22 Carnival Imagination Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

A group of friends have done this cruise every year for the last few years and we decided to join them this time. They selected the Carnival Imagination because that had the right dates that were being sought. Have to tell you it was the ... Read More
A group of friends have done this cruise every year for the last few years and we decided to join them this time. They selected the Carnival Imagination because that had the right dates that were being sought. Have to tell you it was the worst cruise I have ever been on. Here are the reasons why: 1. Our room on the Empress deck was freezing cold the entire trip. The Carnival website says that each room has a thermostat. Not true. The only temperature control in the room is a fan on the ceiling. Even with it turned completely off it was still frigid in our stateroom. Called and went to guest services to complain. They came by twice, took it apart twice and said it was fixed and that the rooms should all be between 70 and 74 degrees. When they tested our room it was only 68 and never got any better. Being disabled and needing to lay day several times a day, it made it completely unpleasant. Found out when I called Carnival after our cruise that we were compensated $20.92 twice for the "inconvenience". This, to be honest, was an insult. 2. The food was horrible and the hours of the buffet were laughable. The food in the buffet in the morning was pretty much inedible. Scrambled eggs that looked like runny porridge, under cooked bacon and not much of a variety was very sad. While the dining room breakfast was better, the hours that they were open were too short. The buffets on other ships are open 24/7 and they always have things that could be made into a meal. The Imagination closed their buffets from 10:00 to 11:30 and after 1:30 the only lunch I could get was pizza or burgers or something at the deli (which was such a limited menu). Dinner was closed at 9, so if I wasn't able to eat what was in the dining room at the late service, I was out of luck getting something at the buffet. The food was on par with Denny's. 3. They didn't have much to do on the ship during the day, but I did go to a couple of the trivia events. They were held in the Dream Bar. Unfortunately, the bar itself wasn't open so if someone wanted a drink they had to go down two decks to the Atrium to get their own and bring it back. Not very service oriented there. 4. Service during the comedy shows was lax as well. We usually sit in the back and for all the shows that I went to, I personally was only approached once and asked if I wanted something to drink. Seems that they were completely understaffed. 5. I was outside of one of the dining rooms and I asked a Carnival staff member where the nearest bathroom was. He didn't seem to understand me so I repeated my question. He had to pull out a map because he had no idea where any of the bathrooms were located. How can someone work on a ship and not know where things are? 6. Don't know when the last time this ship was refurbished, but there was rust in all the bathrooms and it was really showing wear and tear. The only good thing about this ship were the people in the Casino and the two servers that we dealt with in the dining room. This was not a relaxing or enjoyable getaway for me and I don't think I will ever travel with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I had previously cruised on Cunard and Royal Caribbean (11 times total) and were looking for a short "introduction to cruising" cruise experience for his brother and wife who would be going with us. Carnival was a ... Read More
My husband and I had previously cruised on Cunard and Royal Caribbean (11 times total) and were looking for a short "introduction to cruising" cruise experience for his brother and wife who would be going with us. Carnival was a poor choice on many levels. PROS: The ship's public areas are clean, festive, and lovely. The theater for stage shows is beautiful. It's obvious that the Imagination has been redone recently. CONS: This is a booze and gamble cruise and little effort was put into any activities that might distract cruisers from that. There was only one stage show in the evening, at 10:15 p.m., and we were too tired after a day of excursions to wait up. The one comic we saw in the lounge (his early "clean" show) was just so-so. No movies shown. No dancing or dancing lessons. Few games. The usual semi-smutty "marriage game" on stage one evening. We felt we'd already seen it and it really wasn't that funny. STAFF: What I noticed immediately on coming aboard was that the ship's staff looked glum. Instead of the cheerful, enthusiasm we had experienced with RCCL and Cunard we were greeted with stressed or blank faces (the one exception was our room steward who did learn our names and smile.) The lifeboat safety drill was chaos and when they got to the part where they assured parents the staff would bring their children to their assigned lifeboat station in the event of abandon ship I thought to myself "no way would I rely on these people to get my kids to safety!" Over the 4 days the mood and organization of the staff didn't improve. We definitely had the "B" team and service was carried out with all the knowledge and enthusiasm you'd expect from the sales clerks at Walmart. The Aussie who conducted the one trivia game we attended spent the entire time with her face in a manual trying to figure out how to run the game. She never did quite get it so we never tried the game again. In the dining room one woman at our table was brought the wrong entree and the waiter, instead of removing it when he brought her correct entree, just left both dinners on the table that was already crammed with too many people and plates. I ordered a specialty cocktail (basically Irish Coffee made instead with Jamaican rum); it was brought out cold. I asked that it be remade. It was brought out cold again. Clearly somebody didn't know how to make it, so I asked that it be taken off the bill. In the buffet, there was inadequate staff at the grill resulting in a 10-15 minute wait for a deli hot sandwich or (at breakfast) omelets. The cooks ignored the line and just puttered along. SEATED DINING: Very curious to know how Carnival arranges seating. My husband and I are 66, but still actively employed. The other 3 couples at our cramped table (we were literally touching