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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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I picked this cruise because of the convenience and after much research the Inspiration was rated higher and we agree with that review. The Inspiration crew were very welcoming and most helpful. The food was great, so many ... Read More
My wife and I picked this cruise because of the convenience and after much research the Inspiration was rated higher and we agree with that review. The Inspiration crew were very welcoming and most helpful. The food was great, so many choices from excellent pizzas, Guys' Burgers and dinner, our advice is to try everything, because every dish served was great. Our stateroom was an Ocean View Room and the size was just right. The only criticism we have is; the entertainment at night was lacking. We felt that there were not that many options other than the comedy shows. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. Catalina was beautiful and I think the time we were given to explore was excellent, we were able to hike, shop and eat. The night before arriving to Mexico, we finally decided to do an excursion and we picked "La Bufadora." We believe it was a great choice because it included some sight seeing, smart shopping ( we were shown the acid silver test, and lighter and leather test) and enjoy the local cuisine. Our day at the sea was great, we enjoyed the fun atmosphere by the pool and listen to great music by the DJ, there were plenty of cocktail servers asking everyone around if we want more margaritas or beer. It was an excellent time to enjoy the whole experience and we can't wait to go back again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First time cruising and LOVED it! Carnival Inspiration is a dream for those who reside in Los Angeles. The port of Long Beach is easy to get in and out. We did uber to and from our home. Next, the process of getting on board was long ... Read More
First time cruising and LOVED it! Carnival Inspiration is a dream for those who reside in Los Angeles. The port of Long Beach is easy to get in and out. We did uber to and from our home. Next, the process of getting on board was long but ok. I'd recommend getting the Fast to the Fun (FTTF). I wished I paid $50 and came early to enjoy a few more hours on the cruise. I also wish I did the Cheers program as specialty coffee drinks are free in you get this. Other than that, the food was excellent. We had buffet for Breakfast which included AMAZING custom made omelets. For lunch, we would either do Guy's Burgers (BETTER than IN N Out) or burritos. For dinner, we did the sit down dining. Finally, Camp Ocean for our 4-year old was a god send. He couldn't wait to get there and do the activities. GO GO on this cruise. You will not regret it. Oh...buy a lanyard as you have to carry around a plastic card w/ you at all times. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My husband and I had previously cruised on Cunard and Royal Caribbean (11 times total) and were looking for a short "introduction to cruising" cruise experience for his brother and wife who would be going with us. Carnival was a ... Read More
My husband and I had previously cruised on Cunard and Royal Caribbean (11 times total) and were looking for a short "introduction to cruising" cruise experience for his brother and wife who would be going with us. Carnival was a poor choice on many levels. PROS: The ship's public areas are clean, festive, and lovely. The theater for stage shows is beautiful. It's obvious that the Imagination has been redone recently. CONS: This is a booze and gamble cruise and little effort was put into any activities that might distract cruisers from that. There was only one stage show in the evening, at 10:15 p.m., and we were too tired after a day of excursions to wait up. The one comic we saw in the lounge (his early "clean" show) was just so-so. No movies shown. No dancing or dancing lessons. Few games. The usual semi-smutty "marriage game" on stage one evening. We felt we'd already seen it and it really wasn't that funny. STAFF: What I noticed immediately on coming aboard was that the ship's staff looked glum. Instead of the cheerful, enthusiasm we had experienced with RCCL and Cunard we were greeted with stressed or blank faces (the one exception was our room steward who did learn our names and smile.) The lifeboat safety drill was chaos and when they got to the part where they assured parents the staff would bring their children to their assigned lifeboat station in the event of abandon ship I thought to myself "no way would I rely on these people to get my kids to safety!" Over the 4 days the mood and organization of the staff didn't improve. We definitely had the "B" team and service was carried out with all the knowledge and enthusiasm you'd expect from the sales clerks at Walmart. The Aussie who conducted the one trivia game we attended spent the entire time with her face in a manual trying to figure out how to run the game. She never did quite get it so we never tried the game again. In the dining room one woman at our table was brought the wrong entree and the waiter, instead of removing it when he brought her correct entree, just left both dinners on the table that was already crammed with too many people and plates. I ordered a specialty cocktail (basically Irish Coffee made instead with Jamaican rum); it was brought out cold. I asked that it be remade. It was brought out cold again. Clearly somebody didn't know how to make it, so I asked that it be taken off the bill. In the buffet, there was