3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
People don't seem to review the shorter cruises out of Long Beach, so I wanted to write one for last week. This was our third Imagination cruise from Long Beach, and it was great! Pre-cruise: Got to Long Beach the day before ... Read More
People don't seem to review the shorter cruises out of Long Beach, so I wanted to write one for last week. This was our third Imagination cruise from Long Beach, and it was great! Pre-cruise: Got to Long Beach the day before the cruise, and spent the day at Cabrillo Beach (San Pedro) relaxing in the sun. Stayed at the Golden Sails in Long Beach, which was a fine hotel 20 minutes from port. On Sunday morning, we left the hotel at 10:20, with zero traffic, we were parked in the garage at 10:45. Embarkation: This is the easiest embarkation port of the many we have used. We were completely checked in and waiting to board before 11 am. FttF was called at 11:11 (good luck!!) and we were boarded very quickly. Straight to our stateroom (E90 - right off the atrium) to drop bags, and we were at Guy's Burgers before 11:30. Stateroom: Excellent choice (E 90) for access to everything. No problems with noise, smell or stateroom steward. Received twice-daily cleaning as requested. Room was in excellent shape, with comfy bedding and everything in working order. Dining: Had Anytime dining, which worked great. Ate all breakfasts in the MDR, and avoided the buffet completely. Lunch was Guys, Blue Iguana or Deli. Sea day brunch was awesome as ever---steak and eggs was great. All dinners were good, with many choices, and we ordered double appetizers or entrees more than once. Brought case of Coke Zero and two wine bottles in carryon, so we brought our own glasses to dinner each night. Worked beautifully. Day one: Bags were delivered before 12:30, so we were quickly unpacked, and headed to an empty Serenity deck. Relaxed until muster drill, then off to get dressed for dinner. Yes, we dress for dinner each night. Not over the top, but I wore a dress, and my husband wore button up shirt and slacks each night. Comedians were okay this trip, and we enjoyed family and adult shows most days. Did a little dancing in the nightclub. Funniest thing was "80's hour", which was from 10 to 10:15 pm one night! Dance floor was packed for those fifteen minutes!!! Day two - Catalina: Breakfast in the MDR, then ready to tender to Catalina. Expected a crowd, but easily caught a tender with no wait. Didn't even use FttF tendering. Rented a golf cart for about 90 minutes for a nice tour. Walked around a bit peeking into shops for a little while. After that, we lounged on the beach by the dock for a few hours before returning to the ship for a late lunch. Short but fun day. Day three - Ensenada: This was a weird day. We had breakfast in the MDR again, and got off the ship easily at approximately 10:30. Nice walk into town along the new Malecon. The streets, stores, bars, restaurants were EMPTY. It was amazing how few people we saw in Ensenada. Nothing like our past visits. We walked along the main street looking in a few stores. Had a quick (unsatisfying) lunch at a street restaurant, then hit our favorite Ensenada store that sells stained glass, and headed back to the ship. In the two years since we've been there, prices across the board in Ensenada have skyrocketed. Maybe that's why it was dead. Returned to the ship for Serenity deck and relaxation around 2:30. Day four: Day at sea started with sea day brunch, and consisted mostly of the Serenity deck! We went on this trip to relax, and relax we did! Got front row in Serenity, but it was packed by 10:30 that morning - don't dawdle! Disembarkation: So quick and easy! They started self-assist at 7 am. Started calling zones at 8:45, and did a last call for everyone to disembark by 9:05!!! Short wait for customs, and we were back in the car by 10 am. Overall: An excellent cruise for first-timers looking to try cruising, or for seasoned cruisers looking for a relaxing few days. We don't gamble on ships, and didn't drink too much. The ship was oddly empty for the most part (considering this was Holy Week/Spring Break). Never a wait at a bar, easy to get chairs on Lido and Serenity, no long lines at lunch locations. It was downright weird!!! For the price, it is an excellent value cruising experience, and keeps us satisfied between longer cruises. Next up for us a the Legend Transatlantic 2020! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but ... Read More
