Sail Date: May 2019
I went on this ship as it was the only thing available at the last minute when trying to find a cruise to take my 30y.o. sister on who has never cruised before. I had done this itinerary twice before (Ensenada twice and Catalina Island ... Read More
I went on this ship as it was the only thing available at the last minute when trying to find a cruise to take my 30y.o. sister on who has never cruised before. I had done this itinerary twice before (Ensenada twice and Catalina Island once) and I had done this ship before in 2015 being in a wedding as my friend was married on it. The ship looks old, worn, and dirty. We saw crew members dusting the walls in the morning but important things like cleaning our oceanview window so we could have a clear view outside and pickup up trash in the public bathrooms were missed. The handwashing machine near Blue Iguana didn't work properly most of the time, just flashing a red light and and hand sanitizer near there was never filled. The bathroom nearest the buffet on port side, the air dreyer never worked and there were no paper towels available. Within 20min of boarding the ship we sat down in the buffet to eat lunch and the wooden bench part of the seat in one of the booths completely fell off the bench making my sister almost fall. Two crewmembers walked by, saw it was broken, and did nothing. Certain coffee makers and other drink dispensers didn't work the entire cruise. Our sheets had holes and there was only one outlet in the whole room. The food in the dining room was more miss than hit and no one encouraged hand washing like they do on NCL. I rarely touched the ladles and spoons to serve myself, using a blue cloth napkin instead, yet I'm still sick the day after the cruise. The casino house edge on roulette is insane with Carnival adding a B (bonus) green space to the the standard 0/00. The lady running the trivia was unfamiliar with the subject matter of some of the trivia games and while generally having people from all over the world work on the ship is an amazing display of diversity, in this case it made trivias less fun when you can't understand the host. Not only when running the Harry Potter trivia was she unaware of simple things like Ron's last name being pronounced Weasley and not Wesley but the second question asked was WRONG! "Of the three main characters, who is the oldest?" The correct answer is Hermione, yet on her sheet (and clearly because she's not versed on the subject matter to know otherwise) the answer says Ron, which is incorrect and leaves a damper on the experience itself when those running a trivia don't know the correct answers. German C, the DJ on board always looked like he hated being there. Nightclub hits was supposed to start at 11:30 in the dance club but normally he didn't stop playing oldschool or 90's hits until 12:15am or later making the fun of dancing to current music only last about 45min or so. Also, our server on the third night in Mardi Gras was not very kind nor patient. And the person staffing the pizza area in the back of the buffet always had an attitude as if you were bothering him. The Cruise Director Ryan Rose was great and so was his right hand man 'Fernando(?)'. They were the positives of the cruise. The two shows in the theaters while short and had basic choreography and wasn't anything new or exciting, was still entertaining and the male lead singer/dancer was very good. My sister enjoyed the nightclub but wished they played current hits starting earlier in the night since it ended early. Too many times she tried to eat a caesar salad but it either had too much or too little dressing no matter how she specified it. Overall she enjoyed herself so in my opinion if you haven't been on many cruises, or haven't been on new and large ships or haven't stayed in a balcony cabin before and don't have much to compare it too you may enjoy this cruise for a quick getaway if you are local to the area. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I'm just off the Carnival Inspiration and thought I'd share! Our intinerary was supposed to be Long Beach - Catalina - Ensenada - Long Beach. What it turned out to be was Catalina - San Diego - Ensenada - San Diego - Long ... Read More
I'm just off the Carnival Inspiration and thought I'd share! Our intinerary was supposed to be Long Beach - Catalina - Ensenada - Long Beach. What it turned out to be was Catalina - San Diego - Ensenada - San Diego - Long Beach. There were two medical emergencies, one on the way, one on the way back, so that's why the unscheduled stops. We got to Catalina on Tuesday morning after kind of a rough night at sea. People started disembarking and then they shut down the tenders due to high winds and rough water. I hadn't left yet so didn't get to see the island at all. We then traveled to Ensenada, arriving the next morning. I did the Taste of Mexico/Tequila Tasting excursion which was fun. Naturally we had the obligatory shopping stop. That night was the formal dining. There were a lot of seasick people on this ship. It was cold and windy the entire time. People were