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Jr Suite V1 After a hectic first quarter and busy second quarter my friend and I wanted a quick break before Summer rates start going sky high and our workload increases. About three weeks out as luck or good yield management would have it we got a special inside Casino rate for the May 31st to June 4th sailing out of Long Beach, California. So we booked it under an inside guarantee and got assigned a nice inside mid ship cabin on Main (Deck 5) Midship next to the elevators which is find for a budget summer cruise. We were assigned a 2:30 Pm to 4:00 Pm boarding time and the ship was pretty full except for the Grand Suites and Jr Suites so we decided to purchase Faster to the Fun which meets at 11:00 am and boards as soon as the ship is cleared for boarding. Two days before sailing we got the Upsell call to move from Inside Main M145 to Veranda Jr. Suite V1 for a low $200 flat fee. Since I was at work I asked about the features of the suite while I got on my tablet and looked over the deck plans I downloaded for my October 2014 sailing. I asked a few more question while I looked up the reviews for the statement room and saw that most people hate V1, V3 Starboard and V2, V4 Portside since people on the bridge observation deck can see in to the rooms and the balconies are small. I said we'll gladly take the upgrade and did my happy dance at the cube farm. After carefully reviewing Carnival's policies we cancelled Faster to the Fun since the benefits for Suite class passengers is early embarkation and debarkation which we want and don't really need early tender tickets since our on Catalina Island we would sleep in and use a third party vendor to save a few bucks. Carnival Imagination is an older Fantasy Class vessel built around 1995 and is a stretched version of the Tropicale; which in the 1980's was based on classic Transatlantic Ocean Liners. Veranda Deck is home to the lifeboats/tenders and reminds me of classic boat decks except the deck doesn't completely wrap around the whole ship but is nice for pre dinner strolls or late night walks. The lack of balcony staterooms and Single Deck Dining Rooms with a galley in the middle date this design and causing some confusion among first time cruisers. However, Carnival Imagination is a well maintained ship and has some of the Fun Ship 2.0 features like the Water Park, and Ship Wide WiFi for only $5.00 per day which is similar to land based budget hotels. The public spaces are well maintained and sort of Retro Cool now that the 1980's are cool again. Food and beverages onboard are standard for the industry and on par with what you would find in Business Class or at a Downtown Hotel catering to Business travellers. Formal night featured Prime Rib and North Atlantic Lobster Tails, while Fillet Mignon appears at the SeaDay Brunch and at one of the nightly MDR meals as beef tenderloin roast. We enjoyed a Canape tray pre ordered from the Bon Voyage shop and room service delivered with it. Both times we did room service our orders were correct and service was quick and friendly (Tipped each time same server). The Lido deck buffet was decent to good and offered several different items each day for lunch and dinner. The Mid-Night Mexican Buffet was small compared to the extravagance of the past, but since we chose late seating it would have been a waste of food for us. Still it was nice to see sugar sculptures, fruit craving, one ice craving, and flower arrangements made up of food. The hot food looked ok but the desserts stole the show so I tried a little of the flan which was light airy and delicious. Tea Time on the Sea Day was a causal American style service. With lots of dessert options and only two types of finger sandwiches, still it is nice. The Chef's Table was a culinary adventure and well worth the cover charge plus gratitude, so to me it's like doing and excursion and includes a group photo. We still talk about that magical evening and our favorite courses. Entertainment onboard was geared to a younger crowd the new cast was good but still need to fine tune some of the dances during Epic Rock and Divas. The comedies were fun and tended to engage the crowd, so they both did a little insult comedy which can either be funny or a turn off. I found them both good but not for kids due to contend. The nightclub was packed at night, as was Karaoke. The hairy chest contest was funny to watch but it depends on the personality of the contestants. The Casino was busy at night and the tables were crowded most of the time. Not much enrichment on board but that's not why we go on Carnival. The passengers on board this start of summer cruise consisted of mostly of passengers between 18 - 50 about 55%, with children 17 and under the second largest group around 30%, and 50 and over around 15%. This cruise is close to the high season and one of the officers mentioned there were 2018 passengers onboard this sailing. Most of the passengers were from the western states however several hundred were form aboard including a large group from China, and a tour group from New Zealand. Due to the young average age the decks were still busy after midnight and things didn't really die down until after two in the morning. Stateroom V1 is Junior Suite starboard side and is spacious and contemporary. The leatherette sofa is comfortable as are the beds. The bathroom is a little bigger than the standard rooms so there's room to shave but it still has a clingy shower curtain. There is plenty of closet space and a small fridge and bar. The nightstand/vanity is big and has two US outlets and one EU outlet still needed a power strip for all our electronic devises that we didn't really use. There are stairs from the Lido deck to the Bridge Observation deck right outside the room, also people and the Upper Bridge wings can look into the cabin. For security we kept the door locked when we weren't in the suite. Most of the time when we were in the room we kept the shades open the air valve closed and the balcony door open to enjoy the fresh Pacific air. Two things different about RCL is that the AC can be shut off and most RCL balcony cabins have sliding doors that can be locked in the open position. My friend and I liked V1 the people watching from our cabin was cool but we really loved V1, especially on speedo day and borat day. The balcony on V1 is tiny compared to newer builds but is still a nice place to have coffee and juice in the mornings with an old fashioned newspaper while just wearing the soft comfortable bathrobe and watching the sea. Overall this spring/summer cruise was amazing the crew was friendly and professional. Our tablemates were well matched. The Excursions were fun and geared toward my market segment. I was greeted by name by most crew members who I interacted with (Bar staff, Serenity Deck, MDR, Cabin Attendant, Entertainment Staff, Gym/Spa, Chef's Table) I felt like I was on Celebrity Cruise instead of Carnival (and at 1/4 the price). I'm wondering if they track me as good as the airlines and Las Vegas Casino do? Well the service is much better on Cruise Ship than on land at least for me. Wine Country ATV Adventure First business; it's a Carnival backed tour so if something goes wrong the company will know right away especially in a foreign country the adult side of me likes that piece of mind and assurance. The operation is new and the ride is around and in El Cielo (Ranch) in Valle De Guadalupe a 30 to 45 minute ride North of the port. Once there Miguel 1 and Miguel 2 (two guys named Miguel) spent 20 minutes showing us the new semi automatic Honda ATVs. After that we went on an hour long ride around the Ranch and along the countryside on dirt roads and easy trails. Half of the people in our group were new to ATVs and everyone was under 50 which is cool so those of us with Miguel 1 could hit full throttle and power up and down the hills. My homeboy was with Miguel 2 since he hadn't ridden one in ten years. He had a good time if a little slower. It's the dry season when we went I only wished it had rained the day before or during so we could get muddy. The wine tasting was cool in the cellar of El Cielo, which looks likes a modern Napa Valley winery but an excellent value. They matched the wines with local cheeses and fresh baked breads. I a pick up a couple of good bottles of Merlot for $20.00 US. This was almost a perfect excursion for me, to be perfect throw in some cigars, skeet shooting and/or target practise than it would really be Awesome. After all Beavis and Butthead said, "ATF Rules, Alcohol, Tobacco and FIRE-Arms!" (plus ATVS)