elbows and dinner plates were crowded together) were at least 10 years older and retired. We felt like we were seated with our parents. First time that has happened on a cruise ship. Our usual experience is a range of companions from 45-65 (and not to be relegated to the old folks table.) When we asked if we could move to the table with my brother-in-law and his wife, we were told the ship was full and we couldn't be accommodated. Fortunately the dining room was at least a third empty after the first evening so we just moved to their table anyway (their table companions never showed) and didn't tell anyone. (Back at our table the other 3 couples were doubtless grateful for the room.) NUMBER OF TRAVELERS: We were told repeatedly that there were 2500 people on board and the ship was full (an excuse for the chaos and poor service apparently). It looked half empty to us. Never more than 50 or so in the pool area and just a handful in the pool. Deck areas largely empty. It WAS a mob getting off so I suspect this speaks to the booze/gamble aspect of the cruise; most of the people had all been in the casino. ON THE PLUS SIDE: The few families with young children at this time of year (most kids were back in school) had all the play areas to themselves: the pool, miniature golf, waterslides, etc. I took some sun on the virtually deserted fantail lounging area one afternoon and the 30 or so little ones had the waterslides all to themselves and were having a ball! All in all though we won't be cruising with Carnival again and certainly not recommending this cruise. Sadly, this fun ship just isn't fun. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was my 3rd time on the Imagination and it just gets better and better. Like a fine wine, better with age. For those familiar with the fantasy class of ship someone has finally figured out a great use of the Atrium. The Atrium ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on the Imagination and it just gets better and better. Like a fine wine, better with age. For those familiar with the fantasy class of ship someone has finally figured out a great use of the Atrium. The Atrium extends 5 Stories with a circular balcony around each deck. On the first night I am in a fairly noisy casino when I start hearing these loud shouts. I go out to the Atrium's balcony and it is 3 deep in bodies. I wedge my way into the front of the balcony and I see down below standing on the bar itself on deck 7 the cruise director leading, what seemed like the entire ship"s passenger list in the song "Shout"!!!! Each of the 5 Atrium balconies were mobbed with people. If the house is rockin don't bother knockin ..come on in. And this was the just the first night! Of course if this is not your cup of tea and are looking for something more sedate well then this cruise may not be for you. But what fun seeing and participating in an activity along with literally hundreds of others. We ate in the MDR only once and I had the upgraded menu..lobster.. and it was very good. Food on Lido deck was fine, nothing to write home about but entirely satisfactory. We had the cabin labelled "Grand Suite" ...seems to be a regular cabin but twice the size. The balcony was large and we used it quite a bit. Did not go ashore at Catalina, spent most of the day sleeping on the balcony. Shopped and did a spa thing in Enseneda. Epic Rock, to me, is one fanatic show, I have seen it 3 times! All in all a generally great great time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were having a bachelorette party and it was the easiest to organize 15 girls to take a trip where we'd only have to pay one thing. The boat was moving around a lot and we all got sick. The buffet was good. The first dinner ... Read More
We were having a bachelorette party and it was the easiest to organize 15 girls to take a trip where we'd only have to pay one thing. The boat was moving around a lot and we all got sick. The buffet was good. The first dinner night they had a nice mushroom thing I could eat as a vegan, and the second night nothing! Not one single option for me. I asked what I should do and the waiter was really nice and brought me a couple of pieces of steamed broccoli...for my dinner. He told me that after the dinner I should already go and order my vegan dinner for the night before and it would be ready for me. I ordered a nice pumpkin soup without cream and the rest of my vegan meal, they said great you will have it for dinner tomorrow. Dinner came, they confirmed I was vegan and that my meal was coming. They confirmed probably 2 or 3 times, and finally when the food came they literally gave me a piece of lettuce. Like they took a piece of iceberg lettuce and put it in my plate and served me just that. I'm not sure if they were trying to be insulting but if so, they truly succeeded. I asked what is this where is my soup? They said they don't have anything vegan, again. Absolute crap! They also didn't want to put our tables together even though we came way in advance telling them we were 15 girls and we wanted to sit together. They gave us a big table and a small one isolating the other girls on the side even though there was plenty of space for us. Finally we decided to move the tables together despite their protests and we were able to eat together, no thanks to the staff. Also the DJs in the clubs were terrible and there was way too much chlorine in the spa it gave me a bladder infection. Otherwise it was cool. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising! My son-in-law booked and decided on Imagination. The quality of the food and the entertainment have diminished since my last travels with Carnival . My senses have experienced ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising! My son-in-law booked and decided on Imagination. The quality of the food and the entertainment have diminished since my last travels with Carnival . My senses have experienced MUCH better in past cruises! The menu was basically the same every nite. Pool is way to small on this ship. My grandchildren ages 14, 16, and 18 walked around the cruise ship aimlessly BORED! There is not much for them to be entertained . Although , my 18 year old did pick up an addiction to gambling! Years from now he will be depriving his family of money for food. Because he will squandered his money at a casino. I will have to pray real hard on this debauchery! The last nite we were in the dinning room. I felt very