692 Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we needed a shorter cruise over Christmas leaving from the West Coast. There are 2 choices - Carnival Imagination or Inspiration. So, not a lot of choices - do you want to leave Sunday? Or Monday? This was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed a shorter cruise over Christmas leaving from the West Coast. There are 2 choices - Carnival Imagination or Inspiration. So, not a lot of choices - do you want to leave Sunday? Or Monday? This was once a great, new ship. Now it’s an older ship and much smaller than most ships afloat. It does have a lot of old (I mean 90’s) charm and decor. Public Areas are more compact and the shops, lounges, casino are fairly small. The water slides are very fun and probably great when it’s warmer! The food was ok. They keep a tight reign on the bacon and pass it out at the buffet like it’s made of gold. The burgers & burritos were great choices for afternoon lunching. The at sea “Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham” Brunch is worth $5 charge. It’s super fun - and great for kids. The cabins are dated. There are virtually no balcony cabins on this ship. The decor is old, as are the carpets in the cabins and hallways. I don’t want to bash this cruise entirely. It was fun. It was weird to be gone for Christmas. The dining staff and food was average as was our cabin stewart. The alcoholic drinks are ridiculously expensive and totally NOT worth what they charge. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Took the 12/13 to 12/16 weekend cruise to Mexico on Carnival Imagination. I have done this trip before and I've always had a good time. The Imagination is an older ship. This is to say that it doesn't have the amenities of ... Read More
Took the 12/13 to 12/16 weekend cruise to Mexico on Carnival Imagination. I have done this trip before and I've always had a good time. The Imagination is an older ship. This is to say that it doesn't have the amenities of the newer ships such as alternative dining or all the extra entertainment options you will find on the new builds. What you will get in return is an uncrowded ship (only about 2000 passengers) and a shower in your stateroom that you can actually turn around in. Sure the rooms don't have a fridge, unless you opt for the suites, but the extra shower room is nice. Breakfast options are abundant: Lido Buffet, Blue Iguana Cantina for breakfast burritos, room service and on sea days the awesome Sea Day brunch. Lunch offerings are Guy's Burger Joint, the deli in the buffet, the buffet, 24 hour pizza pirate and room service. Dinner is the restaurant, deli, pizza pirate, the buffet and room service. I have to admit that I've never ordered room service over the many times I've sailed on Imagination so I cannot rate the service or food quality. Entertainment was good. I have seen Epic Rock more times than I can count and I still enjoy the show. This show has eight singers/dancers who preform songs from Bon Jovi, Queen, Guns & Roses, Aerosmith, Meatloaf, Joan Jett, Journey and others. I always find myself clapping to the beat and cheering the performers. Such a fun time. They also do a show called Divas that features songs by Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rhianna and others. It is a fun show, but I prefer Epic Rock. All the employees were friendly. Whether it was a bar steward, a waiter or jr waiter, room steward or someone you were passing in the hall. They all seemed happy and were there with a smile and a friendly hello. I've done just about all the tours and sightseeing there is to do in Ensenada. From visiting La Bufadora, to horseback riding, craft beer and wine tasting and the bar hop tour, I've found that the best way to experience Ensenada is just to get out there and walk around. I have limited Spanish vocabulary but have found that many of the people in the tourist areas speak English. Its Mexico so don't be afraid to haggle with the vendors. They expect it and you will end up paying too much if you don't. In my opinion this is a great vacation option. I only had to take two days off of work. What a great way to let lose and relieve stress. If you're looking for a fun, short cruise without breaking the bank, I recommend taking one of the Carnival weekend cruises. Either Imagination or Inspiration. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were looking for warmer weather and this cruise was a great deal. Cabin was very nice but the best part was the dining. We had John, Hossain and Simoj as our wait staff and they made dinner time so must more then awesome. The service ... Read More
We were looking for warmer weather and this cruise was a great deal. Cabin was very nice but the best part was the dining. We had John, Hossain and Simoj as our wait staff and they made dinner time so must more then awesome. The service we received was like going to a four or five star restaurant. We really enjoyed Santa Catalina island and the time on shore, included a glass bottom boat tour while we were there. The island is not large and we were able to see quite a bit of it in the 5 to 6 hours we were there. The show are smaller and have more audience interaction then the larger ships we have been on. We did all the variety shows and a lot of the comedy shows, did not go to any thing we did not like. We enjoyed the cruise and had fun with the people at our table. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is a good get away cruise. The embarkation was smooth and quick as they have a large upgraded facility. This will be a plus when the Panarama comes to town. Our Steward, Richmond, was kind, very attentive and met all our needs. ... Read More
This is a good get away cruise. The embarkation was smooth and quick as they have a large upgraded facility. This will be a plus when the Panarama comes to town. Our Steward, Richmond, was kind, very attentive and met all our needs. This is the position that we always give extra tips to. This time we had an inside cabin, due to the small size of the ship, and it had more than enough room for us. Once we boarded we enjoyed a much needed Guy's burger which was delicious! We also hit the deli and the buffet. Rooms were open early so we enyoyed the jacuzzi. We had all of our dinners at the main dining room. The food is always great though it would be good to have more variety added. The breakfast menu was updated and was a great plus with good variety. We stayed on the ship as we had been to the ports before, so we always had chairs by the pool or at the Santuary. The seas day brunch is well worth any wait! The sea day had rain, but we were easily kept busy on our own, though it would be nice to have more of a variety of games or dance classes. The disembarkation was easy and we were off quickly after an early breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did not have our room cleaned the entire trip due to not trusting the housekeeping staff. Unfortunately my husband left his ring on the bathroom shelf. We made a lost report and they have told us three times they could find it. There is ... Read More
