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We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over 15 cruises so far). We sail primarily with Disney and have done a few with Royal Caribbean. The cruise overall was okay. It wasn't spectacular but for under $1k for 4 people for 3 nights and 4 days with food included, you really can't expect too much. We went knowing that it was a small/older ship and adjusted our expectations accordingly. We really enjoyed Guy's Burgers and the Mexican place (Blue Iguana) by the pool. We ate there every day for lunch. The food at the buffet was VERY limited and not exactly our taste so we never ate there. Food during dinner at the main dining restaurant was fine. Nothing out of this world memorable, but it wasn't bad. CONS - Some areas of the ship are not accessible by wheelchair. Our 11 year old son is special needs and there was no way we could get him to the mini golf area in his wheelchair. We had to carry him up the stairs. - Waterworks was cool BUT, the water is NOT heated and is pretty cold. The main pools are warm so I didn’t really quite understand why they wouldn’t warm up the water in the water slides area. Because the water was too cold, not many kids were there. - Senior crew members are nice and friendly but there are many newbies who are clueless. I lost count how many times I asked a crew member a question and was given the wrong information or he/she simply said, “I don’t know” - LIMITED family friendly activities - The DRUNKS!!!! (there were so many of them). This was a party cruise no doubt! PROS - Kids club counselors are awesome. They really do a great job keeping the kids entertained. I would say that Carnival runs their kids program very similar to RCCL. Our 5 year old daughter enjoyed her time there. - Main dining room crew really do try to go above and beyond. We had a great headwaiter who catered to all our dining room needs and he even played with our children (always a plus for us). - Spa staff was knowledgeable and friendly Our very first cruise was with Disney and it was that experience that got us hooked into cruising. We tend to gravitate towards cruise lines/ships that cater to FAMILIES. My husband and I were talking about our cruise experiences with different lines and I think what makes Disney our absolute favorite and what truly sets them apart from the rest of the pack is the lasting impression they leave their guests. Most cruise lines cater and provide service for the “masses” while Disney focuses on PERSONALIZED service. Granted, DCL does charge WAY MORE so it’s a give and take. If this would have been our first cruise, I don’t know we’d be enticed to cruise again any time soon. But with Disney, the first impression they left our family was so incredible that we couldn’t wait to book our next cruise with them while still onboard their ship! Lastly, would we do this cruise again? Yes, if the price was right and the timing was perfect (ie: long weekend where the kids don’t have to miss school). Cruising is our preferred way to vacation. We like the convenience and offers our special needs son the flexibility he needs when travelling so whether its with Disney, Carnival or RCCL, we will continue to see and travel the world by sea =) If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Inspiration Review - Family with Young Children

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by junnelsantos

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We wanted to do a quick getaway and booked this cruise at the last minute (we are locals and live 45 minutes away from the Long Beach port). We are a family of 4 with 2 children (ages 11 and 5) and love to cruise (we’ve gone on over 15 cruises so far). We sail primarily with Disney and have done a few with Royal Caribbean.

The cruise overall was okay. It wasn't spectacular but for under $1k for 4 people for 3 nights and 4 days with food included, you really can't expect too much. We went knowing that it was a small/older ship and adjusted our expectations accordingly. We really enjoyed Guy's Burgers and the Mexican place (Blue Iguana) by the pool. We ate there every day for lunch. The food at the buffet was VERY limited and not exactly our taste so we never ate there. Food during dinner at the main dining restaurant was fine. Nothing out of this world memorable, but it wasn't bad.

CONS

- Some areas of the ship are not accessible by wheelchair. Our 11 year old son is special needs and there was no way we could get him to the mini golf area in his wheelchair. We had to carry him up the stairs.

- Waterworks was cool BUT, the water is NOT heated and is pretty cold. The main pools are warm so I didn’t really quite understand why they wouldn’t warm up the water in the water slides area. Because the water was too cold, not many kids were there.

- Senior crew members are nice and friendly but there are many newbies who are clueless. I lost count how many times I asked a crew member a question and was given the wrong information or he/she simply said, “I don’t know”

- LIMITED family friendly activities

- The DRUNKS!!!! (there were so many of them). This was a party cruise no doubt!

PROS

- Kids club counselors are awesome. They really do a great job keeping the kids entertained. I would say that Carnival runs their kids program very similar to RCCL. Our 5 year old daughter enjoyed her time there.

- Main dining room crew really do try to go above and beyond. We had a great headwaiter who catered to all our dining room needs and he even played with our children (always a plus for us).

- Spa staff was knowledgeable and friendly

Our very first cruise was with Disney and it was that experience that got us hooked into cruising. We tend to gravitate towards cruise lines/ships that cater to FAMILIES. My husband and I were talking about our cruise experiences with different lines and I think what makes Disney our absolute favorite and what truly sets them apart from the rest of the pack is the lasting impression they leave their guests. Most cruise lines cater and provide service for the “masses” while Disney focuses on PERSONALIZED service. Granted, DCL does charge WAY MORE so it’s a give and take. If this would have been our first cruise, I don’t know we’d be enticed to cruise again any time soon. But with Disney, the first impression they left our family was so incredible that we couldn’t wait to book our next cruise with them while still onboard their ship!

Lastly, would we do this cruise again? Yes, if the price was right and the timing was perfect (ie: long weekend where the kids don’t have to miss school). Cruising is our preferred way to vacation. We like the convenience and offers our special needs son the flexibility he needs when travelling so whether its with Disney, Carnival or RCCL, we will continue to see and travel the world by sea =)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
junnelsantos’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Ages 3 to 6
Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4C M298
We stayed at an Interior HA Stateroom - M298. It was very small. Smallest HA room we've ever had. It is basically the same size as a regular/standard inside with a slightly bigger bathroom to accommodate a handicap person.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins