Review of Our Cruise on Carnival Inspiration
We've been on many cruises, but this was our first cruise with Carnival Cruise Line. We chose the Carnival Inspiration out of Tampa for our first Carnival cruise.
It was only my husband, and I, on this particular cruise sailing together, and we had an absolutely wonderful time. I'm a little late in writing this review, and have since cruised on the Carnival Imagination out of Miami, and thank goodness, I chose Inspiration first, for if I would have cruised on Imagination first, it would have been my first and last Carnival cruise. You can read my review about Carnival Imagination here.
We took about a 2 hour drive to the port, and arrived a little early. Around 11:30am. The ship was delayed that morning, because of the waves, and the ship having to get beneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The line was rather long upon arriving, and once we got inside, we received an announcement telling us that the boarding onto the ship would be delayed for another hour or so. So with room keys in hand, we chose to spend some time walking around in town.
After our walk, we returned back in line, got into the boarding terminal, had a seat, and then was handed a paper, telling us that our stop in Grand Cayman was canceled due to weather conditions. Wasn't so exciting hearing that we were going on a 5 day cruise, with only 1 stop, but knew that we'd make the best of it.
Our stateroom was located on deck 4 (Riveria), mid-ship. This way it made it convenient to go to the front of the ship, or the back, easily, and quickly. Our room was always clean, always a towel animal in the evenings, and our ice bucket was kept full every day of the cruise. Our stateroom attendant was polite, always greeted us with a smile, and was very pleasant. We actually filled out a form of recommendation for him, when we fill our survey when we returned home from the cruise. I was very pleased with our stateroom.
We chose to do all buffet meals, which was very nice. We were very pleased with the food on this ship, and the desserts were delicious. Even though the buffet is small, the food was good, and there was always deli sandwiches, and pizza. There were hotdogs, hamburgers, and poolside food from noon to late evening available, as well.
I would not put Carnival up there as my top priority to see their shows. The shows are what we considered, occupying our time for awhile, because other than that, I did not find them that good, and I'll just leave it at that.
Other than just sitting out by the pool, and using the "smoking area", we did not use the pool. Being that we live in Florida, and have a pool in our backyard, the pool was not what we considered our main attraction. The best time to get in the pool though, is when the ship is in port. And considering that we had all days at sea, except for one, the pool got a lot of use.
NOTE: Since this article was written, my husband and I (both) have quit smoking. It will be 2 years for the both of us, coming up within a few months.
Carnival Water Works
We did not use this area, since we had no children with us on this cruise. However, I did manage to get back to the aft portion of the ship, and take a few photos.
Our disembarkation went very smoothly, and fast. We were off the ship within minutes, and the convenience of the parking garage being just across the street, made it easy to be in the car, and leaving within a short time.
On a scale of 1 - 5 with 5 being the best, I'd give this cruise on the Carnival Inspiration, a 4. It's difficult for me to rate cruises as 5, for we've cruised on Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Princess, and we haven't found anything that has topped Princess Cruise Lines, so far. But then again, Princess cruises are 4 times the price that you can get a Carnival cruise for. All in all, we had a wonderful time, and wouldn't hesitate to cruise on Carnival out of Tampa, again. Now cruising on Carnival out of Miami, is another story, which you can read about, here.