still in the pool though! I would not recommend this itinerary for people prone to seasickness or who mind the ship rocking and rolling. I'm not sure if it's the same during the summer, though. The food was okay. Obviously preparing food for this many people is not going to be gourmet, but there was always something tasty to eat even if you didn't really care for the dining room selections. Typical buffet food. I wish Carnival would have better coffee. It's really kind of terrible. The Guy's Burger was good. The service on board was top-notch. All the ship's personnel were friendly, and boy do they work hard. Special shout-out to our waiter Manuel - he was great. I was in cabin M216 (aft) and was very comfortable. My first time in an inside cabin and I didn't mind it at all. This ship is old but in very good shape. Everything was clean. I didn't notice any of the foul odors that others have posted about. I'll be taking Carnival in the future, but not this itinerary. It was a reasonably priced week getaway and the good far outweighed the bad. Want to try one of the new ships next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were looking for a family friendly 4 day cruise and we found it! First time on Carnival Crew was very very nice My cabin was clean all the time Orlando our cruise director was a delite! Loved the dining was pretty good ... Read More
We were looking for a family friendly 4 day cruise and we found it! First time on Carnival Crew was very very nice My cabin was clean all the time Orlando our cruise director was a delite! Loved the dining was pretty good always a vegetarian selection Our kids enjoyed the kid activities such town animals, arcade, kids club - (although this was disorganized and s small fight broke out with several 10 years old in the kids club) yikes! Guys burger bar and taco bar by the pool was great! The winner for us was Alchemy Bar which mixed delicious martinis! Don’t miss this bar! Photo ops were everywhere so that was also a plus! Perfect amount of time on the cruise- Tiny bit sea sick due to boat going so slow- The Stufio VIP show on the last night was hysterical! Go to the comedy shows too If you a party this is your cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We appreciate Carnival Inspiration Crew for making our first family cruise a wonderful and memorable experience. Our steward Bernard was friendly and we appreciate his hardwork. We dined every night and it was a great experience for my two ... Read More
We appreciate Carnival Inspiration Crew for making our first family cruise a wonderful and memorable experience. Our steward Bernard was friendly and we appreciate his hardwork. We dined every night and it was a great experience for my two boys (8 years and 6 years-old) to try and enjoy a variety of foods. We thank the people who served us and we appreciate their hard work. We also enjoyed the dining entertainment- your crew can definitely dance! My boys also enjoyed the breakfast with Dr. Seuss and the family comedy shows. We will for sure cruise with Carnival again. Our excursion in Ensenada- La Bufadora was really great. Belen was our tour guide and was very knowledgeable and welcoming. I am glad that I booked our excursion through Carnival. Our day at Catalina Island was also fantastic. We enjoyed riding around with the golf cart. We appreciate that your price is fair and deliver and provide us a priceless experience!!! With gratitude, The Mendoza Family Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We took this cruise to celebrate a friend's birthday. The cost was right and it seemed like a good time was awaiting us on the ocean. Let me start with, THE GOOD: Good friends Funny times at Karaoke The Tequila part of the ... Read More
We took this cruise to celebrate a friend's birthday. The cost was right and it seemed like a good time was awaiting us on the ocean. Let me start with, THE GOOD: Good friends Funny times at Karaoke The Tequila part of the Ensenada tour THE BAD: The food was awful. Dinner was not served on time nor at a temperature, you would consider "warm". On one evening, a friend paid for the upcharged "surf and turf", watched all of us eat our "lukewarm" meal, and still hadn't eaten his (after an hour and 25 minutes). Not until we got up to walk around and look for the food service manager did his food arrive. The service was forgettable. How do you include a gratuity on a final bill when the service you received was terrible. Water started with ice then, you'd receive a warm second glass. I'd ask for a coca cola and by the time we were ready to leave the table, the drink would arrive. The excursion is dangerous, in a sense. You take 20 people out to drink beer and tequila, then you entrust them to walk back to the boat on their own?!?! I get it, it's a tasting, but the sensible thing to do would be to make sure "EVERYONE" is transported back to the boat at the same time, the same way we left the boat... TOGETHER... Our bed felt like to twin mattresses pushed together and didn't offer a great rest. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the third Carnival cruise for my husband and I. We have previously sailed on the Splendor and Dream. We were part of a group of 56 in a wedding group. We were flying in on JetBlue to the Long Beach Airport and had ordered ... Read More