We did not have our room cleaned the entire trip due to not trusting the housekeeping staff. Unfortunately my husband left his ring on the bathroom shelf. We made a lost report and they have told us three times they could find it. There is no way housekeeping could have missed it. It’s unfortunate they hire liars and thieves to clean your room. I am very disappointed in the staff. The food was average and the 24hour pizza tastes like frozen pizza. The drinks were over priced and weak for the value. The entertainment was average and boring. The comedians they hired was the best part of the cruise. We watched all of the shows they provided. The water slides they had were freezing cold so no one was on them. There were weird smells all over the ship so it made us want to be outside the majority of the time Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have sailed on Holland America, Norwegian and now Carnival. This was my 50th birthday cruise to Ensenada Mexico. It left from Long Beach, CA so was easy to get to from Oregon and it was a short cruise which was ideal since I had several ... Read More
I have sailed on Holland America, Norwegian and now Carnival. This was my 50th birthday cruise to Ensenada Mexico. It left from Long Beach, CA so was easy to get to from Oregon and it was a short cruise which was ideal since I had several friends and family coming along. The ship was older and smaller than previous cruises I have been on. There were things to do on board during our "at sea" day (the first full day even though Ensenada was close by). However, none of us could participate in anything because for the first 24 hours of the cruise the ship was pitching and rolling so much we could barely stand upright. I had my parents with me and some of them are beginning to have mobility issues... I know the ship can't control the ocean and I'm not sure what I would have expected Carnival to do, it was just a difficulty we weren't expecting and that I had not experienced before. Aside from the curve ball mother nature threw us, the cruise was "ok". The room was fine but it would have been nice to have something other than the bed to sit on, and a coffee maker would have been appreciated. The food was marginal - the buffet was not large, there were only two other main dining restaurants and we were assigned to one of them. The manu was limited and the portions were small. There was a sandwich bar, a pizza bar - the quality of thes was so-so. There was also a burger place near the pool - that was a GOOD burger! I think my biggest frustration was the service. On previous cruises, the staff treated us like we were the first and only passengers on the ship giving us attention like they wanted us to have a good time. On this Carnival cruise, the staff were just going through the motions and actually avoided eye contact to get out of serving us on a few occasions! Except for the people that wanted us to buy overpriced stuff on board... For the shore excursion we were going to just go into town, but on the bus on the way, they talked us into going to Bufadora and the Flea Market. I'm really glad we did. It was a lot of fun even though in the market there's a lot of pressure from the vendors to buy their wares. All in all this cruise was pretty much what I intended it to be - a quick getaway with a group to celebrate my birthday, but Carnival cruise line in general left me a little disappointed when compared to other cruise lines I have experienced. I can't say I will jump at the chance to book another carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have been on cruises before with Carnival. So, I like Carnival but sometimes its a hit or miss on some cruises if you dont have good staff, So let me kind of tell you the bad news first, 1. When we arrived at the port we were ... Read More
I have been on cruises before with Carnival. So, I like Carnival but sometimes its a hit or miss on some cruises if you dont have good staff, So let me kind of tell you the bad news first, 1. When we arrived at the port we were ready to hand over our luggage to the folks to take it to the ship. However the porters said we dont work for the cruise line but if we take your luggage for you if you give us a tip. We talked to the Carnival representative and they said that our cruise price included luggage transfer to the boat. Apparently the porters were trying to shake down customers for more money. We noticed this problem only at the Long Beach port but not at other ports where the service was excellent. We had to bring our own luggage on board since it appeared if we did not pay...we may not get our luggage if the porter wanted to be mean. He appeared to look like he could screw us since there is no logging of our luggage or proof we gave it to the porter, That was a real drag. 2. My daughter won a prize at giveway for guest in the main lounge. The Cruise Director said it was 200 dollar value. But the stuff in the package was crap necklace that you get for free at the shops. Plus there was a 25 off 175 dollar coupon. The other gifts were free excursions and other valuable gifts. The Cruise director took the cabin number down to investigate but never followed up. The prize was more of an insult to us and the director did not seem to care. This is unlike other cruise directors on other boats. Her assistant also did not care and told her to trade the gift to another person. The gift was worthless so there was nothing to trade. Note this behavior never occurred with other cruise directors who seem more attentive to customers. 3. Cabin service on main deck portholes was horrible. Beds were suppose to be separate and we had to push the steward to make the change even though we booked the rooms that way. We found globs of air on the new towels. When we were moved to a new cabin due to noise issues (see below), the stewards were excellent. This was on the Rivera floor 4. 4. Food was ok. 5. Service at the dinning was excellent from the entire staff. 6. Comedy club and night entertainment was very good, Like I said, most Carnival cruises are very good, Sometimes you don't get a good cruise director or cabin steward and that kind of blows most of your cruise, The real problem is the luggage situation where the porters are trying to intimidate/extort money from passengers when that service should be part of the cruise package, Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I recently moved to the west coast and i wanted to take a vacation before the year was over. After talking to my best friend, i decided to take a cruise. I took the 3 day cruise out of long beach to ensenada. Everything was absolutely ... Read More
I recently moved to the west coast and i wanted to take a vacation before the year was over. After talking to my best friend, i decided to take a cruise. I took the 3 day cruise out of long beach to ensenada. Everything was absolutely amazing. The ship was so organized and the excursion was great. Getting on and off the ship was fast. I booked an excursion with carnival that picked us up right at the port of call and got us back to the ship in ample time. I had a interior port hole cabin on deck 6. I did feel some rocking but it was soothing. The food was delicious and there was always something to do like the divas show and trivia. You get so much for a great price. There was something for everyone like a club, children's activities and even a library that has board games. I will be taking my 5 year old daughter in May. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First cruise. This was a fun trip. I do wish they had a 3 day cruise that just went to Catalina Island and a "fun day at sea". Room: very nice, big, clean, great shower, comfy bed. Nice balcony. Room U88. Food: ... Read More
