Occupation:Staff Assistant Specialist
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: February 24th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was my second cruise on Carnival, sailing from Tampa to Cozumel. I went on the Sensation last year and had an excellent time. We arrived at the port of Tampa at around 12:30 and didn't have any wait or problems boarding. We checked out our room (U55) and then went to have lunch on the lido deck, the muster drill I believe was around 3:30 and we set sail at 4 or 5.
The service on this cruise was excellent. Our waiter knew our names the first night and called us by our names each day. We also had a table to ourselves which was great since there was 4 of us. Our room steward always had our room cleaned in the blink of an eye. We would go to dinner and come back to a sparking clean room which was very nice. My only complaint was that he moved our stuff around which disorganized my clothes and other belongings. I came back losing a shirt and the daily newsletters that I wanted to save for my scrapbook. Our room was also right next door to our friends. If you want rooms next to each other, make sure to ask when booking your cruise, otherwise you might have a room way separate from your friends. After talking to some of the friendly crew, we realized that some of the staff put in more then 14 hours of work each day. We would see our waiter assistant at the cafe for lunch, at dinner, and then at the midnight buffet, which is crazy. The staff is very nice and attentive for having to do the same thing day in and day out, and for having to work such long hours.
It rained the first day at sea, but we had plenty to do, hanging out in the casino, the spa, or the bar. I only wish that there was a movie theater onboard. I would be nice to have.
Cozumel was beautiful. We rented a jeep for about $100 and went to some of the local beaches and bars (Mr. Sanchos, Rastas, Coconuts). I think that this is a much better value then some of the shore excursions. Simply because you can go at your own pace and go where you want to. There is only one main road on the island, so it is very hard to get lost. The only part that I was a little frightened at is the ride into downtown. There are many one way roads, and the driving is not like America. There were 4 people riding on one scooter, families packed into little cars, and everyone pulling out in front of each other. The staff at all the bars and beaches that we went to were very nice and friendly. Coconuts was definately fun. The owner has 2 dogs, a parrot, an owl, and a huge golden iguana that he will let you hold (for a price... I will let you ask and find out). At night we went out to Carlos N Charlies, which is a $6 cab ride from the pier. This bar is crazy fun and I recommend it to anyone who is looking to have a good time, you will be hanging out with mostly all cruisers from your ship and others that are in port. You will be singing and dancing on the tables and getting crazy shots from the shooter girls! Fun fun.. We also did some shopping at the pier. They have cheap souvenirs and you can bargain with some of vendors. Do not take their first offer, you can probably get it for 50% less then what they ask the first time around.
The last day at sea was nice and sunny and the pool deck was packed. I think that everyone must have been on that deck, laying out, swimming, and participating in the activities that had gotten cancelled on the first rainy day.
We enjoyed some of the dance shows and some of the comedy shows during the cruise and I would recommend those as well. And unlike the previous review, I think that the male singer was not comparable to the female singer. She had a much better stage presence.
Also do not miss the captains party, this is your only chance to get free drinks on the cruise.
On the last day we had breakfast and soon realized that everyone was leaving the boat, we didn't hear any colors being called so we quickly got off the boat, very easy and quickly. I think we were off the ship by 9:30. Overall, the food was excellent. I would recommend trying room services chicken fajita wraps, they are addicting. I was a little disappointed with my room. I have no idea what was on the other side of the wall but I could constantly hear banging and slamming, of what sounded like locker doors all night long and the door kept clicking. It was very hard to sleep.
The frozen cocktails onboard are also excellent, and who cares if you have to pay, you are on vacation!
After taking 2 carnival cruises to the same destination I realized that even though my last cruise was a year ago, almost everything was the same, including the dining room food menu, and their activities onboard, which include the newlywed and not so newlywed game, bingo, survivor and some others.
I think for my next crusie I will try another cruise line, just to see how different it is.
I would definately recommend this cruise line and this ship. It is worth the money and I had an excellent time. I also think that it is good for either couples, families, singles, or anyone of all ages. There is something for everyone.