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JC13

Never Again Carnival Inspiration

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On 9/1/2019 at 7:35 PM, JC13 said:

The staff also failed to mention only the first cabin key used on the safe will work during the cruise.  There is no notes/documentation of this.

 

I think you're still mistaken about the safe operation. Whatever card you use to lock it, is the only card that will unlock it. As it should be. Once open, you can use another card to lock it + it then becomes the only card which will unlock it. Most newer ships have gone to a 4 digit code. Whatever code you use to lock it, is the only code that will unlock it. Once unlocked, any other 4 digit code can be used to repeat the process.

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19 minutes ago, CRocks said:

 

I think you're still mistaken about the safe operation. Whatever card you use to lock it, is the only card that will unlock it. As it should be. Once open, you can use another card to lock it + it then becomes the only card which will unlock it. Most newer ships have gone to a 4 digit code. Whatever code you use to lock it, is the only code that will unlock it. Once unlocked, any other 4 digit code can be used to repeat the process.

 

What he said.  And it has to be the exact same PHYSICAL card.  A "duplicate" will not work, even if your wife's cabin key "is the same" or her Chase Visa card "is the same account".  Every card is unique.

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I just got home from the Imagination 4-day to Catalina and Ensenada. I guess the OP thought he was going to get a Princess experience on a much cheaper cruise and much older ship. I've been on Princess, Royal, Holland and have Crystal booked for the fall. I guess because I cut my teeth on Carnival, every other line seems like an upgrade. I'm still OK with Carnival and keep booking Carnival cruises, although I love, love, love the excitement of trying new lines.

 

I have to say, the crew on the Imagination was one of the best, most energetic, happy, helpful group I've seen in ages. Even our steward was spot on. He wheeled all the luggage in his section into the cabins instead of leaving them in the passageway. He offered once or twice daily service, asked if we wanted ice, extra blankets, robes, anything at all. He's going to get major kudos when I send off the survey.

 

I'm not going to talk about the food, though. I think I lost weight.

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On 9/2/2019 at 1:48 AM, momof3cruisers said:

The 3 and 4 days out of CA tend to be pretty rowdy, sometimes more than others. I can imagine that over a three day weekend it would be extra crazy. I've done that itinerary several times but fortunately, the staff has always been great. 

 

Kind of off subject, but I just booked my second cruise.  The first was a 7 day out of Miami during Christmas.  It was Caribbean.  I now have a 3 day booked out of Port Canaveral.  It's in October.  How do you think the party crowd will differ between the two.  I honestly didn't think of this.  I'm sure no matter what I will have a great cruise!  I'm just curious so I can prepare those traveling with me.  Thanks in advance if you have any answers. 🙂

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26 minutes ago, TG6 said:

Kind of off subject, but I just booked my second cruise.  The first was a 7 day out of Miami during Christmas.  It was Caribbean.  I now have a 3 day booked out of Port Canaveral.  It's in October.  How do you think the party crowd will differ between the two.  I honestly didn't think of this.  I'm sure no matter what I will have a great cruise!  I'm just curious so I can prepare those traveling with me.  Thanks in advance if you have any answers. 🙂

I find the noisiest cruisers to be on the short cruises. Large groups cruising together are the worst offenders. We just got off a short cruise and there was a family group that had several cabins a couple doors down from us. They'd congregate in the hallway every evening until 10 or 11 o'clock at night. It got pretty loud. 

 

The most noticeable for me is the muster drill. There's always a few loud drunks in the crowd having a little too much fun during the drill and being disruptive.

 

We've never experienced violence on a short cruise. This time there was a boiler room fire and a medical emergency. I didn't realize either had happened until the captain mentioned them on this daily brief.

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We did a Christmas cruise when my kid was in school. There were over 600 kids on this cruise and it was a 7 day

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On 9/4/2019 at 3:25 PM, moviegal said:

Ah, bummer. I live a couple of hours from the port and take that Ensenada short cruise at least twice a year (usually pay around $129 each for an interior cabin). Cheaper to cruise than stay home for the weekend, lol.

