Stayed in a Grand Suite on a 3 day trip to Catalina and Ensenada (with a day at sea).
The suite feels dated and a little scruffy (scraped paint, marks on the walls, etc.). But it was fairly comfortable (once I figured out the non-intuitive and loud air conditioning). On the other hand, the water in the shower never got above tepid. The toiletries were extremely limited. And I could only find two outlets!
The room service menu is limited but the food we ordered was good. The main dining room breakfasts were very good (I recommend the eggs Benedict). Portions were small but (although they don’t tell you this) you can order as many sides as you want. Dinner in the dining room was also very good. (Ditto the portion size comment.) Decent wines. I had steak three nights in a row (filet, prime rib, and NY strip) and all three were cooked to order and tasty. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. The Lido deck food service was okay (the taco stand is the best) but the whole Lido deck vibe is kind of hokey and unappetizing. The vaunted soft serve is not up to Dairy Queen standards. The equally vaunted Guy Fieri burgers were limp and unappetizing.
The passengers are an odd mix of geezers and youngsters. Everybody was very friendly, but almost everybody drank a lot. And in some cases, quite a LOT. The social activities seemed mainly geared to the young crowd (hairiest chest contests, Harry Potter trivia contests, twerking, etc.).
The “premium” satellite internet connection was slow. Very slow. Lousy TV service.
We did our own shore excursions.
The sales pitches—photos, shops, future cruises—are relentless. It got old quick.
Annoyingly, when we tried to cancel spa reservations more than 24 hours in advance, they did not refund our money.
Seemed like everybody on board smoked when they got into the bar and casino. My clothes reeked of smoke when we got home.
All in all, we had a good time but we made most of our own fun by taking private shore excursions. Other than the food service, the on board experience was at best “meh.” I very much doubt we’ll take another Carnival cruise. Definitely not on Inspiration.
Old. Dated. Scuffed up. Non-intuitive AC. Two outlets!
Embarkation and disembarkation very easy.
Love Catalina. Tender port.