November 2015 - Carnival Inspiration to Mexico
This was our first cruise for a family of four (parents and children under 15). Overall, it was a good cruise and we would do it again.
-The ship's crew was excellent (cabin attendants, food service, entertainment crew, etc). I don't know that I've seen harder workers and they did their best to be friendly and attentive.
-Clean cabins and common areas
-Music productions and comedians were excellent
-Automatic tipping was easy and hassle-free. They deserved every penny, in my opinion.
-Lots of options for activities (kids activities, shows, trivia, music, days at port)
-LaBufadora and the market were worth seeing. We didn't book with Carnival, but got $15.00 tickets on the shuttle bus to downtown once we arrived in Ensenada. I don't know if it would have been worth double the price. Bought a few thingsfrom the market (be sure to barter). Had tacos and a free margarita at Havana Banana.
-Rented a golf cart and drove around Catalina Island for a few hours. That was fun, but otherwise didn't find much else to do on the island. The glass bottom boat was being serviced. We did walk along the beach and collect sea shells.
-The weather was a little cool, rainy and windy. Obviously, this is not the fault of the cruise line,but something to consider when traveling to this location this time of year. We would have liked to have used the pool and waterslide, but it was too cold.
- was supposed to give us on-board credit for booking with them. Despite filling out their forms, this did not happen. After a lengthy phone call to them and a Better Business Bureau complaint, they credited our card. They had no explanation for why it wasn't done right to begin with.
-While there was definitely enough food to go around and it was well-prepared, I would have liked to have seen a little more variety in the offerings.
-The muster is ineffective and poorly completed. We spent about 45 minutes being scolded for talking with about 5 minutes of instructions on how to put on a lifejacket. And then we spent another 15 minutes walking to the life boats and standing in a quiet, straight line four deep looking at them. Nothing done in the muster would aid in a real emergency. This really should be re-thought.
-The ship is showing wear (rust spots,sun faded life boats), but we were told that it is going to be shut down for renovations in January. While crew members do a good job of keeping it clean, it needs a facelift.
-Prepare for lines: wait to eat, wait to embark, disembark, wait to go ashore, wait for the show doors to open, etc.
-The "Adults Only" hot tubs were full of kids all of the time.
-We were on the ship Thanksgiving Day, but there was hardly a mention. Our waiter greeted us with Happy Thanksgiving and turkey was a choice in the dining room that night, but that was it. I know that it's a U.S. holiday, but 75% of the passengers were from the U.S. and it would have been nice to have a little more of a celebration. Just a thought.