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We just recently returned from our family vacation aboard Carnival Inspiration - a 5 night cruise with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival is a wonderful family cruise line, catering to the needs of every age group. Going during fall break (10/19/09-10/24/09) meant the kids had other kids to pal around with, however, not so many that "clicks" were formed. According to the cruise director, the number of kids drop to half that of summer and spring breaks -which worked out perfectly for adults and kids alike! We drove down to Tampa, FL on Sunday the 18th and stayed at the Chase Suites Hotel. We purchased the cruise package which allowed us to leave our vehicle on their property during the cruise. The hotel took us to the port and picked us up as well. We received a room with two queen beds and a pull out from the couch which accommodated all five of us nicely. The Chase Suites are not within walking distance to anything; however, they do have a mini basketball and tennis courts along with a pool. We drove to dinner, then came back and played HORSE on the basketball court with the kids. Then it was time to watch Sunday night football, relax, and go to sleep. Embarkation went smoothly and we were on the ship in no time enjoying the lunch buffet on the Lido deck. During our time on board we enjoyed putt-putt golf, ping pong tournaments, Latin dance classes, and much more. This particular cruise had a Halloween party. We did not bring costumes, but it was fun watching those that did. Although we did not see the kids much during the day and night, we always met for dinner and sometimes one out of the three kids would go to breakfast with us! At dinner we had some good meals and some GREAT meals. The lobster & shrimp on elegant night was delicious - not to mention the Bitter and Blanc. Oh my - if you have never tried this chocolate bread pudding you have missed a small part of heaven. The short ribs, lamb chops, and lasagna were also wonderful. The Chateaubriand w/ bEarnaise sauce was really the only disappointment at dinner - so an all around culinary delight! A "Shout Out" to Luis and Eduardo who saw to our every need in the Mardi Gras dinning room. Our room steward was Jerry; he kept everything neat and tidy. He greeted us by name every day and always kept a wonderful smile on his face. All the Carnival employees we came in contact with were wonderful - from the cruise director Skip, to the casino host, to the guy washing down the rails! We had two ports of call - Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We did not get off the boat in Grand Cayman (raining), but we did have an excursion in Cozumel. I found many recommendations for a private beach called Nachi Cocom on the Cruise Critic boards. I booked a reservation on-line prior to leaving for the cruise along with a massage for my husband. The beach limits the number of people to 100 per day and for our stay there were only 30-40 people there - it was heaven! Included in the $49 price (adult) and approx. $29 (kids) was unlimited beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and a three course meal (adults) or two course meal (children). We had nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and fried chicken tacos. The food was quite good. They have a fresh water pool right on the beach which had a swim-up bar. The kids loved this (so did my husband) and we ended up spending most of our time in the pool! There was a Jacuzzi right beside the pool for adults only which felt really good. This place was worth it! Debarkation was fairly stress free - it would have been completely stress free if people would have waited for their deck to be called for self-debarkation - like they were asked to do - but there is always going to be those who don't listen or frankly just don't care. Overall it was a wonderful fall get-a-way! Going in October was a nice change in terms of crowd control and kid overload - give it a try!

Fall Break Cruising!

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by activeac

Trip Details
We just recently returned from our family vacation aboard Carnival Inspiration - a 5 night cruise with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival is a wonderful family cruise line, catering to the needs of every age group. Going during fall break (10/19/09-10/24/09) meant the kids had other kids to pal around with, however, not so many that "clicks" were formed. According to the cruise director, the number of kids drop to half that of summer and spring breaks -which worked out perfectly for adults and kids alike!
We drove down to Tampa, FL on Sunday the 18th and stayed at the Chase Suites Hotel. We purchased the cruise package which allowed us to leave our vehicle on their property during the cruise. The hotel took us to the port and picked us up as well. We received a room with two queen beds and a pull out from the couch which accommodated all five of us nicely. The Chase Suites are not within walking distance to anything; however, they do have a mini basketball and tennis courts along with a pool. We drove to dinner, then came back and played HORSE on the basketball court with the kids. Then it was time to watch Sunday night football, relax, and go to sleep. Embarkation went smoothly and we were on the ship in no time enjoying the lunch buffet on the Lido deck. During our time on board we enjoyed putt-putt golf, ping pong tournaments, Latin dance classes, and much more. This particular cruise had a Halloween party. We did not bring costumes, but it was fun watching those that did. Although we did not see the kids much during the day and night, we always met for dinner and sometimes one out of the three kids would go to breakfast with us!
At dinner we had some good meals and some GREAT meals. The lobster & shrimp on elegant night was delicious - not to mention the Bitter and Blanc. Oh my - if you have never tried this chocolate bread pudding you have missed a small part of heaven. The short ribs, lamb chops, and lasagna were also wonderful. The Chateaubriand w/ bEarnaise sauce was really the only disappointment at dinner - so an all around culinary delight! A "Shout Out" to Luis and Eduardo who saw to our every need in the Mardi Gras dinning room. Our room steward was Jerry; he kept everything neat and tidy. He greeted us by name every day and always kept a wonderful smile on his face. All the Carnival employees we came in contact with were wonderful - from the cruise director Skip, to the casino host, to the guy washing down the rails! We had two ports of call - Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We did not get off the boat in Grand Cayman (raining), but we did have an excursion in Cozumel. I found many recommendations for a private beach called Nachi Cocom on the Cruise Critic boards. I booked a reservation on-line prior to leaving for the cruise along with a massage for my husband. The beach limits the number of people to 100 per day and for our stay there were only 30-40 people there - it was heaven! Included in the $49 price (adult) and approx. $29 (kids) was unlimited beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and a three course meal (adults) or two course meal (children). We had nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and fried chicken tacos. The food was quite good. They have a fresh water pool right on the beach which had a swim-up bar. The kids loved this (so did my husband) and we ended up spending most of our time in the pool! There was a Jacuzzi right beside the pool for adults only which felt really good. This place was worth it! Debarkation was fairly stress free - it would have been completely stress free if people would have waited for their deck to be called for self-debarkation - like they were asked to do - but there is always going to be those who don't listen or frankly just don't care.
Overall it was a wonderful fall get-a-way! Going in October was a nice change in terms of crowd control and kid overload - give it a try!
activeac’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin M41
Spacious for an inside cabin. Nice and dark for sleeping!
  Carnival Inspiration Deck Plans