There were 8 people in our group from the age of 25 to late 50's. 3 males and 5 females. We live in the Inland Empire. We left home at 8:30am, and made it to Long Beach at 10:30am. Check-in at the Queen Mary was very fast, but the ship didn't board until 11:30am. We were the 2nd group to board...
The Inspiration's atrium is extremely dark (decorated in black). The rest of the ship is very tastefully decorated. The staterooms are the most spacious cabins I have ever had (this was my 12th cruise). Even the bathroom was huge compared to others in the industry (your knees aren't in the sink!) The ship seemed very clean.
The food was very good. They even served lobster which they usually don't on shorter cruises. I've had better food on Celebrity and maybe Princess, but it is on par with Royal Caribbean and Disney. The service was as good as any ship I've been on.
The activities on board were extremely boring! I thought this was supposed to be a party ship, and I was afraid that was what I would find. This was not the case at all! The ship was pretty dead. Deader than I wanted. With the exception of the cruise director herself, the cruise staff was in need of some training. I have to say, the stage show "Shout" is not to be missed!
Catalina is a great port! We played miniature golf, rented a 6-person golf cart ahead of time (make sure you do this), and some members of our party went para-sailing (I think you must have reservations to do this as well). Tendering is no problem. Just go before 10am. I didn't get off the ship in Ensenada since i have been there 2 or 3 times and it is just a tourist trap in my opinion.
The disembarkation was slower than getting on the ship, and even that only took about 30 minutes. We went immediately when our number was called.
Overall, it was a great cruise and I would definitely recommend Carnival for a cheaper option.