1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. ... Read More
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. There seemed to be less staff to bus and clean tables on this trip. The food was mediocre at the buffet, much better at Guys Burger and the delicatessen. Pizza advertised as pan pizza definetly was not and had a coat of flower on the bottom, crust was dry and thin and crispy. We ordered a complimentary Ceasar Salad it was horrible. Did not resemble a Ceasar in any way. The dressing was a tasteless milky substance and we refused to eat it. Room was clean and well tended by Mega, who was very friendly and attentive. Slight odor in bathroom. Cabin windows needed to be cleaned on the outside. Entertainment facilities were well used and fun, the mini golf area had been renovated since our last visit. Shows were fun and lively. Staff throughout the ship was friendly throughout the ship; although, it seemed far fewer spoke adequate English on this cruise and was often difficult to communicate with general staff. The two excursions we chose were fun and informative, great value. Overall a fun experience and we still consider the cruise full of positive memories. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There is no question that the price of the cruise makes it worth while. It is not the top of the cruise ship line but neither were the prices. Everything is there for you to make a great trip for yourself. It will be what you make it. We ... Read More
There is no question that the price of the cruise makes it worth while. It is not the top of the cruise ship line but neither were the prices. Everything is there for you to make a great trip for yourself. It will be what you make it. We went on the Dec 30th 2018 4 day cruise. Come prepared - this is a much older ship. There are few portholes, fewer balconies - book an owners suite, grand suite or junior suite for those extra amenities. We had an inside cabin, M100, small, but comfortable. Shower was excellent. The beds were converted to king at out request, so less room. Very limited electrical outlets - bathroom on had shave outlet over mirror. Plug into the ground 3 prong US outlet on left side of mirror with multi-socket extension cord. Will support hair dryer, curling iron, etc. - if not used same time. The ship is basically sealed and the air flow system is excellent. There is smoking around the casino and the smell spreads to adjacent areas. Love Charmin toilet paper so brought our own. Bring some air deodorant, just in case. If you have not gone on a Carnival cruise before beware of daily parking fees; have someone drop you off and pick you up or use Uber/Lyft/Taxi. If you drive drop off people with luggage and then park. Had a very difficult time finding entrance to parking facility and it was jammed with cars. Take a photo of where you are parked so you won't struggle to remember. We brought our own booze on board as Carnival charges a lot for a drink and adds a 15% tip to the mandatory 18% you will pay on your overall expenses. Carried booze on ourselves. Not in luggage. Fast on and off if use transport own luggage. Forget the TV, too small and inadequate. Forget the expensive wifi package. Use your phone and laptop when in port. Found the locally based trips to be better than Carnivals. Went on the Conservancy 3 hour jeep ride over Catalina. Was terrific. It was cold - insulated clothing and gloves needed in open jeep during cold weather. Worth it. Ensenada was closed - except tourist area when we debarked on January 1. Easy walk to and from ship, if you are in reasonably good shape. The ship was essentially full. No problems with kids running/screaming. All kept in check by parents and activities.. Cabin walls are paper thin. Sneeze and hear your neighbors say 'Gesundheit". Shows were good. Better later in evenings when kids not allowed. But, Carnival likes to wake up at 8:00a to tell you about the joys of the day. Cant sleep through it. For us, not a whole lot to do on the ship. All games and entertainment, nothing to learn or listen to. Too cold to be outside beyond mid-afternoon. Ship inside warm and comfortable. Dress - casual and somewhat less. New Year's eve most people dressed up. Ship decoration like Vegas in the 80's - gold, brass, glitz, but nicely kept up. New Year's Eve in the atrium was a lot of fun with music, balloons and streamers galore. Everyone in party mood. People are very friendly. Staff generally great. The food the first night was terrible-essentially non-edible. Then it became really great. Had the Captain's table - if you can get it,+$75/person, do it. Wonderful experience. Breakfast and lunch buffets - excellent. Three hot stations where will cook fresh for you in accord with meal at that time. Must try the hamburgers. Had no room for the burritos but folks said they were great. Again, trip is what you make of it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Waiters were excellent especially JayJay Pasaron, Wayan, Made Dwi they’re all accommodating and very good service!!! Even our cabin crew were all helpful in everything that we need. The Divas had an excellent shows that we really ... Read More
Waiters were excellent especially JayJay Pasaron, Wayan, Made Dwi they’re all accommodating and very good service!!! Even our cabin crew were all helpful in everything that we need. The Divas had an excellent shows that we really really loved .We never get hungry because there are always food ready for everyone. Overall we’re really satisfied with everything. A very memorable experience for a first timers like us. We will highly recommend this cruise to our friends and families . Matey was entertaining overall he’s a very good cruise Director. The photos were all very good we really want to buy all of them but we run out of budget. All the souvenirs that we bought were all nice to give away for our families and friends. The only downside was we all gained weight , the food were all good lots of choices, and the serving of dinners were all just the right amount. So overall excellent!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
