Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: July 14th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was my first time cruising and I must say that overall, I would cruise again but not with Carnival. Before I get into all of the things that were less than stellar, I feel it is only fair to highlight the positives, however few they were. First of all, this ship boasts an amazing band called Music Network. They are by far the entertainment salvation. Check them out every time you can. Believe me, you will want to find some real talent. Secondly, I must say that the staff and the service was exceptional. Our room was always clean and our waiters were very prompt and friendly (we took the early seating). The room service was fast and efficient and the pizza in the grill was actually pretty darn good. The casino was alright however the odds are less in your favor on a cruise ship. Don't go there expecting to hit it big. The best part of the entire trip however was Cozumel. The shopping is extensive but only if you go downtown. And if you drink, you'll think you died and went to alcoholic heaven. That was the good stuff...really.
Now for the areas that needed improvement. The entertainment was of an A+ high school calibre. And I wonder if Las Vegas knows they are billing the shows as "Vegas Style". The lead vocalists, although they get gold stars for effort, are simply cruise singers. No more, no less. And the roving entertainment throughout the ship is nothing to write home about either. Next *beware*...the sail and sign policy will get you in the end. There is not one place on the whole ship where you can use cash (except casino). This forces you to put everything on the sail and sign card which is linked to your credit card. This includes sodas, magazines, liquor, Tylenol, everything! So on the last day you will get this whopping bill in addition to the gratuities that they have already put on the card...for your convenience. Oh and if you play bingo and you buy 3 cards for $20.00, just be prepared that it is for 1 two minute game and it is packed. The food was in no way gourmet. Thankfully we sat with very nice folks. And the last thing is you should know who you are sailing with. If screaming kids and intoxicated teenagers are your thing, this is the ship for you. Don't be surprised if you spot a few sitting next to you at the casino or the bar. While this is billed as a budget family cruise, that should not mean that you have to be at the mercy of those who are classless and obnoxious. After speaking with some other passengers over breakfast, we found we were not the only ones who felt this way.
This has not turned us off to cruising, just cruising with Carnival. I think that we will save up next time and go with one of the more classier lines where our money will go just a little further.