bad leaving dinning room and not tipping! I did not know if I should tip or if it was added to my tab! I do know that I was charged an exorbitant amount of gratuity! Other than that I would cruise again! But maybe with a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was a first time cruise for me and my daughter. We were with another mother and daughter, it was their birthdays the week prior and this was a vacation we had all planned in advance to celebrate. We booked directly with Carnival ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for me and my daughter. We were with another mother and daughter, it was their birthdays the week prior and this was a vacation we had all planned in advance to celebrate. We booked directly with Carnival cruise lines and it was an extremely pleasant process. Upon arrival in Long Beach for embarkation we enjoyed the local area, beaches and restaurants. Embarkation went very quickly and the staff were all extremely pleasant and welcoming. If you are camera shy, you'll have to avoid all the photographers as they are taking pictures constantly. Our cabin was ready and our luggage was outside the door when we arrived. The buffet was ready upon our arrival and the music was playing, it was vacation time! All meals were great and room service if ordered was always there at the time requested. Disembarkation was easy and friendly as well. The border agent I personally had to deal with was helpful. The cruise line did not tell us until the day we were getting off the ship that there would be a limit on items we were allowed to bring in from out of country, that would have been nice to know, but again, border agent was very helpful and friendly in that process. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My daughter in law chose this cruise because it coincided with her 30th birthday. I've cruised many times (at least 20) and generally find Carnival to be just fine. This was generally just fine too. Pros: good food, nice staff. ... Read More
My daughter in law chose this cruise because it coincided with her 30th birthday. I've cruised many times (at least 20) and generally find Carnival to be just fine. This was generally just fine too. Pros: good food, nice staff. Cons: as a shorter cruise they don't have much for entertainment. I was also under the impression that this ship had a sushi bar, and a fish and chips restaurant. I didn't see one. Restaurants were limited compared with other ships I've sailed on. The main dining room food was top notch though. For me the biggest cons were the fact that my grandson, who was just a month shy of his 2nd birthday, was not allowed to participate in any of the kiddy programs onboard. The only option we had was to leave him one morning for a short time, in a PAY FOR baby-sitting capacity. I'm a bit shocked they charged for this service, considering that I had to pay for half of a cabin cost (he was my roommate) despite his age. I think Carnival should have more options for young toddlers. The other major con on this cruise: Our cabin R77 had a massive shower blockage. I reported it on day two, day three, and day four. Day five it was still happening, but we left that morning. So the entire cruise, each time I took a shower (and I took VERY short ones), the shower filled up and it flooded through both drains into the main bathroom area. Each day it took all our towels plus the huge carnival beach towels to mop it up before it spilled into the room itself. It was quite disgusting, and I'm not pleased that despite me reporting it (and being promised it would be fixed), it was NEVER actually dealt with. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
It's been a while since I've been on a cruise and was excited for this trip, although I didn't have very high expectations. Overall, it was a fun time, but we were very happy to disembark. Pros: The staff and crew were ... Read More
It's been a while since I've been on a cruise and was excited for this trip, although I didn't have very high expectations. Overall, it was a fun time, but we were very happy to disembark. Pros: The staff and crew were all very friendly and helpful. Our interior cabin was a decent size and cleaned twice a day. The workout center is well equipped and very nice (I was a little annoyed when I went to check it out on Day 1, and was taken on a tour of the entire spa as they went through all of their services). I really enjoyed Catalina and Ensenada. We did a bus tour and lunch in Avalon and I highly recommend the kayak trip to La Bufadora. The guides are wonderful and this was the highlight of our trip. Ensenada can be a tourist trap, so it was nice to learn more about the city. Cons: The food! I always hear how the buffets and food are so wonderful on cruises. The food on the Imagination, both buffet and dining room, was barely edible. On the first night, I ordered the Mahi Mahi and the fish smell as the plate was being delivered was horrendous. I took one bite and was afraid to continue because I thought I might get sick. Our waiter offered to switch the meal, but I opted to leave and grab a slice of pizza. Not great. How can you go wrong with pizza? The buffet food was sub par... especially the breakfast. One bite of the scrambled eggs and I was done (the french toast was decent). On another night, I ordered beef medium rare (you had 2 choices.. med rare or med well), and it was SO rare that, again, I could only take one bite. This time I did switch my meal for something else and it was okay. One morning we waited 30 minutes for breakfast that we couldn't eat because of a spa appointment. Speaking of the spa appointment, my massage was VERY nice... until I could hear the full conversation on the other side of the sliding partition. The decor... OMG! Tacky, tacky, tacky. Time for a MAJOR update. The brass everywhere, decor, and signage are just cheesy. The music on the Lido deck also needs a major update. The entertainment on the ship was okay, but again, a little cheesy. I will not book another Carnival cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My sister-in-law proposed a quick get-away vacation cruise using some of their airline miles which saved us a bunch. We chose the Catalina Island-Ensenada Mexico 4 day cruise out of Long Beach (her sister lives there). The weather can be ... Read More