inadequate staff at the grill resulting in a 10-15 minute wait for a deli hot sandwich or (at breakfast) omelets. The cooks ignored the line and just puttered along. SEATED DINING: Very curious to know how Carnival arranges seating. My husband and I are 66, but still actively employed. The other 3 couples at our cramped table (we were literally touching elbows and dinner plates were crowded together) were at least 10 years older and retired. We felt like we were seated with our parents. First time that has happened on a cruise ship. Our usual experience is a range of companions from 45-65 (and not to be relegated to the old folks table.) When we asked if we could move to the table with my brother-in-law and his wife, we were told the ship was full and we couldn't be accommodated. Fortunately the dining room was at least a third empty after the first evening so we just moved to their table anyway (their table companions never showed) and didn't tell anyone. (Back at our table the other 3 couples were doubtless grateful for the room.) NUMBER OF TRAVELERS: We were told repeatedly that there were 2500 people on board and the ship was full (an excuse for the chaos and poor service apparently). It looked half empty to us. Never more than 50 or so in the pool area and just a handful in the pool. Deck areas largely empty. It WAS a mob getting off so I suspect this speaks to the booze/gamble aspect of the cruise; most of the people had all been in the casino. ON THE PLUS SIDE: The few families with young children at this time of year (most kids were back in school) had all the play areas to themselves: the pool, miniature golf, waterslides, etc. I took some sun on the virtually deserted fantail lounging area one afternoon and the 30 or so little ones had the waterslides all to themselves and were having a ball! All in all though we won't be cruising with Carnival again and certainly not recommending this cruise. Sadly, this fun ship just isn't fun. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was my 3rd time on the Imagination and it just gets better and better. Like a fine wine, better with age. For those familiar with the fantasy class of ship someone has finally figured out a great use of the Atrium. The Atrium ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on the Imagination and it just gets better and better. Like a fine wine, better with age. For those familiar with the fantasy class of ship someone has finally figured out a great use of the Atrium. The Atrium extends 5 Stories with a circular balcony around each deck. On the first night I am in a fairly noisy casino when I start hearing these loud shouts. I go out to the Atrium's balcony and it is 3 deep in bodies. I wedge my way into the front of the balcony and I see down below standing on the bar itself on deck 7 the cruise director leading, what seemed like the entire ship"s passenger list in the song "Shout"!!!! Each of the 5 Atrium balconies were mobbed with people. If the house is rockin don't bother knockin ..come on in. And this was the just the first night! Of course if this is not your cup of tea and are looking for something more sedate well then this cruise may not be for you. But what fun seeing and participating in an activity along with literally hundreds of others. We ate in the MDR only once and I had the upgraded menu..lobster.. and it was very good. Food on Lido deck was fine, nothing to write home about but entirely satisfactory. We had the cabin labelled "Grand Suite" ...seems to be a regular cabin but twice the size. The balcony was large and we used it quite a bit. Did not go ashore at Catalina, spent most of the day sleeping on the balcony. Shopped and did a spa thing in Enseneda. Epic Rock, to me, is one fanatic show, I have seen it 3 times! All in all a generally great great time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We were having a bachelorette party and it was the easiest to organize 15 girls to take a trip where we'd only have to pay one thing. The boat was moving around a lot and we all got sick. The buffet was good. The first dinner ... Read More
We were having a bachelorette party and it was the easiest to organize 15 girls to take a trip where we'd only have to pay one thing. The boat was moving around a lot and we all got sick. The buffet was good. The first dinner night they had a nice mushroom thing I could eat as a vegan, and the second night nothing! Not one single option for me. I asked what I should do and the waiter was really nice and brought me a couple of pieces of steamed broccoli...for my dinner. He told me that after the dinner I should already go and order my vegan dinner for the night before and it would be ready for me. I ordered a nice pumpkin soup without cream and the rest of my vegan meal, they said great you will have it for dinner tomorrow. Dinner came, they confirmed I was vegan and that my meal was coming. They confirmed probably 2 or 3 times, and finally when the food came they literally gave me a piece of lettuce. Like they took a piece of iceberg lettuce and put it in my plate and served me just that. I'm not sure if they were trying to be insulting but if so, they truly succeeded. I asked what is this where is my soup? They said they don't have anything vegan, again. Absolute crap! They also didn't want to put our tables together even though we came way in advance telling them we were 15 girls and we wanted to sit together. They gave us a big table and a small one isolating the other girls on the side even though there was plenty of space for us. Finally we decided to move the tables together despite their protests and we were able to eat together, no thanks to the staff. Also the DJs in the clubs were terrible and there was way too much chlorine in the spa it gave me a bladder infection. Otherwise it was cool. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising! My son-in-law booked and decided on Imagination. The quality of the food and the entertainment have diminished since my last travels with Carnival . My senses have experienced ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising! My son-in-law booked and decided on Imagination. The quality of the food and the entertainment have diminished since my last travels with Carnival . My senses have experienced MUCH better in past cruises! The menu was basically the same every nite. Pool is way to small on this ship. My grandchildren ages 14, 16, and 18 walked around the cruise ship aimlessly BORED! There is not much for them to be entertained . Although , my 18 year old did pick up an addiction to gambling! Years from now he will be depriving his family of money for food. Because he will squandered his money at a casino. I will have to pray real hard on this debauchery! The last nite we were in the dinning room. I felt very bad leaving dinning room and not tipping! I did not know if I should tip or if it was added to my tab! I do know that I was charged an exorbitant amount of gratuity! Other than that I would cruise again! But maybe with a different cruise line. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a first time cruise for me and my daughter. We were with another mother and daughter, it was their birthdays the week prior and this was a vacation we had all planned in advance to celebrate. We booked directly with Carnival ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for me and my daughter. We were with another mother and daughter, it was their birthdays the week prior and this was a vacation we had all planned in advance to celebrate. We booked directly with Carnival cruise lines and it was an extremely pleasant process. Upon arrival in Long Beach for embarkation we enjoyed the local area, beaches and restaurants. Embarkation went very quickly and the staff were all extremely pleasant and welcoming. If you are camera shy, you'll have to avoid all the photographers as they are taking pictures constantly. Our cabin was ready and our luggage was outside the door when we arrived. The buffet was ready upon our arrival and the music was playing, it was vacation time! All meals were great and room service if ordered was always there at the time requested. Disembarkation was easy and friendly as well. The border agent I personally had to deal with was helpful. The cruise line did not tell us until the day we were getting off the ship that there would be a limit on items we were allowed to bring in from out of country, that would have been nice to know, but again, border agent was very helpful and friendly in that process. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
What a poor cruise. May be good for families with kids, but as an older couple who went outside of school holidays, this was a disaster. Over 400 kids. We were expecting a few younger kids but not this number. As a result all pools were ... Read More
What a poor cruise. May be good for families with kids, but as an older couple who went outside of school holidays, this was a disaster. Over 400 kids. We were expecting a few younger kids but not this number. As a result all pools were full and the over 18 area was full unless you got there before 9am. If you want not to be jostled/hassled by kids, I would check how many are going. The food was really poor. Cold when it got to you and only fair quality. Yes there was a lot of it, but mostly it was not of a standard that you would expect of a cruise ship. A lot of wastage with kids grabbing heaps of food and just leaving it. Dining room was just the same as the bistro and served on nicer plates. Had to sent the food back on a number of occasions in the dining room. As an example I did not think that ham steaks and cornbeef and cabbage were great food! There were other selections but not much better. We did however go to the Nouveau restraurant which costs an extra $45. Well worth the money. The food was fabulouus and plenty of it. The waitress we had, Hannah was a delight. As it was not very busy on the night when we went she spent some time talking with us. Cabin was good and clean and the animal towels they did each day were delightful, but ship was often messy. Lots of drunks and yobbos on this cruise so a mess tended to be left everywhere. Do not know how the crew put up with this as they seemed to have the patience of saints. This was one good aspect. The crew were great. Entertainment and activities were poor. Very little to do on sea days (we had 5, 2 going out and 3 coming back) unless you wanted 15 minute trivia (about 5 time a day) or bingo (you had to pay for) or constant shopping exhibitions to get you to spend your money. Shows were average, with some good and some very poor. Crew seemed to try with these, but didnt quite make it. I would never go on a Carnival cruise again. Would much prefer a higher quality cruise and would be prepared to pay extra for it. Having said that the price of this was reasonable without being cheap. We payed for 3 shore excursions but went ashore at each stop. We rode Segway in Noumea was just wonderful. At 60 and 54 years we had a ball and it was easy to learn how to ride them with help from two lovely young ladies. would reccommend this to all. On Mare there is only a bus trip to the breach but what a beautiful beach $20 well spent. On Mystery Island we didn't book a shore excursion but just went across to the island on the tender. Once there we walked around explored the local markets and had a swim on a beautiful beach. If you wanted you could purchase a whole lobster for between $30-$50. We paid to go to the Vanilla house after reading good reviews. What a disappointment. 1/2hour to get there a 10 min maybe 15 minute tour with not mich to see then we waited 1/2 hour for the bus to return then the 1/2hour drive back to the beach. This was stated as 2hour tour and cost about $79 each so we were very disappointed. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are ... Read More