It was my 69 th birthday and I was looking for something that might be fun for 10 people. My sister is in a wheelchair as is one of my friends So we all booked it. Going by Cruise Critic guidelines for the review : Departure and ... Read More
It was my 69 th birthday and I was looking for something that might be fun for 10 people. My sister is in a wheelchair as is one of my friends So we all booked it. Going by Cruise Critic guidelines for the review : Departure and Embarkation were fine. The ship was old and run down but the customer service and the staff were deplorable. Most of the food was in edible with the exception of Guys Burger joint. Burgers were good if the person serving them understood what you were ordering. Had limited hours. The Carnival web site boasts of Its steakhouse and other resturants avaliable for an up charge of $35. Guess what...no other resturants on the ship.So you are stuck in the so called dining room (NOT). Or the roomservice menu which is ridiculous. Unless you want to take a chance at one of the buffets where eveyone and their children are touching the food as were the flys and the smell of disinfectant permeated the room. They sell you the drink package and then you find out they have no Baileys, sometimes no fruit or garnish for your tropical drink. The juice is all powdered. If it is could outside you are linited to two bars. The one in the casino area is sooooo smoky you can not breath and the other was always full. My niece found an ampule of sodium nitrate left in the closet from the last guest, The TVs have a handfull of channels four of them that sell Carnival . Poor selections. Not enough room for me to continue. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Both my 91 year old Mom & I are avid cruisers (33 for her, 45 for me). She has never been on Carnival, and was worried about being a young, party ship. That's why I like it (I'm only 65!) But we thought a 3 day cruise ... Read More
Both my 91 year old Mom & I are avid cruisers (33 for her, 45 for me). She has never been on Carnival, and was worried about being a young, party ship. That's why I like it (I'm only 65!) But we thought a 3 day cruise would be all she should handle. Wrong! I had trouble keeping up with her. She was very surprised with the ship and the cabin- it was just as good in her opinion as other,more expensive lines. The Service was exceptional- everyone took great care of us. The food was exceptional for a 3 day cruise- better than longer cruises on higher lines: escargot, prime rib, beef tenderloin she could ut with a fork, salmon to die for, etc. She had a very limited diet, but always gave her excellent food. I loved the production shows (2 in 3 days!) but thought they my be too loud or not of her music type (hard rock). 'she so enjoyed the staging and dancing she was rocking along with everyone.. We did the ensenada shopping & wine excursion. We had a great guide, Leslie, who was very easy to understand. The winery I had been to before, but it was fun. We wanted Tequila, so she took us to the local supermarket and we got a steal on a high end tequila, rather than pay tourist prices in the tourist traps.. She met so many multigenerational families (parents, grandparents, grandkids) there was always nice people to talk to. I think she is already planing her next cruise on carnival ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I'm not sure where all the bad reviews come from, but Carnival ROCKS! Their staff is en pointe! They anticipated my every need. I traveled alone and every staff member I encountered made sure I felt special. The food was fabulous! The ... Read More
I'm not sure where all the bad reviews come from, but Carnival ROCKS! Their staff is en pointe! They anticipated my every need. I traveled alone and every staff member I encountered made sure I felt special. The food was fabulous! The buffet does shut down just before lunch, to turn it over, so be aware. Each buffet has a theme, such as American, French, Italian. They don't run out of food either. It was so pleasant to take a plate and find a seat outside to enjoy the ocean view for a leisurely brunch. The main dining room is mouth watering! Just the right amount of choices for your 3 course dinner. And feel free to get one of everything if you want. I didn't have dinner reservations and only had to wait about 10 mins for a table on the last night (due to my timing)The spa staff exceptional! Make sure you get the manager special from the spa tour on Embarkation day. Worth every penny. The Elemis products are top notch. The only down side is that the jogging track is right above the spa treatment rooms, and you can hear people running. But, its not intolerable. OH, and you can get a spa robe to use in your cabin, like to wear to and from the pool/jacuzzi. So be sure to ask for one. Can I possibly put any more '!!' in this review? The ship was nice and clean. The decor is a little Vegasy, and a wee bit dated. They did deck it out for Christmas, which I hadn't anticipated. And the Christmas decor was pretty. There are easy to read maps at every elevator and most stairwells, so its hard to get lost. This was my 1st cruise and I'm ever so glad I went. Lots of fun stuff to do, from shows, to bingo to trivia games. Tons of raffles to enter, chances to win prizes. The Fun shops are pretty well stocked with Carnival shirts and keychains. There are even some toys for the kids. The jewelry shop is popular. Very sparkly. Make sure to go on the 1st day and enter all the raffles. I'm not convinced the prices are all they promise, but you can say you got your watch on the ship, right? The casino is a nice size and offers slots and table games. They allow smoking in the Casino, but to be honest, the smoke is very well filtered. It was no worse than any large Vegas casino room. I didn't gamble, but know it's only available while at sea (laws, I guess) Bingo is a hoot! Its very interactive. The Yahtzee and Hasbro games for the kiddies are very entertaining. I dare you not to smile! I enjoyed the live shows too. Very generic and family friendly. Songs you know and costumes that don't make you blush. There is a PG and R rated comedy show. I only went to the PG show and it did make me laugh. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Carnival really tries to keep the lines to a minimum. The tender to Catalina is very quick. They run at least 2 boats back and forth so you can expect to wait no more than about 15 minutes. Coming back took about 45 mins all told. Go on the Undersea Boat tour on Catalina. I loved seeing all the fish! Also rented a Golf cart and toured the island. You can do the whole route in an hour, so don't spend extra on that. Shopping is a little lacking , but I still managed to stop in just about every single store. Mostly typical tourist kitch, like Tshirts and magnets. Prices are normal, too. I really cant find anything good to say about Ensenada, unfortunately. There is a small pavillion right on the dock, so you can jump off the ship, buy a doodad, and get right back on (like I did). The view from the dock is lacking and to be honest, only after dark was the view worthy of even a picture. Carnival does a nice Disembarking presentation, so if its your 1st cruise, you don't want to miss it. Lots of good information and it really made leaving much easier. Took about an hour to get off the ship. OH and the Carnival bus to and from the airport is a must! So stress free! No traffic, no hassle, no parking, no worries. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Where else can you get a 4 day vacation with food, lodging and entertainment included? The ship itself was small, (only 2300) passengers, but every nook and cranny is packed with something to look at, be entertained by or to eat. ... Read More
Where else can you get a 4 day vacation with food, lodging and entertainment included? The ship itself was small, (only 2300) passengers, but every nook and cranny is packed with something to look at, be entertained by or to eat. We choose to use our $$ on excursions and never spend much time in our cabin anyway so an inexpensive interior cabins is quite serviceable for us. Honestly, I would not call our dining experience perfect, but we love our servers were excellent and the food quite good. The best part was that I didn't have to make it so I am not complaining. I can't say that Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico are not the most exciting ports of call but we always have a good time. The entertainment was excellent!! The musicians that are positioned all over the ship are very good, but the performances in the main show room were amazing! The vocals were great and the dancing and special effects were so good! We are so glad we went on this cruise! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was a short four-day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico. Boarding in Long Beach was easy as usual, love the way that platinum and diamond guests have a special building to check-in. Inside state room U85 was ready when ... Read More
This was a short four-day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico. Boarding in Long Beach was easy as usual, love the way that platinum and diamond guests have a special building to check-in. Inside state room U85 was ready when we arrived. This inside state was spacious, the bath room had a new floor and one shelf. We chose 2 single beds to have a little more space to move around in the room. We dropped our bags and went to explore the ship. Not our first time on Carnival Fantasy Class ship but our first time on the Imagination. The ship layout was a little confusing at times, Center elevators did to go to deck 11, Lido, aft elevator went to deck 10. yet not to 11. When we returned to our room Joanna was there to met us. What a good conversation and first impression. She gave us the option of taking care of the room morning, night or both. We are a little old school and took both and requested a robe and ice bucket. Joanna was always around in the hall during the mornings, always a smile, always good conversation and very attentive to our needs. Carnival couldn’t find any better room Steward. Wish she could just travel along with us on the next 4 cruises we have booked. Sail away went smooth and on time. Once before while leaving Long Beach on Carnival Miracle we were escorted by a pod of dolphins. No way would we go to dining hall with hopes of being able to see that again. We caught evening meal on Lido and I was very impressed. The layout was designed to minimize the lines while providing many options. Monday, Welcome to Catalina Island. It was our intention to get off and rent a golf cart and drive the island. Well, late getting up, so when we arrived at the rental place they were all sold out. Next time we will prearrange a golf cart. Decided to walk around Avalon and visit shops and bars. It is definitely a good place to loiter and have a few drinks. Being Platinum is a good perk when you are boarding the tender for your return ride back to the ship. That evening we had supper in the Spirit Dining Room. Head Waiter Anthony, Waitress Otram and Xavier were a lot of fun and provided good service. Needless to say, our evening on Carnival Imagination is quite intoxicating. Tuesday, Ensenada! After a late breakfast on lido and time in the hot-tub on serenity we decide to take a ride down town to Papa’s and Beer. Bus ride cost $3 round trip down town. We shopped a little, visited Papa’s and Beer and watched the younger crowd have a blast. I think next time to Ensenada we will go to La Bufadora or take the wine country tour. Tuesday night we hit the casino, and did the DW ever hit it. We have been on 17 Carnival cruises prior to this one. This particular Casino staff is the best ever. Dennis, Sharon and Rochell Knop were always visible and quick to assist. Drink waiter Maria Jessa and Jay Caneza we on duty and ready to take an order. Wednesday. Due to cool weather and wind we didn’t spend time at the pool. Just made this a great relaxing day to catch up on reading and rest. Thursday, all good things must come to an end. Disembarkation went smooth and we were back ashore with bags by 9:15. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Bonding experience for four sisters. More about the time together than the destination. Although disappointed in the food choices at dinner, and the bathing facilities, the service was outstanding. Love our cabin stewartess, and our ... Read More