 

But yeah, you have to lower expectations. The ship is super old, but still clean and comfortable. The flooding shower floor does happen, it's just a flaw in the old design. We've also experienced the super long waits for dinner (sometimes well over 1.5 hours), even at "off" times. But that's usually if we request a table for two. Whenever we've asked to sit at a larger table to share, we've been seated straight away. Plus, they have a Guy's Burgers and those things are so tasty, I usually prefer to eat there instead of fussing with the dining room.

 

We LOVE Ensenada. There isn't much to do tourist-wise but I never get bored. We just get off the ship, walk around, have some coffee, cheap tequila, and tacos. The street food scene there is legit! Cheap and tasty. If you are in port on a Saturday, Hussong's has 2-for-1 margaritas that are super strong and super inexpensive.

 

These cruises do have a deserved reputation for being party ships. The worst thing that's ever happened to us on one of those notorious "booze cruises" is that one night we came back to our cabin and somebody had vomited right in front of our door. We had to call guest services and I know they probably thought it was one of us who puked, but it wasn't. Super, super gross. 

 

Other than that, we just hang out on the upper decks and relax. It's certainly not fancy (we also love cruising Princess out of L.A.), but I don't think you can beat the value. Not negating the original poster's experience, but there are some of us who dig the "crappiness" of these short little Ensenada jaunts.

 

A true fellow Carnival cruiser, moviegal. I love to walk the down those neon venues admiring the glitzy glamour that Joe Farcus put Carnival on the map with. Those 8 ships took over the cruise industry, paying cash for their new builds and buying up other cruise lines like it was a hobby. So the bathroom turns into a minnie pool, the furnitue has a chip here and there, and Ensenada is hardly the garden spot of the Pacific (shines as a close by foreign port, however) 🙂.  The little town bars fill with Americans slammng down jello shots and drinking beer by the bucket for $1 per. And the street tacos are to die for ! I love it. I dig the "crappiness" of this short getaway sandwiched in between longer cruises. And always something very memorable is going to happen stamped in your memory forever. Leaving on the PANORAMA in January, but now I've got to do this run again. Maybe a naked lady will wander into the piano bar again ! 🙂

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GLrounds,

  I bet you're a great person to cruise with, such a positive attitude!  I guess because I'm a planner & do research before trips & vacations, I'm not too surprised at our general accommodations (example Carnival Inspiration ).  

 

  With the Internet, the OP could have easily accessed info, tips, read Trip reports etc etc. Maybe a lesson to take forward on their upcoming adventures! 🛳🙂

 

 I also wanted the mention that growing up  (age 5+) my parents & their friends & kids, would take 2 week August vacations to Lake Mohave! We're talking the 60's to early 70's.  

 

We LIVED on whatever beach the 'Dad's' decided, when they took the boats out to scout for a great private one,  usually about 15+ minutes from Katherine's Landing. At our HOT sandy beach "home" we put up tarps, a tent for storage,  lounges to sleep , covered with sheets we'd dip in the lake to try to keep cool during the desert nights. 

 

Everybody did their business up the hill ... ewww .... , we ate, slept, water skied, with our boat "''Ol Yella' we did Bonzai runs at dusk. Then woke up to flat water, more skiing, sun & flies.  

 

Bullhead was a tiny city, my Mom was thrilled when they opened up a real grocery store (Safeway??), Laughlin ... oh wow... only a few places. Our kids treat was Banana Splits up at the Dock at K.L. And going to Brandi's Mexican restaurant in Bullhead once. Great memories ! 💛💛

 

🌸🌸

Bobbi 

Edited by Markmom18

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18 hours ago, Markmom18 said:

GLrounds,

  I bet you're a great person to cruise with, such a positive attitude!  I guess because I'm a planner & do research before trips & vacations, I'm not too surprised at our general accommodations (example Carnival Inspiration ).  

