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A little background first. This was my second cruise aboard the Inspiration. The first time was in November 2008 with my wife. Since we had such a great time back then, we decided to bring our kids (ages 12 & 14) and my parents along the second time around. We drove down from New Jersey and did a couple of days at Disney prior to the cruise. An excellent way to start any vacation, but that's another story. The embarkation process was very easy. We unloaded our luggage at the terminal, parked across the street in the parking deck and then waited in line for about 20 minutes to get checked in at the terminal. The boarding process consisted of waiting for our boarding number to be called, getting our picture taken and walking on. By 11:45 AM we were on board with food and drink in hand. What more can you ask for? After our meal, we explored the ship, located our dining table, and signed up the kids for the Circle C Club. The rooms were made available by 1:30 pm. Our luggage showed up about an hour or so after that. What made this trip as special as the first was that my wife and I booked our own cabin (E48), with our kids in the adjoining room (E52). I don't think I need to say much more about that. Our cabin was an interior room located just forward of the Grand Atrium. The location was perfect. No noise issues. Actually, we had no issues with our rooms. Our room steward was Erni and she took care of everything, towel animals and all. We had the late seating for dinner (8:15 pm) in the Carnivale Dining Room. Our table for 6 was perfect, though after the second night it became a table of 4. The kids made other plans. George the Greek was our very entertaining Maitre d', OPA! Our servers were James and Putri. Overall, the service and food was excellent. We had the chocolate melting cake every night! Having cruised Carnival before, I must admit that I missed the dining room staff's signature dance number "Hot, Hot, Hot." Who doesn't love a conga line? Apparently the Carnival CEO doesn't. What a buzz kill. Our first day at sea was great, lots of sun and fun. We did the waterslides, soaked up some rays, and discovered Mango daiquiris. Later that night we got dressed up for the Captain's Dinner. It was a very nice affair, but I never saw the Captain. Then again, I wasn't really looking for him. Did I forget to mention there were LOTS of picture opportunities? LOTS! If I had one real complaint, this is it. They took far too many pictures over the course of the cruise. I'm not complaining about the picture stations, because those are optional and we did buy several. I'm talking about the annoying, not so optional picture moments at every meal, off and on at every port, and with various crew members pretending to be a Mexican, a Pirate, a Showgirl, etc... Well maybe the Showgirl one wasn't that bad. Our first port of call was Grand Cayman and the weather was perfect. After getting our passports stamped (a cool turtle stamp), we grabbed a cab and headed to the Royal Palms Beach Club. $4.00 a person for the cab and the beach was free. We snorkeled for hours, soaked up more rays and I got a bucket of ice cold Corona's. Life doesn't get much better than that. The cab ride back proved to be very entertaining. We had a wannabe New York City cab driver who broke nearly every motor vehicle law and then ended our ride with his rendition of a "Bad Man's Prayer." The shopping seemed a little dull after that. Back on ship, we enjoyed our first past guest party in the Paris Lounge. Cruise Director Skip Lyons emceed the party and there were plenty of free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. It was a nice event. The scary thing here was that I accidentally left my camcorder and camera in the lounge. Thanks to an observant and honest employee, I was reunited with my belongings the next morning. Our second port of call was Cozumel and the weather was NOT so perfect. Hurricane Ida was making her way towards us so the waters started to get a little rough and the rains followed. We had booked the Mayan Ruins of Tulum shore excursion on the mainland, which means you had to take another boat to Playa Del Carmen. Not your 855 ft cruise ship, but something much smaller. Let's just say that some people weren't feeling well. Despite the weather, we really enjoyed the tour, in large part because of our tour guide Carlos. The only downside was that the beach was closed, thanks again to Ida. Our last day at sea was spent trying to get away from Ida. It was so windy that the upper decks and waterslides were closed. We found plenty of other things to do though; a tour of the ships galley, a little blackjack at the casino, and a thorough soaking in the hot tub, just to name a few. We capped of our last night with some sing along in the Violins Bar and dancing in the disco. Our children really enjoyed the Club Circle C program. Their counselor Laura was great. There was always something for them to do; dance parties, scavenger hunts, video games, etc... It was also a great idea getting them the unlimited drink card on the first day. My wife utilized the fitness center everyday and took several exercise classes. She found the fitness equipment more than satisfactory, but felt there was room for improvement with the classes. She also had her hair put in an "up do" at the spa for formal night. She was very happy with it. My last complaint is purely a personal one. Being that we are non-smokers, certain areas of the ship were obviously less enjoyable than others. The two worst areas, in my opinion, were the casino and the piano bar. The piano bar was so bad that we never even ventured in there. It would have been nice to sing along with the piano man. As for the disembarkation, I had no complaints. My post-cruise blues were setting in so nothing really fazed me. At least the weather cooperated. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone. I am already planning my next Carnival cruise.

Second Time's a Charm.

