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This was my family's first cruise and we loved it. I'm an old (50) dad of a 6 year old and have been looking for a vacation we all could enjoy. I wanted a short cruise to see if we would like it. I read reviews and Carnival was definitely considered "low end" but at less than half the price of the other lines we thought we would give them a try. The room was comfortable and clean. The assigned steward introduced himself and made sure he greeted us all by name every time he saw us. The cruise was full but he straightened our room about three times a day and always left an animal towel at night. They do try to sell you things (drinks, spa treatments, jewelry) but it wasn't a hard sell. One "no thank you" and they didn't ask again. My kid loved the cruise. He had the waterworks and twister slide, putt-putt golf and Camp Ocean. We loved Camp Ocean as much as him. It afforded us some guilt free time to enjoy the comedians and other adult only offerings. My wife was a little jealous that he wanted to spend so much time away from us. Excursions for such a short cruise weren't great. We're from SoCal so Catalina Island wasn't as fun with 2000 people as it is without and Ensenada is about 70 miles from Tijuana which means it's South Tijuana. Dining was good. Buffets were good for buffets but take advantage of the dining room. We ordered multiple appetizers and entrees just to try. Seaday brunch (in the dining room) was good too. Food prepared to order was excellent. Room service is lacking but we were never hungry so we only used it for the kid and coffee and desserts. My excellent review is base on value. This cruise had everything we were looking for and I'm already planning our next one. We are staying with Carnival for the price for everything we want.

First time and loved it

Carnival Imagination Cruise Review by Studly93555

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my family's first cruise and we loved it. I'm an old (50) dad of a 6 year old and have been looking for a vacation we all could enjoy. I wanted a short cruise to see if we would like it. I read reviews and Carnival was definitely considered "low end" but at less than half the price of the other lines we thought we would give them a try. The room was comfortable and clean. The assigned steward introduced himself and made sure he greeted us all by name every time he saw us. The cruise was full but he straightened our room about three times a day and always left an animal towel at night. They do try to sell you things (drinks, spa treatments, jewelry) but it wasn't a hard sell. One "no thank you" and they didn't ask again. My kid loved the cruise. He had the waterworks and twister slide, putt-putt golf and Camp Ocean. We loved Camp Ocean as much as him. It afforded us some guilt free time to enjoy the comedians and other adult only offerings. My wife was a little jealous that he wanted to spend so much time away from us. Excursions for such a short cruise weren't great. We're from SoCal so Catalina Island wasn't as fun with 2000 people as it is without and Ensenada is about 70 miles from Tijuana which means it's South Tijuana. Dining was good. Buffets were good for buffets but take advantage of the dining room. We ordered multiple appetizers and entrees just to try. Seaday brunch (in the dining room) was good too. Food prepared to order was excellent. Room service is lacking but we were never hungry so we only used it for the kid and coffee and desserts. My excellent review is base on value. This cruise had everything we were looking for and I'm already planning our next one. We are staying with Carnival for the price for everything we want.
Studly93555’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Service
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6E E168
Comfortable room. Carnival travel guy called after I booked and suggested that I changed to this room because port side is usually facing ports so there is more to see. Location near the rear elevator which opens up right at the restaurants so I was always bringing food back for the wife and kid.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catalina Island (California)
    Quaint little island village but is overloaded with 2000 people from a cruise ship visiting it. Golf cart rental is recommended to get away but even then there was a caravan of golf carts on the roads.
    View All 228 Catalina Island (California) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Catalina Island (California) Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    Took the topless bus tour just for a ride into town. Drove around showing the significant points of interest. You know it's bad when the nicest buildings are stinkholes. Drops you in the shopping district for an hour before returning to ship. That was about 55 minutes too long.
    View All 24 City Tour Reviews
  • faster 2 the fun
    I'm reluctant to mention this as a limited number are available and I plan on using this every time. Priority embarkation bypasses a Disneyland sized line for check in and they escort you off to your own baggage area for debarkation. Priority boarding on a tender to Catalina meant no waiting. Didn't use the private line to guest services or priority dinner reservations.
    View All 13,150 faster 2 the fun Reviews