. The food in the buffet was less varied but, still good. Guy's hamburger joint was fun and flavorful.

Entertainment

Or STTE (slower to the entertainment) our cabin was located aft so this is where we got our exercise walking to a from the various entertainment venues. The GG or Grand Guys enjoyed miniature golf, Water Park, pool, Serenity area and the expansive library. We saw a couple of shows after dinner and found them quite good. Also, we saw the Hasbro game show, a must see in my opinion. The Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast was geared for the little ones and the meal was colorful but, cold. My wife and I have a soft spot in our hearts for Dr. Seuss, as we renewed our vows one year with a Dr. Seuss theme. The casino was small in size but, never overcrowded. The clubs had various performers that were quite talented and we enjoyed the music.

Service

This the area where Carnival "gets it". All staff we encountered on this trip was friendly, helpful and "on purpose". Of particular note our room steward Manuel was always available and kept our room neat and well stocked. Our servers in the Carnivale dining room, waiter and assistant waiter Anthony and Arthur were always prompt and helpful. Their suggestions were spot on and they memorized our names. Nice touch. Did I mention that they dance? They put on quite a show at the conclusion of the meal also, not to be missed. Overall the "energy" of this crew sets this ship apart from other cruises we have been on. Other crew members encountered during our daily activities were courteous and helpful. The service is what will bring me back to Carnival.

Ports and Shore Excursions

We booked a zip line adventure for the Guys through Carnival. We accompanied the tour group by golf cart during a large part of the excursion. This zip line company does a great job and makes the experience fun informative and entertaining. The instructors Brittany and Brandy did a terrific job, Kudos to Brittany and Brandy. Safety is of course of a primary concern and this company has put together a well thought out and safe excursion. There were 5 zip lines and the tour took about 3 hours start to finish.

In Ensenada we were on our own and using the shuttle tour company Del Mar tours we booked a Bufadora excursion. We had visited this many years ago and it has gone through many improvements through the years. The road to the attraction has been repaved and there are now clean bathrooms in several locations. The best fish and shrimp tacos can also be found located behind the shuttle bus and taxi parking lot. The Bufadora did not disappoint and we got a good shower while filming the attraction. Before going to this attraction I would recommend checking the tide charts to see what time high tide is to get the best experience. My only complaint for this tour was the wasted time spent "introducing" us to the various vendors that are "guaranteed" to give us a "good price". I understand that the tour company gets reimbursement from both tourists and vendors. I would recommend to those taking this tour to go ahead of the tour guide so that you can spend more time on your own.

Disembarkation

We were assigned group 12. We brought our bags up to the Blue Iguana Cantina and had a great breakfast. We played cards for a couple of hours and disembarked, cleared customs, picked up our bags and drove out of the parking lot by 10:00 a.m. All in all disembarkation went very smooth.

In conclusion, this cruise proves that two generations can coexist in harmony and in fact can have fun doing it in the same stateroom. My wife and I would repeat this cruise in a heart beat but, would probably do so next time in separate staterooms.

Disclaimer: no laboratory rats or passengers were harmed during the production or planning of this cruise.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6C U 178
Cabin
We booked a single ocean view cabin with 4 berths. This was an experiment of sorts to see how the millennial generation would adapt to the baby boomers. The experiment proved to be successful as no lab rats I mean passengers were harmed during the making of this cruise. With the 2 fold down berths folded up it was easy to get around the cabin with some traffic controls in place. With the berths down however, it was more like a yoga class combined with the traffic jams found on the Los Angeles Freeways. We found the mornings to be problematic with the biggest bottle necks and some of us used the locker room and showers in the spa to reduce waiting times and congestion.

The mattresses were newer and firm. The flat screen TV was small and located in corner. The TV had one movie channel, news stations, kid options and the usual carnival programming. Each berth had it's own reading light that was conveniently located in such a way that it did not shine on the other berths. The shower was ample in size and a welcome change to those found on Princess ships. Our room steward Manuel kept our stateroom well supplied with towels and soap. The cabin was outfitted with one desk with drawers, ottoman, one chair, a couple of small end tables with storage and 4 floor to ceiling cabinets for clothing. One of the cabinets had a safe that was locked via a magnetic strip charge card. We used casino cards for this safe and it worked just fine.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

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