Carnival Inspiration Apr 9-14 2011: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by banjobill123

Carnival Inspiration 5

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Inspiration Apr 9-14 2011

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
Everything about Carnival and the Inspiration ship and crew is totally positive. So far, I've had three perfect cruises with Carnival and this was the 3rd of the three. (Have also cruised with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean).

The ship was spotless, the dining room staff was perfect (even the Lido cafeteria was extra special), the cabin and steward were world class, and the boarding and debarking processes were flawless.

If you haven't figured it out already, I'm perfectly content to wait on a line or two (especially after having served in the US Army for 21+ years) as long as the line is moving -- and everything moved along like clockwork.

We traveled with a high school reunion group that invited us to join them since we are friends with two of their graduates. But we didn't book through their agent -- and it was the first time we had booked directly with Carnival. The whole booking process was simple and error-free. Carnival even called us to offer a More last-minute upgrade to a Grand Suite Cabin at a nice discount.

We accepted the deal and were totally thrilled with the suite, the service, and the totally unblocked 180-degree view from our port balcony.

My wife will cruise with Carnival for the eighth time this November, and has cruises set up for Jan and Nov 2012 when she will achieve Platinum Status. I'm happy for her, and very thankful to Carnival for all the hard work they do to provide such enjoyable cruise experiences.

The only negative in this entire cruise experience is with the Port of Tampa; specifically with the parking valet service.

We paid $85 for the valet service. Unfortunately, both the parking and retrieving valets claimed (with their hands out) that they worked for port security and not the valet service (implying that they were unpaid attendants). They did this while wearing jackets that said "Valet Service" on the back.

I gave them each $5 -- after all, ten bucks wouldn't break my budget and the incidents certainly weren't worth an on-the-spot negative confrontation. But I did report them to the Valet Service Management Office at the Port and received a very nice apology from the management and an explanation that the valets had violated Port and Company policies. Less

Published 06/11/11

Cabin review: GSU84 Grand Suite

We upgraded to a Grand Suite, Cabin U84, on the ship's port side. At first we were taken aback by the pole right next to the bed. We worried that it would be in the way when getting up at night. But we got used to it in a couple of minutes and it was no problem. The cabin was wonderful. The large balcony had a totally unobstructed 180-degree view when standing. However, we cannot stand longer than a few minutes. The balcony chairs were very comfortable and we enjoyed sitting on the balcony even though that view was blocked by the 3' high solid metal railing. Transparent fiberglass below the rail would have been nicer, but the solid railing certainly didn't spoil a moment of our enjoyment.

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