Very Relaxing and Wonderful Cruise on the Inspiration: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by jax204

Carnival Inspiration 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Very Relaxing and Wonderful Cruise on the Inspiration

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
I'll start off by saying, as with all of my vacations, I did a ton of research when choosing our spring cruise this year. I read review after review here on Cruise Critic, and can safely say that any bad review is from someone that you just can't please. My husband and I are pretty much "go with the flow" type of people, and small stuff just doesn't bother us. One bad food item (not that we had any on this trip) or a long wait for an elevator is NOT going to rain on our parade. You can tell the bad reviewers are just people who set the bar way higher than it should be. If you go on a cruise, whether it be on Carnival, Royal or Disney, you should expect bumps in the road (I mean, come are on a large ship with thousands of other people), but know that they aren't going to ruin your good time. Vacations are meant to take your mind off of the day to day let that happen!!!!

We live in Lakeland, which is only 35 minutes away from the port. We arrived at the More Tampa port around 11am and were on the ship by 12. This is my 3rd time sailing from Tampa, and every time embarkation has been a breeze. We went straight up to the Lido deck and enjoyed our first vacation lunch while looking over beautiful Channelside at the Port of Tampa. We were in our room by 1:30, and had plenty of space in our inside cabin, even with 4 adults. The muster drill is super easy these days since you no longer have to tote around and wear those bulky life jackets. Once we set sail, we ran upstairs to watch. My SIL still swears that she saw a shark jump out of the water, but none of us saw it thanks to a kid who decided to try and climb a slopey thing and fell at the exact same moment. We did see something going back into the water, but I guess we'll never really know. We especially enjoyed seeing the ship go under the Skyway Bridge...absolutely breathtaking! Dinner for us was at 8:15 every night, and we had great meals every night. My sister in law and her boyfriend are both 18, and they really surprised us with their willingness to try new things. Almost every thing they tried they loved, and the rare items that they didn't, our waiter (Claude) hurried to get them something that they did like. He was amazing and so was his assistant...TEQUILA!!! :-) We had breakfast in the restaurant three times and on the Lido desk twice. I prefer the restaurant since the lines can be a bit much first thing in the morning.

Our first fun day at sea consisted of us doing some trivia games, lounging out in the sun for a few minutes, playing in the casino some and getting ready for our formal Captain's dinner. I was a little disappointed that they no longer do the Captain's party with the free drinks and appetizers, but they do offer a Happy Hour special with all drinks being $1 off. We got all dolled up and went down to take pictures at all of Carnival's great portrait settings. My sis in law wanted a formal pic of her and her BF and after going to about 10 different settings, she was able to pick out the cream of the crop. Three of us ordered the lobster and shrimp for dinner, and my SIL ordered the steak. After seeing our lobster, she wanted one as well, and our waiter jumped on that for her. The lobsters are on the smaller side but you can have as many as you want...not bad if you ask me.

The last fun day at sea we took in the newlywed game, which was hilarious. We also hung out in the casino for a little bit. We didn't hit anything big, but did wind up spending a few hours there for only $20. We played Bingo and never won. Such a suckers game. Haha!

We chose to take our own luggage off the ship, which was great. We called the front desk the night before and confirmed that we had to be out of our rooms by 9am, which is so much better than the 7:30am that it used to be. We got up around 7, went to breakfast in the dining room and then headed back to gather up our belongings. We made our way up to deck 6 to wait and once deck 5 was called (we were actually on deck 4) we got in line and headed off the ship. It took about 10 minutes to get through the line and down to customs, and about 10 minutes waiting through that line. We had family pick us up (so we didn't have to pay those ridiculous parking charges) and we were back in the car by 9am. All in all, one of the best cruises we've been on!

Highlights: dinner, Carlos n Charlies Beach Club and the employees of Carnival. We never came across any employee that wasn't all smiles and full of "How are you doing's". Anyone who says they experienced a rude employee must be confused. People seem to forget that some of the employees don't speak good English, and tend to shy away. It's probably extremely frustrating for them to get involved in a conversation where neither party understands the other one. So the way they avoid this is to shy away from guests. I can't say I blame them. :-)

Oh, and the cruise director and his staff were awesome! Very funny and kept us laughing all the time. "Come on Matt!" :-) Less

Published 04/13/10
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 4cR114

Port and Shore Excursions

This was my 4th time in Cozumel, and probably my favorite trip here. I did a lot of research before our trip and decided against booking the Beach Break Deluxe through Carnival given the reviews and people saying how overcrowded it was. For $70 a person, I wasn't sure it was going to be worth the money. I stumbled upon some reviews for Carlos N Charlies Beach Club and decided to go with that. We took a cab over for $15 total, and arrived at the club around 11:30 (ship time). The beach club is only about 6 minutes from where you dock at, so not far at all. When we arrived we were greeted by several employees who were super friendly and advised us that all chairs, umbrellas and tables were free of charge and welcomed us to sit wherever we wanted to. When sat down close to the shoreline and the waiter stopped by to explain some of their drinks and activities that were offered. My sis in law and BF wound up trying the jet skis, which was $55 for 30 minutes (as opposed to the $85 they wanted at Grand Cayman). My husband and I tried the beach couples massage for $1 a minute...oh so worth it!!! Each couple had a "yard" drink to share, which was about $13 and the refills were $11. Hubby and I tried the "Ticket to Ride" (or Fly...can't really remember now) and it was Awesome. The SIL and BF tried a "Dirty Monkey" which tasted like chocolate good! We wound up ordering lunch and my hubby says they have the BEST CHICKEN QUESADILLAS ever. I had the shrimp ones, and they were pretty darn good. Also ordered some chips and guacamole and it was so fresh and yummy. They had people walking around trying to sell hats, necklaces, bracelets and snorkeling trips but if you weren't interested you just said No Thanks, and they were perfectly OK with walking away. We did buy some things as souveneirs and they were really cheap. This was hands down my favorite spot in port EVER!!! And after 8 cruises, that's saying ALOT! People were great, food was great, drinks were great, bathrooms super clean and as a bonus...they take credit cards. Woohoo! And I must say, completely family friendly. No hard core drinking like the downtown Carlos n Charlies. This one is laid back, but still with a party atmosphere. Lots of kids were there, and it was perfectly suitable. We're planning another cruise in October and I'm excited to say we'll be visiting Cozumel again. Can't wait to get back to CnC Beach Club!!!!

Read 5471 Cozumel Reviews

Grand Caymans...been there before, enjoy it every time. We took the tender over to shore after the all-call was given on our ship. We took a cab at $5 a person over to 7 mile beach and were dropped off right in front of Captain Jack's restaurant and bar. Beach chair rentals were $6 each and an umbrella was $8. We stayed there until about 12:30 and then took a bus back over to the port area. We were dropped off in front of the tender area with about an hour to spare. So we ran over to Margaritaville and enjoyed the scenery and games, as well as two (overpriced) drinks. That is the one thing I will say negative about Grand Caymans...the price of most things is WAY overpriced. I would take a stop in Mexico any day over Grand Cayman, just because you get more for your money there.

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Member Since 2010
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