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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My family and I decided to go on a Carnival cruise for my grandfathers' birthday since none of us had ever been on a cruise before and it sounded like something the kids would enjoy as much as the adults. And I've got to say... I ... Read More
My family and I decided to go on a Carnival cruise for my grandfathers' birthday since none of us had ever been on a cruise before and it sounded like something the kids would enjoy as much as the adults. And I've got to say... I am very impressed. The kids had an absolute blast on the waterslides and pool- which conveniently had seating around the area so we could put down stuff and sit down. They also loved the mini-golf course, free ice-cream/pizza and enjoyed going to the Camp Ocean together when the adults needed a break. The only issue we had with the onboard activities was with our teenage girls (13 and 15) who felt that there wasn't much for them to do during the day and they didn't enjoy the teen club. But they really really had great fun watching the brilliant shows in the theatre ( Pharaoh's Palace) and the "Dive In" Movies during the night. The area we dined in ( Empire ) was beautiful and the food was great! The whole family loved the theme nights and having different meals to choose from. The service was exceptional and we left with content and full bellies every night. The buffet (Lido) was good and where we all met up for a delicious, homey breakfast & lunch the majority of our stay and it was always our go-to area when it was open. And a shoutout to all the other bars/restaraunts like Red Frog & Blue Iguana which has some very tasty food/drinks!! After 2 days at sea, we did get to Isle of Pines which was astounishing. I think the reason for it beauty was because it seemed very natural and unidustrial. The beach was gorgeous and the people were very nice and welcoming. Even though it rained, it was still amazing and I didn't want to get out of the water. Unfortunately, I didn't go to Lifou because the heat made me feel unwell so I stayed on the boat, but my family spoke quite fond of it so I assume it was good. On the last stop ( which was Noumea) we were all very disappointed. One of the youngest children we brought along with us (5 years old) had been looking forward to Noumea for 6 months now and she was really upset to find that Noumea was no different to a typical, quiet city. The beaches weren't very good and the markets were busy but had nothing to offer. The New Caledonia Aquarium they loved though, and got them interested in fish that could be swimming underneath them while they were on the boat. But the best part of the whole cruise was the people/service. Everyone was very happy and just genuinely nice. The people who cleaned the rooms always said hello to us when we walked by. The people offering drinks by the pool were dancing. The people who performed on stage at the shows were enthusiastic and wanted to dance with the kids. And of course the waiters at the Empire room the served my family every night ( thanks to much Salindra) and were just so kind and compassionate with us. Overall, the Carnival Spirit experience was brilliant, and my family and I would definetly recommend it and go again. Thank you Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
A group of friends have done this cruise every year for the last few years and we decided to join them this time. They selected the Carnival Imagination because that had the right dates that were being sought. Have to tell you it was the ... Read More
A group of friends have done this cruise every year for the last few years and we decided to join them this time. They selected the Carnival Imagination because that had the right dates that were being sought. Have to tell you it was the worst cruise I have ever been on. Here are the reasons why: 1. Our room on the Empress deck was freezing cold the entire trip. The Carnival website says that each room has a thermostat. Not true. The only temperature control in the room is a fan on the ceiling. Even with it turned completely off it was still frigid in our stateroom. Called and went to guest services to complain. They came by twice, took it apart twice and said it was fixed and that the rooms should all be between 70 and 74 degrees. When they tested our room it was only 68 and never got any better. Being disabled and needing to lay day several times a day, it made it completely unpleasant. Found out when I called Carnival after our cruise that we were compensated $20.92 twice for the "inconvenience". This, to be honest, was an insult. 2. The food was horrible and the hours of the buffet were laughable. The food in the buffet in the morning was pretty much inedible. Scrambled eggs that looked like runny porridge, under cooked bacon and not much of a variety was very sad. While the dining room breakfast was better, the hours that they were open were too short. The buffets on other ships are open 24/7 and they always have things that could be made into a meal. The Imagination closed their buffets from 10:00 to 11:30 and after 1:30 the only lunch I could get was pizza or burgers or something at the deli (which was such a limited menu). Dinner was closed at 9, so if I wasn't able to eat what was in the dining room at the late service, I was out of luck getting something at the buffet. The food was on par with Denny's. 3. They didn't have much to do on the ship during the day, but I did go to a couple of the trivia events. They were held in the Dream Bar. Unfortunately, the bar itself wasn't open so if someone wanted a drink they had to go down two decks to the Atrium to get their own and bring it back. Not very service oriented there. 4. Service during the comedy shows was lax as well. We usually sit in the back and for all the shows that I went to, I personally was only approached once and asked if I wanted something to drink. Seems that they were completely understaffed. 