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but didn't get in the water.) Nice drive out to the point, and then suited up. I recommend the wetsuits - they will keep you warm if the water is cold. Also, take Dramamine or other seasickness prevention. We had 5-6-foot swells, and when you're out in a small (even 2-person) kayak, you feel it more than in the cruise ship. We had great views of La Bufadora, far better than what is seen up top. Carlos led the way, and my daughter and I learned pretty fast how to paddle straight, how to turn, all with the help of Carlos and Rebecca. We got some great pics. If you have a waterproof camera or a waterproof sleeve for your phone, you may want to plan to take those. After paddling back in and rinsing off and changing, we headed up to the top of the Bufadora shopping street for great tacos. Then a quiet drive back to the ship, or to town to do some shopping. The cruise itself was great. I've done this particular cruise two other times, and the staff works hard to make sure everyone has fun. The weather was a little colder than we hoped, so less time for my daughter to sun on deck, but we lounged and read books in Serenity and other places on deck. We won a Thomas Kincade print at the art auction, and recommend those events as a fun thing to do. They had an egg-drop contest, and let individuals or teams build whatever they could to protect an egg dropped from the 10th deck to the 7th in the atrium. All winners won a medal. Our team used a parachute and straw design and won our medal. That was a fun part of the sea day. Shoutouts to Putu (room steward) and to Abigail and Angela, our dining room dinner staff. Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Let me just start with Guy's Burger Joint is the BEST burger I have ever eaten!! It was amazing. Rest of the food was better than I expected too. Drinks were tasty and STRONG. The Alchemy Bar was a great addition and high quality. ... Read More
Let me just start with Guy's Burger Joint is the BEST burger I have ever eaten!! It was amazing. Rest of the food was better than I expected too. Drinks were tasty and STRONG. The Alchemy Bar was a great addition and high quality. Rooms were fine. Really wish they had balcony rooms but we made do with the Oceanview stateroom. Lots of storage and good size bathroom. Few improvements for the ship. Wish the pool had been heated. It was COLD!!! Also wish the kids club was bigger. Looks like it was an afterthought. All in all it was a nice 4 day getaway. Catalina was beautiful. Could have stayed there for two days. We could do without Ensenada. Not my favorite port. Too many people trying to sell you junk and I felt like we were always trying to be taken advantage of. Not the cruise lines fault. Just my opinion. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because we had limited time. We had two cabins, V17 & V40. Embarkation was a "snap" - mainly because we are Platinum cruisers. Carnival treats its Platinum & Diamond members pretty well. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had limited time. We had two cabins, V17 & V40. Embarkation was a "snap" - mainly because we are Platinum cruisers. Carnival treats its Platinum & Diamond members pretty well. The ship is showing its age. As far as the meals are concerned I was not impressed. Carnival continues to "cut-back" on selections and quality - I was disappointed with the dinner selections - My wife and two sons did not share that opinion. The buffet was the worst I have seen in years - but we only ate there a couple of times for lunch & twice for breakfast - pancakes/waffles were cold both times. Because the Imagination is an older and smaller ship there are only 2 buffet lines and the both served the same food. There was also an omelet bar which was also the deli during lunch/dinner. I give the buffet 2 stars & the dining room (Spirit 8:15 seating) 4 stars. The food alone I would give 3 stars but the service I give 5 stars. Our head waiter, Guillermo, was one of the best, if not the best waiter we have had on any of our cruises. Entertainment was okay. They had 2 comedians the entire trip but I enjoyed their 18+ shows very much. I played a lot of poker - I even won a seat in the $175,000 Carnival Poker Pro tournament in August. so I booked our cruise on the Dream (3rd cruise on the Dream). Debarkation was also a snap - guess why? All in all it was a pleasant & relaxing cruise - the weather was horrible, but that's not Carnivals fault..... or is it???? Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
A 4-Day cruise for under $300 per passenger, good value for an Ocean view cabin. Port of calls were Catalina Island and Ensenada. I wasn't impressed with either port. The first day is a sea day taking a trip south down the coast into ... Read More
A 4-Day cruise for under $300 per passenger, good value for an Ocean view cabin. Port of calls were Catalina Island and Ensenada. I wasn't impressed with either port. The first day is a sea day taking a trip south down the coast into Mexico then back north to Catalina for the second day. Catalina had experienced a lot of rain and was greener than normal. Very pretty for March. Not much to do in Catalina. We rented a golf cart and drove around. The views were very nice overlooking Avalon, Avalon Bay and the Pacific where our cruise ship anchored. We tendered in to land from the ship. The third day at Ensenada was as I remembered. Dirty streets downtown with shops and restaurants I really didn't want to go to. It would have been better to have had planned excursions in both ports. The ship is a bit smaller with a little less