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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines ... Read More
Here's a quick rundown of our latest cruise over the weekend on the Inspiration: The Inspiration itself is considered an older ship, about 20 years old I believe, but they have modernized it. Food wise The pool buffet lines have been turned into a Guy Fieri Burger Bar and a Mexican Food joint. I tried both and they were pretty good. The burgers were more home made type patties but all the different choices of toppings made up for it. Had a trio of tacos and the meats were surprisingly delicious. Never ate in the main buffet room except to grab a late night pizza since it was the only thing open. In terms of the main dining hall for dinner I'd give the place an 8 out of 10. Not the best cruise ship food I tried but none the less pretty good. Flat Iron Steak and Prime Rib were both good on consecutive nights and the sides were as well. Don't bother spending the extra $20 bucks for a better steak as the normal choices were just as good. Drinks We pre-paid for the Cheers Program which cost about $50 bucks a day and got us 15 drinks each per day, definitely a deal when you have nothing else to do on the ship other than relax, drink and have a good time. From what I saw, most liquor was top shelf, Goose or Patron were used the majority of the time for my requests. Unfortunately you can't share the Cheers programs with others, if there's another adult in the room with you then you both have to by the program but still definitely worth it in the long run. The two pools side bars are where we were the majority of the time but they do have a great bar in the back of the ship called the Alchemy where you can get some great cocktails if you getting tired of the tropical stuff up on the deck. Ensenada It is what it is, a port city in Mexico. Most people come to go to the main shopping district, grab a few deals then stop at Hussong's or Pappas and Beer and knock back a few. I did the Blow Hole trip once, not a big deal, something to say you went to once but don't need to see again. Some people don't mind getting hit up all the time by street vendors but for others it's a turn off. If you stay on the ship you're not missing too much. To get into town we paid about $2 bucks per person and then another $1 to get back on the ship. Entertainment Saw one Studio 54 type show one night which wasn't bad in the main theatre. The comedy club had a great comedian at one of the late night adult shows. Other than that it's a lot of bingo games and a family Hasbro show but since it's only a 3 night cruise you don't get a lot of options. In terms of tech, we all purchased the $5 a day WIFI plan for social networking and it worked out well, good coverage and speed throughout the ship. Service Dining room and room service employees were all great. Call you by name and try to give you a personable experience. In terms of our room, the only complaint we had was that the shower drain at times would overflow and go into the sink area of the bathroom but other than that it's like Vegas, how long are you actually going to be in your room anyway on the trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We took the 3-day trip from Long Beach to Ensenada. We had an awesome experience and the entire weekend was just one long party. We got to pre-board for the wedding making it very easy, then a beautiful wedding/reception that was followed ... Read More
We took the 3-day trip from Long Beach to Ensenada. We had an awesome experience and the entire weekend was just one long party. We got to pre-board for the wedding making it very easy, then a beautiful wedding/reception that was followed by 3-days of non-stop fun and partying. The room steward was the best, our room was always fresh, clean and he always met us with a smile or friendly word. This was our first cruise and we were impressed by how much space we actually had in our standard room, good water pressure in the shower and toilets worked surprisingly well. Nice linens & pillows, the cute towel animals each night was a pleasant treat, and room was relatively quiet except the drunks/kids in the hallway. We dined with our group in the dining room each night and was treated to nice dinners and friendly wait staff. There were a couple of hiccups there, but the staff was always so friendly, accommodating, and fun, you really didn't mind. The only thing that could use some improvement was the very slow service at the bars. Be ready to spend a bit of time to get a drink, and even when they're not busy don't expect fast service (and they're not friendly ~ except the young gal in the atrium bar, she at least served her drinks with a hello & smile). We used the Carnival Hub app on our phones to communicate with each other, $5 charge is well worth it if you are travelling with a group. Our day in Ensenada was a lot of fun too. We went to the Rosario Beach Party at Papas & Beer. It is just what you would expect for a laid-back Mexico style party bar. They provided us seating in their reserved beach area (broken old plastic furniture), shade umbrellas, decent lunch, cold beers and great service. No complaints. The locals will try to peddle their wears but that is just Mexico, be ready for it. It's only about 30 minutes south of San Diego, so expect the ocean to have the same cold water. When the cruise ended they have that have that process down really smooth too, and we had no delays or problem (we took our own luggage off the boat). Would definitely do this trip again!! If you're looking for a quiet relaxing get away this is NOT the cruise for you. It's a fun party from the minute you board the ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you ... Read More
