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Jessica

Age: 29

Occupation:Banker

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Inspiration

Sailing Date: 2009-01-1

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was our third cruise. I previously went on the Carnival Sensation and the Miracle. Overall I had a nice time but I was disappointed with the ship and service. We were the last sailing before the "remodel" which we we never told and because of this I think there were issues that were not resolved It was a 5 day cruise visiting Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I still love Carnival and have another cruise booked on the Glory for August 2009. I would recommend this ship for those on a budget or first time cruisers. I prefer a longer cruise and a better class of ship. I would rather pay a little extra and get a bigger ship, more ports and a longer cruise. You also get a different mix of people. On this cruise it was more kids and families. A younger crowd who was looking for economy. On the longer cruises there is just a different vibe.
The food was okay. I didn't expect 5 star dining and we were always full and happy. We hit the indoor buffet usually for lunch and that gave us several options. Our favorite was the sandwich station for a hot pressed turkey and cheese. They also had really good burgers, fries and hot dogs out by the pool. We had dinner at the late seating most nights in the formal dining room. The staff was fun and dinner was good. There was always something new to try and the waiter always knew what we wanted to drink and recommended dishes based on what he learned about us each night which was very personal and nice. We were seated at a round table of 10. I honestly didn't care for that. I have mixed feelings about sitting with strangers. On our previous cruise we made great friends with our dinner mates and being a couple, it was fun to have other people to hang out with. In this case we had some weird people at the table and we just didn't click. It wasn't bad but I think 10 people was just too much to handle. We did a lot of room service and I LOVE that about cruising! We would get back from a port and be so tired and it was great to relax in our room and have the food brought to us! it's also great for those late night munchies. Remember to bring some cash so you can tip. There is no charge for the room service but they do expect a few dollars tip. It's well worth it! We also LOVED the sushi bar. They had a great selection and it was always fresh.
We originally booked with 4 people and one cancelled. That left us with 3 and we decided to all stay in one cabin to save money. BIG MISTAKE! We had an inside cabin that was barley big enough for two people. It was awful with three. The "roll away bed" was a dirty stained mattress that sat on the floor that looked like it came from an alley somewhere. We had to call to replace it and what they brought back wasn't much better. We figured after a few drinks it would be manageable. The air conditioning was also broken and it just wouldn't get cool. Their solution was to remove the vent cover which left a big open hole in the ceiling and hardly helped. Then then brought us a fan that just took up more space. Very disappointing! Now that I know it was the final cruise before the re- vamp I can see why they didn't want to fix anything. It was all being ripped out anyway. I am normally not a picky person but the room was just depressing. It was dated and didn't look like it was being kept up. I was kind of bummed for a while and then thought..."well, I am on vacation so I might as well make the best of it."
One thing I love about cruising is that there is ALWAYS something to do. You can lay out by the pool all day or participate in all kinds of things from dance lessons to crafts. They really know how to bring out the fun in everyone and make you have a good time. We hung out some nights in the night club or sang karaoke in the lounge. There is a show every night so you can never get bored!
First stop was Cayman Islands. I have been twice before so this time we opted to take it easy. We took a taxi and went out 7 mile beach. It was about $10.00 for a bus ride there and back. The beach was nice but the water wasn't as clear as the other two times we had been there. I think it was due to a storm that had just passed. Our second stop was Cozumel. This was our third time there and we decided to do the beach buggy snorkel adventure. IT WAS AWESOME! We got to drive the coolest beach buggy around town to our snorkel sight. I have never snorkeled before and was a little afraid. They explained everything and I felt very safe. We swam through the clearest water and saw tons of amazing fish. It was amazing. I felt like I was in another world. After that we drove to a private beach and had lunch. It was so pretty and relaxing. i would recommend this to everyone.
Getting on and off the boat was easy. Tampa is a great port. i had a nice time and would do it again. My pointers would be to think about the age of the ship and the length of the cruise. if you can upgrade.. do it! You won't regret it. I am a cruiser for life! I love it!!

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