Carnival unveils inspiring makeover
Ship Review by Michael Coleman, September 2008
The 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration still has all the onboard amenities and kick-back revelry one expects from a Fun Ship cruise experience but now packs an even bigger wallop for kids and adults alike.
A multi-million dollar facelift, dubbed Evolutions of Fun by the worlds largest cruise operator, features expansive childrens water parks, a new pool area design and the creation of an adults-only Serenity sun deck.
Carnival also revamped Inspirations interior. Look for remodeled staterooms and suites including new bathrooms, an updated atrium lobby bar, improved sound and lighting systems in various lounges and clubs, a new coffee bar, nine-hole miniature golf course, art and photo gallery, flat-screen televisions in staterooms and select public areas and a New York-style deli.
Other upgrades include the addition of the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system in each cabin complete with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high-quality linens and pillows, a variety of cuisine enhancements, as well as Wi-Fi Internet access in virtually all public areas, and cellular phone service.
The ship has also expanded its Camp Carnival play area for younger cruise passengers. Health conscious parents will also notice a complete overhaul to the ships 12,000-square-foot spa facilities.Â Look for new private treatment rooms, state-of-the art exercise equipment and a host of cosmetic enhancements.
While the interior changes aboard Inspiration are indeed impressive, Carnival has nonetheless hit a home run with its exterior alterations.
The new resort-style, tropical-themed main pool area – located mid-ship on Lido Deck – features bright yellow umbrellas, faux palm trees, new lounge chairs and thatched roofs above whirlpools and bars.
Nowhere is the ambience more lively, however, than in the Carnival WaterWorksÂ aqua park located on Verandah Deck aft. It features a four-deck-high, 300-foot-long corkscrew water slide – the biggest, longest and most elaborate at sea – and a separate 82-foot-long double-lane water slide. This expansive, sun-drenched area also features a spray park offering multiple and varied water spray apparatus.
The Serenity area, meanwhile, is located in a secluded aft section on Promenade Deck and features expansive ocean vistas. Look for two whirlpools, plush chaise lounge chairs, colorful oversized umbrellas and even a separate, shaded area for passengers to enjoy quiet time out of the sun.
The ships four-day itinerary from Tampa features two days at sea and a call on Cozumel, Mexico. The ships five-day sailing includes two sea days and visits to Cozumel and Grand Cayman Island in the Western Caribbean.
When all is said and done Carnival will have spent some $250 million on its Evolutions of Fun upgrades aboard eight ships in their Fantasy-class fleet. Work on Inspiration and Imagination, sailing out of Miami, has already been completed. Fantasy, Ecstasy, Sensation, Fascination, Paradise and Elation will receive their respective makeovers during scheduled maintenance through 2009.
Carnival operates a total of 22 vessels, including the new Carnival Splendor set to make her Fort Lauderdale debut later this fall. Carnival Dream, the lines largest ship ever built, will be launched in September 2009.
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