I just got back from a three day cruise on the Inspiration (Oct. 7-10). I’ve done this weekend cruise many times but I never get tired of it. The port is one hour from home, closer to drive to then Vegas, and really a bargain when you consider that you get your room, food and entertainment. This time it was just me and my daughter. I was really looking forward to seeing the changes since dry dock. Basically, the ship looked the same to me with the exception of the addition of Guys Burgers and the Mexican food right beside it. (Forgot the name, might be Blue Iguana) I got to say that this trip boarding and disembarking were the easiest I’ve ever experienced in all my years of cruising, on any line. We arrived just a tad before noon and walked right into the building to get our sign and sail cards. No line whatsoever. We went straight to the lido deck and didn’t want to wait in the buffet line so we went for the burgers. They were really good and with anything you could possibly want to put on a burger. Came with fries too and they were hot and crispy. Sat down and got our first drink of the day to enjoy with our food. After lunch we went to our room. It was cabin M44, outside cabin with a picture window. The single beds were positioned in an L shape with one bed against the picture window and the other bed on the right hand side. There was a chair next to bed and a small bench to sit on under the vanity. There was plenty of closet space. We didn’t use half the space there was. Bathroom was typical set up with a cloth shower curtain, small sink and toilet. Plenty of cubby space for incidentals. There was a shelf in the corner where I think the old style tv’s used to sit. This time this is where the cabin attendant put our towel animals. There was a small flat screen tv mounted to the wall (24”). We explored the ship until it was time for the muster drill. As first I thought we were going to get off easy. We were herded into the Paris lounge and took a comfortable seat while they explained the process and demonstrated how to put on a life vest. But then we all had to go up to the deck where the life boats were and wait for more instructions. By the time that was over we went back to our room to get ready for dinner. With just the two of us we had no idea what the seating arrangement would be. We had early (6:00 pm) seating in the Carnivale dining room. We were placed at a table for ten, all ladies. It was nice to make some new friends. My daughter and I ordered the steak and lobster for the extra surcharge. When the plate came I first thought, hmmm what a small serving. It turned out to be just right and very good. After dinner we went to the casino to spend our daily allowance and then afterwards we went to do karaoke. Karaoke drew quite a crowd and you only got to sing one song, but one was enough for me. The karaoke host had books but he said that they were out of date and that he may or may not have the song you wanted. He also had a lot of songs that were not in the book so you basically had to ask. The next day (Saturday) we arrived in Ensenada. We had no plans for that day so we just got off the ship and there was a bus taking people into town. It was $2.00 to get to town and $1.00 to get back. However, when we got on the bus, the guide announced that after the drop off in town, they would be going to La Bufadera. The cost was $15.00 and that included the return to the ship. We did that and enjoyed the excursion. There were many vendors and stalls and a free sip of pina colada every other vendor. We took our time strolling down the street and eventually reached the “blow hole” which is the highlight of the trip. That evening, we joined our table for dinner and everyone talked about what they did that day. I had prime rib for dinner and it was very good. After dinner we killed a little time in the casino and then went to the 60’s Show in the main lounge. We enjoyed the show and met one of the dancers afterwards who knew my niece. My niece (by marriage) used to be a dancer for Carnival and the Inspiration was her first contract. That is where she met my nephew who was a DJ on board. Sunday was my day to sleep in. After we got up and had breakfast, we finally made it to the Serenity deck. I love that spot. Plenty of padded loungers, some in the sun and some in the shade plus two jacuzzi’s. I don’t remember how long we stayed there but we eventually left and went for a late lunch. That night I had salmon for dinner and no dessert. By now I’ve had enough food and drinks. I forgot to mention that breakfast Sunday morning was the brunch in the dining room and I had steak and eggs. It was very good. That is why I ordered the salmon for dinner as I had already had my fill of red meat. Truth be told, I could eat steak every day. Sunday night was the 80’s disco show and we both enjoyed it. Now both shows were Playlist productions and it appeared that the singers were actually singing but to canned music, like glorified karaoke. I thought the sound system was good though and hard to tell from an actual band. After the show the cast from the show and guests on board all congregated in the atrium for a Mardi Gras party. After that, it was back to the casino for a bit where my daughter hit a small jackpot. She was so thrilled you would have thought she hit the lotto. Before long I was worn out and ready for bed. The next day we did the disembarkation where you take your own luggage with you rather then set it outside your door the night before. We each had just one small rolling carry on so it was simple. We strolled down to deck 7 at 8:00 am and I swear we were off by 8:10. I forgot about traffic on Monday morning, but even so, my daughter had be home by 9:10. My next cruise will be on the Dream next July but this little trip was just what I needed until then. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise ... Read More
We need a place to hang out as our house is fumigated for 3 days and we decided to take a 5-day cruise. That was our 5th time to cruise (4 with Carnival, 1 with Royal Caribbean) I can say that this whole Carnival Inspiration cruise experience was the worse of all! The vessel is old with not much upgrades, shows are short, no live band, not so much activities for teen age kids. All they emphasized on board was to sell and sell, booze, jewelry, paintings,souvenirs, photos, etc., etc! Crews were okay except for the captain who cut my kid while in the pizza line. He was rude and arrogant just because he is in-charge. That would be our last for the Carnival as we are looking a much nicer cruise line in the future. Never, never again with Carnival especially the one that docks in Long Beach, CA. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are ... Read More