Bonding experience for four sisters. More about the time together than the destination. Although disappointed in the food choices at dinner, and the bathing facilities, the service was outstanding. Love our cabin stewartess, and our dining room servers at 8:15 table 308. I literally fell in front of the ship officers. Although, I was helped to my feet, it would have been nice had someone followed up to make sure I was ok. I also had an anxiety attack and had to visit the medical facilities. I will say the service there was excellent. All in all a very good cruise. Compared to a 7 day cruise we took a couple years ago I just didn't feel the dinner choices were that exceptional. More like an everyday lower end restaurant menu. I expected more chef specialties. Even the appetizers were not that exciting. The soups I tried were very good and actually more exciting than the main dishes Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
$189 Per Person Special Offer with Free Room Upgrade & $50 On Board Credit. Room E101 is PERFECT close to everything Prefer Anytime Dinning which is 1 Floor Above Stateroom E101 Cheers Program $240 Per Person, Start Drinking ... Read More
$189 Per Person Special Offer with Free Room Upgrade & $50 On Board Credit. Room E101 is PERFECT close to everything Prefer Anytime Dinning which is 1 Floor Above Stateroom E101 Cheers Program $240 Per Person, Start Drinking the Moment you Get On & Even While You Wait in Line To Get Off Day 1 Catalina Island -Reccomend Renting a Golf Cart in Advance from Catalina Auto & Bike Rental $83 for 4 Hours on a 4 Person Golf Cart ***The Other Golf Cart Rental Places do not have good Golf Carts... -Cart was too SLOW & could barely go uphill with 4 people. Day 2 Ensenada Baja California -Reccomend UTV Rental from the Cruise Port: $180 for the day ***Do Not get ATV if you fall the cruise ship medical does not take any type of insurance and charges $125 just for the doctor consult. Boyfriend fell in Ensenada & Used a Wheelchair for the Duration of the Cruise... Day 3 at Sea -Reccomend Bingo & all the fun activities!!! ***Alchemy Bar is the BEST all natural drinks on the boat*** Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We went on our first cruise this year with Carnival cruise line. We rode the Carnival Imagination to Catalina and Ensenada. Ours is a family of 6 consisting of two seniors, 2 adults and 2 kids. The cruise turned out to be a terrific ... Read More
We went on our first cruise this year with Carnival cruise line. We rode the Carnival Imagination to Catalina and Ensenada. Ours is a family of 6 consisting of two seniors, 2 adults and 2 kids. The cruise turned out to be a terrific one-of-a-kind experience for all of us, with plenty of entertainment options, food and fun. We regretted not booking the 7 day cruise and that's very unusual for our family - we are usually the ones that call it a day much sooner than most others! The destinations weren't dreamy like in the pictures, but that wasn't a bummer - and strangely so. We enjoyed every bit of the ship, the breakfast bar, the pool slides, the lido deck, the games , the casino and fun shows with ample enthusiasm.There is a reason people Love cruising -one doesnt have to worry about picking the best reviewed restaurant to eat every time of the day and one doesn't have to worry about optimizing on which places to visit during the day- all these are important revelations the non-cruising population will come to realize just one day into the cruise. We loved it and cant wait to go on the next one! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The Imagination is an old ship in cruise ship years, but for short cruises it does the job well. The dining room food was very good, just not as many choices as other longer cruises. The staff overall was friendly and most helpful. They ... Read More
The Imagination is an old ship in cruise ship years, but for short cruises it does the job well. The dining room food was very good, just not as many choices as other longer cruises. The staff overall was friendly and most helpful. They keep the ship clean and looking very good for her age. We are handicapped and make use of the accessible cabins when available, we had cabin R298, which is on the lowest deck. This means is can get noisy due to the proximity to the engine room and crew only areas, but it is very roomy in the bathroom as well as the bedroom. We were disappointed with the amount of entertainment in the main theater, only two of the four nights had production shows, and both of them were very good. We are used to seeing a big show every night. The musicians were great around the ship, the comedians had a show every night and were very good. We took this short cruise to introduce four of our friends to cruising, and the all loved the trip and eagerly await our next cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Seven of my cousins joined me for this cruise. Most of us were first time cruisers so did not know what to expect. Everything went very well, we did not have long wait times to board and was able to get off ship in plenty of time to catch ... Read More
