Sail Date: November 01, 2010 Ship: Carnival Inspiration Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Family (young children) Reviewed: 6 years ago
This was my son (5) and daughter's (8) first cruise. It was my wife and my 3rd cruise. We had a great time with only a couple small snags, but ones that need to be addressed by Carnival. One of these is the Camp Carnival check-in that I'll discuss later and the other was the picture pricing policy. A portrait was $22 and the cheapest pictures were about $10. The pictures are printed and displayed for you to buy, but why doesn't carnival offer a deal or package for pictures. It seemed like Carnival was only interested in selling pictures at face value or not at all. That's their right, but I would think they would rather people take home more pictures to share with friends, so that they could get more business in referrals. Someone sees the pictures and then decides to go on a cruise to have the find of fun they see in others' pictures. We took pictures the last night and the total would have been about $250 for all 10. Why not cut people a last minute deal at half price or what about offering a deal like any 5 for $50 or $75? I think they would sell more pictures. That's win-win. The alternative is trashing them. Who wins then? Despite this annoyance we had a great time....and took our own pictures for free.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The food was great and we only had one hiccup with a dish that was listed as "smoked salmon", but should have been called "Sushi" instead. Other than that one dish every other dish, whether it was steak, lobster, shrimp, chicken, veal, or pasta was great. The table next to ours was a group of 5 ten-twelve year olds. They were roudy and their parents sitting 10 feet away seemed to be able to ignore them with no trouble. We were only 2 feet away and weren't so lucky. I think this was more of a parenting problem, than a ship's problem, so I wouldn't fault the ship for that.
3 out of 5
This ship needed more shows. The "Shout" show was good and there were a few talent and trivia shows that were good, but the entertainment in the trivia shows seemed to be more about how the host could rig teh show against certain contestants, than about the trivia. They also had a portion of a show that was a contest to see who could drink a coke and burb the loudest.
3 out of 5
The camp carnival staff was great and so were the activities. Our kids loved going and hated to leave. Here's the rub. We attended a meeting that said we had to complete a form for each child BEFORE bringing them to camp Carnival for drop-off. Despite this many of the parents of the 2-5 year olds brought theirs without filling out the forms. The problem was that instead of being given a form and told to leave and come back with it filled out, they were allowed to stand at the counter and fill them out one at a time while others like us waited for 45 miuntes. To make matters worse, the entrance to the camp was outside and it was drizzling. Making many wait because someone else can't follow the rules was (and is) unacceptable. They could have gone to the back of the line to fill out teh forms, thereby inconviencing only the ones who can't follow instructions.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
They were great. Our dinner seating was at 6, but on the Cozumel night were didn't arrive until about 6:40. We were still seated and had a great dinner. The matri'd came to us the night before and told us to see him if we missed our dinner time and he'd accomodate us. No one ever acted like it was a hassle that we were so late to dinner.
5 out of 5
I liked the ship and it seemed clean and well maintained. The crew was constantly cleaning in different parts of the ship. The only complain I had was that I got disoriented several times and it was hard to remember which was was foreward and aft....a problem I haven't had on other ships.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our interior stateroom was great and our attendant kept it in tip top order. We never saw our attendant, but that wasn't a problem for us. We cruised a competitor last year and had a cabin that supposedly would sleep 4, but was 121 square feet. Our room slept 4, but was 185, so we were thrilled.
Pros: The food, camp Carnival, the ports
Cons: The camp carnival Check-in procedure, the short time in Grand Cayman, the picture pricing policy
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