to do. The cabins are mostly Inside and Ocean View. No balconies to speak of, glorified suites looked similar to customary balconies. The food was just a notch down from Carnival past cruises. Steak and prime rib were a bit tough. Less entertainment but, the shows they did have were good. The service was about as good as it gets. Guest Services had a young lady named Sarah that was wonderful. Our room steward, John Paul was very good. The bartenders were the only rude people I met and they weren't that rude. Inattentive is more like it. I cruised with my grandson who loved the cruise. He spent most of his time at Camp Ocean and the pool. He made many new friends from different states and countries. Embarkation was very good. Debarkation was okay. Had to wait awhile for checked bags. All in all this was maybe just a little better than average cruising. I did enjoy myself and for the value paid, I would take the cruise again. 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
What should have been a relaxing and enjoyable vacation celebrating our anniversary was unfortunately the worst vacation that myself or my significant other have ever had the displeasure of enduring. Upon boarding the Imagination, my ... Read More
What should have been a relaxing and enjoyable vacation celebrating our anniversary was unfortunately the worst vacation that myself or my significant other have ever had the displeasure of enduring. Upon boarding the Imagination, my partner and I were displeased to find the pool was out of working order. This finding was especially unsettling considering we chose the “Faster to the Fun FTTF” option for the purpose of additional pool time enjoyment. The out of order pool therefore crowded the hot tubs with larger than capacity crowds rendering them useless and becoming blatantly filthy. The onboard dining experience aboard the Imagination did not prove to be any better. The dining selections I made on the “manage my cruise” section of the Carnival website did not reflect on my sail & sign card. Online I selected the ANYTIME dining option, my sail & sign card showed an 8:15 and later Spirit dining time. This discrepancy caused a dining hassle at dinner every night. Undoubtedly the worst experience of the entire trip came the following day. Shortly after arriving in Catalina, I noticed what appeared to be bed bug bites (see attached pictures,) This unnerving, unsettling, and infuriating experience set in motion a physical and emotional anguish that set the tone for the remainder of the cruise. The issue is still affecting us even after returning home. Upon discovering the bite marks on my arms and legs, my partner and I immediately returned to the boat. We were unsure of the best course of action to take so we turned to guest services. Guest services heard my plea and directed me to the ship’s doctor. After waiting almost an hour to see the doctor, I was given a tube of Hydrocortisone and a small packet of what the doctor was “almost certain” were Benadryl tablets. I expressed my concern to the doctor that my bite marks did not itch, as is usually the case with other insect bites, but not the case with bed bugs; hence the reason for my concern that I was likely experiencing a bed bug issue. He said the bites “might be from bed bugs, and they might not,” but there was no way for him to know. After my helpless experience with the doctor, I returned to Guest Services and inquired as to what the next steps would be. I was told that the housekeeping department had performed an investigation of my room and there were no findings of any bed bug activity and my bedding would be changed. Naturally, upon first discovering the bites I read as much as I could on the subject, paying most mind to the webmd.com, bedbug.org, and epa.gov websites. Armed with the knowledge from the websites I suggested to Guest Services that a “thorough investigation by Carnival’s Housekeeping Staff” was not a surefire way of ruling out bed bugs. I asked Guest Services if it would be possible for me to change rooms. They informed me that there were other guests awaiting a room transfer and I would be added to the list. The agent seemed irritated that we were not satisfied with a bedding change. I was, and still am disappointed in the way Guest Services handled the situation and spoke to me. I felt my concerns were trivialized and I was treated as a mere annoyance. My partner and I were never updated on whether a new room had become available and we spent the remainder of the trip sleepless and anxious. I recognize that the Imagination is a “Fun Ship” and one of the more economical options of the Carnival Corporations fleet. That said, we did not go into this vacation with expectations of any 5 star luxurious accommodations. We merely expected a clean, comfortable ship with at least adequate customer service. Unfortunately, that is not what we experienced. I would not recommend Carnival or the Imagination to my worst enemy. Spend your money elsewhere. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My family and I have cruised on carnival before so I had some expectations about this particular cruise line. Embarkation was a breeze .. We paid extra for the faster to the fun (FTTF) and I thought it was worth the $49 per cabin. It ... Read More