My sister-in-law proposed a quick get-away vacation cruise using some of their airline miles which saved us a bunch. We chose the Catalina Island-Ensenada Mexico 4 day cruise out of Long Beach (her sister lives there). The weather can be cool in February and it started out in the mid to upper 60's. Long Beach is nice. We stopped at the Beachwood BBQ and Brewery for lunch before the cruise. Good beer and salads. The cruise terminal was easy to navigate and is next to the Queen Mary. (We did not take a tour.) The boat was clean and the staff was friendly. We were able to get access to our room immediately but had to wait a short time for our luggage. They do ask you to leave your bags unlocked and they do check for restricted items like alcohol. We thought the rooms were a reasonable size. We always get an ocean view for a few extra bucks. The bathroom was clean and had some room to maneuver but it was a bit worn. Note that there is one outlet in the bathroom. We had to hold the plug in to use anything. The room itself only has one 110 outlet and one 220 outlet. So bring an adapter or power strip if you have CPAP and want to charge a camera or phone at night. The restaurant food was pretty good overall. The fish tends to be a bit overcooked and dry. The Salmon is good though. The ladies loved the melting chocolate cake for dessert and get two scoops of vanilla ice cream with it. The buffet was not too bad either but the scrambled eggs were aweful the first day I tried them. They do have stations where they make food fresh. Do that if the line is not too long. You need to tender over to Catalina Island so get an early start. We opted to keep it cheap so we took the trolley up to Wrigley Gardens. It was nice but not real big. An hour there is enough. We came back to Avalon and strolled the main drag. We had beer at the Catalina Island brewery. They had some good beer and free pretzels. They recommend you tender back an hour early to avoid long lines. We did and got on one of the first boats back. Not a ton to do in Ensenada. We did the wine tour which was pretty good. It takes about 45 minutes to L.A. Cetto which is a larger winery. They give you a tour and tasting with bread and cheese plus everyone gets a bottle of wine to go. There wine was a bit smoother to the taste. The second winery was smaller and I thought more interesting. It was La Casa de Dona Lupe. They had all sorts of salsas and some pizza. The wine was a bit more flavorful. There were two ladies giving massages for $5 and an Aztec dancer give a performance. The courtyard was nice with free range chickens looking for handouts. The place just had a Mexican homey feel. And at the end, Dona Lupe herself hopped on the bus to thank us for coming. We got dropped off in the downtown area. We had fish tacos at El Mesón de Don Fernando. We sat outside and a Mariachi trio came by to play (for a gratuity). The entertainment on the boat was okay for the time we were there. They had two comedians that were pretty good. We did the adult shows so don't sit up front if you get offended easily. They had a rock tribute show the last night that was good. They also have Karaoke and music trivia which was entertaining. Big Rob runs those. The casino was pretty plain. Looked like slots and black jack for the most part. Drink prices were comparable to anywhere else and include gratuity. They do charge $48 a head up front as a gratuity charge so you do not need to carry cash unless you want to reward your favorite staff at the end of the trip. The fitness area was really nice. I was a good boy and did the elliptical one morning to burn off some beer carbs. In the end, it was a pretty relaxing and enjoyable trip. Not sure I would do this cruise again but I would like to take another Carnival cruise at some point. Not to damper this review, but my wife and I are coming down with a bug of some sort. So wash your hands often. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My husband & I decided not to sit home for once on New Years Eve. We booked the Imagination for a 3 day cruise to Mexico. It did not disappoint. We paid a little extra for "Faster to the Fun" which got us in a shorter line to ... Read More
My husband & I decided not to sit home for once on New Years Eve. We booked the Imagination for a 3 day cruise to Mexico. It did not disappoint. We paid a little extra for "Faster to the Fun" which got us in a shorter line to check in and our room was ready when we boarded just after 12. We had a outside room cabin U148. It was plenty of room for the amount of time we were in there. The bed was very comfortable. The food in the buffet was just OK while the evening meals in the dining room were exceptional but the service was quite slow. Easy off and on in Ensenada. My husband loves to gamble but I found the smoke impossible for me to be in the casino. The casino and adjoining bar is the only place inside the ship where smoking was permissible so smokers made the casino intolerable. There was a small corner designinated for non smoking but The signs were ignored. There was a great New Years Eve party poolside for the countdown with a live band. We indulged in a Couples massage and it was one of the best we have ever had. Bingo was a little pricy for the number of games you got to play. Maybe just sour grapes we didn't win. Lots of kids on this cruise but most were well behaved. Disembarking was a breeze. We decided to carry off our own luggage and we're off the boat and through Customs in a matter of minutes. I would definitely take this cruise again. With the exception of the drink prices it was a good bargain for the money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We took our adult kids and their children on this fun 4 day cruise between Christmas and New Year's. It was perfect - everybody had a good time, there was plenty to do and 4 days worked for everyone with their busy schedules. First ... Read More
We took our adult kids and their children on this fun 4 day cruise between Christmas and New Year's. It was perfect - everybody had a good time, there was plenty to do and 4 days worked for everyone with their busy schedules. First time with Carnival and we were pleasantly surprised with the environment and service. There were a lot of families on this cruise - great for a short getaway. We went to Ensenada and Catalina. It really wasn't about the ports but the time together. Everyone did their own thing during the day and we had dinner together in the evening. Very fun! The teenagers met lots of other kids; the young singles had their good times at the bar and kereoke and the adults enjoyed the evening entertainment. Recommend this cruise for family with lots of different ages. Catalina was really cold and the tour was not very good; Ensenada was the same it had been 30 years ago. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked a cruise out of Miami for our 25th anniversary for September 2015. It seemed far away so we wanted to do something to bridge the gap. I booked this cruise for my wife and I back in June. I got a pretty good VIFP deal that ... Read More