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are paper-thin. We even brought a white noise machine and it could not cover the noise from the hallway. Our room was at the back of the ship on the Empress deck and I feel really sorry for those people who stay in the middle of the ship because of all the partying and loud speakers at the atrium. The house-keeping service was great. The restaurant food was also not bad. The only thing that was disappointing was the tea time. It started at 3pm, and we arrived at 3:10. The server placed us at the back along with those who came late. We were only offered smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. The same items came back twice. When we asked if there is anything else (sweets and pastries), the server told us no. But we saw some people eating them at the front of the restaurant! We sat there waiting and waiting and the only thing that came was the sandwiches. By 3:30 they expected us to leave and no more items were offered. It was the lamest "high tea" ever! Should have just gone to the buffet instead wasting our time at the so called tea time. The entertainment was not bad. Very similar shows and games as the other Carnival ships. If you are thinking of sailing with Carnival Inspiration, be prepared that the ship is old, the decor are dated, and the walls are thin. But the service was alright and I guess for the price you pay you can't ask for much. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the ... Read More
My son treated my boyfriend and i to a cruise...he went with us, with his girlfriend...I am a senior citizen and never travel....THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL....i HOPE WE GET TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE....WE ATE IN THE DINING ROOM EVERY NIGHT,,,the room was cold....but, our steward, Ian got us an extra blanket....it was sooooooooooo great,,,and all of the staff was wonderful...my boyfriend is really into karaoke....what fun....lots of karaoke at the Shangrala Bar...the trip to Santa Catalina was also a wonderful expierence...we rented golf cart and drove it all over the Island.....if you have ever had a hesitation....GET OVER IT...AN HURRY AND BOOK YOUR TRIP....this was only a four day one...oh..I bought sea-sick bracelets....never needed them....took them back when we got back and got our $$ back...the sailing was soooo smooth....I was comforted to see that the lifeboats were all enclosed ....every night we had the same waitress.... Kosyadinka, from Bulgaria....the staff works so hard...she was from Bulgaria....and her husband was also a server....we loved her.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
First of all, the ship departed late. It was supposed to leave at 5:30pm, but it didn't leave until 6:30pm. We waited on the deck until the ship sailed, so we were late to our first dining at 6pm. The waiter gave us an attitude about ... Read More
First of all, the ship departed late. It was supposed to leave at 5:30pm, but it didn't leave until 6:30pm. We waited on the deck until the ship sailed, so we were late to our first dining at 6pm. The waiter gave us an attitude about getting there late, and rushed us through our meal. They even start taking away our kids' utensils, so my son had to use a fork to eat ice cream! Towards the end of the meal, the waiter gave us another lecture about getting there on time the following night. My kids enjoyed the punchlines comedy shows which was the highlight of the day, and playing table tennis. There was only 2 table tennis tables, so we weren't able to play until at night when people were at the shows. There's also mini golf if you can find a golf ball. I suggest bringing your own golf balls. My kids also stayed at camp ocean for 2 hours playing dodge ball which they enjoyed and also met some friends from there. The Hasbro show is fun and exciting. The Motown and VIP shows were just okay. The songs they played were oldies. I don't understand why they don't play some recent songs like Taylor Swift or One Direction. The VIP show is geared toward the VIP members. These VIPs were pulled to dance in the stage with the crews and they are ell wearing huge VIP tags. The food is mediocre. The formal night they serve lobster and prime rib. The following morning (day at sea) we had filet mignon and egg fir brunch. The filet mignon was very tender and tasty, but the portion is do small they we all had to order seconds. The last night, they served escargot as the appetizer which was really good. The Mongolian Bbq was not good - the noodles were too dry and hard. The deli bar had good sandwiches. Every night, we went up to the lido deck at10pm to get the sandwiches bc they close at 11pm. At Ensenada, we got jipped off by a guy who offered us a $25 per 1/2 hour carriage ride. He told us he would take us to the beach and downtown, but 15 minutes into the ride, he said we had to pay another $15 for him to take us to the beach bc it would be an hour ride. We decided not to yield, so we only went 3 blocks down the street and then turned back to downtown. There are plenty of beggars, and my dtr felt bad for them until we figured we spend way too much money on donations. We bought 3 name on the rice necklaces and 3 friendship bracelets for $10, and 3 wooden turtles for $2. My daughter really enjoyed the little booths. I also had done street tacos for$1-1.50. They were greasy but delicious. The gym had a sign on it that said only for > 18y/o, so my kids can't go in. Someone suggested bringing magnets, but the door wasn't made of steel, so that didn't help. And yes, you can still ask for playing cards at guest services, but they don't have post cards. Lastly, you can get lanyards for you S&S card at the casino. The pictures on board Are expensive, but we were tempted into spending $65 on them. Parking at the dock is $19 per day. Overall, my kids really enjoyed the cruise. It was their first time, but they had a lot of fun. Because if this, I will overlook the bad customer service and take them back again. Read Less
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