Budget cruise turns into dream cruise for one third the price.

Carnival Imagination Cruise Review by IEBear

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2015
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite
Jr Suite V1

After a hectic first quarter and busy second quarter my friend and I wanted a quick break before Summer rates start going sky high and our workload increases. About three weeks out as luck or good yield management would have it we got a special inside Casino rate for the May 31st to June 4th sailing out of Long Beach, California. So we booked it under an inside guarantee and got assigned a nice inside mid ship cabin on Main (Deck 5) Midship next to the elevators which is find for a budget summer cruise. We were assigned a 2:30 Pm to 4:00 Pm boarding time and the ship was pretty full except for the Grand Suites and Jr Suites so we decided to purchase Faster to the Fun which meets at 11:00 am and boards as soon as the ship is cleared for boarding.

Two days before sailing we got the Upsell call to move from Inside Main M145 to Veranda Jr. Suite V1 for a low $200 flat fee. Since I was at work I asked about the features of the suite while I got on my tablet and looked over the deck plans I downloaded for my October 2014 sailing. I asked a few more question while I looked up the reviews for the statement room and saw that most people hate V1, V3 Starboard and V2, V4 Portside since people on the bridge observation deck can see in to the rooms and the balconies are small.

I said we'll gladly take the upgrade and did my happy dance at the cube farm. After carefully reviewing Carnival's policies we cancelled Faster to the Fun since the benefits for Suite class passengers is early embarkation and debarkation which we want and don't really need early tender tickets since our on Catalina Island we would sleep in and use a third party vendor to save a few bucks.

Carnival Imagination is an older Fantasy Class vessel built around 1995 and is a stretched version of the Tropicale; which in the 1980's was based on classic Transatlantic Ocean Liners. Veranda Deck is home to the lifeboats/tenders and reminds me of classic boat decks except the deck doesn't completely wrap around the whole ship but is nice for pre dinner strolls or late night walks. The lack of balcony staterooms and Single Deck Dining Rooms with a galley in the middle date this design and causing some confusion among first time cruisers. However, Carnival Imagination is a well maintained ship and has some of the Fun Ship 2.0 features like the Water Park, and Ship Wide WiFi for only $5.00 per day which is similar to land based budget hotels. The public spaces are well maintained and sort of Retro Cool now that the 1980's are cool again.

Food and beverages onboard are standard for the industry and on par with what you would find in Business Class or at a Downtown Hotel catering to Business travellers. Formal night featured Prime Rib and North Atlantic Lobster Tails, while Fillet Mignon appears at the SeaDay Brunch and at one of the nightly MDR meals as beef tenderloin roast. We enjoyed a Canape tray pre ordered from the Bon Voyage shop and room service delivered with it. Both times we did room service our orders were correct and service was quick and friendly (Tipped each time same server). The Lido deck buffet was decent to good and offered several different items each day for lunch and dinner. The Mid-Night Mexican Buffet was small compared to the extravagance of the past, but since we chose late seating it would have been a waste of food for us. Still it was nice to see sugar sculptures, fruit craving, one ice craving, and flower arrangements made up of food. The hot food looked ok but the desserts stole the show so I tried a little of the flan which was light airy and delicious. Tea Time on the Sea Day was a causal American style service. With lots of dessert options and only two types of finger sandwiches, still it is nice. The Chef's Table was a culinary adventure and well worth the cover charge plus gratitude, so to me it's like doing and excursion and includes a group photo. We still talk about that magical evening and our favorite courses.

Entertainment onboard was geared to a younger crowd the new cast was good but still need to fine tune some of the dances during Epic Rock and Divas. The comedies were fun and tended to engage the crowd, so they both did a little insult comedy which can either be funny or a turn off. I found them both good but not for kids due to contend. The nightclub was packed at night, as was Karaoke. The hairy chest contest was funny to watch but it depends on the personality of the contestants. The Casino was busy at night and the tables were crowded most of the time. Not much enrichment on board but that's not why we go on Carnival.

The passengers on board this start of summer cruise consisted of mostly of passengers between 18 - 50 about 55%, with children 17 and under the second largest group around 30%, and 50 and over around 15%. This cruise is close to the high season and one of the officers mentioned there were 2018 passengers onboard this sailing. Most of the passengers were from the western states however several hundred were form aboard including a large group from China, and a tour group from New Zealand. Due to the young average age the decks were still busy after midnight and things didn't really die down until after two in the morning.

Stateroom V1 is Junior Suite starboard side and is spacious and contemporary. The leatherette sofa is comfortable as are the beds. The bathroom is a little bigger than the standard rooms so there's room to shave but it still has a clingy shower curtain. There is plenty of closet space and a small fridge and bar. The nightstand/vanity is big and has two US outlets and one EU outlet still needed a power strip for all our electronic devises that we didn't really use. There are stairs from the Lido deck to the Bridge Observation deck right outside the room, also people and the Upper Bridge wings can look into the cabin. For security we kept the door locked when we weren't in the suite. Most of the time when we were in the room we kept the shades open the air valve closed and the balcony door open to enjoy the fresh Pacific air. Two things different about RCL is that the AC can be shut off and most RCL balcony cabins have sliding doors that can be locked in the open position. My friend and I liked V1 the people watching from our cabin was cool but we really loved V1, especially on speedo day and borat day. The balcony on V1 is tiny compared to newer builds but is still a nice place to have coffee and juice in the mornings with an old fashioned newspaper while just wearing the soft comfortable bathrobe and watching the sea.