5. I was outside of one of the dining rooms and I asked a Carnival staff member where the nearest bathroom was. He didn't seem to understand me so I repeated my question. He had to pull out a map because he had no idea where any of the bathrooms were located. How can someone work on a ship and not know where things are? 6. Don't know when the last time this ship was refurbished, but there was rust in all the bathrooms and it was really showing wear and tear. The only good thing about this ship were the people in the Casino and the two servers that we dealt with in the dining room. This was not a relaxing or enjoyable getaway for me and I don't think I will ever travel with Carnival again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because the dates worked for us after 5 days at Disneyland. Our cruise family included myself, DH in one OV cabin and my DD and her BFF (both 13) in the OV cabin beside us. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, second ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the dates worked for us after 5 days at Disneyland. Our cruise family included myself, DH in one OV cabin and my DD and her BFF (both 13) in the OV cabin beside us. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, second out of Long Beach and first not having a balcony. We decided to go with 2 OV cabins instead of one suite to give the girls and us more space and two bathrooms! It worked out very well. We had FTTF and arrived at port around 11:00 - it took way less time to get from Disney to the port than we anticipated. However we were able to check in right away and were among the first on board an hour later! We were in our rooms with drinks in hand by noon!!! Our bags arrived within the hour - love love love FTTF. We all had lunch, a quick tour and nap well before the muster drill. It was great getting on board so early! This is our third cruise with FTTF - it is a MUST buy for us each time. We were in U170 & U174. They were pretty spacious and the layout for the girls was great. Tons of storage space and the L-shape layout for the twin beds gave them lots of space in the room for getting ready! We had anytime dining - only had one night that we had to wait a bit with a buzzer and that was on Elegant night. No biggie, grabbed a drink toured the shops and were called within a half hour. The food was really good - surprisingly good. We all enjoyed the service and food very much - DD's BFF ordered from the Steakhouse menu the Surf & Turf and LOVED it. We also enjoyed having the Cheers Program. We didnt max our our limit any of the days but I felt really free to try different drinks - chocolate martinis, fun ones at Alchemy, different wines etc. We for sure came out ahead compared to what we would have paid on a per drink basis and I love not worrying about how big my bar bill will be at the end. I really enjoyed the ability to get bottles of water, Vitamin water AND energy drinks as part of the plan as well! Staff were great - Dee the Cruise Director has tons of energy and I have never witnessed a party in the lobby bar on the last night like I did on this cruise!!! Our room steward Gemma was amazing our room was always taken care of twice a day. The entertainment staff were awesome - everyone seemed to know our names and always said hello! The casino was a lot of fun too - even won the slot tourny!! The ports of call for this cruise were meh.... but I expected that. We went on this cruise for a quick cruise fix - hence my title - the price couldnt be beat. Although I won't cruise out of LA in December again, it was sunny and nice but not hot enough to really hang out by the pool. This was a bummer and the kid missed being able to do that. The only less than great moments involved debarkation - we were zone 1 with FTTF and I think the majority of the ship did self assist. We had to be out of our room by 8:15, they closed breakfast in the Lido by 9:30 (I am sure it was that early) and we didnt get off the ship unti after 10:30! Lots of waiting around compared to what we have experienced on much larger ships. But again - I think short cruise meant lots of self assist folks. We had too much luggage with our previous 5 days in Disney and another 3 days in LA ahead of us to manage the stairs on our own! So if you are looking for a quick trip at a great price this is a great option! I would go on the Inspiration again, just during a warmer month! I also missed having a balcony but would choose 2 OV over the suite if we had the same 4 people again in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We heard good reviews of the company and ship esp. for family cruises and were not disappointed. The staff were great, the ship was tidy and the activities for the kids kept them well entertained. One occasion the dining room mixed up ... Read More
We heard good reviews of the company and ship esp. for family cruises and were not disappointed. The staff were great, the ship was tidy and the activities for the kids kept them well entertained. One occasion the dining room mixed up an order but nothing major especially considering the volume of people being served. The Nouveau Restaurant was truly wonderful. The food was spectacular and the attention to detail second to none. One of the best meals i have ever had. The variety of entertainment areas on the ship were excellent. Something for everyone. We really enjoyed the Alchemy Bar where we had many a chat with Daniel behind the bar as he created some fantastic drinks. The Red Frog Pub was great for live music and I found the sports bar a good place to go mid afternoon to watch some ice hockey or soccer. The Lido Deack was well set up with 2 pools and a couple of bars with a variety of eating options. The kids loved the dive in movies! Thanks for a great break. Read Less
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