Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: October 24th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was originally a 5-night cruise set to sail to Cozumel and Grand Caymen. With hurricane Wilma this cruise ended up being a 4-night to Progresso, Mexico. This is my second time on the Inspiration and I have to say this is a wonderful ship with a fantastic crew. We booked this cruise the night before it set sail because our other vacation plans got cancelled with Hurricane Wilma. Having no tickets or fun pass or anything before we boarded I would say that the check in process was smooth. Our sailing was delayed for 2 hours because the ship was not able to get through the Port of Tampa at its normal time because of the hurricane so the cruise terminal was more crowded then normal. The crew did a fantastic job in turning over the ship so that we could board and leave as quickly as possible.
We had an inside cabin and a wonderful cabin steward. He cleaned our room twice a day and always left a chocolate on our pillow and a towel animal for us at night. There was however a few times that he opened the door to come in while we were still in our room. I would recommend locking your door at night, unless you want to be awaken in the morning. On the inside cabins the room is so dark that you could sleep all day and not realize it. Bring an alarm clock if you don’t want to miss any of the day! Also the sheets and the bed is so comfortable. Carnival actually sells these sheets and beds online, so if you really enjoy them you can buy them!
There is so much to do on this ship. Some things that I would recommend not missing are, the late night adult comedy show, the wonderful hot tubs in the spa, the ice carving demonstration, and the captains party for some free cocktails!!
There is also so much to eat on this ship as well. I would not miss the coffee bar for some wonderful lattes, the sushi bar, the late night buffet, or the freshly made hot sandwiches at the inside cafe. All of the food onboard is pretty good and there is such a huge variety that you are definitely going to find something that you really enjoy. I just don’t know how people can complain about not having anything to eat onboard or having bad food.
Dinner in the dining room is a great opportunity to meet others on the ship and to ask questions about what to do onboard and at port. We met some wonderful people at our dining table and looked forward to finding out what fun stuff had done during the day.
Progresso is a working town and I believe that it is not a very popular port of call. The ship docks at a 5-mile pier. You can take a free shuttle into town, which drops you off at the market. There you can find hand made souvenirs and can walk to Corona Beach. This is an ok beach with a little beach bar. We didn’t think that the water was that nice and the sand was pretty dirty so we didn’t stay. At the market you can also book shore excursions, which I recommend doing in this town. After walking around for a few blocks you will realize that there isn’t much to do and most of the town is small stores and businesses for the locals. We decided to book the Xcambo Excursion. For $30 each we boarded a bus which took us to resort about 20 minutes away for 3 hours of fun. At the resort we enjoyed free drinks, swimming in their huge pool and relaxing on the beach. You can also get massages for $10 and eat their food buffet for $10. Also on the ride there we saw tons of flamingos.
On another note; you can barter with the vendors in town, but after seeing how poor this town is and how there really isn’t anything there, I realized that the locals probably could use the money more then me so giving them a few extra dollars wasn’t a big deal. Plus their prices start out cheaper then some of the stuff at home anyways and most of the stuff is handmade, which is worth more then regular store merchandise.
All in all I have never been disappointed on any Carnival cruise. This is truly the most relaxing vacation and well worth the price. My only grip is that having been on the Inspiration twice and the Sensation once, most of the food menu stays the same and some of the shows were the same. If you are a frequent cruiser and like a different variety you might want to book on another cruise line.