We booked a cruise out of Miami for our 25th anniversary for September 2015. It seemed far away so we wanted to do something to bridge the gap. I booked this cruise for my wife and I back in June. I got a pretty good VIFP deal that included a bit of OBC. We grabbed Oceanview R88. It was low and midship. We flew Southwest out of Reno and took Execucar Express from LAX to the Queen Mary. I bought the room during an online half price sale they had several weeks ago. The room was $80 but ended up after taxes and the resort fee it was $106. We arrived around 11:00 PM on the night before the cruise. Check-in was easy and the room was fine. I've stayed there and probably won't stay again unless the deal is great. I know there's a lot of history but you just give up too much comfort and convenience for my taste. However, they were friendly, helpful and it was a fine place to sleep. I had purchased FTTF to see what it's like. We woke the morning of the cruise and took our time getting ready and wandering around the Queen Mary for awhile. We packed our bags and left the hotel a little past 10:00 to walk over to the terminal. We checked our bags and went to check in. There was no line at all for check-in so FTTF didn't make a difference there. If we had been about 30 minutes later we'd have been very happy to bypass the long line that had formed. The check-in gal was able to take my AARP gift cards and apply them directly to my S&S account. She sent us to the priority area to wait and said it would be between 11:30 and Noon. We sat and waited until around 11:40 when we were called to board. It was quite nice to drop our bags in our room and head off to lunch. We were eating pizza by noon. After lunch we spent the afternoon wandering around to get familiar with the ship. We took the spa tour and signed up for the drawing and then went to see if our bags had arrived so that we could unpack. They had just arrived and we were able to put our stuff away and get the cabin organized. R88 is a fine cabin in a decent location. Obviously, there is a lot of walking from the middle of the Riviera deck to get to anything but we didn't mind. I really like the lack of movement be that low and in the middle of the ship. The seas during the entire voyage were remarkably calm and we rarely felt a lot of motion anywhere. I usually use the Trans-Derm Scop behind my ear to ward off seasickness but decided to skip it at the last minute for this cruise. I was glad I did because those patches help but make me feel strange and "out of it" for most of the cruise. It turns out that maybe I don't need the after all because I didn't have any problems. We met Adi, our cabin steward. He was very efficient. We did the pre-paid tips but I put a few dollars out each morning and evening when he made up our room. I also tipped some dollars to other folks around the ship. Everyone seems to work so hard and I can't imagine that my $12 per day goes very far. We dined in the MDR the first night and I had beef lasagna. I thought it was incredible. I had shrimp cocktail and a salad also. I found most of the salads in the MDR were kind of bland with the exception of the Head of Lettuce. After dinner we went to the Welcome Aboard show and then wandered around the ship a bit more before heading to bed. I slept much better than I thought I would and woke up of the coast of Catalina. We went back to the MDR from a leisurely breakfast and then went to meet the FTTF folks in the Piano Bar. The gal took us down and put us on the next tender. We arrived at the island with a couple of hours to spare before the Dolphin Runner Adventure. I really wish we had rented a golf cart to take the golf cart tour of the island but I didn't make up my mind for sure until it was too late. We ended up walking around to look at all the stores and purchased a couple of sweatshirts. We had stayed on the island in 2001 and wandered up the hill to check out the hotel where we had spent our nights. It was still there and looked exactly the same. The time finally came for our dolphin adventure and we met the boat captain on the pier. There were two other ladies on the tour besides us so it wasn't crowded at all. It also didn't produce any dolphins. It turned out to be a fairly expensive ride on a rib-runner. Having said that, it was a fun boat ride but should probably cost a bit less if that's all it is. Oh well, those boats go fast and the seats are heavily paddles saddles to protect your sitting parts when the thing goes into the air and slams back into the water. After not seeing the dolphins we went back to the ship and had a late lunch at the buffet. It was fine and quick. I did get addicted the the frozen yogurt and managed to have some after each meal. I went to take a nap and my wife headed for some sunshine. I enjoyed the nap immensely and it ended in time to go up and watch us sail away from Catalina. We watched the Epic Rock Show and one of the comedians that night. I liked Epic Rock quite a bit and the comedian, Dale Jones, was pretty funny. We ate in the MDR between the shows. It was elegant night in the dining room so we dressed up a little. I even wore pants instead of shorts for a few hours. It amazes me that they publish a dress code that I think is very lenient and forgiving but some folks still violate it and are not turned away. Oh well, I don't really care but just find it curious. I had the scallops and a salad along with prime rib. The scallops were the best part. The prime rib was edible and that's about all I can say. The greek salad looked good but lacked any interesting flavors. We wandered around a bit after all the shows and headed for bed. I slept equally well the second night and was ready for a day in Ensenada on Friday. We took our time getting moving in the morning and had breakfast at the buffet. We wandered off the ship and took the bus into the shopping area of town. We hadn't