Just competed a cruise on the inspiration. We had a great time together, but realized this ship is a little older, thus smaller than many of the alternatives.
Embarking - no problems here. The cruise line gave us the time to embark between 12 and 2. We arrived at 11:30 and used the valet services. It seemed that the cruise parking was a slight walk. The cost for valet was $85 and seemed reasonable for 5 nights. Like others noted, the process of getting on the ship was quick. Tampa seems to know how to handle the crowds.
Public areas - realizing the age of the ship, the public areas were well kept. You could tell there were items that had been painted over many times. I was surprised that many of the exterior windows were not kept clean. Even in the stateroom' it was difficult to see out. Not sure if they are able to keep clean because of ocean spray.
Excursions - we did not sign up for an excursion in Grand cayman, but there seemed to be several independent vendors offering discount options. We just wanted to go to 7 mile beach and found the $5 taxis reasonable. Caution - they usually wait to to be full before leaving, so you might have to wait a little.
In Cozumel, we took the VIP shopping excursion. Overall it was interesting to see the whole island, we saw the museum that had miniatures of the ruins. Nothing too great. The other problem with this excursion is that we did not have sufficient time to investigate downtown.
Be prepared to negotiate. Even 50% off is not unreasonable.
The best excursion was the behind the scenes of the ship on e last day. We signed up early and it sold out on the first day. You get to see all the workings of the ship. They do not let you take any cameras, but well worth the $55 per person.
Staff- they all seemed very friendly. The cruise director, Stephanie, was not out and about as I have seen with other ships. It could have been that I just missed seeing her much. Additionally, the assistant cruise director, JT, was a little creepy. It seemed a little awkward when he ran events.
The shows were surprisingly good. Typically they are cheesy, but the crew had a good song and dance team.
Disbarking - we took the self check out option. Even though we had several bags, we were able to get off the ship within about 15 minutes