Wonderful Family Vacation: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by BBBonBon62

Carnival Inspiration 5
Member Since 2011
148 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Wonderful Family Vacation

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
This was our 2nd Carnival Cruise but the first time with our children. Our first cruise was 18 years ago on the Carnival Fantasy and we now wonder why we waited so long to take another cruise. Although the Inspiration is not one of the "newer" in the Carnival line it was well maintained, clean and the service, especially the wait staff, was fantastic.

The food in the main dining room was very good. We did not have one disappointing meal and ending with the Warm Chocolate Melting cake sealed the deal. The buffets were good but nothing extraordinary. We chose to have breakfast in the dining room each day and enjoyed the meals. The dining room was also less crowded for breakfast and very peaceful.

We spent much of our days at sea at the water slide for one of my 13 yr old twins. The other twin joined the "Circle C" group and we didn't see him until dinner and then after dinner he was back for evening activities. He also was the last one back to the cabin each evening More well after midnight. Time on the ship was relaxing and we were never rushed like we are in our daily lives. The events at night like karaoke, revues and comedy shows were very entertaining.

We loved visiting the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. We opted not to take any excursions and ventured out on our own. We grabbed a cab on the dock at Grand Cayman with another family ($5pp) to a public beach and enjoyed the beautiful water, jet skiing, banana boats,etc. On Cozumel we took a cab($4pp)to Chankanaab National Park where we snorkeled and enjoyed drinks and lunch under our private hut by the water. Snorkeling was great and very reasonable. Admission to the park is less expensive if you purchase your tickets in advance online (cost was $88 for 4 adults and 1 child). They also have sea lion shows, swimming with the dolphins and a large pool with kiddie area. We very much enjoyed our day in Cozumel and would love to return.

Embarkation and disembarking was quick and easy. Embarkation was especially quick. From the moment we drove up to the valet until the time we were on the ship was less than 15 minutes. Tampa has this process locked up. I wouldn't hesitate leaving from there in the future...especially with young children who are impatient and eager to begin their vacation.

Only criticism was the pool area. The ship had the water slide park which are sprays and slides that we loved for our kids. The "resort" pool was small and although finding a lounge chair was never a problem, there was never any room in the pool. This was just a small criticism and maybe next time we will try a ship with 2 pools.

Overall, the experience was wonderful and we already are planning our next family cruise. Less

Published 08/08/11
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 6AM51 Ocean View

M51 - oceanview stateroom on the Main deck was quiet and smooth. We opted for one room for the five of us and although it was tight we only slept in the rooms so it was worth the savings. The bunk above our King bed took some getting use to and the first night my husband and I both bumped our heads. Closet space for the 5 of us was ample and I am NOT a light packer. Bathroom is small but adequate. Room was always clean and well stocked. Would have loved a balcony but you can't have everything.

Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Walked right off the ship with only a short wait to scan our cards. Long walk to the cabs but half the walk is indoors and cool. Loved the market right on the dock for souvenirs for the kids.

Read 5489 Cozumel Reviews

Tendering was easy. I worried about the wait to get off the ship but we waited until all the shore excursions were off and we literally walk on to the tender, no waiting. Coming back we opted to get the tender an hour before the last call and again walked right on the tender.

As previously mentioned Port of Tampa has the process down to a science. I would recommend spending an additional $15 for valet parking instead of parking in the Port Authority on your own. You are able to drive right to the front door and a porter is waiting to unload your car. The valet parking for 5 days was $85. All the employees were so accommodating and pleasant. I am a nervous traveler until we are settled in and in Tampa it was so smooth and fast that I didn't have time to worry.

Read 475 Tampa Reviews

Compare Prices on Carnival Inspiration Western Caribbean Cruises

Read more Carnival Inspiration cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Inspiration Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Inspiration Western Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2011
148 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Carnival Inspiration deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Carnival Inspiration 74% Loved It

3 Day Baja Mexico
See all Carnival Inspiration Deals >>