This was our second time sailing with Carnival Cruise line. The first time we took Carnival Miracle and we really enjoyed it. This time on the Inspiration we were a bit disappointed. The ship is much smaller and walls in the rooms are paper-thin. We even brought a white noise machine and it could not cover the noise from the hallway. Our room was at the back of the ship on the Empress deck and I feel really sorry for those people who stay in the middle of the ship because of all the partying and loud speakers at the atrium. The house-keeping service was great. The restaurant food was also not bad. The only thing that was disappointing was the tea time. It started at 3pm, and we arrived at 3:10. The server placed us at the back along with those who came late. We were only offered smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. The same items came back twice. When we asked if there is anything else (sweets and pastries), the server told us no. But we saw some people eating them at the front of the restaurant! We sat there waiting and waiting and the only thing that came was the sandwiches. By 3:30 they expected us to leave and no more items were offered. It was the lamest "high tea" ever! Should have just gone to the buffet instead wasting our time at the so called tea time. The entertainment was not bad. Very similar shows and games as the other Carnival ships. If you are thinking of sailing with Carnival Inspiration, be prepared that the ship is old, the decor are dated, and the walls are thin. But the service was alright and I guess for the price you pay you can't ask for much. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My daughter in law chose this cruise because it coincided with her 30th birthday. I've cruised many times (at least 20) and generally find Carnival to be just fine. This was generally just fine too. Pros: good food, nice staff. ... Read More
My daughter in law chose this cruise because it coincided with her 30th birthday. I've cruised many times (at least 20) and generally find Carnival to be just fine. This was generally just fine too. Pros: good food, nice staff. Cons: as a shorter cruise they don't have much for entertainment. I was also under the impression that this ship had a sushi bar, and a fish and chips restaurant. I didn't see one. Restaurants were limited compared with other ships I've sailed on. The main dining room food was top notch though. For me the biggest cons were the fact that my grandson, who was just a month shy of his 2nd birthday, was not allowed to participate in any of the kiddy programs onboard. The only option we had was to leave him one morning for a short time, in a PAY FOR baby-sitting capacity. I'm a bit shocked they charged for this service, considering that I had to pay for half of a cabin cost (he was my roommate) despite his age. I think Carnival should have more options for young toddlers. The other major con on this cruise: Our cabin R77 had a massive shower blockage. I reported it on day two, day three, and day four. Day five it was still happening, but we left that morning. So the entire cruise, each time I took a shower (and I took VERY short ones), the shower filled up and it flooded through both drains into the main bathroom area. Each day it took all our towels plus the huge carnival beach towels to mop it up before it spilled into the room itself. It was quite disgusting, and I'm not pleased that despite me reporting it (and being promised it would be fixed), it was NEVER actually dealt with. Read Less
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My sister-in-law proposed a quick get-away vacation cruise using some of their airline miles which saved us a bunch. We chose the Catalina Island-Ensenada Mexico 4 day cruise out of Long Beach (her sister lives there). The weather can be ... Read More
My sister-in-law proposed a quick get-away vacation cruise using some of their airline miles which saved us a bunch. We chose the Catalina Island-Ensenada Mexico 4 day cruise out of Long Beach (her sister lives there). The weather can be cool in February and it started out in the mid to upper 60's. Long Beach is nice. We stopped at the Beachwood BBQ and Brewery for lunch before the cruise. Good beer and salads. The cruise terminal was easy to navigate and is next to the Queen Mary. (We did not take a tour.) The boat was clean and the staff was friendly. We were able to get access to our room immediately but had to wait a short time for our luggage. They do ask you to leave your bags unlocked and they do check for restricted items like alcohol. We thought the rooms were a reasonable size. We always get an ocean view for a few extra bucks. The bathroom was clean and had some room to maneuver but it was a bit worn. Note that there is one outlet in the bathroom. We had to hold the plug in to use anything. The room itself only has one 110 outlet and one 220 outlet. So bring an adapter or power strip if you have CPAP and want to charge a camera or phone at night. The restaurant food was pretty good overall. The fish tends to