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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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship is old and needs to be updated. Cabin on the Riviera Deck was dirty and dusty. We found a pair of shoes in the closet from a previous cruiser. Empty plastic shopping bags in drawers. Beds were very uncomfortable and felt like air ... Read More
This ship is old and needs to be updated. Cabin on the Riviera Deck was dirty and dusty. We found a pair of shoes in the closet from a previous cruiser. Empty plastic shopping bags in drawers. Beds were very uncomfortable and felt like air mattresses. There were lights in the room that were out and not replaced. The TV is tiny and everything looked green. The decor is old and gaudy. The food was mediocre and not served hot. We retuned several meals because they were cold. The coffee bar had only 1 person working and there would be lines with 8 to 10 people waiting for their fancy coffee. Lots of children running around the ship and occupying most pool areas. The spa had mold on the ceilings and were not quiet and relaxing. This was our first and last Carnival Cruise. We have always cruised with Princess and will be going back to Princess from now on. Read Less
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Sail Date: February 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with my daughter and adult grandchildren on Carnival Imagination from Long Beach CA to Ensenada Mexico. We booked the smaller suites with balconies on the Veranda deck. We had a fantastic time and it ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with my daughter and adult grandchildren on Carnival Imagination from Long Beach CA to Ensenada Mexico. We booked the smaller suites with balconies on the Veranda deck. We had a fantastic time and it was just what we needed in a mini vacation. We knew the Imagination was an older smaller ship which was fine for a short trial cruise. I arrived first and was so relieved the garage had benches so I could sit and wait for family and be out of the cold weather. There were many porters to take bags out of cars and they worked quickly to move bags to the ship. Checking in was easy and quick and along the path to board, there were many Carnival staff welcoming us. What I appreciated and liked best was the very diverse and friendly Carnival staff from so many countries; and any time we had a question any staff member was happy to help. When I had an issue about a charge, Lori Ann in Guest Services took care of the bill quickly and very efficiently. Also, we were assigned the Spirit Dining Room where Abigail, Kamaljet and Angela served us each night flawlessly and food was so delicious. What was lacking was some of food in the food court was very much below par so we went to the deli and Guy's Burgers which always had lines. It seemed that Alcohol was highly promoted and the main activity for many, there were so many bars and people drinking. We had to call to report our loud drunk room neighbors who were arguing at 11pm; security took care of the issue and called us back to make sure it solved the problem very quickly. I use a walker and cane which was a little difficult at times moving through crowds; my rollator walker had a strap on the seat which I could lift to make the walker narrower which helped a great deal. We all decided cruising is for us and we will definitely be making reservations at a future time. Thank you terrific Carnival employees! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags ... Read More
Embarkation was easy and quick , arrived at parking terminal and was on the boat in less then 45 minutes , we arrived early about 1145. Our arrival time was 1230-100. Once on board the buffet, guys , & couple bars were open . Bags were at our door around 3 room was ready at 130 . There was a tons of activities planned in the afternoon, we attended the fun aboard show which was informative and you have s chance to win prizes from shore excursions to spa credits to wine. Our cabin was a porthole room , spacious for 2 , great little view of the outside world . The bathroom was all in one , shower sink and potty . The water from shower goes all over so don’t leave any dry things laying around or they will be soaked . There was a sewer smell that came from the potty every so often but keeping the lid closed kept it at ease. The cabin would always smell like smoke when we returned to it . Think that was in part to bad ventilation , A tip bring room spray it helps for unwanted odors. We sprayed it up into the air vent. There was always an event going on , too much sometimes you didn’t know which to go to . The comedy , dance and games shows were top hits for us . The piano bar and atrium bar was our optional entertainment . Trivia was held on the atrium & if the cruise director was hosting it was a laugh & good time to be had. Dining was hot or miss the food was either excellent ok or blah , never consistent . The deli & pizza seem to have the freshest tasting food . The main dining room offered many options for anyone’s tastebuds. The fish , rare finds & sides were top hits with us . Shore excursions offered were great , in Catalina it’s best to your on your own since the town is small , so either rent a golf cart , take the local bus or walk . Lots of great restaurants & shops . Ensenada highly recommend a tour to la bufadorA so much to see on way there and once there lots to see , sample & shop . Bargain hunters paradise remember don’t take 1st price and walk when they don’t agree to price, they will chase you down for even better deal. The service on board was top notch , servers remembering your name/order, everyone saying hi , asking if they can help or trying to entertain . The cheers package is great you can try new drinks , plus get sodas & fancy coffee , water & teas too. All without the extra worry of costs . I would recommend this cruise for 1st timers, people who want a quick getaway or a family group cruise . