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Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review to Mexico

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 31

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Carnival Inspiration

3 Night Baja Mexico (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 19, 2018

Ship: Carnival Inspiration

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: S2

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I have never taken an ocean cruise before so I tried this one because it seemed like an easy trip for someone who lives in Southern California. This is a fun short weekend getaway to Mexico for those of us that live close to Los Angeles. I enjoyed the trip but probably won't do it again. It does, however, encourage me to try longer trips to more exotic places.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We ended up getting upsold to one of two Owner's Cabins so we got the royal treatment when we embarked. Someone walked us through the terminal onto the ship and directly to our cabin as soon as we arrived. Couldn't have been better

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
This was my first ocean cruise so I don't have much to compare it to. The food options were good but the actual food was not great. I thought the buffet was confusing and most of the food was just warm, not hot. We ate at the restaurant two of the three nights and both times, the food was good but again, not great. The last night, we purchased off the extra menu and that was better but not worth what we paid, in my opinion. Nothing was horrible and we certainly didn't go hungry. My favorite was what everyone told us we would love - Guy's Burgers were excellent. Purchased drinks were great - they didn't skimp on the alcohol. Not cheap but tasty.

Redfrog Rum Bar

5 out of 5

Great drinks and friendly bartenders.

Guy's Burger Joint

5 out of 5

Best food of the trip. Freshly made to order with lots of tasty toppings. On a three day trip, we went there twice.

Grand Buffet

3 out of 5

There was a lot of variety but it was set up somewhat confusing. There were stations all around the room and it wasn't really clear to us what was the same as other areas or what was unique and different. On a three day cruise, you don't have time to wander around figuring out the lay of the land. Also, the food was consistently warm, not hot.

Blue Iguana Tequila Bar

5 out of 5

Friendly bartenders and great drinks.

Alchemy Bar

2 out of 5

The first day when we boarded, we tried to talk to the bartender because we were interested in trying this bar out. She was very dismissive and almost ignored us. We were very disappointed and didn't return for the rest of the trip.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We did Bingo, which was a little frustrating because we kept waiting for someone to help us with supplies but it took forever (even though there wasn't a crowd). Didn't use the pool but did try one of the hot tubs (by the Adults only area) and it was just lukewarm. It was a cold day so we were pretty miserable - too cold to get out but not warm enough to stay in. The next day was a Sea Day and the water wasn't any warmer, although there were lots of people trying it anyway. On a three day cruise, having major items like hot tubs not working is pretty frustrating.

Serenity

4 out of 5

For us, this was the great little getaway area of the trip. The only negative - it was a colder trip and because this is at the back of the ship, it got pretty cold there, even during the day.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The stage show we saw the first night was very high energy and the performers were very entertaining. t It kept us dancing in the aisles until the end of the show and we kept going out into the atrium - lots of fun. We went to two comedy shows - one was terrible and the other was very funny. We went to karaoke, which was fun until later in the evening when it became a small group that just kept monopolizing the stage. Also, the sound system kept going out so you couldn't hear the singing. The side entertainers (musicians throughout the ship) were mostly pretty fun to listen to. For a short cruise, we found lots of fun things to entertain us.

Paris Main Lounge

5 out of 5

The venue was comfortable and well designed and the entertainment we saw there was excellent.

Children's Programs

No children with us.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our room steward was wonderful - she kept the room ready for us at all times and every time we saw her, she was friendly and helpful.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
I don't have a lot of experience with cruising but it seemed to me that the ship is a little tired.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
We stayed in the fanciest room on the ship (Owner's Cabin) and most of the decor was outdated. It was clean and comfortable - just seemed like it needed to be refreshed. There was lots of room and the view was pretty great (overlooking the Lido). Although the balcony is a good size and quite comfortable, the view is obstructed.

Ship tip

The two hot tubs at the back of the ship are usually pretty quiet, compared to the two on the Lido. On our trip, they weren't hot but on a warmer cruise time, this probably doesn't matter. Because this is an Adults Only area, it stays pretty quiet. The way to get there is by going through the doors of the Paris Lounge.

Ports of call

Long Beach (Los Angeles), California Did not visit port

We live here so didn't go sightseeing on our trip.

Ensenada, Mexico

4 out of 5
We skipped the excursion options and just went out on our own. We took the local bus to the center of town. Even though they tried hard to sell us on a tour, we said no. When we asked how to walk to town, we were told it wasn't much of an area to walk. We got off anyway and found a fun main street to walk on with lots of local sellers. We got off the ship at 9:30, spent a couple of hours walking and shopping until we hit the end of the drag and stopped at Papas and Beer for Guacamole and Chips made at our table by a local, and washed it all down with some beer. By the time we were ready to head back to the ship, the place filled up with folks from the ship finishing their excursions and it got full fast. We could easily have walked back to the ship but opted to take a taxi.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
We were walked off the ship which saved us a little time but there is no way to speed through Customs. Overall, we were off in probably 20 minutes and on our way.
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