Seven of my cousins joined me for this cruise. Most of us were first time cruisers so did not know what to expect. Everything went very well, we did not have long wait times to board and was able to get off ship in plenty of time to catch an early flight out of LAX. Cabin (M133) was clean, comfortable and lots of room for two of us. Dining in the Pride was awesome and food not disappointing. We hit the casino a few times (too many for me:) LOST $$ but had fun doing so. Everyone was so helpful and kind, I never felt uneasy going about by myself. I was impressed by the organization of the staff who knew where you needed to be and what time to needed to be there. I especially liked the fact that I could call room service before bedtime to order my craft of coffee and sweet rolls to be at my door when I woke up. I will indeed go again, maybe try to lose a pound or two before I go as the food it too good and too plentiful to resist. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Cruise from West Coast is limited. Carnival cruises to Ensenada are inexpensive option. Embarkation was an hour wait in line, however cabin was ready by the time we came aboard. First lunch buffet was poor quality. First dinner was ... Read More
Cruise from West Coast is limited. Carnival cruises to Ensenada are inexpensive option. Embarkation was an hour wait in line, however cabin was ready by the time we came aboard. First lunch buffet was poor quality. First dinner was very slow service...45 minutes before first appetizer arrived and another 20 minutes for main course. Wait for desert 15 minutes. Cabin was adequate and good cleaning service for all 4 days. Comedians were funny. Main stage shows not appealing to older cruisers. Casino crowded and smokey. Dinning room brunch on at sea day was good. Next 3 dinners were better food and service than day one. Lunch and breakfast buffets also improved. Bakery items were very good. Disembarkation went well. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I have to start by saying we have cruised before, and had bad experiences on both. We had not cruised in 10 years, so we really were giving it a try again, hoping for a better experience. We up graded to a suite, and paid for a balcony, ... Read More
I have to start by saying we have cruised before, and had bad experiences on both. We had not cruised in 10 years, so we really were giving it a try again, hoping for a better experience. We up graded to a suite, and paid for a balcony, and have to say the room was extremely clean, and nice, just still a little small for the price! But on the last cruise we went on out of New Orleans 15 years ago the food was great, just the ship was horrible. So going on this cruise we were looking forward to some great service and food, which service could have been a little better, but the food was not impressive, and the layout of the food was horrible. The pool food was poorly organized, and very small selection for lunch, and the buffet was very small selection. We tried 3 times to do the wok food service, since we love wok food, but never got any since we stood inline for a long time, and it closed before we reached the grill to get our food. Dinner had night had some really weird selections, and service was (Our waiter was very nice guy) really slow, and our dinner table group never got our food at the same time, we would wait for the others to be served and our food would be cold before they got theirs. Will say our table group was great fun! We were very disappointed with the shows, they were not very entertaining and the comedy show was awful! The two guys that did the comedy show did basically the same jokes, and they were (I do cuss) both filthy mouthed. The one comedian spent half his routing picking on a group of 4 women over their colored hair, and it got old really fast, plus he picked on a black girl, which he called her a black guy, and she clearly was embarrassed! It was absolutely gross! So we were not happy with the money we spent, and could not wait to get off! Pool was not clean, and hot tubs to full of people , so we never used those services. Sorry Carnival but we won't be back on this ship anytine soon! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
There's not a lot of choice out of the west coast--so you're kind of stuck with Mexico or Alaska. I've been on this cruise about 10 times and I always enjoy it on Carnival--not so much so with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation ... Read More
There's not a lot of choice out of the west coast--so you're kind of stuck with Mexico or Alaska. I've been on this cruise about 10 times and I always enjoy it on Carnival--not so much so with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was easy-peasy-- just walked up and got on the ship. Our room was a OV on the lowest deck--first time I've sailed that low and I'm going to request it every time from now on! It was SO quiet! Room had 3 closets, small bathroom, a comfortable king bed and a desk with two chairs. Nothing special and completely serviceable. The room service menu has shrunk--but I don't use it much anyway, except for tea in the morning. The main dining room service seems to have vastly improved over the years! The food was to die for in the dining rooms and you simply must go to the sea day brunch they offer! Having said that, the buffet food was same ol', same ol', and tasted bland. The few times I went to the buffet I had a hot sandwich made in the deli or grabbed a cookie. The bubbles program (one payment for unlimited soda) was important to me since I'm a diet coke aholic. $7 a day for each day. It's a deal if you average more than three soda's a day. I also like that you can get different juices too. The band was great for dancing, and tea time is always fun! I spend a lot of time in the spa-- had two couples massages with my honey and they were great. It was his first time cruising and he said it was the best massage he ever had (and we go on a LOT of spa-centered getaways). Massages are expensive though-- couples massages averaged over $375 with tip, single massages were close to $200 with tip. The therapist were really good though and although the offered products at the end, they never pushed them on us once we said no thank you. For my (adult) kids that were cruising with us, I just warned them that they might try to sell them stuff at the end and that they should just say "no thank you, I'm not interested in the least." Both of them said that worked like a charm. That was the good--now unfortunately, here's the