First cruise. This was a fun trip. I do wish they had a 3 day cruise that just went to Catalina Island and a "fun day at sea". Room: very nice, big, clean, great shower, comfy bed. Nice balcony. Room U88. Food: the food is fine - nothing amazing and nothing horrible. service in the sit down dining rooms is touch and go - they are overworked and underpaid so... - very nice people working on the ship. Burger and mexican food on the Lido deck is always good. Pizza late night is a good choice as well. Did room service once and it was fine and pretty fast - BLT, all good. Drinks: great! we did the cheers package and I just could not get my money's worth because we had two days on land - next time, pay as you go for me! But there were some people on the cruise who were proud of their 15 alcoholic drinks a day record! Cruise Director - Melissa - amazingly hard working woman. she gets the crowd going every time she starts talking. I hope they pay her lots... Catalina Island - just beautiful and so fun shopping and we rented a golf cart. I wish we spent more time on this island. Had to take a tender but no problem at all Ensanada - not my favorite - run down / we did the atv wine trip. they dont tell you it is 40 min to get to the location to do the atv's. the atv's are a blast! lots of fun and a good long ride. the wine tasting is kind of a joke. the winery we were at was "too busy" to give us a tasting so the guy who did the atv tour gave us the tasting and of course he was not an expert but he did his best. nice young man named antonie? the cheese and crackers are very limited- especially with the more people in your atv tour. so atv gets an a+ and the wine/cheese gets a C. They dropped us off in town and we very quickly went back to the ship on board events - very fun! we watched melissa do the "hairy man chest" competition on the lido deck and it was really, really funny! We did bingo (lost but the MC was an english fella who has a good future as a potential cruise director). There are live bands all over the place. GO DO LOTS ON THE SHIP - it is fun and people WANT to have a good time so they are looking to get involved. Download the carnival app - it gives daily "to do's" They take a million pictures of you. Gets tiresome after a while. Stuff goes on sale the last day of the trip! Pool - way too small for 1800 people. I think they fill it up with the sea water so it is chilly. I did not go into pool. I did not use hot tub either. Pool could use an update. Explore the ship - there are some beautiful views. The gym is very nice, lots of machines and clean. We used the wrist bands and never got sick but you can feel the boat moving sometimes. I will never be a cruise person, dont think I could go for more than 4 days, but this was a very fun and relaxing first cruise and I would do it again. Carnival did not dissapoint. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was a spur of the moment cruise just 5 days before sailing, perhaps we should have stayed home. The food at the lido deck was pretty good and they had changes every day.. We ordered lobster every night very good and only 20 dollars ... Read More
This was a spur of the moment cruise just 5 days before sailing, perhaps we should have stayed home. The food at the lido deck was pretty good and they had changes every day.. We ordered lobster every night very good and only 20 dollars extra where can you get a lobster dinner for 20 bucks? the pool warmed up in the afternoons however the guy from Jamaica played rap so loud you could not talk. I went up to him and asked for the music?? to be turned down he said you must hear the music at the bars. I told him we were sitting next to the bar and we could not have a conversation. He turned it down for a minute and cranked it up again. I said I would report him , He said mon I don't give a F.....what you do. This is a great Carnival employee. Our cabin was E80 and located near the atrium the band played loud til 11 pm. Guest services has to yell to be heard by passengers. this is our last time on a short carnival cruise. We are booked on the Sun Princess in Dec for a 7 day Mexico hopefully it will be more enjoyable I am a ship Captain , please don't call a ship a BOAT. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the local getaway booze cruise. Yes the ship is old and small compared to the destination cruises, but this ship is all about getting away for a couple of days. Keep that in mind when going on this ship. My wife and I just ... Read More
This is the local getaway booze cruise. Yes the ship is old and small compared to the destination cruises, but this ship is all about getting away for a couple of days. Keep that in mind when going on this ship. My wife and I just sailed this week. Embarkation and debarkation were easy as can be. Arrive when you are supposed to and you get on the ship very quickly. I think the room was ready in about one hour and our luggage was there within 2 hours. We were able to debark quickly at each port, I think the earlier you go the better. Final day debarking was quick, however we did the late time and enjoyed breakfast first. We had a cabin with porthole. The steward was good and he asked us how often we wanted the room cleaned. We filled out a form and the room was straightened up each morning and evening. The cabin was plenty big for the two of us. The bathroom is actually pretty roomy for a cruise ship. The water pressure on the shower was excellent. There is no luxury here but I think the room was plenty good for interior booking price. You get what you pay for. The food was very good. The portions in the dining room are small, so if you are hungry make sure you order a couple of things. The service was pretty good, a little slow sometimes. We did anytime dining so we had a different server for each meal. The buffet food is mostly good, but some of the dishes were not great. It's just regular buffet food. The pizza counter was actually very good. The Guy Burger joint is great. The pool and hot tub are small and did not look fun. I never went in. I think if I went on the ship intending to swim and lounge at the pool I would be disappointed. The entertainment was pretty good. No where near Disney level, which is the last cruise I went on. They had lots of games during the day which were usually fun. The main shows were OK. I did not care for the Divas show, it was loud and annoying. The Rock Show was much better. The bands / solo performers around the ship were usually pretty good, but not really worth going out of your way for. The comedians were excellent. We even had a close up magician come by our dining table twice. I did not attend any art events or bingo, so I cannot comment on that. The cruise director seemed to be a fairly engaging person, and most of the Fun Squad staff were fun to be around. I did not play any casino games, however