My family and I have cruised on carnival before so I had some expectations about this particular cruise line. Embarkation was a breeze .. We paid extra for the faster to the fun (FTTF) and I thought it was worth the $49 per cabin. It made debarkation easy as well. When first boarding at 12:30 we were funneled through to the mail deck which was incredibly small and nothing special. We proceeded to our room which had our luggage already waiting for us (also a perk of the FTTF fee) we unpacked and settled in to taking a tour of the ship. After 5 minutes we had walked the front to the back. Wait, where's the rest of the ship I asked my husband.. This ship is tiny. There are 11 decks, but none of them offered anything spectacular. There was duty free shopping but that was IT. no place to buy a lanyard, a coffee cup, a souvenir at all. I asked some of the employees who looked at me strangely and pointed to the front of the ship. But I had already looked. They didn't even have Dramamine?? 1/2 way through the cruise they sent a notice out that they would be closing the shopping for the second half of our 4 day cruise. Well that was a bust. Everything was taped off and Windows covered so even if I wanted to purchase a $200 bottle of liquor I couldn't. The accommodations were just ok. We had an ocean view room and the very back of the ship (more on that later) My kids were in an interior cabin which was the same size. It was fine for 4 nights, any longer than that and I would have booked them an ocean view room. The food was TERRIBLE! Buffet was disgusting. The pizza was pretty good but honestly how can you mess that up. The dining room dinner was ok. Not amazing but just ok. We opted to eat breakfast in the dining room on our last day and that was better than anything else you could find on the Lido deck. Ok here's where it gets interesting. Going to Catalina and Ensenada was great. The ship was a little bumpy but not unexpected. Our sea day was Horrific. It was so bad that there were barf bags placed at every elevator. My husband spent the entire day in bed. You could not walk straight even if you tried. And the noise was terrible. I woke several times every evening/morning to the ship shaking horribly. I will never ever book a room in the back of the ship. The destinations were just ok. I had never been to Catalina and I suggest that you rent a golf cart for 2 hours to explore the island. It's small but fun. My teens had a blast. Ensenada was ok. I had been before about 20 years ago. Things have changed but it's still Mexico. Nothing pretty, nothing fancy and you can buy a lot of stuff you don't need. We did the tour to La Bufadora but we did not book through carnival. We paid $15 bucks for a 2 hour drive and 1.5 hr tour once you get there. It's worth it for that but anything more it's just too much to pay. Ive been back for 2 days now .. And I'm still rocking like I was on the ship. Lord help me. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Me and my husband have been on a couple of other cruises before but never with Carnival. We decided that we should try out this cruise to see how it compares to other cruise lines! The ship was smaller compared to other cruise lines and ... Read More
Me and my husband have been on a couple of other cruises before but never with Carnival. We decided that we should try out this cruise to see how it compares to other cruise lines! The ship was smaller compared to other cruise lines and looked very tacky. It looked like an old casino in Vegas. The worst part was, it was sooo rocky! Like I said, we have been on a few other cruises where we couldn't even feel that we were on the ocean. This one was rocking so bad that we were so sick to the point of throwing up. The cruise line was supposed to go to Catalina Island, Ensenada, then a day at sea. When we checked in, they told us that they changed the schedule to have the day at sea first then Catalina, etc. The first day at sea was very rocky and we felt so sick we stayed in our room basically the whole day. Then, we got up the next day, excited for our excursion, and they came over the intercom saying that they couldn't dock at Catalina so we were going to have another "fun" day at sea. Sigh. Two days in a row of an extremely rocky ship was horrible. Another thing was all of the hidden fees. The other cruise lines that we have taken accept the prepaid gratuities and never asked for additional tips, etc. We bought the endless bubbles (unlimited soda) program on Carnival and every time we went to get an already paid for drink we had to sign as if we were paying. There is a line for a tip and the server always tries to guilt trip you to sign more money onto the tip. This was very frustrating. Read Less
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

Find a Carnival Imagination Cruise

Email me when prices drop