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I'm not sure where all the bad reviews come from, but Carnival ROCKS! Their staff is en pointe! They anticipated my every need. I traveled alone and every staff member I encountered made sure I felt special. The food was fabulous! The buffet does shut down just before lunch, to turn it over, so be aware. Each buffet has a theme, such as American, French, Italian. They don't run out of food either. It was so pleasant to take a plate and find a seat outside to enjoy the ocean view for a leisurely brunch. The main dining room is mouth watering! Just the right amount of choices for your 3 course dinner. And feel free to get one of everything if you want. I didn't have dinner reservations and only had to wait about 10 mins for a table on the last night (due to my timing)The spa staff exceptional! Make sure you get the manager special from the spa tour on Embarkation day. Worth every penny. The Elemis products are top notch. The only down side is that the jogging track is right above the spa treatment rooms, and you can hear people running. But, its not intolerable. OH, and you can get a spa robe to use in your cabin, like to wear to and from the pool/jacuzzi. So be sure to ask for one. Can I possibly put any more '!!' in this review? The ship was nice and clean. The decor is a little Vegasy, and a wee bit dated. They did deck it out for Christmas, which I hadn't anticipated. And the Christmas decor was pretty. There are easy to read maps at every elevator and most stairwells, so its hard to get lost. This was my 1st cruise and I'm ever so glad I went. Lots of fun stuff to do, from shows, to bingo to trivia games. Tons of raffles to enter, chances to win prizes. The Fun shops are pretty well stocked with Carnival shirts and keychains. There are even some toys for the kids. The jewelry shop is popular. Very sparkly. Make sure to go on the 1st day and enter all the raffles. I'm not convinced the prices are all they promise, but you can say you got your watch on the ship, right? The casino is a nice size and offers slots and table games. They allow smoking in the Casino, but to be honest, the smoke is very well filtered. It was no worse than any large Vegas casino room. I didn't gamble, but know it's only available while at sea (laws, I guess) Bingo is a hoot! Its very interactive. The Yahtzee and Hasbro games for the kiddies are very entertaining. I dare you not to smile! I enjoyed the live shows too. Very generic and family friendly. Songs you know and costumes that don't make you blush. There is a PG and R rated comedy show. I only went to the PG show and it did make me laugh. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Carnival really tries to keep the lines to a minimum. The tender to Catalina is very quick. They run at least 2 boats back and forth so you can expect to wait no more than about 15 minutes. Coming back took about 45 mins all told. Go on the Undersea Boat tour on Catalina. I loved seeing all the fish! Also rented a Golf cart and toured the island. You can do the whole route in an hour, so don't spend extra on that. Shopping is a little lacking , but I still managed to stop in just about every single store. Mostly typical tourist kitch, like Tshirts and magnets. Prices are normal, too. I really cant find anything good to say about Ensenada, unfortunately. There is a small pavillion right on the dock, so you can jump off the ship, buy a doodad, and get right back on (like I did). The view from the dock is lacking and to be honest, only after dark was the view worthy of even a picture. Carnival does a nice Disembarking presentation, so if its your 1st cruise, you don't want to miss it. Lots of good information and it really made leaving much easier. Took about an hour to get off the ship. OH and the Carnival bus to and from the airport is a must! So stress free! No traffic, no hassle, no parking, no worries.

Exceeded all my expectations

Carnival Imagination Cruise Review by cnoevil

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Porthole
I'm not sure where all the bad reviews come from, but Carnival ROCKS! Their staff is en pointe! They anticipated my every need. I traveled alone and every staff member I encountered made sure I felt special. The food was fabulous! The buffet does shut down just before lunch, to turn it over, so be aware. Each buffet has a theme, such as American, French, Italian. They don't run out of food either. It was so pleasant to take a plate and find a seat outside to enjoy the ocean view for a leisurely brunch. The main dining room is mouth watering! Just the right amount of choices for your 3 course dinner. And feel free to get one of everything if you want. I didn't have dinner reservations and only had to wait about 10 mins for a table on the last night (due to my timing)The spa staff exceptional! Make sure you get the manager special from the spa tour on Embarkation day. Worth every penny. The Elemis products are top notch. The only down side is that the jogging track is right above the spa treatment rooms, and you can hear people running. But, its not intolerable. OH, and you can get a spa robe to use in your cabin, like to wear to and from the pool/jacuzzi. So be sure to ask for one. Can I possibly put any more '!!' in this review? The ship was nice and clean. The decor is a little Vegasy, and a wee bit dated. They did deck it out for Christmas, which I hadn't anticipated. And the Christmas decor was pretty. There are easy to read maps at every elevator and most stairwells, so its hard to get lost. This was my 1st cruise and I'm ever so glad I went. Lots of fun stuff to do, from shows, to bingo to trivia games. Tons of raffles to enter, chances to win prizes. The Fun shops are pretty well stocked with Carnival shirts and keychains. There are even some toys for the kids. The jewelry shop is popular. Very sparkly. Make sure to go on the 1st day and enter all the raffles. I'm not convinced the prices are all they promise, but you can say you got your watch on the ship, right? The casino is a nice size and offers slots and table games. They allow smoking in the Casino, but to be honest, the smoke is very well filtered. It was no worse than any large Vegas casino room. I didn't gamble, but know it's only available while at sea (laws, I guess) Bingo is a hoot! Its very interactive. The Yahtzee and Hasbro games for the kiddies are very entertaining. I dare you not to smile! I enjoyed the live shows too. Very generic and family friendly. Songs you know and costumes that don't make you blush. There is a PG and R rated comedy show. I only went to the PG show and it did make me laugh. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Carnival really tries to keep the lines to a minimum. The tender to Catalina is very quick. They run at least 2 boats back and forth so you can expect to wait no more than about 15 minutes. Coming back took about 45 mins all told. Go on the Undersea Boat tour on Catalina. I loved seeing all the fish! Also rented a Golf cart and toured the island. You can do the whole route in an hour, so don't spend extra on that. Shopping is a little lacking , but I still managed to stop in just about every single store. Mostly typical tourist kitch, like Tshirts and magnets. Prices are normal, too. I really cant find anything good to say about Ensenada, unfortunately. There is a small pavillion right on the dock, so you can jump off the ship, buy a doodad, and get right back on (like I did). The view from the dock is lacking and to be honest, only after dark was the view worthy of even a picture. Carnival does a nice Disembarking presentation, so if its your 1st cruise, you don't want to miss it. Lots of good information and it really made leaving much easier. Took about an hour to get off the ship. OH and the Carnival bus to and from the airport is a must! So stress free! No traffic, no hassle, no parking, no worries.
cnoevil’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Porthole
Cabin PT m30
Pleasantly surprised at how nice the cabin was. I loved the glasswear (as opposed to disposable plastic cups) The shower gel is really nice smelling. I loved my little port hole view. The bed was as comfortable as any high end hotel. The TV offers a couple views of the ship, along with updates on whats going on, whats coming up, where to eat, shop, etc. The bathroom is just the right size for 1 person. I loved the shower water pressure. The water is just hot enough. I love all the different lights. There are overhead, headboard, and mirror lights. There's even a master light switch right on the headboard to turn them all OFF without getting up! Plenty of closet space and lots of hangers . I didn't feel crowded at all.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Semi-Sub Adventure
    It was fun. Go early when there are less people on the small boat. Lots and lots of fish to see. The captain offers some history during the topside trip back to shore.
    View All 11 Semi-Sub Adventure Reviews