the casino looked small and unimpressive. Also the bar next to the casino was sometimes the only bar open late and it was no fun having to smell the smokers. The ship had too many elevators not working when we were on board, which was very annoying. I know it is not that far to walk, but I really think they need to do a better job maintaining the lifts. Just an annoying complaint is that on port days none of the bars on level 9 were open and there were no servers, just the one up on the Lido deck, which was very busy. They should operate one bar on deck 9 just so those that don't want to go into port can easily get drinks. We also got the Cheers package and it was totally worth it. The best thing is you just order pretty much whatever you want. You can try drinks and if you don't like it, no problem just order something else. Also you can get as many water bottles, energy drinks, soda, and specialty coffees that you want. We spaced out our drinking so we never got drunk, however you certainly could if you wanted to. Most of the drinks are plenty strong. I think expectations are important when going on this cruise. If you expect a Disney/Destination cruise experience you might be a little disappointed as this is not a Luxury ship. If you go to have fun and eat and drink for 4 days, you will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just got back from the Sunday-Thursday Carnival Imagination cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. This was our 4th or 5th trip on this cruise in addition to other cruises that were more high end. The cruise has a nickname; "booze ... Read More
Just got back from the Sunday-Thursday Carnival Imagination cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. This was our 4th or 5th trip on this cruise in addition to other cruises that were more high end. The cruise has a nickname; "booze cruise" and it is accurate if you are young and looking to party. If you are new to cruising, you will have a great time. If you are looking for rest and relaxation, you may want to consider other options. PRO: Overall staff was friendly, accommodating and good at their job. Haydee was our primary server in the Pride Dining Room (anytime dining) and she was fantastic. Very warm and hospitable. Old school style cruise server. The food was mediocre at best in the dining room and inexpensive Downtown Vegas style buffet on the Lido deck. This was a great example of "you get what you pay for." We were looking to economize on this cruise and were willing to accept an interior cabin. We upgraded for slightly more money to a room with port holes and it was a good alternative to a cabin with a large window. We were in room E1 and were satisfied. Check in was easy. We spent under $250 on our sign and sail card including gratuities. Again, we were very aware of our budget and were able to keep it that way. CON: Internet was pricey and horrible. Very slow and limited. Although the room was adequate and the steward was friendly (Wayan), he was limited to freshening up our cabin to only once a day unless specifically asked. This is a big change to the personal level of attention experienced cruisers are used to. To me, it says that Carnival has cut back on staff and therefore, the steward does not have time to take care of the guest in a way they once could. Public restrooms frequently needed attention. A subtle clue to the lack of personnel was the lack of trash cans and crew members in the public areas. A lack of trash cans says that there are not enough people to keep them empty and the ship tidy. Meal portions were small and the number of courses were limited from previous. We had a bad experience on one of the nights because the waiter was not supported by other staff and was overworked. It was not his fault but again, speaks to the lack of staff. The Maitre D noticed that we were not happy and made great amends to make up for it. That is where Haydee really shined. Again, not the original servers fault. Our room was ok but my daughter and son-in laws room (R140) was in poor condition with rust, mold and mildew in the bathroom. The bed was made up with stained yellow sheets and the bed, including the pull out bunk, was very uncomfortable. They complained that the walls were thin and they could hear everything coming from other cabins. we also had the experience of smelling the horrible odor of sewage when we disembarked into Catalina and Ensenada. We could smell it in E1 but it was very strong as you came out of the ship. In Ensenada, the photographers held up the line with each passenger so they could take numerous photos for later sale. Each time the line was held up, we would have to breathe in the odor. The photogs should have been positioned elsewhere so we could get away from the smell quickly. Last but not least, I was witness to a near violent episode between passengers in the wee hours of the morning on the Lido Deck. Although it was not surprising, given the alcohol and volatile guests, security failed to arrive even though they were called by another crew member at the Pizza Pirate. This could have been very bad and I had to get involved to keep things from escalating further. Overall, I think this may have been our last time on this cruise. Carnival seems to have cut corners with staffing and the destinations are not appealing. Gratuities are preset and added to your bill regardless of the level of service. That can kill incentive to go above and beyond and tells the guest that they are required to subsidize the crew members salary so Carnival can save money. Overall, I like Carnival but this time only gets 2 stars. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The two Carnival ships that do the short three and four day sails out of Los Angeles are old. So old, in fact, that there are very few balcony rooms. But looking beyond the vintage of the ship(s), my wife and I like these cruises. Here ... Read More
The two Carnival ships that do the short three and four day sails out of Los Angeles are old. So old, in fact, that there are very few balcony rooms. But looking beyond the vintage of the ship(s), my wife and I like these cruises. Here are my notes on our latest Imagination cruise. First, embarkation and debarkation were smooth as silk. Carnival turned this ship around twice a week, and they have it down to an art. Second, we liked our interior cabin. It was good size, the bedding and mattress were nice, and the bathroom was quite large compared to similar inside bathrooms we have encountered on other ships. Third, the food was good. The main dining room courses were consistently well prepared and presented. The Guy Fieri burgers up by the pool were always fresh, hot, and bursting with flavor. Even the pizza at the 24 hour pizza counter was well done. These three things on the Imagination were generally better than their counterparts on Princess, Norwegian, and HAL cruises we have sailed on. Could this all be because there are no pay-extra speciality dining restaurants on the Imagination, and thus Carnival gives its all to the everyday dining? Who knows. Finally, the entertainment on the ship was also good, particularly the comedians. Not surprising, I guess, given the huge amount of talent available in the LA area from which the ships sail. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I'll never cruise with Carnival again. Let me just say, I only chose Carnival because I was vacationing with a group of eight people, and the majority chose Carnival. Personally, I would have chosen another cruise line... But ... Read More