planned an excursion but thought about a couple that they offered on the bus. We opted to just walk around and shop and then changed our minds and went back to book the Topless Bus. It was fine and the guide was fun. He drove us around town for a while and pointed out some points of interest. After the driving he took us to a restaurant to enjoy the included lunch. I had enchiladas and my wife just ordered chips and guacamole. The food was okay but not outstanding. At the risk of overusing the term is was quite bland. He let us off to shop on the way back and we opted to just break off from the tour there and walk back to the ship. My wife got some Mexican equivalents of some of her over the counter meds at a good price and found a Starbucks. She can sniff out a Starbucks from 100 miles away. I used the wifi and caught up on some emails and Facebook stuff. I bought some vanilla and we walked back to the ship. There was time for another nap before we were scheduled to sail away. I enjoyed my nap and we headed out to sit in the sun. The Grand Princess was arriving when we got upstairs so we watched them dock. It was interesting seeing how they maneuvered the thing. This was our final night eating in the MDR. We settled on steakhouse selections for the extra $20 each. I had Steak and Lobster and thought it was quite good. I started with tortilla soup and the head of lettuce salad. It was great and we skipped dessert that night. We went down and checked out The Hasbro Show. I thought it was fun but we didn't get to actually play. We turned in early that night to just spend some time doing nothing. We made a reservation for the Suess Green Eggs & Ham breakfast at 9:00 so we were up and ready for that. It was fun and the food was pretty decent. I just had the Foxes Steak and Eggs and it was enjoyable. My wife wanted to see the towel animal thing and then we watched the magic show. Both of those were fun enough and worth watching. A short nap came next and then we had a late lunch at the buffet. We saw a couple of whales off the stern at different times during lunch and that made it kind of fun. We even spotted some dolphins from our cabin off in the distance. We spent a lot of time in the sun that day and then it was time for Friends trivia followed by dinner. We went to our dining room and the line was HUGE. It looked like everyone came at lunch. We decided to go pack our bags and come back later. When we got back the line was short but they were giving out pagers. We opted to pass on the pager and head for the buffet area. When we got there we figured out why the MDR was so crowded. Almost everything was closed. We got a couple of deli sandwiches and picked a few items from the buffet and salad bar. It was chocolate night at the dessert bar and we sampled a couple of items. We went and saw Dale Jones again even though it was the same show. His wife was the other comedian but she was just okay. We found some seats for Divas and watched the late show. I thought the performers were very good but the overall show didn't do much for me. We stayed until the end and then took a walk up for some frozen yogurt before bed. We put our bags outside and turned in for the evening. We had planned to sleep until about 8:00 on debarkation day, have a leisurely breakfast and then relax until around 10:00 to leave the ship. When we woke around 7:00 we decided we'd be just as happy getting off and being done with the cruise. A quick breakfast in the MDR was followed by us gathering with the other FTTF folks in the show lounge. We waited about 15 minutes for the self-assist people to all be called and then the gal came and got us. We were through customs and had our luggage by 9:00. Too bad our car wasn't coming until 11:00. I called and asked for an earlier pickup but it couldn't be arranged. We rode back to LAX and waited a few hours for our flight. It took off almost on time and we were back in Reno in time for dinner. That's all I know. I probably did forget some things but this is the basic info. I think we would both do this cruise again because it's relaxing, fairly close to home and reasonably priced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 7th cruise with Carnival - second on the Imagination. We were traveling with 24 family members, celebrating 3 anniversaries. The service was as always, excellent, as was the entertainment. The food was fair. The excursions ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Carnival - second on the Imagination. We were traveling with 24 family members, celebrating 3 anniversaries. The service was as always, excellent, as was the entertainment. The food was fair. The excursions were wonderful...para-sailed, tour of Catalina and the winery tour in Ensenada. Because we always sail with 10 or more of our family members, we like to have contiguous balconies or suites so that we can open the partitions between the balconies and enjoy our time together as a family outside of public areas. Not only do the partitions not open because of the coves...even the balcony partitions contained in the coves have been welded shut. This is not the case on most Carnival ships, as the matter of fact, this is the first time we have run into this disappointing situation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I just completed your 4 day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. Boarding the Imagination went smoothly. Our cabin was on deck 7 which made it convenient as soon as we boarded. Cabins are clean and tidy. No complaints here. ... Read More
