April 20, 2003
Just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on the Inspiration. Generally speaking we had a good time but then again, I have never not had a good time on a cruise. That aside, Inspiration had many more kids/teens on board than I might have expected. I don't mind that in itself (have 4 of my own). They constantly occupied the adult hot tub (never did get the chance to use it)and were present at the "adult" entertainment performances even though they were told that they wouldn't be allowed. Even the comedian had to stop the show and ask one of them how old they were because he said they looked about 12 years old. No staff or parental correction of this sort of activity was evident at any time. If being pushed, shoved, stepped on, climbed over and the subject of rude remarks is your idea of acceptable behavior from children then by all means, book a trip on Inspiration. There's plenty of it for you.
The carpets were dirty, the linen was way overdo for a change when I arrived. The blanket on the bed was stained with, well I can only imagine what. I finally got them to change the blankets and linen but they just threw the blanket in the bin that stores the life vests so I'm sure the next guest will be subjected to that dirty covering.
When we got off the ship for excursions, other cruise lines had people to direct their passengers and organize them into their tour groups once on shore. Carnival had no such help for its guests. Other ships I've been on had the cruise director or assistant greeting and directing guest as we departed the ship at the various ports of call. No such service was provided by Carnival (it was very much needed).
The debarkation process took us exactly 2 1/2 hours to get off that ship. Not a trip highlight I can assure you.
The wait staff in the dining room we were assigned to was generally very good. Our Maitre'd was very good as well. The one thing that bothered me most was the fact that our waitress was in the infirmary for a couple of days in the middle of the week. She returned to her duties with little voice left. When I asked her about what was wrong she said she had a "big infection" and a fever, and the doctor on board refused to prescribe antibiotics to her and would only give her Tylenol(she called him a veterinarian, a joke I think). Oh and she said one more thing "would you like some more bread". Now there's something you really don't need to hear from your sick waitress, especially during these times of Norwalk and SARS viruses scaring the heck out of everyone.
All in all the ports of call (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, New Orleans)were fun. Things on ship such as services, functions, and they way things were run in general could stand some review and improvement.