Carnival Inspiration

Specifications of Carnival Inspiration

Year of build1996  /  Age: 24
BuilderKvaerner Masa-Yards (Helsinki, STX Finland)
Building costUSD 270 million
Engines (power)Wartsila-Sulzer (42.24 MW / 56645 hp)
Speed21 kn / 39 km/h / 24 mph
Length (LOA)262 m / 860 ft
Beam (width)31 m / 102 ft
Gross Tonnage70367 gt
Passengers2052 - 2462
Passengers-to-space ratio29
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2018, Aliaga-scrapped in 2020
Sister-shipsCarnival Ecstasy, Carnival Elation, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Sensation
Christened byMary A. Shula
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorCarnival Cruise Line

Carnival Inspiration Review

Review of Carnival Inspiration

The 1996-built/2020-scrapped Carnival Inspiration cruise ship was the sixth of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class liners, with sisterships Fantasy (the first one in 1990), Elation, Imagination, Paradise, and the "balcony ships" Fascination, Sensation, Ecstasy.

In mid-July 2020, the shipowner Carnival Corporation sold for scrap the cruise ships Carnival Inspiration (24-years-old) and Carnival Fantasy (30-years-old). Both vessels will be dismantled and recycled at Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility (near Port Izmir, Turkey).

A total of 160x Carnival Inspiration cruises were canceled - departures scheduled for the period October 2, 2020, through May 2, 2022. CCL Inspiration ship was planned for homeporting in Long Beach (Los Angeles, California USA) and to operate on Baja Mexico itineraries - 3-day (to Ensenada) and 4-day (Santa Catalina Island California and Ensenada).

On July 23, CCL announced that Inspiration and Fantasy are sold but not to be scrapped. The buyer's name (new shipowner) was not specified. Carnival Sensation was relocated (changed homeport) from Miami to Mobile Alabama, taking up the pre-assigned schedules of Fantasy and Fascination. Carnival Fascination's schedule 2020-2021 based on homeporting in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Bridgetown (Barbados) was cancelled. The ship's new homeport (mainland USA) and itineraries are yet to be announced. Carnival Sunrise was redeployed from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) to Miami, taking up the Carnival Sensation's schedule.

On July 28, Carnival Inspiration entered the Mediterranean Sea waters. The ship's AIS transponder reported as destination port IZMIR TK. On July 31, the destination port was ALIAGA. The vessel's AIS transponder went silent on August 3, at 12:47 UTC.

During its CCL service, the vessel (IMO number 9087489) was Panama-flagged (MMSI number 309484000) and registered in Colon. The liner's last drydock refurbishment was in 2018 (November 2-15).

History - construction and ownership

Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) is a US shipping company, trademarked brand and subsidiary of Carnival Corporation (shipowner). CCL was founded in 1972 as an independent company by Ted Arison (1924-1999, co-founder of NCL Norwegian). 

CCL has the Corporation's largest fleet as number of vessels and GT-tonnage (ship sizes/volumes and passenger capacities). In 2023, CCL had ~9% (by revenue) and ~19% (passengers) share of the cruise industry's worldwide market. In 2024, the parent company (Carnival Corporation) had ~51% stake in the US$64+ billion industry.

Carnival Inspiration cruise ship

The 2000-passenger ship Carnival Inspiration is one of the oldest Carnival ships. Carnival has shown a significant liability to preserving its older hardware, and the teenage Inspiration was the 1st recipient of the line's "Evolutions of Fun" (EOF) makeovers. Carnival Inspiration cruise ship went under the knife in the time of fall 2007 dry dock, and the most visible renovations - a sun deck place with a three-hundred-foot-long corkscrew waterslide, a kids' aqua park and an adults-only retreat place - have the vessel holding its own against newer, more amenity-laden ships. Other dry-dock additions also have a devoted space for the inscrutable 12 - 14 set ("tweens"), bow-to-stern Wi-Fi, a totally new state of the art sound and lighting technology, and new buffet dining options as all-you-can-eat sushi. When all the facilities were complete,

Carnival had pumped nearly US$40 million into Carnival Inspiration, which cost to build just USD 270 million. Carnival Inspiration received a multi-million makeover in 2016 to add a wide range of dining and bar innovations. The new features were incorporated during a 3-week drydock taking place in Portland, Oregon, January 18 to February 5, 2016.