This was the third Carnival cruise for my husband and I. We have previously sailed on the Splendor and Dream. We were part of a group of 56 in a wedding group. We were flying in on JetBlue to the Long Beach Airport and had ordered the Carnival shuttle. We were told to go to the left when exiting baggage and that the shuttle would be waiting there. We did not see the shuttle anywhere. Another passenger was also looking for it. We each called Carnival and it turned out that the shuttle had been there the entire time on the right not on the left. The shuttle driver had a tiny paddle that none of us had seen. EMBARKATION: We ordered Faster to the Fun and had a 12:00 check-in. We got to the terminal and dropped our bags off with the porter and quickly made it through the check-in. We were stopped just prior to boarding and told that we needed to check-in with Guest Services. That made me somewhat paranoid. So we went there and were told that there had been a problem with our room (E71) and that they had to paint a spot on the ceiling. We were given 2 free drink passes and went over to the bar across from Guest Services. Before we received our drink orders, the rep said that our room was ready. She directed us to our room where the sign and sail cards were waiting in the mail box. By this time it was 11:55, so we actually got to our room before our scheduled check-in time! We had an ocean-view room, before we had booked balconies so it seemed really small. The mattress was really comfortable. I needed a firm pillow. The steward brought the firmest pillow that I have ever seen and it was so thick we thought it was 2 pillows in the same case. I ended up stuffing a beach towel in the regular pillow and it worked really well. We went up to Lido and met up with some of our group. We hit up the buffet. It was Italian themed and typical buffet. We sat by the pool and visited our friends. Some of the guys got burgers from Guys. I stole some of the fries and they were the best fries ever. We wanted to go in the hot tubs but they were all over-flowing with people. The ones on the Serenity deck were also over-filled. Some schools were on spring-break so that was part of the problem, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of partying. After muster, we ended up on a balcony on the aft side of Lido to watch the sail away. It overlooked Serenity deck but was very quiet. We went to the late dinner. I don’t remember what I ordered but it was some kind of Asian noodle dish. And of course warm chocolate melting cake for dessert! After dinner, we went to the casino for awhile and quickly lost. We headed back to our room at about 10:15. Big mistake. We were just 2 doors down from the Atrium lobby and the music was so loud that our room was vibrating. We went to Guest Services which was in the lobby and complained. All they could do was close the firedoor. It did not help. Finally around 11, they shut it down. Tuesday - Catalina We met up with some of our group in the main dining room for breakfast. I had my favorite avocado toast and a side of bacon. It was excellent. We then took the tender to Catalina for the wedding. We walked to Step Beach. It was not marked so we all walked past it and had to ask around before we found it. They hired a local minister and had a beautiful ceremony. Next we met up at Steve’s Steakhouse for lunch. We had to order from a limited menu because of the size of the group. We had 4 options from which to choose. Most of us ordered the fish and chips. Mine was stone cold. Also the restaurant was on the second floor and they did not have an elevator. We then hung out for an hour or so and did a little shopping. One member of the group, got a call from the upgrade fairy and were given the Owner’s Suite, so they arranged a surprise wedding reception. The suite is beautiful and had a bathroom with a whirlpool tub bigger than our room! After the reception, we went to dinner. It was formal night and Carnival does not enforce the dress code at all. There was a man in a tank top and flip flops and a woman had on fuzzy bathroom slippers that were allowed to dine. A woman was in line with just a bikini top and sarong cover-up. I’m not sure whether or not she was allowed in. I had the end-cut of the prime rib and grilled shrimp for dinner. The prime rib was the best that I have ever tasted. I didn’t have room for the creme brûlée so had to pass on dessert. We went to the casino and I won about $20 on slots. We were tired and decided to go to bed. Once again, the music was blasting. We complained and they offered to let us switch to a lower-rated room. It was 10:30 at night on the 2nd day of a 4 day cruise and we didn’t really feel like packing up everything to switch rooms. So we waited the music out. Wednesday - Ensenada I started the day with my avocado toast and bacon. We then walked off the ship. I got nervous when the drug