bad. Carnival has a new Hasbro show on two nights. BORING. Which leaves nothing to do on those nights entertainment wise. I look forward to the Vegas like shows in the evening after dinner. Comedy-- the quality has really gone down in the past few years. The comedians aren't even funny any more-- just vulgar. And I hate that I have to look at their vulgar little faces drinking it up in the bar after their set each night. Just give those guys a bottle and lock them in their rooms if they can't deliver a decent show. Back to the good-- the ship was always clean. There weren't a lot of kids or teenagers on this cruise (probably because it was only two weeks into the school semester), so it was really enjoyable. Oh, there were still the non-existent parents who let their kids run amok and hog the hot tubs, but with the new Serenity deck those of us who prefer not to have a bunch of little kids screaming around us can really enjoy that deck. The waterslide looked like fun, but it was just too cold to use at this time of year. The staff was always nice and remembered what we ordered for drinks and such at dinner. The first port was Catalina Island. It's a tender port--but they now have a really well run tendering number system that gets you on and off very fast with a minimal wait. Normally I would go snorkeling in Lover's Cove in this port, but because it was January and I'm familiar with the island we just rented a golf cart (no need to pre-order--they have loads of them just to the right off the pier--about $30 an hour with one hour free if you pay for two). We had a blast taking the cart all over the island and taking pics of stuff we found. Yes we saw buffallos! Yes we saw that little red fox the islanders all like! And yes we stopped for fish tacos at the little Mexican restaurant. All good. Next stop was Ensenada. Ensenada is a place you either love, hate, or tolerate. Normally I don't get off the ship while in this port because well, if you've seen Ensenada, once is usually enough. My cruise partner hadn't been to this port though so we got off. $2 per person on the bus from the ship to the shopping district. You can walk it, but it's about 2 miles and I'm lazy. We had a blast meeting all the shopkeepers and went with the attitude of just having some fun. I'm a purse freak, so I bought 3 purses-- just nice little leather purses, about $50 each. Got some blankets to bring back to people and of course, when in Ensenada you must bring back two things-- Mexican Vanilla and drugs. Wait? Did I say drugs? Just so you know--I mean LEGAL drugs. You are allowed to bring back 3 mos. worth to the states for your personal use--just nothing that's schedule 1 or higher (so no, you can't get Vicodin). I always pick up some Retin-A, and cruise partner gets a supply of viagara (hey, we're old!-- don't judge us!) Last stop's always Papa's and Beer for the obligatory photo proving we were in Ensenada. Taxi back to the ship for 3 and all our junk-- $5 (the taxi's always start off asking for $20). The tours offered by Carnival are OK, but we've already done them all and how many times do you want to see a blow hole really? I will be cruising again with them. In fact, I'm going again in June! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
I'm amused at the previous reviewers calling Imagination an old ship. Nonsense. The ship was completely redone three years ago with all new cabin interiors, carpets, furniture. There is nothing old feeling about Imagination. Other ... Read More
I'm amused at the previous reviewers calling Imagination an old ship. Nonsense. The ship was completely redone three years ago with all new cabin interiors, carpets, furniture. There is nothing old feeling about Imagination. Other than the date on her commissioning statue, you will not be able to tell Imagination from Magic. You want old: take a stroll around Queen Mary when you're in Long Beach! This was my 22nd cruise with Carnival. I saw no downgrade in service or food quality. I've cruised Princess, Celebrity and Cunard and Carnival does a great job in my view, especially for the extremely low fares Carnival charges. I laughed at the reviewer who complained of paying $500 for two people for four days: that's only $62.50 per person per day which is extremely low. Try staying in a four-star hotel and eating three meals in the restaurant for $62.50 per person per day! Motel-6 charges $62.50 now and that's really bare-bones living. A four-day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada should not be compared to a cruise around the Caribbean! Apples and oranges! It's a poky itinerary which is perfect for relaxing and taking life easily. Don't like Ensenada? Don't go ashore; I don't. There's plenty to do aboard ship. Or, sit back and relax with a good book. The buffet food on Imagination is no different than the buffet food on Celebrity Mercury or Diamond Princess. Buffet food is buffet food and there is little that can be done to make it haute cuisine and still serve it out of a steam table. It is wholesome and filling and tasty. Don't like buffet food? Try the Mongolian Wok for cooked to order Asian cuisine; the Rotisserie for freshly roasted chicken and a variety of other meats; the deli for made-to-order hot and cold sandwiches; the Grill for hamburgers and hot dogs. And yes, there are 2,000 other people on board: you don't have the ship all to yourself. And they are from all walks of life. Compared to the 6,000 other people on board RCL's Allure of the Seas, Imagination feels relatively deserted.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
The ship was small and certainly not outstanding to say the least. Very dark. I like bright decorations. I did not enjoy the lido deck on this ship either. Mostly drinkers. (kind word). I don't see the point in becoming so drunk you ... Read More
