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Old March 7th, 2005, 06:01 PM
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Default Just returned from Inspiration

Well, I thought I would post a summary of my trip on the Inspiration last week. Some of you said you would be interested to hear about my experience.

First, my husband and I had a great time. Things weren't as wonderful as we expected, but they weren't horrible either.

The 1st negative thing I have to say is the ship smelled really bad when we arrived. There was a really musty/moldy, although faint, odor in the air. Our cabin was much worse. It smelled really bad, the odor was almost like a "urine" smell and air freshner didn't do much good. They cleaned our bathroom again once we got finished with the muster drill, but it still managed to linger all week. On the upside, the cabin size is very nice and we weren't cramped at all. I was surprised though that our cabin steward never came and introduced themselves the entire time we were there. Just in and out and I had no clue who it was. Like the cruise director said, it seems as if you go to the bathroom and when you come out your bed is made and there is a new towel animal on it.

I wasn't the only one who noticed the smell because after a few days, other people were mentioning it too. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so at first I thought it was just me.

The weather wasn't that good to us. It was windy and cool and laying at the pool wasn't much fun. The seas were pretty choppy and since we were on the bottom floor, we had water hit our window many times. I thought it was cool, but other people said it just made their seasickness worse. Alot of people suffered from it. Although the weather for the pool wasn't great (cloudy and windy), I must say, the deck space and the # of chairs was awesome compared to my cruise last year on RCCL. I'd say there were 3 times as many on this one.

The food on the Lido Deck was always pretty good..... EXCEPT.... the caesar salad dressing was way to "fishy" tasting to me. They had a good variety and a few things that were uncommon but I was open minded and tried alot of it. There was definitely plenty of it. The pizza bar is great. All the different types of Pizza gave us plenty of choices and the pan was the best., IMO. I wasn't all that impressed with the desserts at the buffets, but the black forest cake I couldn't get enough of!!!

The breakfast was always good, whether in the dining room or at the buffet.

The dining room food was a litlle more pretentious than I liked, but I guess what that is there for. I stuck with things I could pronounce and knew what it was....The goose liver mousse was enough to make me order something else. JMHO again.

The waiters and servers were all very attentive so the ambiance was nice.
The ship itself is actually pretty unique and other than the smell, the decor was nice, although different. We didn't check out everything, but the casino, disco, lounge ***the band was unbelievable, 70's and 80's music on the last night*** all were alot of fun.

I met alot of kids (lots of various ages) on the pool deck and in the elevators and they all seemed to be having alot of fun. The room service food was so so, but enough to get you through an afternoon in the cabin watching a movie since the pool was too cool to lay out.

Our shore excursions were awesome. We went to Stingray City in Grand Cayman which was incredible. Unfortunately it was sad to see the devastation that Hurricane Ivan left behind. Fortunately, the cruise ship tourists will contribute alot to the economy and help them rebuild.

Cozumel was adjusted a little because there were like 10 ships all getting there at about the same time. Nothing that really caused any big upsets, just more tendering because our ship had to "share" the port. We spent our entire day snorkeling so I can't really tell you anything about the other excursions except that folks we talked to who did different things said they all loved it.

This was definitely a party ship... my hubby and I are 40 and 43 and we, along with several college students, closed down the disco, the lounge and the pizza bar before we finally retired to the room at 5:30 am on Saturday morning. (What the H*ll were we thinking? ) Needless to say, we only got a couple of hours of sleep before getting ready to disembark.

We had a late flight so we went and had breakfast around 9:30 and visited with some new friends for a while. We still left around 10:45 and it was easy to spot our luggage out of only 15 or 20 pieces and Customs was a breeze. :--)

I'll be glad to answer any questions anybody might have if I can. You can email me or I will check the site occasionally.

PS: Eagle Ray Divers in Cozumel ROCKED!!!!! If you go, tell Chellie that Lisa from KY said hola!!

Happy cruising!!!!!

