Carnival Inspirations' cabins are certainly spacious, even for inside categories, with many options for extra berths. On the flip side, the decor is neither modern nor sophisticated, and amenities are minimal. The majority of cabins are insides or ocean-views; the only balconies are found in suites. The drawbacks don't seem to outweigh the perks for Carnival cruisers, who mostly want to be out and about on the ship or in port.
All standard cabins have twin beds that convert to queens; a vanity area with a tabletop desk, an ottoman stool, a few drawers and a mirror; an extra desk chair; a flat-screen TV; a corner shelf; two hooks on the wall; one 110V and one 220V outlet; and closets with shelves, hanging space, bathrobes for onboard use and a safe. (The safe is the kind that needs a card with a magnetic strip to lock; you can't use your cruise card, so you're relegated to a credit card, which then can't be stored in the safe.) Depending on the layout of your cabin, you might also get a small bedside night table. Standard cabins do not have sofas. Decor is in hues of orange (peach and orangey-red), and not very modern looking; it clashes with the bright red rail that runs around the cabin, which contains the electrical outlets and reading lights.
Standard ensuite bathrooms are shower-only, with a shower curtain and in-shower clothesline, and offer minimal storage. (We maxed out all the space for toiletries on a solo sailing.) The only toiletries provided are bar soap and dispensers of mystery shower gel and shampoo. (The mystery was even greater when we first walked into our bathroom and found the two dispensers unlabeled; we asked our cabin steward and he re-labeled them.) A shaver outlet for 120V and 230V is on the ceiling of the sink/mirror unit -- look up. Our cabin had no hairdryer.
Approximately 50 pairs of cabins connect via side doors. Many cabins also have the ability to sleep three to five via Pullman bunk beds, rollaway cots, trundle beds (similar to rollaways but very low to the ground -- perfect for small children) or sofabeds (mostly found in suites). Both connecting cabins and suites are great options for families or groups traveling together, but if you're not traveling with a large party, stay away: Connecting doors are not at all soundproof, and you can clearly hear conversations and the TV through the door. Also, if you get a connecting cabin that also has a Pullman bunk, the layout of the room makes it impossible to put a queen bed against the solid walls, so the bed ends up against the connecting door.
There are 25 cabins for disabled cruisers. These cabins have wider doorways, more interior space and roll-in showers with hand rails, among other features. Carnival offers additional special services for passengers in need of assistance, such as room kits for people who are hard of hearing. Contact the line directly for more information.
Interior: Inside cabins are 185 square feet, with a fake window. (Pull the curtains and you're looking at a blank wall.) While most offer two twins that convert into queens, some offer one twin bed and either a sofabed or a Pullman bunk bed. Inside cabins sleep up to five people. Storage space is plentiful for two people or a family, but four or five adults sharing a cabin -- especially if you've brought multiple outfits for each day -- might max out the space.
Oceanview: The 185-square-foot outside cabins have either one picture window or two small portholes. They also can sleep up to five people, with the same storage issues as inside cabins.
Junior Suites: On the Verandah Deck (Deck 11), the 26 Junior Suites are essentially what you'd call balcony cabins on bigger Carnival ships. Each 220-square-foot cabin has a convertible sofa and coffee table, as well as a small 30-square-foot balcony with two chairs and a small drinks table. Some have obstructed views. Junior Suites can sleep up to three passengers. Passengers booked in Junior Suites get VIP check-in.
Suite: The 28, 330-square-foot Grand Suites are not true suites but rather one large cabin. All are located on Deck 6 and include a bathroom with a tub and shower; a small walk-in closet with drawers, shelves and hanging space; a king-size bed (that converts to two twins); unstocked mini-fridge and shelves with glasses; and a 70-square-foot balcony with several chairs and a drinks table.
Two Penthouse Suites are hidden just off the atrium on Deck 12; if you weren't looking, you wouldn't know they were there. For those in the know -- and with the money to book them -- they're a great find. The enormous 850-square-foot cabins open onto a bar area with a high counter, stools, mini-fridge and shelf with glasses; it overlooks the floor-to-ceiling window that opens onto the balcony. The balcony is big enough for two recliners, two upright chairs and two drinks tables. On one side of the cabin, three round chairs surround a small table and look onto a large flat-screen TV perched above a counter and shelf space. To the other side, three plush easy chairs (two of which fold down into extra beds) and an adjustable coffee table complete the TV viewing area. A large sofa bed is against the far wall. The bedroom is a separate room and features another large flat-screen TV and reclining chair with foot stool. The bathroom is party-sized with a huge central space with double sinks; on one side is a marble room with a toilet and large, wedge-shaped whirlpool tub with shower, and on the other is a huge walk-in closet. The two penthouses connect to form one gigantic cabin via doors in the walk-in closets -- an odd choice.
Passengers in Junior Suites, and Grand and Penthouse Suites get VIP check-in.