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It's the K mart brand for cruisin'. If it's your first cruise ever, you probably won't be disappointed, but having cruised more luxurious lines, my family, including the young teens, was mildly disappointed overall. First impressions tend to last, and our impression of the terminal prior to embarkation was poor. It's dirty and not well decorated. Seating was just a step above folding chairs. However, staff was courteous and efficient. Upon arrival in the main atrium, I was surprised at "dirty" brass and graffiti etched into the elevator doors. Lunch was being served on the Lido deck. The Brassiere grill on the Lido deck is hideously decorated with extremely large purple tentacles, and all stainless steel needed a good polishing. Our staterooms (inside cabins) weren't bad -- just worn with faded bedding, marred walls and scratched doors, but were clean. Many of the metal trimmings throughout the ship were dented. Our steward was friendly and attentive. The towel animals were delightful. The service at dinner was abysmal with the head waiter never explaining the day's entrees and rushing through the ordering process. It was at least 30 minutes before I was offered a beverage at our first dinner. When I complained, I was told that the bar waiter was there, but I wasn't paying attention -- ouch! That blew their tip! The pools were closed most of the trip. The child's pool was never opened due to "technical" problems, but it was probably for the best since it was very dirty and showed visible rust around the edges. I never did see the water slide at the main pool open. The shows were pretty entertaining, but a guest talent show was included as a "major" show one night instead of a professional one. Camp Carnival was delightful for our toddler, but the activities were few and disappointing for our 12 and 14 year olds. Casino tournaments and Bingo were plenty, but the prize jackpots were small ($100-$500) considering the number of players at $20 entry fees. And don't expect complimentary drinks while gambling regardless of your wagers. Causal dress at dinner was considered blue jeans and belly shirts. The food in the main dining rooms was pretty good with a selection for all tastes, but food in the "cafeteria" was often cold, tables weren't cleaned quickly enough and silverware and linen napkins were worn. Watch out for the automatic gratuity billing -- it includes gratuities for "cafeteria" and snack bar personnel -- what's next, "tip jars?" Some of the public areas were beautiful, but considering this ship just got out of dry dock, I was surprised at the overall appearance of the ship. Don't let this review be a deterrent to taking a Carnival cruise. There were some definite highlights. Lenny, our CD, was entertaining and witty. Cozumel was an enjoyable port of call. Unfortunately, rough seas prevented us from getting to Grand Cayman. If you book early (we paid $600 pp compared to many guests who paid $900 for the same cabin category), you'll pay quite a bit less compared to other cruise lines. Just don't set your expectations too high. Like the title of the review, you'll get K mart quality -- remember, the Blue Light specials? Also, customer service ranks about as high as what you'd get at the customer service counter at your local discount chain -- hit or miss.

Carnival Inspiration - Western Caribbean

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by Michigan Family

Trip Details
It's the K mart brand for cruisin'. If it's your first cruise ever, you probably won't be disappointed, but having cruised more luxurious lines, my family, including the young teens, was mildly disappointed overall. First impressions tend to last, and our impression of the terminal prior to embarkation was poor. It's dirty and not well decorated. Seating was just a step above folding chairs. However, staff was courteous and efficient.
Upon arrival in the main atrium, I was surprised at "dirty" brass and graffiti etched into the elevator doors. Lunch was being served on the Lido deck. The Brassiere grill on the Lido deck is hideously decorated with extremely large purple tentacles, and all stainless steel needed a good polishing.
Our staterooms (inside cabins) weren't bad -- just worn with faded bedding, marred walls and scratched doors, but were clean. Many of the metal trimmings throughout the ship were dented. Our steward was friendly and attentive. The towel animals were delightful.
The service at dinner was abysmal with the head waiter never explaining the day's entrees and rushing through the ordering process. It was at least 30 minutes before I was offered a beverage at our first dinner. When I complained, I was told that the bar waiter was there, but I wasn't paying attention -- ouch! That blew their tip!
The pools were closed most of the trip. The child's pool was never opened due to "technical" problems, but it was probably for the best since it was very dirty and showed visible rust around the edges. I never did see the water slide at the main pool open.
The shows were pretty entertaining, but a guest talent show was included as a "major" show one night instead of a professional one. Camp Carnival was delightful for our toddler, but the activities were few and disappointing for our 12 and 14 year olds.
Casino tournaments and Bingo were plenty, but the prize jackpots were small ($100-$500) considering the number of players at $20 entry fees. And don't expect complimentary drinks while gambling regardless of your wagers.
Causal dress at dinner was considered blue jeans and belly shirts. The food in the main dining rooms was pretty good with a selection for all tastes, but food in the "cafeteria" was often cold, tables weren't cleaned quickly enough and silverware and linen napkins were worn. Watch out for the automatic gratuity billing -- it includes gratuities for "cafeteria" and snack bar personnel -- what's next, "tip jars?"
Some of the public areas were beautiful, but considering this ship just got out of dry dock, I was surprised at the overall appearance of the ship.
Don't let this review be a deterrent to taking a Carnival cruise. There were some definite highlights. Lenny, our CD, was entertaining and witty. Cozumel was an enjoyable port of call. Unfortunately, rough seas prevented us from getting to Grand Cayman.
If you book early (we paid $600 pp compared to many guests who paid $900 for the same cabin category), you'll pay quite a bit less compared to other cruise lines. Just don't set your expectations too high. Like the title of the review, you'll get K mart quality -- remember, the Blue Light specials? Also, customer service ranks about as high as what you'd get at the customer service counter at your local discount chain -- hit or miss.
Michigan Family’s Full Rating Summary
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Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Ages 3 to 6
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
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