 

  With the Internet, the OP could have easily accessed info, tips, read Trip reports etc etc. Maybe a lesson to take forward on their upcoming adventures! 🛳🙂

 

 I also wanted the mention that growing up  (age 5+) my parents & their friends & kids, would take 2 week August vacations to Lake Mohave! We're talking the 60's to early 70's.  

 

We LIVED on whatever beach the 'Dad's' decided, when they took the boats out to scout for a great private one,  usually about 15+ minutes from Katherine's Landing. At our HOT sandy beach "home" we put up tarps, a tent for storage,  lounges to sleep , covered with sheets we'd dip in the lake to try to keep cool during the desert nights. 

 

Everybody did their business up the hill ... ewww .... , we ate, slept, water skied, with our boat "''Ol Yella' we did Bonzai runs at dusk. Then woke up to flat water, more skiing, sun & flies.  

 

Bullhead was a tiny city, my Mom was thrilled when they opened up a real grocery store (Safeway??), Laughlin ... oh wow... only a few places. Our kids treat was Banana Splits up at the Dock at K.L. And going to Brandi's Mexican restaurant in Bullhead once. Great memories ! 💛💛

 

🌸🌸

Bobbi 

 

Yes, Bobbi, loved it there. I retired there 5 years ago from SoCal. Currently living in SoCal with my son (medical emergency), but plan to return there soon. In the 60s used to take our jet boats to K.L. every weekend we could. Back when Laughlin was one two story wood structure, the Riverside. Owners (the town is named after) and dealers lived upstairs, bars and casinos downstairs. Water ski all day and drink, gamble and whatever all night. Now there are 9 casinos and hotels there. Glad you have so many good memories of it, also.

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Glad you hated it! More cabin options for the wife and I!

 

We love the Inspiration and Imagination. Being in San Diego, we routinely take this cruise every couple months.

 

I find none of your cons to be an issue for us.

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We did the Imagination last January.  It doesn’t offer a whole lot, but we found it very relaxing. We had time to play cards, hang at serenity and chill with our friends. It’s a great little sandwich cruise to get us over until out next big cruise. 

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  1. WE are going on Carnival after a one time cruise over 20 years ago.  Said we would never again.  You name it, it was a problem all the way to rude staff and waiters telling us their problems every meal. Cold hot tubs and much I no longer remember.  I hope we didn't make a mistake choosing Carnival.

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On the Imagination/Inspiration, you'll see more tattoos than walkers and mobility carts, which is refreshing. I've been on them around 10 times, and you'll see partiers, but also plenty of families looking for a pleasant time, and plenty of SoCal locals looking for a cheap, quick escape, particularly on the 3-day weekend cruises. They're old ships and basic, but they're also small, so it's easy to get around and find family members (I get lost on Princess ships, especially with the dining rooms you can only get to by going down one elevator/stairwell). Caring about a tv or bedroom lighting is sad on a cruise--bring a tablet with movies loaded onto it or a Kindle, or maybe go out and see one of the comedy shows at night, or go out and watch some of the stunning moon views over the water, or play some late-night putt putt golf, or actually get involved in the last-night Mardi Gras or music trivia fun in the atrium or give line-dancing your best shot on the sail-away party. I'm a stuffy old HAL/Princess guy too, but I actually enjoy the fun aspect of the Carnival ships.  I avoid the smoky casino, bars, adults-only zone, and other party areas, so everywhere else it feels like a family-friendly fun ship. If you go to anytime dining at peak periods, you'll wait in line--so I go to the buffet for an early dinner (a lot of the dishes are duplicates of the MDR), and then go for a late second dinner in the dining room, where things are less crowded and stressful for everyone (sometimes I even manage to avoid the dancing and "Celebrate"/"GangnamStyle").