sniffing dog kept smelling my purse, but it was just my gum. We booked the La Bufadora Adventure through Carnival. The bus was very uncomfortable and the seats were smaller than Southwest Airlines. We first went to a historical building that was once the first casino on Ensenada. There were about 10 vendors in the patio. The best thing about the spot was we were off the crowded bus for a few minutes. We next had about a 45 minute ride to the blow hole. We had to walk through a flea market where they sold “genuine replicas”. You could not walk more than 2 feet without being approached by vendors. I was given about 10 small sips of Pina coladas from different vendors. We watched the blow hole sprout water. After paying 75 cents to use the bathroom, you are given a few squares of toilet paper. Anyway we went back to the flea market and had some delicious grilled shrimp and fish tacos. I wanted a virgin Pina colada and was told it would be $12. I said too much and walked away. A few booths up, I got one for $5. It was so delicious. They carved out the pineapple and served it in that with several slices of fresh pineapple. We walked past the stalls but nothing appealed to me. The tour guide encouraged everybody to order tacos to eat on the bus. So on the ride back, the cramped bus was filled with people chowing down. We got back to the ship and had a letter from Guest Services. They reported our complaints to the music director. They also comped us $80 for our excursion. We hung out with friends and then went to dinner. I ordered the veal parmesan and it was nasty. It was cold and dry and had hardly any sauce. We went to the love and marriage show. Our newly-wed friends were one of the three couples chosen. Orlando, the cruise director was hilarious and this was the highlight of our cruise. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. One thing that was disturbing, one of the other couples when asked if a parrot was in their bedroom would repeat and they both said “Dumb B****”. I felt so bad for the wife. We wanted to go to bed but decided to kill some time until the music died so we went to the casino. I came out about $25 ahead on slots. We then went to our room and once again had to make the nightly walk to guest services to complain about the noise. (We were only 2 doors down). The reps there weren’t too happy about the noise level either because they couldn’t hear the passengers. Fun Day at Sea We slept in and then went to Sea Day brunch. We had delicious filet mignon and eggs. We hung out for the jewelry raffle to find it was only a crappy keychain. We bought a few fashion accessories and ordered our pictures. We went back to the casino. I started playing some kind of Asian slot machine. I wasn’t sure how it worked, but I walked away with $150 because I kept winning free spins. We then went to the early comedy show. I think it was the same material from our last cruise on the Dream. Next was dinner. I had the tenderloin which was really good and carrot cake. We then went back to the casino and I won another $40 on the Asian machine. We cashed out and returned to our nightly “private concert” in our room. We then made our nightly report to guest services and waited for the DJ to shut it down. Debarkation Debarkation was very smooth. We hung out at Lido buffet until after 9. Then breezed through customs. Our shuttle was waiting and we quickly made it to the airport. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ... Read More
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ship is not very big and it’s easy to get around. Our cabin in Empress Fwd was nice and clean but we found it to be very noisy all night till 1am. They had some kids activities in a theater right above our cabin involving running and jumping, every night. I wouldn’t recommend this location for the cabin. Dining in the main dining room was good, but service could be little bit better. We never got our meal at the same time for everyone in the party. Your plate gets cold while waiting for your friends plate to be served, sometimes 20min later. They just bring meals whenever it’s ready for each person. Although, day at the sea brunch was very good and we enjoyed tea time in Mardi Grass restaurant. The major surprise was the Chefs table dinner. Beyond everyone’s expectations. It cost additional $75/person but it worth every penny and many more. It’s a truly amazing culinary experience and I will be back on this cruise just for that. Good Entertainment and overall atmosphere makes it Happy time and great place to celebrate any occasion. We liked all the music, theatre performances but most of all the comedy club. All comedians were very funny and we had great time. The gym is nice and there are yoga and spin classes in the morning. We took a spin class which was very good and equipment was in a good shape. Sunday we arrived in Encinada. It’s easy to get out the ship on your own and either take a bus or walk in to a town. There are number of shops, restaurants and bars in few blocks of downtown. We took a tour to 2 vineyards and we were glad we did it. The vineries are ok but ride was very scenic and we could experience a country side while we still had enough time left to check out downtown and visit few shops before the bus took us back to the ship. The disembarkation starts at 7am from Empress level. We carried our bags and left the ship early without any delays. This was overall very enjoyable trip, I only wish we had a different room in a quieter corner. We most likely will be back soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina ... Read More