I just completed your 4 day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. Boarding the Imagination went smoothly. Our cabin was on deck 7 which made it convenient as soon as we boarded. Cabins are clean and tidy. No complaints here. We had a 6pm dining hour which worked out well since we had our entire family with us including 4 grandchildren. I was disappointed at the quality of the food during our dinner meal. Portions were adequate since you can try everything on the menu. However the main entrée needs some improvements. My salmon steak was on the dry side and my son's steak was dry and overcooked. The table service was great. Your crew members work very hard to provide a memorable experience for all passengers. Your breakfast buffet was OK. Nothing special. The buffet dining space was a bit crowded and confining. You're always bumping into other people. This ship is not as spacious and open as the Norwegian ships. The low drop ceilings also made me feel claustrophobic. I didn't really care for the layout of the ship. Too many steps to climb between decks to get to your destination. Your elevators are extremely slow and not user friendly. Having deck numbers and alpha designations in the elevator cars makes it confusing to find your way around, especially on the first few days. Disembarking was a nightmare. Too many people trying to get off and not enough crew members directly traffic to keep traffic orderly. Passengers were coming from all directions and cutting in front of other passengers who were waiting patiently to get off. It was an OK trip. Probably won't be going back again. Norwegian is much better! BTW, music at the pool was way too LOUD. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We sailed on the Carnival Imagination to Catalina island and Ensenada from October 25-29. Because the Best Western hotels and Holiday Inn were all booked, we stayed at the Comfort Inn who also offers a park and cruise package. The ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Imagination to Catalina island and Ensenada from October 25-29. Because the Best Western hotels and Holiday Inn were all booked, we stayed at the Comfort Inn who also offers a park and cruise package. The package was priced at $189+tax. Instead of a shuttle, the hotel pays for a taxi to and from the port which was very convenient. On embarkation day we arrived at the port early around 10:30 to be among the first to board. Check in was very smooth but boarding did not begin until 12:00. Once on the ship we checked out the buffet and our room. Our room was an upper/lower- E185. Very comfortable for a small room and the location was conveniently located on the same floor as guest services. The buffet had a lot of variety at lunch. Our favorite was the Mongolian grill. The deli was also delicious. The ship is showing its age but the crew does a great job keeping it clean. The decor and layout is dated but I found it charming and quaint. There are plenty of deck chairs and places to relax. We enjoyed the ping pong table, miniature golf and water slide. The sauna and steam room in the spa were fantastic! The crew we found to be very friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward, Tito called us by name the entire cruise and gave excellent service. We rented electric bikes in Catalina island from Brown's Bikes. It was a great way to tour the island. Formal night was the first night. In Ensenada, we walked the 10 minutes from the ship to the shopping area. There is about 4 blocks of shopping and restaurants in the main tourist area. The vendors were vocal in selling their wares but not to the point of being too persistent. That evening on board there was a Mexican fiesta and buffet. Overall the cruise was a great value for what we paid and we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I really enjoyed this cruise. I chose this cruise as a first cruise not knowing how my teenage special needs daughter and I would like cruising. The Long Beach terminal is close to my home (only about a 30 minute drive) so we just drove ... Read More
I really enjoyed this cruise. I chose this cruise as a first cruise not knowing how my teenage special needs daughter and I would like cruising. The Long Beach terminal is close to my home (only about a 30 minute drive) so we just drove there. I must say this trip is a lot of bang for the buck. My daughter loved cruising and I found the Dramamine took care of the motion sickness I get whenever I'm on a boat. This was a great introduction to cruising and thankfully reading the reviews here I brought a power strip. Getting on board was quick and easy. Found our cabin no problem and it was much larger and nicer than I thought it would be. Food aboard ship was a bit of a hit and miss. My daughter loved the pizza pirate and food in the MDR was good at dinner less so at breakfast. Lido buffer was average but they did have good hot dogs with kraut which to me is a necessity with hot dogs. Dinner in the MDR is pretty decent not outstanding by LA standards. Service is great the table settings where spot on and everything was well presented. Catalina is always nice to go to. I can see the island from my backyard at home so this is familiar territory. I really loved the submarine ride saw a ton of fish. Ensanada was a nice stop. Many people feel it's a dump but we took the trip out to the blowhole and had a real nice time. When you go to Mexico be prepared to people trying to sell you stuff. Just say no and they will leave you alone. I like hagling over prices so for me it can be fun shopping there. Sea day was fun my daughter spent time at the pool and played on her IPad. Internet connection is not cheap but for me was money well spent. I would say that Carnival does a great job of giving you a lot for your money on this trip. I will travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I was very pleased with Carnival Imagination as my first solo cruise. This was my third cruise on Imagination and I find it very relaxing. A new feature that I took advantage of was the wifi. It was offered at $5 per day or $15 for the ... Read More
I was very pleased with Carnival Imagination as my first solo cruise. This was my third cruise on Imagination and I find it very relaxing. A new feature that I took advantage of was the wifi. It was offered at $5 per day or $15 for the duration of the cruise. I opted for the latter. The basic package that I chose allowed me to send me text messages, use instagram and snapchat. If you want to search the web or check email that was an additional package. I pre-ordered water for my room beforehand and had it delivered before I got there and that was perfect as I like to stay hydrated on a cruise. See my cabin review for more details on the water order. The staff as always were very nice and friendly. I spent most of my time relaxing by the adults only serenity pool tanning and the rest of my time in the casino playing the penny slots. I learned that while using my sail and sign card that once you hit 1000 credits that all of your drinks in the casino are complimentary for the duration of the cruise. You had better believe I got all of my drinks at the casino! BONUS!!! I really enjoyed listening to live music at the Dream Bar nightly very chill vibe here. The karaoke bar is always entertaining and I played Bingo each day. I