5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Sail Date: June 19, 2010 Ship: Carnival Inspiration Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 7 years ago
This was our first cruise. We enjoyed it but learned a lot about what to look for in our next one. The biggest thing was the pool, which was small and there were so many kids we never got in it. We chose to sit on the upper deck away from the kids and wished for a bigger area than the Serenity deck where we could go. The ship was smaller than some and it did not take long to figure out where everything was. Although this is an older ship it is well kept and cared for.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
There was always food available. There were great choices, you could eat a burger or grab a salad. The kids loved being able to get the chicken fingers. We chose to eat at the lido deck for breakfast and lunches, and waited until the off times when everyone else was already done, that way we did not have to wait in the lines. The dinners we ate in the dining room every night. All our meals were very good, the wait staff was excellent and we enjoyed the shows with them dancing around and goofing off.
3 out of 5
Not too impressed with the entertainment or activities (what activities?). The dancers are only so so, like a bad Vegas show, out of sync, looks like they watch too many Insanity videos and then take their moves from them. As for activities, bingo anyone??? Ping pong? What else did they do, not much that I saw. Or maybe it just was not much I cared to participate in. We enjoyed the comedy, although that was also only so so. Paul the cruise director was funny and had a lot of great information during his programs. I made sure to watch them on the TV since I was usually out in the sun when he did them.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
The wait staff in the lido deck are "friendly" but more like robots, how fast can they clear your table. They don't say much, not sure they understand much but basic English. The dining room staff is better, more personality there. They get you what ever you want, when ever you want it.
5 out of 5
The ship seemed clean and the crew was constantly cleaning it and keeping it picked up. There is a lack of public restrooms. I found myself running up and down stairs trying to find a bathroom and then having to wait in line. Since my cabin was on one of the lower decks that was not always an option to run back to the room.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Bring a hairdryer!! We got an inside state room, or should I say a cave. This was my first cruise, so I did not know any better. When we got on the ship our room was not ready. When we went back at 7:00 (boarded at 1:30) our room was only partially ready. When we returned from dinner it was finally finished. We did not meet our steward for 2 days, which I found weird, but whatever, I only saw him once after that. On the other hand my kids had a room with a window and we met their steward the first night. But they had one night where no one ever came and turned down their beds. We even went to Guest Services and still they never showed. Overall the rooms were fine, clean, neat, and we loved our towel animals at the end of each day. My husband and I shared a room, and we had 4 teenagers in the other room. Four people is a bit too many, you could get away with 3, but 4, well lets just say there is no room to move, luggage in the middle of the floor, made me claustrophob
I would suggest an excursion here or paying to go to the Playa Mia beach. We didn't and regret it now. We rented a taxi for the day, went shopping and then a "free" beach. The shopping was only okay, after a few shops you saw the same things over and over again. The jewelry stores are everywhere, if you like jewelry then I guess that is okay, but they were very overpriced, so what is the point of that. Our taxi driver took us to a free beach, where we could snorkel and kayak for free, it was tiny and there was not much to see. We had a long drive and were very hot by the time we got back.
Don't Miss: I heard Playa Mia was great, next time that is waht I will do.
We went on the Snorkel and Stingray excursion and enjoyed it tremendously. Had great boat captain and assistant. Came back to go shopping but the weather was bad, so went on the ship in the pouring rain. What we did see was kind of expensive, so we did not buy anything.
Pros: We loved the food, the staff was very courteous and efficient.
Cons: The one tiny pool with way too many kids in it, we never touched it.
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.
Every Wednesday you'll receive the latest articles, deals, and news from the Cruiseline.com team, plus tips and photos submitted by our vibrant community of diehard cruisers. You'll also get a free gift — a downloadable, printable PDF of our guide to cruising!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals.
Join other subscribers and get the best cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.