 

 I also like being able to go to Catalina, instead of being constantly pestered in the Mexican ports (you also get to ride roomy local tenders, instead of the sardine-can ship tenders), and with an electric bike you can easily get up to some amazing views. Another thing I love about the 4-day Long Beach cruises is the ease of getting cheap airfare from the West Coast, particularly on Jetblue to LB, the ability to get to the cruise terminal on free tourist buses from downtown, and the opening of the big dome and the multiple security/check-in lines that eliminated the previous bottlenecks. Most of all, I love that it's the cheapest cruise around, important for a solo passenger having to pay double, and 4 days is the just-right length for me, because I get too bored and stressed out on longer cruises. Unlike Princess and NCL, the Carnival prices usually stay the same outside of summer and holidays, so you don't get regret over last-minute price drops.

 

There are annoyances, like the heavy pushing of photos, the smoke spreading everywhere, the awful food in the buffet, the shows, and the customs guys doing thorough checks on computers (vs San Diego, who just look at the passport and wave you on). But I try to focus on the strengths, as I do on every ship and every line, and try to be empathetic and non-judgmental. 

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On 10/1/2019 at 4:47 PM, rj42 said:

On the Imagination/Inspiration, you'll see more tattoos than walkers and mobility carts, which is refreshing. I've been on them around 10 times, and you'll see partiers, but also plenty of families looking for a pleasant time, and plenty of SoCal locals looking for a cheap, quick escape, particularly on the 3-day weekend cruises. 

 

rj42, Inspiration was my very first cruise with Carnival and this is exactly what brought me back!!  I loved the diversity on the ship, and as a tattooed mother of 3, it worked out great! Since then, I have only been on the Breeze and while I immensely enjoyed everything (the longer length, itinerary, and other 'amenities', etc.), it was also very different.  To me, the people on Inspiration were friendlier.  This is not to say the Breeze clientele were not, just that those on the Inspiration were overtly approachable.  We also had about a 1 hour wait after being seated for YTD, however, that was on both ships.  

 

 

On 10/1/2019 at 4:47 PM, rj42 said:

But I try to focus on the strengths, as I do on every ship and every line, and try to be empathetic and non-judgmental. 

Hit the nail on the head with focusing on strengths! Though I am a relative newbie to cruising, I would not hesitate to jump on either Carnival ship or even return to Princess because they each brought something great to the table. 

Our next cruise is on the Fascination because it is very similar to Inspiration.  And the itinerary doesn't hurt either.  😁 But even if it is horrible, I'm still on vacation!

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On 9/1/2019 at 7:35 PM, JC13 said:

Long time Princess cruiser here, but decided to do a 4 day CA to Ensenada cruise, which I am in Ensenada now.  I will sum it up by saying never again!  That's unfortunate, you should at least get to the end of the cruise before deciding never again.  The plus, easy covered parking in structure, easy checkin based on pre scheduled times , easy boarding  and very friendly boarding staff.  Cabin was nice, inside, with a larger bathroom and shower than Princess.  Good pizza.  Now the down side. Requested king bed setup, got twins and had to wait for staff to make change when they had time If having to wait for them was really a deal breaker, will you ever be happy?  They are just as overworked on Carnival as they are on Princess, and doing the best that they can.  no frig in cabin yes, that happens in an inside room, you'd have known that if you did your research though, in cabin safe was not operational and required staff to come out to change the batteries if this ruined a vacation I struggle to imagine the many disappointments in daily life.  The staff also failed to mention only the first cabin key used on the safe will work during the cruise Been on 20ish cruises in 10 years, and it's always been the case on every single cruise line i have ever been on when it wasn't a four number pin.  There is no notes/documentation of this.  While the shower is larger  water goes everywhere in the bathroom definitely not a unique to Carnival problem. No in cabin lighting in closet area, over bed lights not useful for anything but a night light  the tv is the size of a computer monitor at about 18".  Air controls are in the ceiling, walls are not magnetic I have never heard anyone complain about this before, remarkable, and your cabin key is left on the cabin room sign when you first come in.  In cabin dining comes at a fee for certain items and unlike other cruise lines, there is not a blanket charge just for ordering from room service. Dining in general is a mess  1.5 hrs wait time for your time dining, lots of overly drunk passengers, the serenity area was dirty  seating areas unclean, lots of uncaring peronnel are you sure you weren't on royal?, eager to tell you policy but not open to "How can I help you? in all my Carnival cruises i have never met a single employee that would not bend over backwards for me, but maybe someone was having a worse day than you.  On the ship it is difficult to find a quiet area, it clearly is a party ship, but not in a good way.  Cabin next door had yelling and fighting all last night, had to call security.  But live and learn, stay with what you know, even if the product comes from the same corporation.  They clearly have different markets in mind. I usually try and understand why someone posts a negative review when there is very little constructive criticism involved; it sounds like you had an idea that it was going to be a terrible time, and were looking for reasons to be upset.  We live in a hard world, life is hard, people are terrible, and we treat each other like garbage, but if something like having to wait for a bed to be pushed together ruins a vacation, that's really just unfortunate and quite sad.  I would have loved to have been on a cruise this weekend, even if I was marginally inconvenienced. 

