Pleasantly surprised!: Carnival Inspiration Cruise Review by pismogirl
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We are late 40's/early 50's and sometimes behave more like 30-year olds. We enjoy socializing and having a few cocktails and I would say we are pretty laid back. We enjoy our vacations and try not to let the little stuff get to us. Our fellow passengers seemed primarily to be a mix of late twenty somethings to mid forty somethings, with a little of every other age group mixed in. We found most of the other passengers to be very nice, polite and social. It was not a school break so there were only a handful of children on board that we could see.
The cabin: I was a little apprehensive because the ships that sail that itinerary don't have many balcony cabins and we haven't sailed More without a balance since the 1990's. I'm happy to report that I didn't miss it. We had a portrait window that offered tons of light and I never felt claustrophobic, plus the window sill makes a great shelf. The cabin otherwise was just the same as most we have had in the past except there is not a little sofa. Plenty of storage, desk space and adequate bathroom. Shower actually had really good pressure once you get the hang of the temperature adjustments.
The ship: I was really impressed with this ship; I think i expected it to be outdated, but that wasn't the case at all. The decor was subtle by Carnival's standards and the public areas didn't feel crowded. My only complaint was that our cabin was near the center elevators, however you can't use that bank of elevators to get to the pool area or the Mardi Gras dining room so we were walking back and forth a lot, and I missed not having a bar at the Serenity deck in the back. On past cruises that has been our go-to.
The staff: I can't say enough; the staff on this ship are the friendliest and most helpful around. From our steward to the dining staff, bartenders, room service - all of them were great.
The food: There have been a lot of mixed reviews on the food and my expectations were low going in. It ranged from okay to really, really good. At the high end is Guy's burger joint. It really is one of the best burgers you're going to have, and is really unexpected on a cruise ship. The breakfast at the Lido was also surprisingly good. We had all four dinners in the Grilled Tenderloin. The fish was grilled perfectly, but was just a little plain for my taste (but very healthy!). Prime Rib was good, cooked as we requested and had a nice gravy. Pork Chop was my least favorite, but still was okay. My best meal was the tenderloin. It was grilled perfectly, very flavorful, large portion and was served with Bernaise sauce on the side and mac and cheese with bacon. Yum!
Ports: We've been to Catalina and Ensenda before so we mostly walked around, ate and stopped for a few cocktails. The fish and chips on the Pier in Catalina were especially good. In Ensenada we took a bus from port for $3 each that dropped us downtown. Walked around and spent the last part of the day at Hussongs, which is the oldest bar in the California's. $1 beers make it an easy stop.
Entertainment: The poolside DJ did a great job of keeping it fun and lively without being too loud. We went to 3 adult comedy shows; and we couldn't stop laughing at either one. We checked out the dance club and the karaoke bar; both were fun and spent our fair share of time in the Casino. Husband was on a lucky streak so that turned out well for us. We also caught an impromptu performance in the atrium bar by the performers in "Motor City", and it was great.
Debarkation: We did the self assist and once we were up and packed, we simply walked off the ship. Customs took no more than 10 minutes and we were on our way. We will definitely go this route in the future.
Overall we had a great time. Each day at some point we would say to each other "Wow, this is really fun!". Can't wait to do it again. Less
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