be a bit overcooked and dry. The Salmon is good though. The ladies loved the melting chocolate cake for dessert and get two scoops of vanilla ice cream with it. The buffet was not too bad either but the scrambled eggs were aweful the first day I tried them. They do have stations where they make food fresh. Do that if the line is not too long. You need to tender over to Catalina Island so get an early start. We opted to keep it cheap so we took the trolley up to Wrigley Gardens. It was nice but not real big. An hour there is enough. We came back to Avalon and strolled the main drag. We had beer at the Catalina Island brewery. They had some good beer and free pretzels. They recommend you tender back an hour early to avoid long lines. We did and got on one of the first boats back. Not a ton to do in Ensenada. We did the wine tour which was pretty good. It takes about 45 minutes to L.A. Cetto which is a larger winery. They give you a tour and tasting with bread and cheese plus everyone gets a bottle of wine to go. There wine was a bit smoother to the taste. The second winery was smaller and I thought more interesting. It was La Casa de Dona Lupe. They had all sorts of salsas and some pizza. The wine was a bit more flavorful. There were two ladies giving massages for $5 and an Aztec dancer give a performance. The courtyard was nice with free range chickens looking for handouts. The place just had a Mexican homey feel. And at the end, Dona Lupe herself hopped on the bus to thank us for coming. We got dropped off in the downtown area. We had fish tacos at El Mesón de Don Fernando. We sat outside and a Mariachi trio came by to play (for a gratuity). The entertainment on the boat was okay for the time we were there. They had two comedians that were pretty good. We did the adult shows so don't sit up front if you get offended easily. They had a rock tribute show the last night that was good. They also have Karaoke and music trivia which was entertaining. Big Rob runs those. The casino was pretty plain. Looked like slots and black jack for the most part. Drink prices were comparable to anywhere else and include gratuity. They do charge $48 a head up front as a gratuity charge so you do not need to carry cash unless you want to reward your favorite staff at the end of the trip. The fitness area was really nice. I was a good boy and did the elliptical one morning to burn off some beer carbs. In the end, it was a pretty relaxing and enjoyable trip. Not sure I would do this cruise again but I would like to take another Carnival cruise at some point. Not to damper this review, but my wife and I are coming down with a bug of some sort. So wash your hands often. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
My husband & I decided not to sit home for once on New Years Eve. We booked the Imagination for a 3 day cruise to Mexico. It did not disappoint. We paid a little extra for "Faster to the Fun" which got us in a shorter line to ... Read More
My husband & I decided not to sit home for once on New Years Eve. We booked the Imagination for a 3 day cruise to Mexico. It did not disappoint. We paid a little extra for "Faster to the Fun" which got us in a shorter line to check in and our room was ready when we boarded just after 12. We had a outside room cabin U148. It was plenty of room for the amount of time we were in there. The bed was very comfortable. The food in the buffet was just OK while the evening meals in the dining room were exceptional but the service was quite slow. Easy off and on in Ensenada. My husband loves to gamble but I found the smoke impossible for me to be in the casino. The casino and adjoining bar is the only place inside the ship where smoking was permissible so smokers made the casino intolerable. There was a small corner designinated for non smoking but The signs were ignored. There was a great New Years Eve party poolside for the countdown with a live band. We indulged in a Couples massage and it was one of the best we have ever had. Bingo was a little pricy for the number of games you got to play. Maybe just sour grapes we didn't win. Lots of kids on this cruise but most were well behaved. Disembarking was a breeze. We decided to carry off our own luggage and we're off the boat and through Customs in a matter of minutes. I would definitely take this cruise again. With the exception of the drink prices it was a good bargain for the money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We took our adult kids and their children on this fun 4 day cruise between Christmas and New Year's. It was perfect - everybody had a good time, there was plenty to do and 4 days worked for everyone with their busy schedules. First ... Read More
We took our adult kids and their children on this fun 4 day cruise between Christmas and New Year's. It was perfect - everybody had a good time, there was plenty to do and 4 days worked for everyone with their busy schedules. First time with Carnival and we were pleasantly surprised with the environment and service. There were a lot of families on this cruise - great for a short getaway. We went to Ensenada and Catalina. It really wasn't about the ports but the time together. Everyone did their own thing during the day and we had dinner together in the evening. Very fun! The teenagers met lots of other kids; the young singles had their good times at the bar and kereoke and the adults enjoyed the evening entertainment. Recommend this cruise for family with lots of different ages. Catalina was really cold and the tour was not very good; Ensenada was the same it had been 30 years ago. Read Less
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