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 9:00 AM, fabby50 said:

Over the years, we've been to Ensenada probably 20 times.  We are not shoppers and there's only one local art store we will occasionally stop by, sorry I can't remember the name of it right now - darn getting older!  We usually take an excursion that gets us away from the city.  I grew up in Southern California and the countryside and the coast line reminds me of what California was like 50+  years ago.  Last time, we went on the brewery tour which was interesting, the wine tour is popular.  I don't drink much and could care less about beer/wine, but I like going out to the vineyards and enjoyed talking to the brewers on the brewery tour.  The more we go to Mexico, the more I like it. 

We loved the winery tour. I don’t care for wine much at all but the tour was very interesting and the scenery was so pretty after you got out of town. One of the wineries had amazing olives. I’d go back just to buy more of those!

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On 9/2/2019 at 8:49 PM, Markmom18 said:

I'm booked on 3 upcoming Inspiration trips, two are B2B. Trying to get to Platinum in 2020. Yippie, but even after achieving that, I'll still enjoy my local Carnival cruise ship. 💙❤️

 

🤗🤗

Bobbi

We're on the same mission, Bobbi, but trying to get to Diamond. Have an insane # of 3 day weekends booked in order to get there. 

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23 hours ago, Wanna_Cruize said:

We're on the same mission, Bobbi, but trying to get to Diamond. Have an insane # of 3 day weekends booked in order to get there. 

 

Wanna_Cruize, it is crazy!!  But, probably makes Carnival Share holders smile thinking of folks like us "working" to get our Cruise Points to the next level. 😂😁🛳 

 

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We had a nice conversation with our waiter on our last inspiration cruise and he said that getting assigned to work on Inspiration/Imagination is highly coveted, because of the home port of Long Beach. Lots of areas the staff can get to quickly to do errands and connect via internet with their families. And with 3&4 night itineraries, they are in their home port twice as often as Miracle doing the 7night cruises. Maybe that's why the staff on Inspiration all seem so happy to us, more than on other ships we have sailed? 

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6 hours ago, Wanna_Cruize said:

We had a nice conversation with our waiter on our last inspiration cruise and he said that getting assigned to work on Inspiration/Imagination is highly coveted, because of the home port of Long Beach. Lots of areas the staff can get to quickly to do errands and connect via internet with their families. And with 3&4 night itineraries, they are in their home port twice as often as Miracle doing the 7night cruises. Maybe that's why the staff on Inspiration all seem so happy to us, more than on other ships we have sailed? 

Never seen attitude problems of crew on any ship, just the opposite. 

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Taking a 3 to 4 day cruise right there guarantees a party boat.  I also do not want to invalidate your "issues" but they are really minor.  If not having the beds converted to a king annoyed you that much, that is minor and that is something that can be fixed.  Batteries run out - how do you expect your steward to know the batteries are dead?  Your Time Dining - not worth it.  Pick early or late and have your table waiting for you at your assigned time.  Sorry you did not enjoy your trip.

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