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is the 3rd time cruise and the second Carnival cruise of mine. The experience is worse than expected since my last Carnival cruise Freedom. First of all, this ship really needs upgrades. There are very few whirlpools and swimming ... Read More
This is the 3rd time cruise and the second Carnival cruise of mine. The experience is worse than expected since my last Carnival cruise Freedom. First of all, this ship really needs upgrades. There are very few whirlpools and swimming pools. Very few variety of entertainments (trivia and board games all the way, almost). Two ping pong tables were placed in the hallway which we could barely enjoy with people walking around. Gym closed at 10. Only basketball game allowed. Tables of the dining hall are so close to each other; the guests with strollers are so difficult to pass through between tables and chairs. The decor is so old and is aged from the state rooms to the public area. The worst: Why would a complementary dinner has dishes now requiring a cost?? I don’t remember any paid dish from my last Carnival cruise. Guests now have to pay for Lobster tails for most of the nights. And, why would a “fine diner” style dinner required guests to share tables?! Are you joking, Carnival? I haven’t experienced sharing table for the past 10 years even with a budget, fast food style Asian restaurant (I am a Chinese)! And Carnival has all the reasons not to tell the guests ahead of time about sharing tables, what the heck?! And did you cut the crew number? The deck 10 and 11 were so gross (water, food on the floor, tangled hairs!) that the cleaning couldn’t keep up. I had seen the cleaning crew every where and any time cleaning the deck on my last Carnival cruise; this time I saw only few cleaning crew busy cleaning the mess. The crew was trying the best to accommodate. The cabin crew is fantastic. We like our servers. The entertaining crew works very hard especially the Crew Director, she’s everywhere to entertain the guests. Overall, I have good experience with the crew. I thought have big problem with the Carnival management decision on cutting guests benefits and making the experience sad. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
So I would like to start with a positive. The embarkation process was super easy and organized this was better than on Celebrity, Royal , or Norwegian. We knew that this was an older ship and we really only booked this as a quick getaway ... Read More
So I would like to start with a positive. The embarkation process was super easy and organized this was better than on Celebrity, Royal , or Norwegian. We knew that this was an older ship and we really only booked this as a quick getaway from LA to a few places we’d never been to before. Upon arrival to our stateroom , the attendant (who was lovely) informed us that there was no hand soap. They were waiting for it to get on the ship but there wasn’t any yet. I immediately began to panic - if all 2,000 guests are using the bathroom and then not using hand soap , that’s a health issue. So I called guest services to inquire - she told me to use shower gel for now but that I most likely misunderstood the stateroom attendant bc he just didn’t have any on “his” cart. We were then given a bar for each of our staterooms. Day one - 15 minutes on the ship my son uses the bathroom and it begins to back up. We flushed again and it all went down - I blamed my son for maybe using too much paper but he swears he didn’t . Later on after dinner I come back to the room and use the bathroom and it flushed but then would t fill entirely up with water again. Well, I woke up at 4 am to the toilet backed up and a wet floor - I was nauseous thinking about this - called maintenance right away , they came and fixed it and then never cleaned it until our regularly scheduled housekeeping! This was now grossing me out. As we are disembarking in Catalina we had to wait for the tenders down this long corridor and the stench of sewage or garbage began to resonate , luckily before I hurled I remembered that we had laid “faster to the fun” pricing and asked if that meant we could board the tenders first - Thank God! The smell in that hallway where they had people waiting like cattle to board the tenders was unbearable. The smell of garbage lingered and got worse as we got closer to the end of the cruise. Other People on board noticed it too and a few who had been on this ship before thought it was normal. I have never been on a ship where the smell of raw sewage and garbage was ever prominent on guest decks. Bizzaro - Anywho the food was fantastic! The cantina was our favorite and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. Orlando , the cruise director , must be the hardest working cruise director in crushing history. He was EVERYWHERE. He’s a sweet man and made everything fun. The shows for the little ones were great - the kids club watched movies and drew which my kids found boring , the casino was fantastic - Maggie was an amazing dealer who was friendly and personable. The Bingo situation seemed rigged to me - they had two bingos and the prize was supposed to be $5,000 - then each winner only won $250 - my kids were even like - wow what a letdown. Binging bradley went a little too fast on the end and never gave anyone a moment to “catch up” the numbers weren’t on the board while he was verifying - you kind of got the vibe that they didn’t want you to win lol. Which I guess they don’t . Anywho - this was my 2nd Carnival cruise and I loved the staff, the food , and the entertainment- but what are they doing about the most important aspect - hygiene?? Not the place you want to cut corners. We managed to enjoy our time - but I was severely disturbed by how dirty everything seemed . We sat by a window for dinner and you could not see at all out the window - it seemed to have Layers of grime on them. Sorrry if I’m being too harsh on this older ship - but you’ve got to make some changes. If this were my first cruise experience I would have to say - never again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We are not new to cruising we have been on over 50 cruises. Cruising on the Inspiration 3 times. It had been over 5 years since we sailed on this ship. We drove to the port in LA to embark on a relatives 70th birthday party. We live ... Read More
We are not new to cruising we have been on over 50 cruises. Cruising on the Inspiration 3 times. It had been over 5 years since we sailed on this ship. We drove to the port in LA to embark on a relatives 70th birthday party. We live about 90 miles from the port so it was a easy drive. We arrived at the port around 10AM. We were able to check in at the Platinum line. You are able to sit in the lounge and then be the first group escorted on the boat we boarded by 1:15 am. Ship: The ship is old but it's a 4 day party cruise and served its purpose. After going on the RCL Allure of the Seas and the NCL Bliss it looks really outdated. Dining: We had always loved the food on Carnival however, the quality was just not there as in years past. Especially in the dining room. No tablecloths, it looked more like the local coffee shop. They did bring out the tablecloths on the dress up night. We had fixed dining and our waiters were fantastic. They went above and beyond. Service: Was great no problems. We made our own excursions and disembarkation was quick and easy. We walked off the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
The best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera is between December and February due to the number of humpback whales that reside off Cabo San Lucas during that time. Alaska isn't the only destination for whale watching. Drove to the ... Read More
The best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera is between December and February due to the number of humpback whales that reside off Cabo San Lucas during that time. Alaska isn't the only destination for whale watching. Drove to the port of Long Beach and was faced with a parking lot that was closed. We had an 11:30 check-in time but weren't allowed to enter the lot until noon. Once inside the terminal we were directed to the Priority line and which had next to no wait. Dropped our backpacks off in our cabin and headed to the lido deck for a buffet lunch. Muster was relatively fast and finished before sail away. Entertainment: We only went to one show, Studio VIP, which was OK. Enjoyed the live music around the ship throughout the cruise. Never made it to the comedy show, even though we say we're going to at every sailing. Dining: We initially had a booth and requested a change through the Maitre 'd for the following evening and through the rest of the cruise. Went from table 414 to table 529, which is a 6 top. Ended up going to the dining room only one night. The service on that one night was efficient. Visited the steakhouse for a filet and some of the new sides. The price keeps going up, now at $38 pp, and I'm not convinced the food is worth that amount of money. We also made a reservation for the Chef's Table which was wonderful. Tipping is added to the Chef's Table cost at 18%. No Guy's Burgers on the Splendor, but the burger bar offers the old favorites of chips and cheese sauce, grilled onions, chili and fries. Tandoor is always a crowd pleaser as is the pizza and deli. The couple times I visited the deli there was only one food preparer which increased the wait. The deli menu has changed as well to pre-made sandwiches. I'm not a huge fan of ball park mustard and my ham and cheese sandwich had a little too much smeared on it. There are a few buffet items I always enjoy and these were absent. Lunch in the buffet now offers some layer cakes that are quite good, though these replaced some of my old favorites like the Napoleans. Service: Carnival tends to have personable employees and this is true on the Splendor. For the most part, employees that interact with guests are pleasant and helpful. Cabin was cleaned thoroughly each day and robes provided when asked. Excursions: Booked Salsa and