Decks and Cabins

Carnival Inspiration staterooms (1026 total, in 19 grades) include 54x Suites (no Balcony rooms), 564 Oceanview and 408 Inside. Most cabins are sized 170-185-ft2 / 16-17-m2. CCL Imagination ship has 25 wheelchair-accessible cabins (for disabled passengers) and no Standard Balcony cabins. Grand Suites are the largest accommodations (330 ft2 / 31 m2 plus 70-115 ft2 / 7-11 m2 terrace) and accommodate up to 4 passengers. They feature sitting areas, spacious bathrooms (with whirlpool bathtubs, separate shower), VIP amenities and exclusive services.

The boat has 13 decks, of which 10 are passenger-accessible and 5 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Carnival Inspiration features two main dining rooms, Mardi Gras (located midship) and Carnivale (aft). During dinner, both offer a feature set seating, with early meals at 6 p.m. and late at 8:15 p.m. Carnival's open seating option, "Your Time" dining, is available between 5:45 - 9:30 p.m. in Mardis Gras. Tables in Your Time dining section are "first-come, first-serve" - better arrive early if you are looking for a two-top. Inspiration's menus feature starters (including soups, salads, and appetizers), main courses and desserts. A vegetarian starter and main course are always available, but better ask about the vegetable soups, most of which use chicken stock bases. The sugar-free orange cake is among the low-calorie items, designated with "Spa Carnival" symbol.

Carnival Inspiration cruise ship

Unlike other Carnival ships, there is no specialty restaurant or Supper Club onboard Carnival Inspiration. However, as is also available on all of the Fun ships is Chef's Table - a dining experience that affords a dozen guests a multicourse dinner with a private cocktail reception, a tour of the galley and a master chef. This dining option takes place in a non-traditional venue, like the library or the galley, and can be booked onboard for US$75 per person.

Carnival Fantasy-class cruise ship WaterWorks slides (Fantasy, Elation, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise, Fascination, Sensation, Ecstasy)

Follows the complete list of Carnival Inspiration restaurants and food bars.

  • Mardi Gras Dining Room (650-seat, forward Main Dining Room, with two fixed dinner seatings or "Your Time Dining" and themed breakfasts - "Seuss At Sea", for $5 cover charge)
  • Carnivale Dining Room (658-seat, aft Main Dining Room, with two fixed dinner seatings).
  • Brasserie Lido Buffet Restaurant (722-seat, complimentary self-service restaurant with various food stations; operates as a bistro in the evenings).
  • Sushi Bar (complimentary)
  • Guy's Burger Joint (2016 refurbishment; complimentary poolside food bar via the partnership with Guy Fieri; serves fresh-cut fries and hand-crafted burgers)
  • BlueIguana Cantina (2016 refurbishment; complimentary poolside Mexican food bar; serves authentic, fresh-made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, an impressive selection of toppings, salsa bar).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Two production shows take place in the Paris Lounge each night. The two-deck, 1,300-seat theater offers stadium seating and bar stools on the balcony. Besides the Las Vegas-style song and dance revues, it hosts illusionists, comedians, passenger talent show, the Gender Showdown, and even inflatable laser tag Fun Times (for $5 per person). Daytime activities include country line dance classes, trivia, and bingo. Inspiration's secondary venue for entertainment is the Candlelight Lounge, featuring karaoke, "R-rated" comedy shows and art auctions. At its entrance is Chopin, a combination sports and cigar bar with stogies for sale and a number of flat TV's.

Carnival Inspiration cruise ship

Use of the Fitness Center is complimentary. Some yoga classes are organized for a modest fee. The top deck offers a jogging track. 8 times around the deck equals 1 mile. Carnival WaterWorks is a great addition to Inspiration's amenities. Every afternoon live musicians entertain the public at the main pool. But the best thing on Carnival ships is the Serenity. This special adults-only area features 120 comfortable lounges and two whirlpools.