I'll never cruise with Carnival again. Let me just say, I only chose Carnival because I was vacationing with a group of eight people, and the majority chose Carnival. Personally, I would have chosen another cruise line... But that's neither here nor there. Carnaval nickel-and-dime for everything. You can't even get up soft drink on the ship without being charged. Other Cruise Lines don't do that. Alcohol yes... But not a soda. Room service is free...until 10 p.m. Then you're charged. This is just another example of the nickel-and-diming! Also, the souvenir pictures they take of you costs $14 each. Yet another example of nickel-and-diming. For the amount you pay for the cruise you should at least be able to get one picture for free. And the others should be less than $14. Our room was decent. Nothing to write home about. The bathroom so so. But I wasn't expecting much. Once I was in the shower I realize that it wasn't clean the way it should have been. There were dirty fingerprints in the shower. Keep in mind that this was the first night we boarded the ship. Neither I or my roommate had yet taken a shower. So these weren't our fingerprints. Thankfully I brought my own Lysol and cleaned the bathroom myself. That's the only way I knew it would be clean. FYI they don't do a very good job at cleaning your rooms. When we'd leave and come back in the evening, the only thing they did was make your bed and gave you towels... IF AND ONLY IF they're left on the floor. Otherwise they would straighten out the towels that was already there. They didn't vacuum and they didn't change the sheets. Our Last Night of the cruise my party and I went to Pride restaurant. We were told that we could bring in our own bottles of wine. We were also told that there would be a cork fee of $30 if they had to remove the corks. However, if we removed them ourselves there would be no charge. Our server offered us a bucket of ice for our wine. At the very end before serving us dessert, our server told us that we will be charged $30 for a cork fee. Be reminded that they never opened any bottles for us. As a matter of fact two of our bottles were screw tops. We asked to speak with the manager. He arrived at our table with and overt attitude. He wouldn't allow us to explain our situation... And went on to tell us that we were being charged for drinking our wine and their establishment. Hmmm... that's not a cork fee. He never let us get a word in edgewise. He told us that these rules were in the contract. But that's a LIE. The contract does not say that you'll be charged for drinking your own alcohol in any of the restaurants. After his speech he walked away without saying anything else. We sat for another 5 to 10 minutes and another manager came over. His name was Christoph. He was friendly and allowed us to explain the situation. He apologized and said that $30 charge would be removed. However, we were still charged the $30. I had to call Carnival once we returned home from the cruise to get a refund. The last morning of the cruise, we woke up to no water and malfunctioning toilets. The toilet wouldn't flush there was no water in the sink or the showers. I was forced to leave the Ship Without a shower, and had to brush my teeth with the remaining Margarita from the night before. Later we found out that there were busted pipes in some of the the rooms on our floor. I assume that's the reason for no water that morning. But it would have been nice to have received some type of notification. One thing you should know that I did not is that the Imagination ship is an older ship. It's not as big as others. There's one pool and 1 small hot tub to fit about 6 people. We never got into the pool because it was always so crowded and kids splashing everywhere. The hot tub was absolutely disgusting with hair and other things floating around. I made do with what we had. I had a great time with the friends I was with, but I will never cruise with Carnival again. They've put a very bad taste in my mouth! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I went with a large party of 30--lots of kids. The waiters and room service people were awesome. And we tipped them well. However, Carnival is cheap for many reasons. Super tacky decor. Always trying to make money off of you, ... Read More
I went with a large party of 30--lots of kids. The waiters and room service people were awesome. And we tipped them well. However, Carnival is cheap for many reasons. Super tacky decor. Always trying to make money off of you, whether it's interrupting you everywhere you go to take a photo, or shore excursions. Their best price guarantee is worthless, as you must have booked, found a cheaper excursion, and submitted the form 7 days prior to even getting on the boat. (There are definitely the same excursions for half the price!!!) Not only that, but they advertise this best price guarantee while you are on the ship, even though you can't possibly get any money back. I spoke to at least 10 different people about this refund and none of them told me it wasn't possible to get, as I booked our excursions on the cruise. They lied before I booked, as I booked, and after I booked. The first time they mentioned the "7 days prior" rule was three weeks after the cruise, after they directed me to four different emails. Either they are super unorganized or intentionally deceitful. Food was decent, and it's a fun, relatively cheap way to travel. However, because of their TERRIBLE customer service, I will never go with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First time sailing with Carnival, I was a little worried about the many poor reviews found here. But we had a great time with our kids, though I recognize where Carnival could improve. The ship itself is pretty shabby - outdated decor, ... Read More
First time sailing with Carnival, I was a little worried about the many poor reviews found here. But we had a great time with our kids, though I recognize where Carnival could improve. The ship itself is pretty shabby - outdated decor, messy public bathrooms. And it feels SO small compared to the larger Royal Caribbean ships we've been on - certainly more limited options for activities and entertainment. Maybe because of the smaller size, "adult" spots like the bars and casinos are intermingled with the pathway to the dining room, candy store, and more, leaving you to constantly walk with your kids through smoke and the clusters of day drinkers. (On RC, we're usually able to avoid those decks altogether.) But our cabin ended up being quite comfortable, we enjoyed the food at the buffet and dining room, my 17yo *loved* the O2 teen club, and we found plenty to do with our 10yo son (live game show, all ages comedy shows, trivia contests, water slides and pool). We were surprised at how rude our dining room waiters were, and how long it took for dinner (usually about 90 minutes), so that was a drawback. But the food was very good, and we enjoyed trying some new things (spicy alligator fritters and rabbit!). We were also surprised at the poor organization of disembarking at Catalina - wait times to get off the ship were near 2 hours at some points. I have to mention the "Fun Squad" on the ship - bless their hearts. They end up doing some of the cheesiest stuff during shows and dance parties, etc, but they are committed, and I had to give them credit. The performers in the live shows were also very impressive, given that they have to endure some horrible costumes and choreography - we watched the "Epic Rock" show and had to stifle laughs the entire time. But they sang and danced their hearts out, and they deserve kudos for that. Though this cruise lacked a lot of "polish," our family made some great memories together, and I'm glad we went! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My plan on this cruise was to be either drunk or hungover the entire time and to have my wife babysit me. My experience did not disappoint! Seriously though (and I was being serious by the way!) this is a party boat with all kinds of ... Read More
My plan on this cruise was to be either drunk or hungover the entire time and to have my wife babysit me. My experience did not disappoint! Seriously though (and I was being serious by the way!) this is a party boat with all kinds of interesting people so if drinking, tattoos, pink hair, or piercings offend you, don't bother. If you're open minded and looking to have a good time for not a lot of money, this cruise is not bad. Food - I thought it was fine but my wife thought it was terrible. We did breakfast at the buffet every day and it was a solid mix of classic American breakfast foods (it's hard to mess up bacon and sausage!). The burger and burrito spots were also pretty good for lunch. The main dining room was alright but honestly, they should stick to more basic foods. They try to do delicacies like escargot and alligator but did a pretty poor job with those. The fried shrimp was good though! And why even bother having a formal elegant dress night when half the people on the boat probably don't own a suit? Not judging here but just seemed silly. This is a trashy booze cruise (not that there's anything wrong with that!), so why bother trying to make it elegant? Drinks - cocktails were pretty good and reasonably strong overall. A bit overpriced but not too bad for a cruise ship. Do the math on the unlimited drinks package beforehand and see if it makes sense for you and your party! Service was good at the bars around the boat. Amenities- Waterslides were pretty fun for people of all ages, mini golf course could use updating but was alright. Fun to have other games on board as well. The main pool is kind of small and gets crowded during the day with lots of drunk people and little kids (interesting mix!). The 21+ "Serenity" area was ok but too small. Two hot tubs were nice but an adults only pool would have been good. Shows - we went to the "Divas" show and walked out after 20 minutes. It was awful. Didn't try any shows after that. There was a lot of pleasant live music around the boat throughout the day though. Much more talented than the folks in the Divas production! The acoustic guitar player in the main atrium was particularly good. Ports of Call- Catalina is a cute little island but there isn't much to do. There are some quaint shops and eating/drinking spots. You can arrange watersports and activities through the boat or better yet, go to one of the many vendors yourself for a better deal. The beach area near the pier was tiny and overcrowded. No thanks! Ensenada- This was the highlight of our trip. The ATV/Wine Country tour was excellent and highly recommended. The tourist area in the town was cool too. Be sure to check out Hussongs bar for a neat atmosphere, great live music, friendly bartenders, and reasonable prices. And do haggle with the local merchants on the street! Stateroom - Spacious enough and nice porthole view. Our room steward was fantastic. Thanks Erwin! Wifi- Paid 70 dollars for TERRIBLE wifi. I couldn't even get gmail for an entire day. Wifi is never good on cruises but this was PATHETIC. I'd have asked for a refund for my last day's wifi had a I been sober. Misc. - There's a long wait to get off the boat at Catalina and a monstrosity of a line to get through customs after the cruise. Kind of annoying but not a huge problem. Staff were good overall but some were very poorly trained. A guy at the buffet literally picked up my wife's purse, commenting on the style and saying he liked it. She didn't appreciate having a random guy grab her bag, play with it, and make comments about it. People also trying to take your picture EVERYWHERE. I mean they just stick cameras in your face multiple times a day. And then you have to dig through everyone's photos if you actually wanna buy them. BAD SYSTEM and VERY ANNOYING! TLDR - it's a cheap booze cruise that's a solid value. There are lots of trashy people and kids. If you have 5 or more tattoos and are an alcoholic, you'll fit in with the crowd. The food is decent and plentiful but not gourmet at all (and the attempts at gourmet food are SAD.) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Overall, not impressed. The cabin was the worst part of the trip. It was incredibly cramped, the lights would have to sort of warm up and flicker to life on a delay, there was only one power outlet, and the bathroom was very poor. The ... Read More
Overall, not impressed. The cabin was the worst part of the trip. It was incredibly cramped, the lights would have to sort of warm up and flicker to life on a delay, there was only one power outlet, and the bathroom was very poor. The bathroom was so cramped we had to sit mostly sideways on the toilet to use it, and the shower head was busted in two ways. It would constantly swing downward and needed to be held up half the time in use, and the head itself was partially damaged and was spewing a lot of water out of the seams. Also, the walls may as well have been paper. I could hear everything in the hall and the room next door. Every conversation, every person walking down the hall... Every time my neighbors decided to go at it in the bed... The staff was mostly fine, but guest services was not. I went looking for some dramamine and the stores were closed, so I asked guest services about some and they told me to go to the stores. I told them the stores were closed and they told me that they were open. Now, the store that sells dramamine is directly visible from the guest services booth. The gate was closed, the lights were off. I pointed this out and was still told that the store was open. It wasn't. It didn't open for another hour. I didn't use my steward, he seemed like a good guy. Food was okay. The fine dining is quality, but portions were skimpy. I ordered the grilled chicken with red potatoes. Should read Red Potato. The chicken breast was sized okay, but I got half of a typical red potato, cut in half. That's embarrassing. The same portion control was present in the buffet, with premium items like bacon, pork loin, ham, or roast beef. If you asked for any of those, you'd be doled out an extremely small portion, and servers were reluctant to keep cutting