would like to point out the embarkation. Generally when I have cruised before with my husband we would book a suite which came with priority check in. I decided to go minimal with ocean view just to see what it was like. I will never do this again. I wish I would have purchased the FTTF package. Faster to the fun. I saw people that had purchased it swooping by as I waited in an hour line. I had shown up at 2pm to embark. The lines were rediculously slow. If the fast to fun package is offered I would recommend this just to avoid the lines. Overall I had a very pleasant first solo cruise experience. It was exceptionally nice to not be bombarded with people trying to force me to take memory pics. I just floated right by like a ninja. I would definately do this cruise again solo or with friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is the second cruise my husband and I have been on and all I have to say is this was the absolute best!!! We went to Ensenada Mexico for a 3 day cruise so one day was spent out at sea. I cannot say enough good things about this ... Read More
This is the second cruise my husband and I have been on and all I have to say is this was the absolute best!!! We went to Ensenada Mexico for a 3 day cruise so one day was spent out at sea. I cannot say enough good things about this ship. Beyond everything, however, was ALL the entertainment that was offered! I was in shock to see that the staff really go above and beyond to make sure that everyone has a great time. There was sooooo many things to do, for every age. The ship gives a "newsletter" everyday to tell you what activities are going on on the ship. There seemed to be something happening almost every 30 minutes: they had a towel folding show for kids, a champagne and art auction, comedy clubs for both children and adults, different shows, night clubs, bingo tournaments, the list goes on and on. There is also lots of fun things to do on the upper decks such as ping pong, bag toss, miniature golf, chess. They also have a library with lots of board games to play. The gym was large and had lots of equipment. There is an arcade area and a casino. They have 2 pool areas: one for kids and one for adults which was also used by the kids :-) Again, I was kept very very entertained the entire time we were on the ship. The food was great, the staff was great, the entire ship was kept very clean and well maintained. I will definitely cruise again on the Carnival Imagination, next time with the kids LOL Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We booked this cruise after having a blast on the Carnival Pride previously. I had since been diagnosed with Celiac disease and require a gluten free diet or things get..."uncomfortable." I discussed my issue with the booking ... Read More
We booked this cruise after having a blast on the Carnival Pride previously. I had since been diagnosed with Celiac disease and require a gluten free diet or things get..."uncomfortable." I discussed my issue with the booking agent and was assured that there were numerous, clearly identified gluten free items at the buffet and availiable in all of the various eateries on board. I was specifically told that there are gluten free burger and hotdog buns availaible at the grill and even gluten free beer! We got on the ship early with "Faster to the fun" (Awesome) got settled in and went to grab a bite at the buffet. The only thing marked gluten free was Jalapino bread. I asked one of the attendants what items are gluten free. He looked at me as if I had insulted him and said he would, "Go get someone." A cook came out and asked, "What is your problem." I explained the issue and he told me I could choose either the fried plantains or a beet salad and walked away. Dinner that night our waiter asked if anyone had any special needs. When I told him, he said it was NOT noted with our information. I was offered one item for dinner that night. I must say that the waiter and main dining staff went above and beyond during the trip to ensure there was something I could eat from then on. Each night I would pre-order a breakfast so that it could be made gluten free and EVERY following morning they told me no order had been placed. At the grill I asked for a hamburger on a gluten free bun and was told, "We dont do those." (Carnival's web site site said they did.) The first day I ordered a gluten free beer and after 20 minutes was told I got the last one on the ship....This was the FIRST afternoon! The next day we met with the head chef who listened to my concerns and expierences and I reviewed the Carnival website with him showing what was supposed to be availiable for me to eat. He bluntly asked me, "What do you want me to do?" I asked to be afforded the options that the Carnival website and booking agent specifically told me would be availiable on this ship. He got angry and said, "We don't do those things, I can make you some stir fry if thats what you want!" (stir fry was never mentioned...) I ate two items outside of the dining room that I was told "Should" be okay and was sickened by both. I spent the rest of the cruise eating scrambled eggs and salad unless we were in the MDR. Aside from that the cruise was nice, non-food service staff were friendly and helpfull, the suite we booked was great, and it WOULD have been a four star experience. After getting home I called Carnival, explained what had happened and was told they would look into it. I asked to be told what the outcome was and was told I would not be informed of anything but that they would look into it. After calling them a couple times and speaking with a supervisor I was finally told that they only stock gluten free items if they are requested ahead of time. They acknowledged that I had made those arrangements and assured me that it was ok for me to break my "Diet" for a few days.....ARGGGGGGGG! I asked the gal to please look up my condition and call me back. I was later called and told that they were sending me a "Good will gesture." I received a check for the amount of my cruise fare along with a note appologizing for the confusion! I understand from other reviews that my experience was not the norm as most people rave about how great they were accomodated with the same need. In light of that, we are booked on the Miracle for a 15 day Hawaiian cruise in January. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

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