Salsa in Mazatlan. We were directed to an open-air tram for the 20 minute ride to Mazatlan's Golden Zone and a hotel. There were about 80 of us all together and we shared tables for 10 where we made Margaritas and several different salsas. The tables were set up in the outdoor, though covered, area of the hotel. It was breezy and very cold. Servers brought pool towels around to all so we could wrap up and keep warm. Once done with the salsa and Margaritas, we all learned the steps to the salsa dance. At the end, we were allowed to have some time on our own before being placed in taxis for the return trip to the pier. Puerto Vallarta had the Rhythm of the Nights excursion waiting for us. I would invite other cruisers to look up cruise line reviews of this excursion. This was one of the best excursions I've ever been on and we're planning on going again during our next Mexican Riviera cruise. The food was good, the entertainment fantastic, and the island of Las Caletas is just beautiful. We stayed on the ship at Cabo San Lucas, parked on our balcony with binoculars watching the whales breach off the point of Cabo San Lucas. We've done a whale watching excursion there before and it was very, very good. The last two sea days were spent watching Dive In Movies by the pool, snacking and napping. Love the popcorn for the movies and I ended up bringing a box back to the cabin for later. We attended the veteran's appreciation meeting in the theater. It's a nice gesture by the cruise line and is usually well attended by veterans and their families. Disembarkation: We were directed to the Black Pearl dining room for priority disembarkation. The staff asked all to line up their luggage in order of arrival at the dining room. This was our placeholder in line. When it was time, we stood by our suitcases and were lead out. We were in our car by 8:00 in the morning. Though the Splendor isn't my favorite ship, the Mexican Riviera is one of my favorite itineraries. We'll be back and ready for more fun soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
A 40th Birthday Celebration with nearly 20 friends was fun, but could've been a better experience. To be fair, this was my very first cruise, so I have no other cruise ships to compare it to, but I do have a lot of experience ... Read More
A 40th Birthday Celebration with nearly 20 friends was fun, but could've been a better experience. To be fair, this was my very first cruise, so I have no other cruise ships to compare it to, but I do have a lot of experience traveling as I work in the travel industry. Also, I set my expectation fairly low, and it was about accurate. The level that our cabin was located on, Floor 6, Upper Deck, smelled like raw sewage for the last 2 full days and had industrial equipment in the hallways, so I was not sure if something happened or if it is just a regular issue with that ship. FOOD The majority of the hot food was barely served warm, and the broccoli on my main entree plate in the fine dining room was still frozen. There was no sauce on my plate, so I just asked for a side of ranch dressing to add flavor. The baked potato was also cold in the middle. DRINKS The beer selection was fairly varied, in that they had a lager, an IPA, and even a gluten free beer, however, not a lot of craft beer options and the only draft beer I saw was the self serve Miller Lite in the buffet area. The higher end selection of liquor that was included in the adult drink package was great, but when I tried to order an Aperol Spritz, I had an issue with several bartenders, who gave me attitude because they were not allowed to mix a champagne cocktail, so one refused to even make the drink, and another would only give me a glass of champagne first, then wait 5 minutes to charge my drink card for a shot of Aperol on the side and a glass of ice, (there is a waiting period between the number of drinks a guest is allowed to consume in a certain time period). So, I then got charged for 2 drinks, and had to make the drink myself which was ridiculous! Also, it should be noted that this was my first drink of the day, so I was completely sober. ENTERTAINMENT The comedian was hilarious!! The dancers were great! I wish they had a movie theatre or better wifi. I bought the wifi package before I embarked but it was not working so well, so I cancelled it and just used the Carnival App to connect with friends. I made the mistake of staying on the ship when we arrived in Mexico, and there were very limited options of things to do for the day on the ship. The weather was super cold (50's) and really windy, so laying by the pool or going down the water slides was not really an option. The casino was closed, as were the shops and theatre's and even the majority of bars & restaurants were closed until the late afternoon. SAFETY The safety demo that was required, was completely pointless. They made us wait a really long time to even enter the theatre and then all they showed us was how to put on a life vest and kept us in there for far too long to be shown even that. Overall, I think I would go on another cruise line to be able to compare it, but I would never go on another Carnival Cruise again. Not my cup of tea. If you value food, aesthetics, and a higher caliber of service, pay a few dollars more and choose another cruise line. Read Less
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