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina Island-Ensenada-Long Beach trip from embark Monday and debark Friday, it was still a party crowd. We usually prefer a quiet, refine cruise but wanted to join the many folks we knew. Since there were many we have known for many years, the party type atmosphere worked well and we were pleasantly surprise that we enjoyed it. The cost was relatively inexpensive and we set our expectations lower and were overall happy with the cruise. The Guy's Burgers, deli, and pizza were great. The other dining venues, such as buffet and sitdown dining were disappointing. The servers often did not bring us and others what we ordered. Even request for crackers was given a response of call room server. A request to clean some chairs with food debris was met by the worker slapping the chairs with her dish towel. What was worst was that the sour cream and butter were not fresh, i.e. the potential for an upset stomach or worst. The cabin was larger than other cruiselines for the same category but the restroom had a foul odor that repeated attempts to pour water down the floor drain only partially helped. A number of folks got seasick even though they never had before on other sailings. Being a smaller ship of about 70,000 tons is part of the reason. But more likely it was the short sailing distance between the ports. Long Beach to Catalina is about 29 miles and the sailing was a leisurely 13 hours which meant say 2 miles per hour which is far too slow for the stabilizers to be effective. Also this slow speed means the wave actions will affect the ship more. The shows in the main theater were not Broadway type productions. They were just singing with related dance moves and much of the time was wasted with pulling audience members up to the stage to participate. The timing of the show comedians were too close to the main theater shows so we could not see them. The raffles at the ship stores were a big waste of time. They kept on delaying the start of the drawings and the prizes were terrible, such as a cheap shopping bag. The embark and debark were fast since for the short cruise we did carry on luggage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags ... Read More
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags were at our door around 3 room was ready at 130 . There was a tons of activities planned in the afternoon, we attended the fun aboard show which was informative and you have s chance to win prizes from shore excursions to spa credits to wine. Our cabin was a porthole room , spacious for 2 , great little view of the outside world . The bathroom was all in one , shower sink and potty . The water from shower goes all over so don’t leave any dry things laying around or they will be soaked . There was a sewer smell that came from the potty every so often but keeping the lid closed kept it at ease. The cabin would always smell like smoke when we returned to it . Think that was in part to bad ventilation , A tip bring room spray it helps for unwanted odors. We sprayed it up into the air vent. There was always an event going on , too much sometimes you didn’t know which to go to . The comedy , dance and games shows were top hits for us . The piano bar and atrium bar was our optional entertainment . Trivia was held on the atrium & if the cruise director was hosting it was a laugh & good time to be had. Dining was hot or miss the food was either excellent ok or blah , never consistent . The deli & pizza seem to have the freshest tasting food . The main dining room offered many options for anyone’s tastebuds. The fish , rare finds & sides were top hits with us . Shore excursions offered were great , in Catalina it’s best to your on your own since the town is small , so either rent a golf cart , take the local bus or walk . Lots of great restaurants & shops . Ensenada highly recommend a tour to la bufadorA so much to see on way there and once there lots to see , sample & shop . Bargain hunters paradise remember don’t take 1st price and walk when they don’t agree to price, they will chase you down for even better deal. The service on board was top notch , servers remembering your name/order, everyone saying hi , asking if they can help or trying to entertain . The cheers package is great you can try new drinks , plus get sodas & fancy coffee , water & teas too. All without the extra worry of costs . I would recommend this cruise for 1st timers, people who want a quick getaway or a family group cruise . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 2.0 0.0

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