Lisa

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Old March 7th, 2005, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

We were on the Inspiration in Jan, 2005. We loved her! Our food was good always. Don't like the fact that they don't have many trash cans or trays at the food bars. Entertainment was very good and the cruise director is just great. We had no problem getting around her. We didn't party so I can't really say it was a party ship. We just had great fun. Lots of cozy cubbies to go to for reading, cards, etc. It was too cold and windy for us to get out on deck or in pool also so we spent plenty of time in bars reading (and drinking) casino, gift shops, internet cafe. My husband loved the expresso & cappucino at the Atrium bar. He also got it every night with dessert and was never charged. Ice cream was fun in the evening and the NFL playoffs were going on so we sat near the Pizzeria with other folks and cheered the teams on...... In fact, we loved the Inspiration and Sensation so much we decided to take our daughters on a cruise this summer on the Victory.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

LisaP- Thanks for posting about your trip. My hubby and I are going on the Inspiration on our first cruise on April 11th. We are very excited. I guess with the ship being a bit older that may be why it had the musky smell. I hope our room isn't as bad as yours is though. That would definitely be a bummer.

Hopefully in April the weather will be a bit better. I really want to sit on the deck and by the pool some. But if it is cool we will probably spend more time playing the slots or in the lounge.

Did you feel like you were overcrowded on the ship? I have seen some pictures where there are just tons of people everywhere (it could have been as they ship sailed from port) but we wondered if you felt like you couldn't go any place without a ton of people. We don't really care, we usually go to Vegas on vacation so we are used to tons of people everyone, but just wondered if being on the older, smaller ship you more overcrowded then a newer, bigger ships.

Thanks.

If you have any pictures I would love to see them.

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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Lisa, sounds like for the most part, you had a good cruise ! Have you started planning your next cruise yet ?
O-yea, she was a party boat in 2001 when the wife and I sailed on her. Glad to hear she hadn't lost her spirit ! lol !

Happy cruising;
david
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

My husband and I will be on this ship on April 16th along with another couple. We are so excited. This is our second cruise and the first for the couple going with us. Our first cruise was aboard the Holiday last April. I am sure the weather will be nice and warm so we can work on our tans and have a couple "special of the day".
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Hi guys,

Yeah, for the most part it was a pretty good cruise. I never felt crowded anywhere on the ship, especially having all the extra chairs and deck space. Sometimes the lines were a little longer than others at the buffets, but I always checked the other side and usually managed to get to a shorter line.

I do strongly recommend taking air freshener or fabric stuff (like febreeze) just in case you do have a really sensitive sense of smell like me. Also, even though it might be warmer later on when some of you cruise, I still recommend taking something like a jog suit, long sleeve t-shirts, etc because it does cool down alot at night. At least it did for us.

The one thing that I will tell ya is that my husband was really ticked off about the fact that on the 2nd day (Tuesday) they ran out of Miller Lite (at least at most of the bars they told him that, occasionally we lucked out and found a little "stash" at some of the other bars)...Either they had a lot more Miller Lite drinkers on our cruise, or they just don't keep much of that kind around.

I forgot to mention too... THE PINA COLADAS WERE AWESOME!!!

Susan, I would love to share pics although I don't plan on posting any here. If you want to email me, I will send you some when I get them all back. We took a whole lot so Wal-mart is going to be happy to take alot of my money when they develop them, lol.

Any other ?'s please let me know........

Lisa
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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Lisa,
Thanks so much for your review! My boyfriend and I are sailing on the Inspiration on April 25. We can hardly wait! The weather in Iowa is still below freezing most days and we are anxious for some fun in the sun!

Sorry to hear your weather was not great. It's really hit or miss. Was your bad weather only at sea? How was the weather when you were on the islands? I'm glad you were able to catch Grand Cayman - we are hoping that weather will permit docking when we arrive. I was there in 1989 on my first cruise and I'm looking forward to going back again.

Did you have time to do much more than the stingray excursion? We want to go to the Hell Post Office, relax at 7-mile beach and do some shopping. Can anyone who has been to Cayman lately reccommend the best mode of transportation? We like to see things at our own pace - no guided tours. Would we be better off to rent a jeep and go exploring, or just take taxi's to the post office and the beach? (I assume shopping is right by the pier) Anyone know how much taxi's are per person? We are worried that we will not have much time in Cayman once you factor in the tender to and from the ship. We've heard stories about the long lines both ways. I would love to hear more about everyone's experiences on the Inspiration and at Cayman and Cozumel. BoosterMom - I'd love to hear from you, too! You can email me or post here. I'm always checking in...
Thanks CruiseMates,
Nina
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Lisa -

Thanks for all the information. I can't believe they ran out of Miller Lite on the second day. The four of us are big Miller Lite drinkers and would be really upset if that happens on our cruise. I am really suprised. I don't blame your husband for being ticked, I would be too!! I would love to see your pictures once you get them back if you would like to share.