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by Title39

Trip Details
A little background first. This was my second cruise aboard the Inspiration. The first time was in November 2008 with my wife. Since we had such a great time back then, we decided to bring our kids (ages 12 & 14) and my parents along the second time around. We drove down from New Jersey and did a couple of days at Disney prior to the cruise. An excellent way to start any vacation, but that's another story.
The embarkation process was very easy. We unloaded our luggage at the terminal, parked across the street in the parking deck and then waited in line for about 20 minutes to get checked in at the terminal. The boarding process consisted of waiting for our boarding number to be called, getting our picture taken and walking on. By 11:45 AM we were on board with food and drink in hand. What more can you ask for? After our meal, we explored the ship, located our dining table, and signed up the kids for the Circle C Club.
The rooms were made available by 1:30 pm. Our luggage showed up about an hour or so after that. What made this trip as special as the first was that my wife and I booked our own cabin (E48), with our kids in the adjoining room (E52). I don't think I need to say much more about that. Our cabin was an interior room located just forward of the Grand Atrium. The location was perfect. No noise issues. Actually, we had no issues with our rooms. Our room steward was Erni and she took care of everything, towel animals and all.
We had the late seating for dinner (8:15 pm) in the Carnivale Dining Room. Our table for 6 was perfect, though after the second night it became a table of 4. The kids made other plans. George the Greek was our very entertaining Maitre d', OPA! Our servers were James and Putri. Overall, the service and food was excellent. We had the chocolate melting cake every night! Having cruised Carnival before, I must admit that I missed the dining room staff's signature dance number "Hot, Hot, Hot." Who doesn't love a conga line? Apparently the Carnival CEO doesn't. What a buzz kill.
Our first day at sea was great, lots of sun and fun. We did the waterslides, soaked up some rays, and discovered Mango daiquiris. Later that night we got dressed up for the Captain's Dinner. It was a very nice affair, but I never saw the Captain. Then again, I wasn't really looking for him. Did I forget to mention there were LOTS of picture opportunities? LOTS! If I had one real complaint, this is it. They took far too many pictures over the course of the cruise. I'm not complaining about the picture stations, because those are optional and we did buy several. I'm talking about the annoying, not so optional picture moments at every meal, off and on at every port, and with various crew members pretending to be a Mexican, a Pirate, a Showgirl, etc... Well maybe the Showgirl one wasn't that bad.
Our first port of call was Grand Cayman and the weather was perfect. After getting our passports stamped (a cool turtle stamp), we grabbed a cab and headed to the Royal Palms Beach Club. $4.00 a person for the cab and the beach was free. We snorkeled for hours, soaked up more rays and I got a bucket of ice cold Corona's. Life doesn't get much better than that. The cab ride back proved to be very entertaining. We had a wannabe New York City cab driver who broke nearly every motor vehicle law and then ended our ride with his rendition of a "Bad Man's Prayer." The shopping seemed a little dull after that.
Back on ship, we enjoyed our first past guest party in the Paris Lounge. Cruise Director Skip Lyons emceed the party and there were plenty of free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. It was a nice event. The scary thing here was that I accidentally left my camcorder and camera in the lounge. Thanks to an observant and honest employee, I was reunited with my belongings the next morning.
Our second port of call was Cozumel and the weather was NOT so perfect. Hurricane Ida was making her way towards us so the waters started to get a little rough and the rains followed. We had booked the Mayan Ruins of Tulum shore excursion on the mainland, which means you had to take another boat to Playa Del Carmen. Not your 855 ft cruise ship, but something much smaller. Let's just say that some people weren't feeling well. Despite the weather, we really enjoyed the tour, in large part because of our tour guide Carlos. The only downside was that the beach was closed, thanks again to Ida.
Our last day at sea was spent trying to get away from Ida. It was so windy that the upper decks and waterslides were closed. We found plenty of other things to do though; a tour of the ships galley, a little blackjack at the casino, and a thorough soaking in the hot tub, just to name a few. We capped of our last night with some sing along in the Violins Bar and dancing in the disco.
Our children really enjoyed the Club Circle C program. Their counselor Laura was great. There was always something for them to do; dance parties, scavenger hunts, video games, etc... It was also a great idea getting them the unlimited drink card on the first day.
My wife utilized the fitness center everyday and took several exercise classes. She found the fitness equipment more than satisfactory, but felt there was room for improvement with the classes. She also had her hair put in an "up do" at the spa for formal night. She was very happy with it.
My last complaint is purely a personal one. Being that we are non-smokers, certain areas of the ship were obviously less enjoyable than others. The two worst areas, in my opinion, were the casino and the piano bar. The piano bar was so bad that we never even ventured in there. It would have been nice to sing along with the piano man.
As for the disembarkation, I had no complaints. My post-cruise blues were setting in so nothing really fazed me. At least the weather cooperated. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone. I am already planning my next Carnival cruise.
Title39’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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