Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: February 24th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We arrived at the terminal at 10:45 on 2/24 expecting a 2 to 3 hour wait to board. I was pleasantly surprised to be eating lunch on the Lido Deck at 11:45. This was much quicker than I was lead to believe when I read other reviews of this cruise. Kudos to Carnival.
We spent the day getting to know the boat and went to dinner at 8:30 in the Mardi Gras Dinning Room. We met some incredible table mates (Michael, Teresa, Lynn, Jason, Ellen & Jim). The Head Waiter was efficient but we did not get the spectacular service that we expected. The Assistant Waiter was much better. The food was excellent and we could eat as much as we wanted. We didn't feel rushed at dinner, I believe because we had the last seating of the day. I think earlier seating are a bit more rushed. The food on the Lido Deck and the Brasserie was very good also (Excellent Hamburgers).
We attended several shows which were pretty good, but not spectacular. The female singer was not very good at all, but the dancers and male singer were pretty good.
Our room steward left a lot to be desired. Dirty Glasses not removed from the room; Dirty Beach Towels not changed out; Ice Bucket usually empty; Empty Water Bottles not removed from the room. Our table mates, however, raved about their Room Steward, so I guess our experience was isolated.
One day it rained very hard for about the whole day. As a result several of the rooms with balconies flooded even though the balcony door was closed (Keep this in mind if you plan to book a balcony room). Since the boat was full, there was no where to relocate these guests to.
The boat was very clean and the staff was very friendly and attentive.
I was prepared for debarkation to be the worst part of this cruise. I was told to be prepared to Wait and Wait and Wait... To my surprise, I was off of the boat and waiting on the curb for my ride by 9:15 AM. I didn't get a chance to Wait. Tip...At debarkation, just go when the first group is called. Even if your group was not called, they won't go through the hassle to send you back. Heck, the attendant at the gate didn't know what group I was with anyway.
One negative, is that Carnival is very adept at wringing lots of money from their passengers. If you can book your own excursion, I am sure you will save a lot of money. Bingo is very expensive yet the prizes are minimal. Tea is free but horrible, so you will have to get the Fun Fountain Soda Card which is not free. Of course alcohol is not free either and not cheap. Be very careful with your Sail and Sign Card, the bill adds up quickly.
Overall, I give Carnival an "A" for this cruise but there are some "Gotcha's" to watch out for.
Enjoy your Carnival cruise.