January 2015 - 4 Night Catalina & Baja Mexico (Los Angeles Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Inspiration
Good for the Young and the Young at Heart
We took this cruise as a family. 4 of us shared an Ocean View Stateroom on E deck. It was not a large room to say the least as there was not enough room for a small couch as I have experienced on board other ships. Two twin beds and a sleeper from the wall. Luckily my son and I are small enough to fit in one bed. I could not imagine the pull out cot being laid out all at the same time. If we had to do that, it would have felt like camping in a tent with very little space to maneuver. LOL.
I say that this ship, and I do believe this cruise line is truly great for those who like to party inexpensively. This was the reputation it has had for many years but heard it had changed so thought I would give it a try. It turns out that it still is the party boat. Lots of dancing and shows. The food was mediocre, nothing exceptional to speak of.
This is not really a ship for the elderly as we found out with my 88 year old mother who struggled a bit with the limited space as the walker could not enter the doorway to the stateroom without being folded up first. There was not enough space between tables and chairs in the dining room or the main eateries. The spacing was much to close and we had to resort to her using the cane instead. They do have handicap rooms which facilitate wheelchairs but she is not at that stage yet to take away such a room from someone else in need and we have not had this issue on other ships.
The service was very disappointing to us all. The personnel seemed overworked and tired. There were the few that were friendly and made an effort but few and far between.
The gym or exercise areas was small but adequate but the room for Yoga/stretching was mostly taken up for seminars on weight loss, etc. Selling the next best thing. . . So when these seminars were going on know one could use the room for it's true purpose. They also told us that we could not stretch in the gym area because of the danger with the free weights. Many of us had an issue with this as the free weights should only stay within that matted area. Some of us ignored this, I for one because the manager was not polite and he chose not to allow us to use the proper floor space.
The spa area was always cold. My mother had massages daily but we almost cancelled the last one because the room was too cold. How could you have a comfortable relaxing massage when the rooms are cold and you are undressed?They have not updated their heating cooling system as it is connected to the gym which has to stay cool. So you can imagine how cold the changing rooms are too.
The port of Catalina is pleasant. If it is your first time there, I would suggest renting a golf cart and taking a drive on your own which is about 90 minutes with a few scenic stops. The restaurants are a little on the high end but that is to be expected in a tourist town.
The port of Ensenada was fine. We took that Cheese Farm tour which was a nice drive out of the tourist district into the mountains. Very quaint. Dropped off in town for so shopping which is shops selling basically the same touristy trinkets. Heard from other travelers that they had a great inexpensive lunch and drinks with fun ATVing. Others had fun on the Cabling tour.
All in all, if you want to party with friends or a young family with kids and you don't mind the basics, this ship is fine. But if you are wanting to relax with some luxury and great food this is not the ship I would recommend.