4 Miami to Mexican Riviera Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

We decided several months ago to take a family Thanksgiving cruise. We felt a cruise was a great option for us to have fun and great food. We don't think the cruise ship was on the same page. The embarkation process was good and ... Read More
We decided several months ago to take a family Thanksgiving cruise. We felt a cruise was a great option for us to have fun and great food. We don't think the cruise ship was on the same page. The embarkation process was good and ran very smooth. Our bags showed up quickly after our arrival to our room. So everything started out well. Then we actually went into our rooms on Riviera deck. (Not the best room level but we figured we only needed to sleep in there) Both rooms were previously confirmed as king beds. But both had split singles. Which they eventually pushed together to make kings. The sheets were never changed even after multiple calls / requests to the steward and to guest services. One of the rooms wreaked of smoke even though there was a firm no smoking policy. The other room had an increasing stench coming from the drain that only got worse. The ship was oversold due to the Thanksgiving holiday so moving was not an option. The staff was gracious and apologetic, but we had to live with the issues. I quantify this review (which there is more to follow) as not just a disgruntled complainer, but an honest account of our personal experience and wish to share with others deciding. Overall the staff is just complacent and not giving you that special welcome feeling but rather an "oh great another 2000 people to clean up after" . We expected to feel like VIP guests but felt more like the relatives that stay too long. I have been on cruises in the past and one of the things you look forward to are the shows. Vegas style productions or funny comedy shows. These shows were worse than a Simon Cowell slam of a cruise ship show. The comedians bombed and the review shows were must sad to watch. Peoples faces were more fun to watch. The game show "shows" were fun . For some but not the Vegas style review shows that I remember on cruises. But maybe this is what carnival feels is entertainment I know most reviews talk about food it is what people expect on cruises. But I also remember the buffets to have shrimp and chocolate fountains. And the sundae bars were actual ice cream sundaes with all the fixins not just a soft serve ice cream cone with no toppings and was melted right out of the machine more often than not The 24 hour pizza was awesome and we ate there most often. Even after we had already had dinner in either the buffet or restaurant. Both had mediocre food at best. But Iynoman our waiter was great to us. (Not all negative as I said. Just being honest. And giving credit where credit is due) Please be careful of charges for internet as we found additional charges we had removed. And if you return something for credit make sure you check your bill for the actual credit. Had to prove those. We also removed the daily tips that they auto charged and personally tipped ho we wanted what we wanted (and took care of individuals well ). Would we do this again? Not on carnival and definitely not on the old boat called imagination. It is old and should be Mothballed. Every port we docked the other newer carnival ships next to us made the ship look like a fishing boat Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Booked last minute cruise for kids for their spring break from school. This was my second cruise but first with Carnival. This was the kids first cruise. Heard from others that Carnival was a "party" cruise line but wanted to try ... Read More
Booked last minute cruise for kids for their spring break from school. This was my second cruise but first with Carnival. This was the kids first cruise. Heard from others that Carnival was a "party" cruise line but wanted to try it out and see for myself. Was NOT disappointed. Carnival Imagination was the perfect family cruise. Likes:The decor. The SPACIOUS cabins *note-we had an inside cabin with 2 twins and 2 bunks and we still had a lot of space in the room*. The friendly and attentive staff. The ship was clean. Camp carnival was GREAT for all of my kids (more on that later). The food (except desert). The activities. The weather. The length of the cruise.Dislikes:Our flight got in within a timely manner but we booked a transfer via Carnival and got to the ship later than I would have liked. We missed the embarkement pics and we had to carry all of our luggage to our rooms ourselves. We would have been better off taking a taxi but I booked the transfer to guarantee that if we had a delay, Carnival would wait for us. The desert. Stick with the ice cream. Enough saidThe security. My 17 yr old son was able to get off of the ship at one of the ports by himself (Cozumel). He barely made it back on the ship in time. I was not aware that he got off of the ship until after the fact. When I asked Guest Services about it, they told me that I needed to put a block on my kids set and sail pass to prevent them from being able to leave the ship on their own. REALLY?! My 7 year old could have gotten off of the ship on his own! Wasn't feeling too secure about that. Next time, I will know to go straight to Guest Services after I board to put restrictions on my kids passes to prevent this from happening again. Camp Carnival:Great programs for the kids for all age ranges. My kids really enjoyed the activities and enjoyed meeting other children. The staff were attentive with the little ones. Kids over 9 can sign themselves in and out of the activities but I didn't allow that for my 10 year old. For my oldest, he was part of Club O2. I think they need to do a little better with the teenagers because they didn't stay in the club much but they made friends and walked around the ship in clusters. I didn't see any "bad" activity going on. They were well behaved. I will most certainly go on another Carnival Cruise. RC was okay but I liked Carnival much better for my family. In the process of booking another one for next year! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Just came back from a 4 night cruise on the Imagination to Key West & Cozumel. Both ports are nice to visit and perfectly appropriate for a 4 day cruise. My issue was with the Imagination itself. This poor boat needs to be retired or ... Read More
Just came back from a 4 night cruise on the Imagination to Key West & Cozumel. Both ports are nice to visit and perfectly appropriate for a 4 day cruise. My issue was with the Imagination itself. This poor boat needs to be retired or overhauled drastically. 1st, the XANADU lounge smells of old vomit, no joking and I'm sorry I couldn't think of a better descriptive word for it but my friend and myself could not go to any shows in that lounge due to the putrid smell emanating from the carpet. 2nd, more shows/entertainment is needed. Most nights, there was nothing to do between 7 and 10 when the shows started, this tends to make one sleepy when having to wait around after dinner. 3rd, Carnival really needs to return to a nightly dinner choice of a decent steak. The only steak offered every night was the "Flat Iron" steak, which I must say, when hidden under the three peppercorn sauce, was quite tasty but the amount of grissel running through the meat was sub-par to say the least. I understand the economy has made everyone/thing cut back but Carnival needs to fix some of these problems or just cut this ship all together. 4th, Carnival really needs to employ people that not only speak English but UNDERSTAND it. I gave up on room service when, after 3 tries, they could not get an order for a corned beef sandwich right. Each time I ordered, I specifically requested "no mustard" and each time, it appeared at my room WITH mustard. Once I ordered it "plain" and received my sandwich with mustard and a "plain" yogurt with it and was told "you ordered plain" I gave up! On the upside, the rooms are always fine, with luscious bedding. The room stewards and wait staff are the friendliest on the seas. And usually, Carnival always has a good time for it's guests. This was the 1st time I've taken such a short cruise and will be sure not to do so again. If you book with Carnival (and I will again), be sure you do so on a longer cruise and make sure it's on a newer ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Carnival Imagination was a total disappointment; we will NEVER cruise on Carnival again. We booked an ocean view cabin and enjoyed looking out at the sea; however, the cabin was very small. There was no room to maneuver around the bed, ... Read More
Carnival Imagination was a total disappointment; we will NEVER cruise on Carnival again. We booked an ocean view cabin and enjoyed looking out at the sea; however, the cabin was very small. There was no room to maneuver around the bed, which was propped against the outside wall. The cabin had a desk and chair; no small size refrigerator and no hair dryer. The dining staff was not accommodating. Twice over the 4 days were we asked if we would like more tea or coffee, while seated and dining. The staff in the buffet area, while busy, would about knock people over without an excuse me. Speaking of dining, the food was horrid. To say that it was 1/2 step up from inexpensive buffet food describes it appropriately. The buffet was sparse and it appeared that the staff was trying to conserve on the amount of food consumed. Once the food was gone; it was gone. Desserts were not refilled. Orange juice was not replenished in the morning. The best food, sorry to say, were the sandwiches and cheesburgers made at the grill! The pool area was very small and the LOUD games went on forever. The adult-only area was hardly a quiet respite. On our first night at sea a letter from the Captain was left for passengers because the ship's phone service broke down. A specialist was going to come aboard in Key West to work on them. Okay, things do break down. The communication was very professional and appreciated. We don't know if the phones were ever fixed because additional communication was not forthcoming. It is too bad that the noxious odor of raw sewage that started in Cozumel on day 2 and consumed the entire ship for the next 1 1/2 days was not apologized for. People were walking on the Lido deck and through the Atrium with their hands over their noses and mouths. What was supposed to have been a birthday celebration for my fiance was horrible. Suffice to say, Carnival Cruises is NOT the way to cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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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