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Carnival Imagination Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
685 Reviews

You Get What You Pay For

Carnival Imagination Cruise Review by Mrsmouse61

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View

Review of Carnival Imagination

Sail date 2/2/20

Room type – Ocean View – Empress Deck – E135

My young adult daughter and my late 50-year-old self-took the Imagination to celebrate her bday and to just enjoy some time to ourselves. Why we chose this line and specific cruise:

1. We’ve always cruised Carnival (we’re gold)

2. Port is quick hour flight from our home

3. Very cost friendly and she was paying her own way

4. Just right amount of days (4)

Embark was a breeze out of Port of Long Beach – we literally just walked on – we had 12 – 12:30 check in time but were earlier. Although we carried our luggage on flight – we decided to check at port – I might just keep my luggage with me next time although we did receive within 2 hours of embark. We didn’t realize at the time but you walk on the ship on the Empress deck which was where our room was. We headed to the Lido to wait out the 1:30 cabin access time and grabbed a quick bite at the well-appointed buffet; and noted the Guy’s Burgers for future enjoyment. Lido was booming the welcome music and Ben-your-cruise-director – was making periodic welcome announcements and updates.

As this was my first Ocean view cabin vs balcony, I was a bit worried about the space however was pleasantly surprised at the room especially as we had our twin beds made into an L shape which left the middle of the room open. Nice, large (albeit could have used a wash) window and usual appointments in cabin and bathroom – as this wasn’t our first rodeo, I knew to bring a small usb hub for multi charging. Beds were very fluffy and comfy and as it was a bit chilly, we asked our steward for comfy blankets and he brought very soft, blue fleece ones for us to use. Was a bit dismayed to find a small pipe in one of the drawers and some used gum under one of the closets - but, I realized we were not on a luxury line and didn’t let this bother me too over much as I know how little time the stewards have to turn these rooms (and no – I was not tempted to keep either item). Room was midship and the deck was perfect – not noisy above and easy to get around from location.

As day 1 was Super Bowl, Carnival had several tv screens on around ship and had set up the large Dynasty showroom with buffet and bar and had the game on the big screen. Muster was delayed accordingly until 8:30 and was very brief. We received sad news that due to high winds, we were not going to be able to visit Catalina the next day (it is a tender port and thus, small craft advisories prevent visiting – make a note for those going in Winter/Spring – and, in fact, were not going to leave Long Beach until morning – as this was the port we were most excited about, we were very sad however decided to make best of it and scheduled an excursion for Ensenada and I booked a “top to Toe” spa treatment for my daughter as she was gifted a $50.00 spa gift card via Carnival delivered to our cabin. We were refunded our port fees for Catalina but no other compensation – I did note one couple demanding their money back at Customer Service desk – luggage in hand -

Other areas to note:

• The excursion we booked was the Bufadora Adventure (?) – while a very nice tour and we had a very nice but beware – you must run the gauntlet of aggressive vendors to get to the blowhole and also are shown what is touted as a wildlife conservatory with baby tigers but is nothing of the sort and is just a sad use of animals as entertainment – and although the baby tigers looked healthy it was just sad. We alerted Carnival to this and as of now, we have not received a response to our request, onboard at the excursion desk, they indicated we were not supposed to have been taken to this or had to ensure the stores. Who knows if this is accurate?

• Dining room – mediocre at best – food just isn’t good. Soups however are amazing – broccoli cheddar and steak/ale amazing

• Ship overall – ship is older and it shows – but I wasn’t expecting much so wasn’t disappointed. I’m not sure I’d choose this for my first cruise but for our purposes of a short get-away – it was just fine.

• We carried off our luggage and had early departure due to flight time – got in line at 7:00 and were off ship by 7:30 and at John Wayne by 8.

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Cabin Review

Ocean View

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Blowhole Walking Tour

would have rated much higher if not for the aggressive vendors and the fake tiger conservation merchants making money off of baby tigers -

View All 82 Blowhole Walking Tour Reviews

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