Follows the complete list of Carnival Inspiration lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Inspiration Grand Atrium Plaza (7-deck high midship open area served by Grand Plaza Lobby Bar)
  • Internet Cafe (24-hour Internet computers room)
  • Paris Theatre (1300-seat, 2-level main show lounge)
  • Rhapsody in Blue Piano Lounge (92-seat)
  • Inspiration Promenade and Bar (230-seat)
  • Cafe Des Artistes (58-seat specialty coffee bar)
  • Avant-Garde Lounge and Bar (109-seat, with karaoke and dance floor)
  • Rock and Roll Disco and Nightclub (230-seat Dance Club)
  • Chopin Bar (92-seat cigar bar with piano)
  • Candlelight Lounge and Bar (540-seat, hosts Punchliner Comedy Club/brunch)
  • RedFrog Rum Bar (2016 refurbishment; poolside bar serving Caribbean rum-based drinks, as well as Carnival's private label draught beer ThirstyFrog Red)
  • Alchemy Bar (2016 refurbishment; vintage-themed cocktail lounge served by professional mixologists)
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar (2016 refurbishment; poolside Mexican-themed bar serving tequila-based drinks)
  • Cherry On Top (2016 refurbishment; gifts/sweets shop, selling bulk candies, novelties, Carnival-logoed merchandise)
  • Art Gallery; Photo Gallery and Shop; Formalities Shop (tuxedo rentals, special occasion gifts); The Fun Shops (offer "Bon Voyage" store menu, souvenirs, watches, jewelry, logo merchandise, duty-free liquor, fashion boutiques)
  • Circle C (kids' complimentary club lounge with movies, video games, parties, planned activities)
  • 24-hour Video Games Arcade; Club O2 teens' lounge for movies, karaoke, parties
  • Monte Carlo Casino (450-seat, served by Dream Bar)
  • Serenity (adults only relaxation area with padded lounges, hammocks and two Whirlpools).
  • Inspiration Lido Pool area; Carnival WaterWorks Aqua Park (features the 4-deck high 300-foot-long Twister Waterslide, two racing waterslides, fountains, jets, splash pool, kids area)
  • Camp Carnival (kids' club lounge with complimentary programme and play area)
  • Spa Carnival (12,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness complex with Relaxation Room, Steam Rooms, Saunas, Massage Rooms, Beauty Salon, Gymnasium with Aerobics Studio)
  • Basketball/Volleyball Court, Jogging Track, Tennis Tables, 9-hole Mini Golf Course, Shuffleboard.


Carnival Inspiration itinerary program was based on 3- and 4-day short-breaks ("Catalina-Ensenada") roundtrips from homeport Los Angeles (Long Beach CA departures) to Santa Catalina Island California and Ensenada Baja Mexico. Because of its short cruises, the vessel was an attraction for many first-timers as well as veteran cruisers who really enjoy the casual attitude and the comfort of the familiar.

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Carnival Inspiration Wiki

The vessel was constructed by STX Finland (at Kvaerner Masa-Yards/Helsinki New Shipyard) in Helsinki. The powerplant is based on Wartsila marine diesel engines (models 12ZAV40S and 12V38) with total power output 42,24 MW.

Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade was done in 2016. The Inspiration ship was extensively drydock refitted (Fun Ship 1.0 upgraded) in 2007. Then the WaterWorks park and the Serenity Deck were added. The list of major upgrades also included the pool area, MDRs, Camp Carnival (kids), Spa facilities, all passenger cabins.

The Carnival ship Inspiration is one of fleet's oldest (Fantasy-class) vessels, with sisterships Ecstasy, Elation, Fantasy, Fascination, Imagination, Paradise, Sensation.CCL Inspiration used to operate 4- and 5-day Western Caribbean cruises from homeport Tampa Florida prior to December 2011 when was repositioned to California (replacing there Carnival Paradise).

Carnival Inspiration refurbishment 2016 review

The list of deckplan changes after the ship's drydock 2016 refurbishment (January 18 - February 5, done in Freeport Bahamas) included:

  • (Lido Deck 10) Guy’s Burger Joint was added (complimentary poolside dining venue serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries )
  • (Lido Deck 10) BlueIguana Cantina was added (complimentary poolside Mexican eatery for fresh-made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, with salsa bar and a variety of toppings). Also here was added the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar (Mexican-themed outdoor bar for frozens and beers).
  • (Promenade Deck 9) Alchemy Bar was added (Carnival's “cocktail pharmacy” lounge with professional mixologists and made-to-order drinks). Also here was added the RedFrog Rum Bar (rum bar for frozens and beers, serving Carnival’s private label ThirstyFrog Red /draught beer).
  • (Promenade Deck 9) Cherry On Top was added (bulk candy store, also selling Carnival Cruise Lines logo apparel, gifts, toys)).
  • (Verandah Deck 11) the old Camp Carnival kids complex was redesigned and transformed into Camp Ocean. Also here (aft) was installed Carnival Waterworks (aquapark with Splash Zone, 2 mini racing slides for kids, and the 300 ft / 91 m long "Twister Waterslide").

Various technical enhancements were also implemented, including shoreside power capabilities. Routine maintenance works included new hull coating. During the 3-week refurbishment in 2016, the crew area was also renovated.