The ship was small and certainly not outstanding to say the least. Very dark. I like bright decorations. I did not enjoy the lido deck on this ship either. Mostly drinkers. (kind word). I don't see the point in becoming so drunk you can't walk. I am all about having a good time. I grew up in the 70's so I know what a good time is for sure. However, there is a time and place for everything. I think that Carnival should take care to cut off drunks at the bar as is done on land. They are a danger to themselves to say the least. Too many of them on this ship. Hairy chest contests are not for me. Not much to do onboard as far as activities go during the day unless you like bingo and trivia. The pool was busting at the seams with kids. Unattended by their parents. The buffet was also bursting at the seam with them. They crawl all over the floors and Carnival does not make a very good attempt at keeping them from the adult areas. Pool was very small. Deck over crowded. Spa filled with kids. Believe me there is not enough chemicals to keep that waster clean with all the kids in the pool. I got a massage and the girl was terrific. She also gave me a facial. Outstanding. But, there was no Cloud 9 spa on the ship. Dinner was not bad. The food was not outstanding as Celebrity or RCL. But, not totally disappointed. I expected a disaster. They made an attempt to seat you alone if you wished. I did not want to sit with couples but said I would sit with single woman on the ship. I actually liked the seating. I don't care for the big round tables that I had on the Celebrity Constellation where you are forced to sit with others. Buffett food not good. Below average I felt compared to what I have had on other cruise lines. Cove balcony excellent. I loved that and never knew they existed. We had a suite and I loved that too as far as room. They could brighten it up somehow. It was very dark in their and the furnishings did not give a feeling of happiness but darkness. Plenty of room. It is worth it to get a suite. Had tub in it. Not much closet space but plenty of drawers etc for clothes so that was excellent. The entertainment was sub par. Awful. What can I say. The theatre was old style and the acoustics were terrible. The only good thing is the price of a cruise on Carnival I suppose. I don't know what other attraction there could be. I can't remember cabin number but if I can find it and edit this later I will. This was the first of 16 day cruise for me. I took three back to backs. I went on the first two with someone I met online. The second on Breeze because i had credit of 350.00. Doubt that I will be sailing Carnival too much in the future. Trevor was our cabin attendant and he was excellent. I had to always make special arrangements with him to get clean towels etc. because my cabin mate was asleep all day and out all night. He was great and I made sure I tipped him for his troubles.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
I used my reward points to book a Grand Suite, U73. VIP boarding was fantastic. Entered the building at 10:50am showed our booking info. Employee saw the VIP and escorted us to the VIP lounge. In the lounge, we presented our info again and ... Read More
I used my reward points to book a Grand Suite, U73. VIP boarding was fantastic. Entered the building at 10:50am showed our booking info. Employee saw the VIP and escorted us to the VIP lounge. In the lounge, we presented our info again and within the minute, we were again escorted into the VIP lounge. 11:20 we were allowed to board the ship. The welcome lunch was empty and we enjoyed a great meal. Room was claen and great, only saw our steward 3 times in the hall. TV was terrible, apprx 26 channels, 20 of which were ship channels. Complementary movies(?) were old and repeated. I did not go to watch tv, but would prefer some decent shows to fill the idle hours. Really bad. Breakfast in the Lido was hit or miss. Better get there eaely as it closes at 10:30 and if you are not in the omelet line, they have a placard that sez buffet closed, and they mean closed. At 10:30, there was still a loooonnng line waiting to enter the main lines to get food. Possibly this was caused by the employy that stands guard over the baco, only handing out 2 small pcs and when you asked for more, you needed an FBI agent to pry it loose. Seriously, the server just did not want to give more than 2 pcs. The anytime dining was great except the service was real slow. Food taste and presentation was excellent. Shows were just ok. No chair hogs in sight. debarkation as VIP was fast and ezy, was in a cab by 8:30. Keep in mind, this was my view and your may be different Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Hello, I have been doing cruise reviews on Cruise Critic for a few years and this cruise ranked in my TOP 3! I was not expecting much from a shorter 4 day cruise but this Ship, Itinerary and staff really exceeded my expectations in all ... Read More
Hello, I have been doing cruise reviews on Cruise Critic for a few years and this cruise ranked in my TOP 3! I was not expecting much from a shorter 4 day cruise but this Ship, Itinerary and staff really exceeded my expectations in all categories. I was traveling with my 88 year old grandfather and had no difficulty with any aspect of this cruise. He uses a cane and had such a good time on this ship. I will have notes that some handicap members may be interested in. I was not expecting too much from a 4-day cruise & smaller ship, but the IMAGINATION really made me reconsider what my expectations were. I enjoyed this ship better than some of the larger ships and longer itineraries. Miami-Key West-Cozumel-day at sea-Miami Miami airport only 15 minutes from the port. get the Carnival transport prior to the cruise. It was only $27 per person round trip. 1 formal night on day2 / Great quick get-a-way cruise CARNIVAL TRANSPORT to & from Miami airport & the port was a smooth, quick process. Definitely worth the money to avoid aggravation before and after your cruise. EMBARKATION went extremely quick. A Carnival rep. was waiting at the door when we arrived with a wheelchair for my grandfather. Although, we were taken directly to the family check-in, there was barely any line and everything went smooth. ROOM STEWART was at our door before we had a chance to close it to introduce himself. He greeted us by name each time we saw him, and our room could not have been any cleaner every time we came back to it. He was extremely courteous and took the time to talk to us about our trip and excursions with sincerity. I increased his gratuity directly to him by $10 per day which almost brought tears to his eyes. CABIN Ocean view 6C M65 mid ship .... NO FRIDGE, but I knew that. This cabin has 2 beds, 2 pull down bunks and is located in a perfect part of the ship. Also in room: SAFE, 32" flat screen TV, room light switches at the bed, ice bucket, water and soda to purchase in the room. Free room service + gratuity. 