you more, though they would if pushed. The breakfast buffet was very unimpressive. Both mornings I tried it, the pancakes were cold, even when I grabbed them right after they were put out. The eggs were cold the first time, and only mildly warm the second. The butter offered is not suitable for use with pancakes or french toast as it is served chilled and is very hard to spread on food that isn't warm to begin with. Some of the amenities that are advertised are a LOT less than Carnival will lead you to believe. The Arcade especially is a total joke. It's by majority very shifty prize games to milk people for money. Very few actual games, and it's all jammed in a very cramped and uninviting space. The Carnival website leads you to believe that their arcades are actual arcades. This doesn't qualify. I've seen run down bowling alleys with more significant arcade offerings. The pool is not large or especially good. THE WI FI IS TERRIBLE. It's extremely expensive, and even with their best, fastest service, I was finding myself without connection over much of the ship, and when I did have connection, it was sloooooooooow. Sub dial up slow at times. It took 11 minutes to load a page, and it didn't even load any images from that page. It's a shameful ripoff. Overall, I don't intend to sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have been on this itinerary before with the Inspiration. The ship was very clean and the staff was excellent. Our waiters made it a point to learn your name right away, the bartenders were very friendly and the staff at the pool made ... Read More
I have been on this itinerary before with the Inspiration. The ship was very clean and the staff was excellent. Our waiters made it a point to learn your name right away, the bartenders were very friendly and the staff at the pool made things fun. Our cabin Steward was always accessible and a real sweetheart (Erwin). Our Cabin was M11. Larger than most cabins on the ship due to its location. We had two portholes and lots of room. We ate in the main dining room most nights and in the MDR for breakfast. All were very good. They did seem to forget something at each meal but not enough to be annoying. We did Chefs Dinner on the last night. I would highly recommend it!! Food was excellent and it was a great way to get to know a bit about behind the scenes. The comedian was very funny and the musicians were great. We did not get a chance to see a show though. We did not get off in Catalina but we did in Ensenada. We took a private tour there ($20) and had a blast. Food was great down there, country side was pretty. It was a great day! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I believe my experience on the 3 day Carnival Imagination (June 21-June 24 '18) was shaped by my previous experience on the 7 day Carnival Splendor (Feb 24- March 3 '18). My first experience set the bar because I honestly had an ... Read More
I believe my experience on the 3 day Carnival Imagination (June 21-June 24 '18) was shaped by my previous experience on the 7 day Carnival Splendor (Feb 24- March 3 '18). My first experience set the bar because I honestly had an amazing time. Everything was great minus a couple things but not enough to change my view of the trip/experience. However, sailing on the Imagination was a nightmare and has led me to rethink any future trips with this cruise company. I will also express to my colleagues and friends my experience in hopes of saving them money and agony of a sub-par experience. The cruise line can truly benefit from having a strong level of consistency and continuity. I endured the following issues on my most recent cruise; as again this was a total opposite experience than my last sailing with carnival: 1. My stateroom was awful. Not cleaned properly and they put the third bed under a table you could not stretch your legs out underneath unless you were 50lbs. The bathroom was not properly cleaned. There were urine stains all over the toilet seat/toilet and shower had soap scum/dirt on the shower floor which can be removed if cleaned properly. ( I used personal gloves, bleach wipes and Clorox spray to clean it properly for my personal use) 2. The food selection at the buffet was very slim and was soggy and cold when being served during dining hours. Hours of the very few food places available where not long enough. 3. The staff aboard the ship was not pleasant nor eager to assist. They presented poor attitudes and an unwillingness to go the extra mile to ensure guest are happy. 4. They didn't allow realistic time frame for activities and games. Also, games were ran by staff who appear to not be engaged with a "I just want to get this over with attitude." They would rush through games and tell us that time is running out so either we can go faster or they would just have to stop the game when the 30 mins was up. (On the Splendor we did not have time restraints, everyone was able to enjoy the game and see it through. Staff was patient on the Splendor) 5. The barista at the coffee cart was very inflexible and unable to provide the customer service required to meet the needs of the patrons. When asked to make certain simple drinks that were being described, the barista responded with "This is not Starbucks". All the patron asked for was a mocha. That requires espresso (which they have), chocolate sauce (which they have), milk (which they have), and whipped cream (which they have). How hard is that. 6. My stateroom did not have a room service menu and after three calls it was not delivered and had not been delivered by the end of the trip. 7. The television in my stateroom did not receive channels that were clear and functioning. Also the remote did not work and after several attempts the staff was unable to sync a remote to the television for late night viewing. 8. The formal dining area lacked the attention and service, again that I received on the Splendor. They served food that was cold and after each course failed to completely clear the table. There were crumbs, sauces and things all over the table but they continued to drop plate after plate. When they delivered the dessert menu, no one came back to take my order but instead brought me whatever they felt they wanted to bring. 9. It was very hard to communicate with a lot of the staff as a lot of the staff was not fluent in English. Repeating words like Yes and No is not a form of communication that is effective nor efficient. 