THANK YOU!!!
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

HI NINA,

What part of Iowa are you from? My husband grew up in Dubuque.. I've been up there a few times. Won about $400 on Diamond Jo the very first time I went to meet his family.

As far as Grand Cayman... we didn't have much time since we were only there from 7a to 2p. Our trip to Stingray City was at 8:30 and the tenders held us up, we were nervous about getting back by 1:00. Shopping is right around the pier. If you were there before, you will be unpleasantly surprised at the devastation that Ivan left behind.

Once again, if you like to snorkel, we had a great, super, fabulous time with Eagle Ray Divers on our trip to 3 reefs and a beach/beer break. However, don't order Sour Cream!!! I ended up with cream (as in coffee cream) and ruined my quesadillas before I realized it wasn't sour cream. I'm laughing about it now, but it wasn't funny then.

SUSAN, in case it wasn't on here... my email is Jabeaujo@aol.com.. just mention the cruise in subject line and I'll make sure and read it. that way, I can share some pics with you.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

This is kind of bizarre. I too was born I Dubuque, Iowa and still have family i visit at least once a year. I know live in Minnesota and can't wait to get out of the col weather. It is funny how small the world is.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Toni,

The world is pretty small until you try to travel, lol.

Nina,

The Eagle Ray was in Cozumel, after I re-read my post it sounded like I meant Grand Cayman....
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

LISA- Sent you an email. Thanks.

Oh another question. When do they have their formal night and midnight gala buffet on the ship?

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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Susan,

The formal night for us was Tuesday night (they say it is the 1st full day at sea). We left on Monday afternoon.

As far as the gala, I think it was the same night. We only ate in the dining room 2 nights
Tue and Fri... seems like it was Tuesday, but I'm not positive.

Thanks for the email

Lisa
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Lisa and Toni,
I live in Davenport, Iowa - on the Mississippi just south of Dubuque. We go to Dubuque every now and then to shop and visit the Diamond Jo. What a small world! Lisa - where are you living now? Toni - you know what I mean about getting out of this weather for a while. Jeeeez. Will it ever warm up here? I love living in Iowa - born and raised here - but the winters can drag on a bit. We have had a couple of freaky warm days just recently. Yesterday was a record-breaking 73 degrees - today, 28 degrees with snow flurries. Go figure.

We always take our vacation in April and travel south where it's warmer - usually Florida. I talked my boyfriend into cruising last year and now he's hooked! Lucky me!

Lisa, thanks for the info about the Islands. It makes me sad to think about all the hurricane damage to Cayman and the other islands. It was so beautiful there in 89. I'm sure it will look a lot different now. Going to visit is really the best way to help the people there. I would also love to see pictures when you get them back. Is it Ok for me to contact you via email, too? I have your address. Thanks so much for sharing. Too bad we weren't on the same cruise!

Nina
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Old March 8th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Nina,

I live in KY, born and raised here. Lexington to be exact. I love it here, if you have never been you should come and visit sometime. There is alot of history here and it is a wonderful place to live.

I would love for you to email me, that way, I can "mass email" whoever would like to see pics. I guess I have to be good though and not send pics of the good-looking college guys we partied with, huh? Some of the pics were pretty "racy" since it was 3 am and we were all feeling pretty HAPPY!! It feels good to still be cool!! They thought we were awesome because we knew all the words to the songs in the 70's and 80's bar, lol.

My husband didn't mind the college girls hanging all over him, either. We had a blast.

Maybe next year we can cruise together, huh? Ya never know. If you want, go ahead and email me and that way I can put everyone together.

Lisa
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Old March 8th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Nina
Totally understand the weather thing. On Sundy our high was 50 degrees and it felt like a heat wave and today we will be lucky if hits a high of 20. Yuck. We always vacation in April to insure we get some warm weather.