2 Robes were hanging in the closet. Conveniently located two doors from elevators made moving around the ship simple for my grandfather with his cane. COMPLIMENTARY BATHROOM BASKET included Razor, toothpaste, Pantene-RED color enhancer shampoo/conditioner pack, some upset stomach packets (like TUMS) shower-Shampoo & Liquid Soap (I brought Cottonelle wipes, a travel Lysol spray) FOOD/DINING We chose the new "YOURTIME DINING" on this cruise, which was a pleasant surprise that I did not know Carnival was offering. We only ate in the dining room on elegant night to celebrate my Grampa' 88Th birthday. The Carnival staff surprised him with a birthday cake & singing happy birthday. The food & service in the Dining Room was excellent and could not have been any better. The rest of the cruise we chose to eat at the Lido Deck buffet & HORIZON/bar&grill at the back of the ship. It was kept clean and the food was as good as any other cruise I was on when I chose to eat in the main dining room. this was the 1st time I have eaten most of my meals at the buffet & may not be the last. SHORT RIBS on day 3 were EXCELLENT!! Full DELI fro fresh variety of sandwiches, full salad bar, dessert bar, grill, 24 pizza, ice cream & frozen yogurt. (hint: take the choc melting cake scoop it into the cone before you get ice cream YUMM!!!!!!!!!!) STAFF I can honestly not find anything bad to say about the crew on this ship. Information, Excursion, dining, housekeeping, cruise director, officers, shops, entertainment, bar service, casino all were great! I don't know how they keep up the positive attitudes day after day, week after week, month after month! B-R-A-V-O to all of you! The ship was extremely clean and they take care of their ship like it was their very own top to bottom. ENTERTAINMENT WOW! WOW! WOW!! I WAS THE MOST IMPRESSED with this caption than ANY other. It was so nice to see Carnival adding some new and different options. The HIP-HOP crew FUN-FORCE performing in the Atrium was A++! Do not miss them. I was simply blown away by the shows in the Dynasty Lounge the entire cruise. I can not say enough about the shows. Especially the SHOUT production on night 2. The dancers in the Dynasty lounge were by far THE BEST GROUP OF SHIPS DANCERS I have seen to date!!!! the 5 male dancers are worthy of any Broadway or Vegas production! Backed up by some of the best female dancers I have seen as well. I had the pleasure to meet with the person that teaches them & he should be extremely proud of this cast! I understand a new cast was taking over after this trip and what big shoes they have to fill. Best of luck to them. Only negative comment: Dynasty lounge 2ND level is not as steep as other ships Ive been on so some seats are limited visibility. For this ship i think lower level is better seating unless you arrive early and get a booth UP front on 2ND level. You can walk to seating in booths and/or seats without needing to do steps, however if using a wheelchair you may want to opt with lower level. the view may be better for you. CRUISE DIRECTOR: Karl with a "K" was the fun & enlightening glue that kept this cruise moving and pleasant. His witty persona is just what these ships need. His assistants in the Carnival FUN crew were everywhere on the ship making certain that your cruise was the best it could be! It is no Surprise to hear that the IMAGINATION is ranked #2 in the fleet. They can not be far from the top spot in my humble opinion. I did not use the SPA or CAMP CARNIVAL so have no comments to make here. FELLOW PASSENGERS Although Carnival technically has no control on who books a cruise, they went out of their way to make certain that everyone was as happy as they could be. The jubilance seemed to spread throughout my fellow passengers. Everyone had a smile on their faces wherever you looked. SPECIAL NEEDS/ MOBILITY NOTES My 88yr old grandfather uses a cane and often need support for standing. walking etc. He had no difficulty around the ship at all. I would have liked to see a support bar in the shower fro him to use if needed, but i did not have a handicapped room so I am not disappointed. I personally carries his food trays, but I did notice crew members carrying trays for those in wheelchairs and if additional assistance was needed. Excursion deck called the SUB OCEAN VIEW tour operator to check if my grandfather was able to get into the sub easily. Very helpful to decide on the excursion! Took advantage of the CANVAS PORTRAIT special offered at the photo desk. $55 for a 16x20 and it was ready in the last night for pick up. In the past this was mailed to you after the cruise. I will be covering some special needs info in my shore excursion section. Specifically for members that have trouble walking or use a cane. In summary, I really liked seeing CARNIVAL offering different entertainment such as Hip Hop dancers in atrium, additions of variety of dancer styles in shows. Addition of sanitizers throughout the ship good to see. YOUR TIME DINING is going to be a nice offer to compete with NCL's Freestyle dining. NEW- Adult Serenity deck is a nice addition with lush comfortable deck chairs, but can get crowded-(NO pool here) on front of ship. NEW- Children's water park was very nice on back of ship Read Less
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
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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