Cruise #2 WOWED ME! January 2010: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by imaoddone

Carnival Inspiration 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Cruise #2 WOWED ME! January 2010

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
The Inspiration is a beautiful well maintained ship full of the nicest most gracious staff I could ever want. Well to be honest every Carnival employee I have ever come in contact with has been amazing. I don't know how they find these folks but I have noticed there aren't many from the US of A. Strange how that works out. OK, My sister and me sailed on the Holiday out of Mobile 2-3 years back, she was a grand old gal, the staff was amazing, but she didn't have the glitz I expected,(Love Boat,old movies etc). The Inspiration has glitz to spare with out making me feel like poor relation.

We flew down to Tampa me from Montgomery AL and Sharon from So. Bend IN thru Atlanta GA and were delayed for 14 hours in various airports. We arrived at the La Quinta Inn Tampa Bay Airport at 4AM, with out my bag, which stayed in Atlanta. If you can avoid Atlanta, trust me do that. The people at the La Quinta were wonderful. If I had a pocket full of hundred dollar bills I couldn't have paid More for a better place to stay.

Ship information, soo nice, perfect vacation, plenty to do every minute if you want or do nothing in many nice places. Start your day with the gym at 6AM exercise till the pool opens at 8AM or start with coffee and danish at 630AM, you can breakfast till 1200, lunch 11AM till 3PM have coffee and tea and pizza till the sushi bar opens at 5PM and eat your way thru the dining room, the cafeteria style Brasserie Grill, late night buffet and finish with a pizza. When you aren't eating you can drink, play trivia, gamble, play bridge,bingo,laser tag, mini golf,go to shows, seminars on art, diamonds and other pretties. Have your picture taken , your feet rubbed, shop, get a hair cut.

Are you ready for a clean straightened cabin with a shiny bright bathroom, a comfy bed turned down with a TV to watch,room service to call, wake up calls when ever you want. AND that's just the first day.

The Grand Cayman stop was way to short, we got off on a tender (little boat)about 9AM and had to be back at 2PM Beautiful island, I want to go back. Next stop, Cozumel. If you land at Puerta Langosta like we did on our first trip you will be cheated out of a great experience. ASK which pier the ship uses before you book! We landed at Puerta Maya this time and shopped, what a difference! You can still go to the dolphins and stingrays etc. but I can't stress it enough, Puerta Maya is a nice clean tourist friendly port Puerta Langosta is a lot like Tijuana. We were diamond shopping, at least one of us was and we had both been to the talks given by """"ADAM the shopping specialist"""". He is the but, in this review. HE SAID AT LEAST 6 TIMES IN THE DIAMOND AND GEM STONE TALKS (we attended 2 and got VIP cards for Diamonds International) THAT IF YOU BOUGHT A LOOSE STONE THERE WOULD BE NO TAX OR IMPORT DUTY (so far true 100%)AND IF YOU HAD THAT STONE MOUNTED AT THE STORE WHERE YOU BOUGHT IT CUSTOMS WOULD STILL CONSIDER IT A LOOSE STONE! >>>>>>> WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! Once it is mounted it is no longer duty free. The duty is 3% or 6% depending on the value of the stone PLUS the mounting which was never duty free. If you have enough duty free allowance at 800$ per person in your family with the same last name traveling with you, theoretically you could bring back a good size stone mounted duty free, say you and spouse + your 3 kids under 16 with you and no one buys anything on or off the ship, you could bring back 4000$ worth of bling. But, remember the customs folks don't come on board until you've spent all your vacation money and if you have listened to ADAM you could get a nasty surprise.

If you take this cruise, relax, don't sweat the small stuff, the weather will clear, your bags will arrive, there's plenty of food and booze and sun and deck chairs for everybody Less

Published 02/01/10

Cabin review: 6AR203 Ocean View

Riviera Deck ocean view R203, lowest passenger deck, nice room, clean well maintained, my bed sagged in the middle, the other bed was fine, the windows on this deck get a lot of salt spray so don't expect a crystal clear view.

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Port and Shore Excursions

January 2010 2nd Port If your ship lands at Puerta Maya pier you will be very pleased, Visit Pancho's Backyard for great mexican food (I suspect they cook for the tourists not the locals)still good and great service & atmosphere. We had been to Cozumel before and put in at Puerta Langosta pier downtown, I was not favorably impressed. I'm sorry to say it is like most urban centers, rundown, dirty and a little scary. Puerta Maya is more like it for a pair of little old ladies (OK, not that old, compared to our fellow travellers and some times not ladies). You have at Porta Maya, jewelry stores you need to stroll thru even if you don't want any (you think.)Amazing. Restaurants,souvenir shops, bars,leather workers, I bought a leather handbag. If you cook or know anyone who does, buy the vanilla, make sure the first ingredient is vanilla and it should have only,vanilla beans,water and alcohol,that's why my sister wanted to go back to Mexico. But before that she bought a 1.07ct diamond and we were waiting for it to be mounted. She saved at least 1/2. We hooked up with the shopping specialist on our ship and got a good deal EXCEPT he "ADAM" told all of us that if we got our stones mounted in Mexico customs would still consider them loose stones and they would be duty free. NOT TRUE, Sis paid $150.00 duty because she was "misinformed" so said the Customs Inspector on the Carnival Inspiration in Tampa Bay Harbor on January 30,2010.

Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

Actually Grand Cayman was the first port, we got to experience leaving the ship via tender (little boat)I liked it. We went on the Turtles,Turtles,Turtles Deluxe tour, The deluxe part means lunch was provided, Carnival arranged for a cheeseburger & fries ///we were in the Cayman Islands for pity sakes!!!! The folks from the other ship got jerked chicken and beans and rice, I got to taste it,yummy! Yes we could have ordered from the menu. The turtles are precious, the lagoon you swim in is nice. I wanted more time to explore. We were only there from 9AM (1st tender)to 2PM (last tender). Beautiful people, lovely weather, so much I wish I had time to see, I am thinking of flying down.

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