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Mary Anne

Age: 60

Occupation:school counselor

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Inspiration

Sailing Date: 2011-09-5

Itinerary: TAMPA - DAY AT SEA - GRAND CAYMON - COZEMEL - DAY AT SEA - TAMPA

This cruise was wonderful. It was definitely not "high end", but then neither was the price. The food was great; there was so much to do onboard and the staff was helpful and friendly. The ship was beautifully decorated and there were always crew cleaning somewhere so the ship stayed spotless.

The dining room offerings were wonderful. The portions were perfect and the menu offered enough variety for most any taste. There were so many other opportunities for food besides the dining room. There was a Sushi bar in the evening, a 24 hour pizza bar, a 24 hour ice cream/yogurt bar, and a huge indoor/outdoor grill near the pool that had so many choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We had a lovely stateroom with a balcony which was plenty big enough. The bathroom did NOT have a hair dryer which I already knew from research prior to the cruise. There was a flat screen tv, mini fridge, 1 outlet in the stateroom and 1 in the bathroom for electrical razors. There was PLENTY of drawers and hanging space for clothes. Our room stewards, Iryl and Jo, were very friendly and kept our room beautifully. The linens were so comfy.

There were so many things to do onboard. There were 2 big "shows" as well as a passenger talent show. The only thing I didn't really care for was the female singer in the shows. Some of the karaoke contestants could have done better. There were a lot of fun games and contests. There were MANY different lounge areas which was perfect for offering different types of music. The assistant cruise director, Skyler, was hysterical. He really kept things moving! There were many (almost too many) opportunities for professionally made photographs at fairly reasonable prices.

If you go to Grand Cayman DO NOT MISS the museum not far from the dock. It really was awesome for such a small island. Also - as soon as we got off the ship there was a place to get an international phone card for $5 for 25 minutes - much cheaper than onboard rates. If you go to Cozumel or Playa del Carmen DO NOT MISS the ruins of Tulum. And pay a little extra for a guide so what you will see won't be 'just a pile of rocks' but serious history about a highly advanced civilization.

We left Tampa on Monday afternoon and sailed all day Tuesday. What a wonderful, relaxing day (in between the fun activities). My husband and I were taking the cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday (on Thursday) and was surprised when my son and his family joined us! The ship offered 3 kids clubs for various ages which my son's children thoroughly enjoyed (and the clubs kept the kids busy so the parents could enjoy other activities). Tuesday night was "Elegant Night" when passengers dress up for dinner (we ordered LOBSTER for dinner). Wednesday we visited Grand Cayman Island and went to the local museum which I highly recommend. Thursday we went to Cozumel and took the ferry to Playa del Carmen. We went out to the Tulum ruins and hired a guide to give us a personal tour of the place. We learned a lot about the culture of this interesting civilization. Friday was a day at sea - another opportunity for relaxation and fun activities. Our waiter brought a special dessert with candles and sang "Happy Birthday" to me at dinner Thursday evening. The final show was "Shout" which featured various genres of music throughout the years. Laser lights, great costumes and dancers made the show quite an enjoyable event. The only 2 things that bugged me about the show was that the lead female singer was not great and there was only 1 African American in the whole show and she only danced. So the Motown songs were sung by the white male and female featured singers. As a matter of fact there were very few African American staff members on the whole ship.
Our cruise was a wonderful week which we thoroughly enjoyed. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this cruise!

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