After living in Dubuque for 10 years my family moved to Wilton, which is about 25 miles outside of Davenport. It is close to Muscatine.

Well, have a wonderful time on you cruise. We sail on a Saturday th 16th, so I am assuming the formal night would be on Sunday. Looking forward to no kids, beer, fun, and sun.

Lisa

I will be emailing you also. I would love to see your pictures. Sounds like it was a blast We would have been right there with all of the "happy people".
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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Nina & Toni:

I was on the Inspiration last April and we had a great time. Weather was fabulous and seas were smooth. I posted a review under Reader Reviews if you want to take a look outlining everything we did and the cost. We liked the Inspiration so much we're booked again for August of this year. Have a great trip.

Darcy

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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Hey Darcy,

I was wondering when you would end up here, lol.

All your help was really great while I prepared for my cruise. I assume you read my initial post. I hope things go well for you in August.

Be sure and let me know.

P.S. Did you notice any unpleasant odor when you were there before? If not,
I would definitely be curious when you come back.

Lisa
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Darcy- Where was your room on the ship? I think Lisa said hers was on the bottom deck. We are staying on Empress.

We got an upgrade from Main to Empress and I'm hoping we made a good decision to go up the two decks.

Lisa- How was the motion on the ship?

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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Since the sea was pretty choppy for us, there was quite a bit of motion, but that was everywhere, not just on the bottom. We don't get seasick so it didn't bother us. Personally, I liked the room a whole lot more than I thought I would. The waves were cool to listen to and occasionally water would splash up on our windows.

If you go look at the ship detail on the website, our room was R-35.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Susan: We were on the bottom deck. R121 & R117 (I still haven't figured out their numbering system as these cabins were right next to each other). We had very calm seas so I really didn't feel any motion at all.

Lisa: No odor at all when we were there. I travel with a bottle of Febreeze just in case I get a smokers room and never used it. I didn't notice an odor anywhere else on the ship either, except in one of the public restrooms that had a sewer smell one day. I hope its gone by the time we go in August.

Darcy

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Old March 9th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Desertskies

We were on the Inspiration in Jan on Empress deck. In fact, we specifically chose our cabin on that deck after being on the Sensation (the deck plans are alike). We were in E94 and loved it. So convenient to everything, dining one floor up, atrium bar and internet cafe and photo gallery on that level. Embarking and Disembarking took place on that level so we did self-disembark from our room but just leaving the door open and listening to announcements. Would definitely stay on that level again.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration


We just returned from the Inspiration also, (Feb 19-24) It was our first cruise! We had warm weather but alot of wind and cool at night. I have pictures posted in the Photo Gallery.

~Donna
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Old March 10th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Just returned from Inspiration

Darcy,

the odd numbers tell me the cabins were on the starboard side. The intervening odd numbers would also be along the same corridor, but on the outboard side--ie. they are OceanView cabins. The intervening even numbers are along the port corridor, some inside, some OceanView. One curious feature of the Fantasy class ships is that there are even numbered cabins along the starboard side of the midship corridor, though it would seem they should be odd. It kind of makes sense, if you think of those cabins as port side features of a starboard structure.

Until fairly recently, the long standing (150+ years) industry convention was that the starboard side is identified by green markings, and odd numbered characteristics. The port side was red marked, and even numbered. Carnival still follows that system for the most part, but some lines (RCCL, for example) use odd and even to designate inside or outside cabins, mainly. External ship features follow the industry conventions.

When you're on Inspiration again, go to the Lido deck and look at the PFD chest/benches. You'll notice the same color and numbering scheme, particulalry the lifeboat numbers.

That system applies as well to buoys and other channel markers, going out to sea. It even applies to aircraft. Port wings have red lights and even numbered engines, starboard wings, green and odd.

You may already know all of this. If so, forgive me. Just consider this post my own little exercise in typing.

I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!

Steve

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Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Enchantment 9/03 Just had to go back.
Inspiration 3/04 Just have to go back again, and again, and again...
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 It's Margaret's fault!
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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Steve:

I didn't know that. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

Darcy

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