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first time cruiser-is Inspiration a good choice?

Discussion in 'Carnival Cruise Lines' started by ykbessie, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. ykbessie

    ykbessie New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I plan to take my parents for a cruise trip in March. All of us are first time cruisers. We are in California. Since we don't have the time and money to go east coast for a cruise, Carnival Inspiration to Baja, Mexico seems to be our only choice. I've read very good and very bad reviews. I know Inspiration is very old and small ship. But is it really that bad (service, food and entertainment)?

    If it is OK, what type of room should I book? I have the following choices.

    1.Ocean view room by the elevator on Main deck
    2.Ocean view room on Empress deck
    3.Any interior room
    4.Suite (this the only room type with balconies, but they are very expensive)

    Last question, is it safe to travel to Baja, Mexico now?

    Thank you so much. Any input is highly appreciated.
  2. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    Not a big fan of Carnival but have had several cruises on them so I am not void of their ships. The Inspiration is a Fantasy Class ship built in the mid 90's so I would stay away from the elevators on any deck, outside on Empress, good choice but choose midship or aft, not forward, interior only if you are a bat, suite, woo hoo, but only a suite on Upper deck, stay away from the suites on Verandah deck, they are smaller, high and as far forward as you can get unless you are on Riviera deck, plus the rear four have somewhat obstructed views because of lifeboats below them.
    Inspirations goes to Ensenada, far enough from the border and on the Baja so it is currently fairly safe, (subject to change) on the other hand there is not a lot to do or see in Ensenada, so maybe a trip downtown to Papa's & Beer for some chips and a couple of Corona's. To me the safest place so far on the Baja is Cabo, everything else is subject to change.
    Entertainment will be what you make of it, there is always something for everybody, service and food, well your going to hear good and bad no matter how many reviews you read, my last cruise on the Spirit, the food was just plain lousy and the service wasn't far behind, had it not been for our fun loving cabin steward, I would have jumped ship, but on the other hand I have read reviews where service was great and food wonderful you just have to have an open mind, if you can't stand the food in one place go to another, if the buffet food is good and the dining room is lousy, I don't have a problem eating in the buffet. Point is your going to get good and bad reviews, but in the end your not going to know for sure if it fits you till you sit down for that first meal.
  3. ykbessie

    ykbessie New Member

    Thank you so much, Bob. That was really helpful. In term of suite, they only have grant suite on upper deck available now. For four of us, it will be 1K more. I want to give my parents the best, but just don't know if it worth the extra money.
  4. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    That is quite a bit. The upper deck suites are basically a king bed in one area and a sofa bed in a sitting area, there is enough room for four people but realistically your privacy goes down the tube, it has been a long time since I have stayed in one of those suites but if I remember there is no divider to speak of and no curtain between the two areas, it is a very open floor plan. Just my take but a thousand extra for four adults with the only privacy being in the bathroom, it would not be worth it to me.........

    This might be of help, there are three selections in the upper right of the main window, the middle one is staterooms and will give you an idea of them.
    Carnival Inspiration | Inspiration Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line
  5. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member

    Bob, a great post
  6. 1948buddy

    1948buddy Active Member

    Hi, We have been on 10 cruises, mostly Carnival. Two were on the old Ecstasy, and in our experience, they were great..The more you sail, the more you learn, like picking out a cabin that will be hopefully a quiet area.. I would study the deck plans , and find a cabin that is not over or under areas like a night club, or casino. I ALWAYS pick a deck that has only cabins above and below..I prefer mid ship to somewhat aft. You may also discover later that ship size is not all what it is. We just went on the new Magic in November, and it was really crowded. We usually get a balcony, but if you like to be on the open deck a lot, you can save a bunch by taking an inside or ocean view...If you need any additional help, send me a private message. We are going in March as well on RC Mariner to Roatan and Belize. I did your cruise in 1986 on the old Carnival Tropicale, and loved it. Cabo is beautiful, but be careful of dangerous currents.My daughter has a condo there, and goes annually.As far as safety, I don't think you will have a problem. We walk in the old part of Cozumel all the time by ourselves.Have a great cruise
  7. ykbessie

    ykbessie New Member

    Thank you, Buddy. I feel more comfortable now. Looking forward to enjoying our first cruise!
  8. ykbessie

    ykbessie New Member

    Thanks for your response again, Bob!


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