10. The sewer smell throughout this vessel was horrific. I found myself heaving every time I arrived on U deck and in some areas throughout the ship. 11. During sail away they did not have the Sail Away Party on the Lido deck. It was dry and boring. No entertainment coordinator or hype man to get the crowd going. I could go on but I am tired. Will try booking with Princess or Norwegian next. This cruise is like a yellow taxi ride.; overpriced with bad service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I went on this cruise for our 10 year anniversary and we had such a great time! The staff was so nice and welcoming and I love the fact that the employees are from different countries. We didn't take our kids but we ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise for our 10 year anniversary and we had such a great time! The staff was so nice and welcoming and I love the fact that the employees are from different countries. We didn't take our kids but we will take them next time! First off my dinner service team was the best! My service team was Camilo-Team Headwaiter, Octavian and Kadek. Camilo was so welcoming and I loved his personallity, we will always ask for him if he is there next time. We also loved the three bartenders that worked at the bar right before you enter the place where the comedians perform, I can't remember their names but I think they were from Turkey, Ukrain and Columbia but I could be wrong but two guys and one blonde lady. Even our guest services that cleaned our room was friendly! We went on the ATV excursion and they were so good and we had such a blast! The food was good especially the cheeseburgers and I am not even a burger eater! This is a trip that I will never forget and we are defiantely going again real soon. Our cabin number was R25, we want to thank everyone for making this a memoriable trip and I am telling everyone, THANK YOU! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was a surprise graduation cruise for my 18 yr daughter she has been on 19 cruises, I have enjoyed 70 cruises. Carnival called two days before departure and offered an upgrade so we received a nicer cabin. We don't complain the ... Read More
This was a surprise graduation cruise for my 18 yr daughter she has been on 19 cruises, I have enjoyed 70 cruises. Carnival called two days before departure and offered an upgrade so we received a nicer cabin. We don't complain the ship was clean and crew were friendly except our dining waiter he was Chinese and did not enjoy his job,the lobster was $20. 00 so what, where can you buy a lobster dinner for twenty bucks? The spa water was just lukewarm The pool was so cold only the children enjoyed ? It is fun to rent a golf cart in Avalon but the first cart rentals charge $90. walk through town and the rental is $45. for an hour which is plenty of time to cruise the island. Iam a Captain with a 100 ton license PLEASE dont call this ship a boat it is like calling mt everest a hill.The MC at the club was a jerk , I told him the mike was way too loud and he said "so what" We were the second passengers aboard and the first to disembark,nice to be platinum Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We went on this cruise to celebrate our daughter graduating high school! I am actually torn between a 3.5 and a 3.0...but I have to do a 3.0 First, the good parts. It was short. Catalina was amazing. Ensenada was pretty cool too, ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our daughter graduating high school! I am actually torn between a 3.5 and a 3.0...but I have to do a 3.0 First, the good parts. It was short. Catalina was amazing. Ensenada was pretty cool too, but we all loved Catalina the best. What did we do on Catalina? We rented the golf carts for 3 hours. So fun and the best thing to do. After that, we went to town, shopped, and had the BEST LUNCH EVER at the Lobster Trap. Omgosh, it was so good! You just can't go wrong with this place. In Ensenada, my husband picked a "resort"...which was basically a hotel with some fake sand. We spent a few hours..the pool was not heated and again, it was a fake beach. But, we made the best of it. We then went into town and had a great lunch at the El Corralito. So much food and really yummy too. You for sure want to split here. Now, on to the ship. It is a little run down, not horrible, but pretty dated. They have no control over kids. We had a family of like 30 on our floor and the kids were allowed to constantly run around and treat the halls as a playroom. I just really believe staff should nip this. If I need to sneak away and take a nap in MY ROOM, I should be able to without kids running up and down the hall. Some parents suck. Staff needs to monitor the halls better. The food has really gone downhill. We went on Carnival cruises in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Food was really pretty good. However, starting with our 2017 cruise, and now our 2018...not so good. Actually pretty awful. Just feel like the quality has "left the ship". Three people in our group actually had mold on their tortillas. :( They did right and gave those three people a steak dinner the next night...but still...eww. After a 4 night cruise, I was ready to be done with the food. Overall, it is a decent cruise. Short but sweet. Not too long. The ports are fun and cool. Great get away. If you can handle the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to do something with our two college grads and our 17 year old son as well that would be fun as a family and different from other things we had done. I had always wanted to go on a cruise, but I worried that my wife would not ... Read More
We wanted to do something with our two college grads and our 17 year old son as well that would be fun as a family and different from other things we had done. I had always wanted to go on a cruise, but I worried that my wife would not like it and I did not want to be in stuck on a weeklong cruise if she hated it. A three day cruise did not require lots of days from work and it sounded like a good trial cruise. We purchases FTF and it was totally worth it. People were getting upset when I would walk to the front of the line at Guest Services. Debarkation was a bit better as well. The food was so-so. I would describe it as Casino food. It looked amazing, but tastes a bit plasticky. We ate a ton of it and I'm sure gained some pounds. It was fun eating and not worrying about where we would eat etc. Having your room, restaurants, entertainment, etc all travel with you is interesting and cool. All in all, it was a blast. It was expensive as we all needed passports and we purchased an expensive photo package. But we invested in our family and it helped to bond us all together and that is what we were looking for. So it was a huge success. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We went for 3 nights. Dining was great. The chef offered us great meals. Service was great in the dining area. They had different cuisines options as well. We loved Mexican food counter. Pizza was ok not that great but not that great. some ... Read More
We went for 3 nights. Dining was great. The chef offered us great meals. Service was great in the dining area. They had different cuisines options as well. We loved Mexican food counter. Pizza was ok not that great but not that great. some of the waiters and waitress were so helpful. We didn't have fun doing other activities. But night shows were great. People loved Bingo a lot. They stopped on Ensenada. It was not that great place to roam around. We loved cove other than else in Ensenada nothing to see or enjoy for the people who don't drink. We liked gym as well. They had enough types of equipment. Sports park was also good. Water fun what they offer on internet and water fun, in reality, is different. don't go with lots of expectations because what you see on the website looks more exotic than reality. But we enjoy alot for 2 days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

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