Overall this spring/summer cruise was amazing the crew was friendly and professional. Our tablemates were well matched. The Excursions were fun and geared toward my market segment. I was greeted by name by most crew members who I interacted with (Bar staff, Serenity Deck, MDR, Cabin Attendant, Entertainment Staff, Gym/Spa, Chef's Table) I felt like I was on Celebrity Cruise instead of Carnival (and at 1/4 the price). I'm wondering if they track me as good as the airlines and Las Vegas Casino do? Well the service is much better on Cruise Ship than on land at least for me.

Wine Country ATV Adventure

First business; it's a Carnival backed tour so if something goes wrong the company will know right away especially in a foreign country the adult side of me likes that piece of mind and assurance. The operation is new and the ride is around and in El Cielo (Ranch) in Valle De Guadalupe a 30 to 45 minute ride North of the port.

Once there Miguel 1 and Miguel 2 (two guys named Miguel) spent 20 minutes showing us the new semi automatic Honda ATVs. After that we went on an hour long ride around the Ranch and along the countryside on dirt roads and easy trails. Half of the people in our group were new to ATVs and everyone was under 50 which is cool so those of us with Miguel 1 could hit full throttle and power up and down the hills. My homeboy was with Miguel 2 since he hadn't ridden one in ten years. He had a good time if a little slower.

It's the dry season when we went I only wished it had rained the day before or during so we could get muddy.

The wine tasting was cool in the cellar of El Cielo, which looks likes a modern Napa Valley winery but an excellent value. They matched the wines with local cheeses and fresh baked breads. I a pick up a couple of good bottles of Merlot for $20.00 US.

This was almost a perfect excursion for me, to be perfect throw in some cigars, skeet shooting and/or target practise than it would really be Awesome.

After all Beavis and Butthead said, "ATF Rules, Alcohol, Tobacco and FIRE-Arms!" (plus ATVS)
IEBear’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin JS V1
Stateroom V1 is Junior Suite starboard side and is spacious and contemporary. The leatherette sofa is comfortable as are the beds. The bathroom is a little bigger than the standard rooms so there's room to shave but it still has a clingy shower curtain. There is plenty of closet space and a small fridge and bar. The nightstand/vanity is big and has two US outlets and one EU outlet still needed a power strip for all our electronic devises that we didn't really use. There are stairs from the Lido deck to the Bridge Observation deck right outside the room, also people and the Upper Bridge wings can look into the cabin. For security we kept the door locked when we weren't in the suite. Most of the time when we were in the room we kept the shades open the air valve closed and the balcony door open to enjoy the fresh Pacific air. Two things different about RCL is that the AC can be shut off and most RCL balcony cabins have sliding doors that can be locked in the open position. My friend and I liked V1 the people watching from our cabin was cool but we really loved V1, especially on speedo day and borat day. The balcony on V1 is tiny compared to newer builds but is still a nice place to have coffee and juice in the mornings with an old fashioned newspaper while just wearing the soft comfortable bathrobe and watching the sea.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • ATV Tour
    Wine Country ATV Adventure
    First business; it's a Carnival backed tour so if something goes wrong the company will know right away especially in a foreign country the adult side of me likes that piece of mind and assurance. The operation is new and the ride is around and in El Cielo (Ranch) in Valle De Guadalupe a 30 to 45 minute ride North of the port.
    Once there Miguel 1 and Miguel 2 (two guys named Miguel) spent 20 minutes showing us the new semi automatic Honda ATVs. After that we went on an hour long ride around the Ranch and along the countryside on dirt roads and easy trails. Half of the people in our group were new to ATVs and everyone was under 50 which is cool so those of us with Miguel 1 could hit full throttle and power up and down the hills. My homeboy was with Miguel 2 since he hadn't ridden one in ten years. He had a good time if a little slower.
    It's the dry season when we went I only wished it had rained the day before or during so we could get muddy.
    The wine tasting was cool in the cellar of El Cielo, which looks likes a modern Napa Valley winery but an excellent value. They matched the wines with local cheeses and fresh baked breads. I a pick up a couple of good bottles of Merlot for $20.00 US.
    This was almost a perfect excursion for me, to be perfect throw in some cigars, skeet shooting and/or target practise than it would really be Awesome.
    After all Beavis and Butthead said, "ATF Rules, Alcohol, Tobacco and FIRE-Arms!" (plus ATVS)
    View All 10 ATV Tour Reviews