Technical difficulties - please stand by: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by Adamyshoe

Carnival Inspiration 4
Member Since 2004
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Technical difficulties - please stand by

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
We've been on a number of Carnival cruises, but this was the time our family came along (2 year old, 5 year old, grandma and aunt). This is also the first cruise we have been on in about 6 years. On the plus side, the activities we participated in were lots of fun, and the Camp Carnival seemed to thrill the kids and give us some free time. The formal dining was very good, the fellow passengers were great shipmates.

Although our room was the smallest we've ever had, the layout was ingenious for 4 people to sleep well and to adjoin another cabin. The bathrooms were well designed and our cabin steward was very attentive and responsive to us and our grandma's handicapped needs (we were not in a handicapped room, but the shower was easy for a semi-ambulatory person).

The main issue we had with the cruise was that some of the main attractions of the ship did not function throughout the cruise, namely the water park and the hot tubs. It was not Carnival's fault that the More entire trip was breezy and chilly, but none of the on board hot tubs was filled the entire cruise. This left the pool the only water activity, which our goofy kids of course wanted to go in. It would have been so much better to let them slide and wade in the water park without having to endure a cold pool. Crew members could only tell us they couldn't get the chlorine balance right to run the water park, and the hot tubs all had signs that they were having maintenance done.

Some of the activities we showed up to participate in also just didn't happen. Every time, the activity was specifically listed in the "Fun Times" (formerly "Carnival Capers") schedule, but didn't happen with no attempt at explanation or apology. We showed up on the cold Lido deck for the TV show music trivia that never happened, the "Carnival Millionaire" game show also never occurred without explanation. The second part of a two-part trivia game was canceled, despite continued assurances that "if you're behind on points, you may still win because tomorrow is double the points" (we won the first day, so this is not just sour grapes). We also went to a 7 am morning stretch class that was listed in the "Fun Times" schedule but, we later learned, not in the spa schedule. The instructor ultimately appeared to let us know there was not a class, but it would have been nice if he had just given the class since a group had already assembled. His reaction when we told him that the class was listed in the daily "Fun Times" was to say, "Probably" and show us a "revised" spa schedule that showed there were no organized classes that day. Not sure what he had to do that was so pressing that he couldn't just run the class, since several people took the trouble to show up. There were other little cancellations like this that made us wonder why the activities staff would list these events and then just choose not to do them. Either don't list them at all, or list them and commit.

It was still a good cruise, but it could have been fantastic with everything working. In the future I would look for a longer cruise on a newer, larger ship, and I would pay a little extra for a larger or a balcony room. Less

Published 03/16/10

Cabin review: 6D Ocean View

Room seemed small, but the 4 bed layout was very efficient. Closets were ample but would have liked a little more drawer space. Also, the location of the closets made it impossible to enter and leave or use the bathroom while the doors were open. Bathrooms were great. Wish we had a hair dryer, and the one we brought didn't work in the bathroom outlet. The television was preset to come on LOUDLY every time, so no sneaking it on in the middle of the night, and there were no captions to watch quietly. The outside of the windows were salty throughout the trip so the view was distorted. The TV couldn't be tipped or turned and when all the beds set out we couldn't see the screen from the bed. The people in the hallway were LOUD for short periods of time every night, and there was a music speaker in the hall ceiling just outside our door that was just loud enough to be annoying all night unless we turned the vent up for white noise. Since the weather during our trip was rather chilly, the air conditioning pumped into our room made it really cold. The room steward had to call a mechanic to come and close the vents for us because we couldn't close them all the way with our controls. The room was always clean and neat.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Local cabs were great, regulated and reliable. Walk deeper into the shopping area for a good deal on souvenirs and hair braiding. The place we had our 2 and 5 year olds' hair braided was fast and gentle. Kids didn't complain and it was their first time. If you bargain kindly you can often get a discount. We paid $25 for a half-head for both of them, and got them to throw in a $1 toy for each girl.

We did a little geocaching on the island as well, which was fun.

We went to Palancar beach, which I can't really recommend. The food and drinks were good and reasonable, but the facilities were not so much. It is further out than the other beaches, so the cab ride cost twice as much. The beach area itself was very narrow and steeply sloped. The lounge chairs sat at about 45 degrees. They were not crowded at all, so we put our things around a table in the outside dining area. While we were getting situated with swimsuits the waiter came by and curtly reminded me that the tables were for food only. I politely gathered all and moved it to the sand and ordered some drinks and guacamole (delicious, and came with great homemade chips and salsa as well.) I had packed some sandwiches for our finicky kids, and was quickly chastised by the waiter that no outside food was allowed. I hear the snorkeling there is very good, and I saw a few people braving the chilly water. They took a cute picture of us in sombreros as we came in, and asked for around $12 for the print later. They have a reasonable gift hut at the entrance. Bathrooms were needing some repair (a toilet seat missing in the ladies') and the outdoor showers weren't heated (it was not a warm day) but the changing rooms were generously sized.

Last time we went to Cozumel we went to Chankanaab in a cab and liked it much more. There was a much larger beach/sunning area and the snorkeling was great. You can get coupons online before you leave on your cruise, but it is on the pricy side for admission. Next time we'll probably try a different beach club.

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