1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. ... Read More
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. There seemed to be less staff to bus and clean tables on this trip. The food was mediocre at the buffet, much better at Guys Burger and the delicatessen. Pizza advertised as pan pizza definetly was not and had a coat of flower on the bottom, crust was dry and thin and crispy. We ordered a complimentary Ceasar Salad it was horrible. Did not resemble a Ceasar in any way. The dressing was a tasteless milky substance and we refused to eat it. Room was clean and well tended by Mega, who was very friendly and attentive. Slight odor in bathroom. Cabin windows needed to be cleaned on the outside. Entertainment facilities were well used and fun, the mini golf area had been renovated since our last visit. Shows were fun and lively. Staff throughout the ship was friendly throughout the ship; although, it seemed far fewer spoke adequate English on this cruise and was often difficult to communicate with general staff. The two excursions we chose were fun and informative, great value. Overall a fun experience and we still consider the cruise full of positive memories. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
People don't seem to review the shorter cruises out of Long Beach, so I wanted to write one for last week. This was our third Imagination cruise from Long Beach, and it was great! Pre-cruise: Got to Long Beach the day before ... Read More
People don't seem to review the shorter cruises out of Long Beach, so I wanted to write one for last week. This was our third Imagination cruise from Long Beach, and it was great! Pre-cruise: Got to Long Beach the day before the cruise, and spent the day at Cabrillo Beach (San Pedro) relaxing in the sun. Stayed at the Golden Sails in Long Beach, which was a fine hotel 20 minutes from port. On Sunday morning, we left the hotel at 10:20, with zero traffic, we were parked in the garage at 10:45. Embarkation: This is the easiest embarkation port of the many we have used. We were completely checked in and waiting to board before 11 am. FttF was called at 11:11 (good luck!!) and we were boarded very quickly. Straight to our stateroom (E90 - right off the atrium) to drop bags, and we were at Guy's Burgers before 11:30. Stateroom: Excellent choice (E 90) for access to everything. No problems with noise, smell or stateroom steward. Received twice-daily cleaning as requested. Room was in excellent shape, with comfy bedding and everything in working order. Dining: Had Anytime dining, which worked great. Ate all breakfasts in the MDR, and avoided the buffet completely. Lunch was Guys, Blue Iguana or Deli. Sea day brunch was awesome as ever---steak and eggs was great. All dinners were good, with many choices, and we ordered double appetizers or entrees more than once. Brought case of Coke Zero and two wine bottles in carryon, so we brought our own glasses to dinner each night. Worked beautifully. Day one: Bags were delivered before 12:30, so we were quickly unpacked, and headed to an empty Serenity deck. Relaxed until muster drill, then off to get dressed for dinner. Yes, we dress for dinner each night. Not over the top, but I wore a dress, and my husband wore button up shirt and slacks each night. Comedians were okay this trip, and we enjoyed family and adult shows most days. Did a little dancing in the nightclub. Funniest thing was "80's hour", which was from 10 to 10:15 pm one night! Dance floor was packed for those fifteen minutes!!! Day two - Catalina: Breakfast in the MDR, then ready to tender to Catalina. Expected a crowd, but easily caught a tender with no wait. Didn't even use FttF tendering. Rented a golf cart for about 90 minutes for a nice tour. Walked around a bit peeking into shops for a little while. After that, we lounged on the beach by the dock for a few hours before returning to the ship for a late lunch. Short but fun day. Day three - Ensenada: This was a weird day. We had breakfast in the MDR again, and got off the ship easily at approximately 10:30. Nice walk into town along the new Malecon. The streets, stores, bars, restaurants were EMPTY. It was amazing how few people we saw in Ensenada. Nothing like our past visits. We walked along the main street looking in a few stores. Had a quick (unsatisfying) lunch at a street restaurant, then hit our favorite Ensenada store that sells stained glass, and headed back to the ship. In the two years since we've been there, prices across the board in Ensenada have skyrocketed. Maybe that's why it was dead. Returned to the ship for Serenity deck and relaxation around 2:30. Day four: Day at sea started with sea day brunch, and consisted mostly of the Serenity deck! We went on this trip to relax, and relax we did! Got front row in Serenity, but it was packed by 10:30 that morning - don't dawdle! Disembarkation: So quick and easy! They started self-assist at 7 am. Started calling zones at 8:45, and did a last call for everyone to disembark by 9:05!!! Short wait for customs, and we were back in the car by 10 am. Overall: An excellent cruise for first-timers looking to try cruising, or for seasoned cruisers looking for a relaxing few days. We don't gamble on ships, and didn't drink too much. The ship was oddly empty for the most part (considering this was Holy Week/Spring Break). Never a wait at a bar, easy to get chairs on Lido and Serenity, no long lines at lunch locations. It was downright weird!!! For the price, it is an excellent value cruising experience, and keeps us satisfied between longer cruises. Next up for us a the Legend Transatlantic 2020! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
For our first cruise my wife and I were a little scared to do a long cruise. What if one of us gets sea sick easily, or can't stand being cramped in a cabin, or we get bored. So to play it safe we chose one of the shortest cruises we ... Read More
For our first cruise my wife and I were a little scared to do a long cruise. What if one of us gets sea sick easily, or can't stand being cramped in a cabin, or we get bored. So to play it safe we chose one of the shortest cruises we can find. Being in SoCal we are also lucky that Long Beach is a short drive away. In any case we chose one of the 3 Day Baja Mexico cruises - known for college kids wanting to get drunk in Mexico. I guess if we had a choice between a ship full of college kids or a ship full of retirees we'd rather have the college kids anyways. Turns out the ship had a good mix of people with families, college kids, older people, etc. Probably on the younger side I would say judging from some videos I saw of the recent cruise in Norway that got disabled and passengers had to be rescued with helicopters off the ship. In any case I didn't want to get a cabin with an ocean view or a balcony on this first cruise. We had to make it the worst possible cabin to see if we could survive. And definitely no problems having an interior. We didn't miss not having a window to the outside world at all. We basically used the room for sleeping in and getting changed for the day, that was it. We hung out on the ship most of the day, either watching shows, playing games, doing auctions, sitting on the decks outside, etc. We had plenty of activities to do on our short 3 night cruise. Our cabin was on Main Deck, which is Deck 5, two decks below the boarding deck Empress. We were mid / aft which was good because the dining areas were right above us two floors. Easy to get to and without any noise. A lot of activities on Imagination are more Forward so we would have a small walk forward to get to the activities but not too bad. I think we would probably try to get Mid Ship if we sailed in the future. Our Steward was great and recognized my wife and I every morning. Room was always cleaned and cute little towel animals left every day. We left all of our electronics out with no problems - didn't feel a need to put anything in the safe. Dining was hit or miss. For the price we paid we can't complain and we enjoyed the food. But picky people beware, the buffet is probably more of an average buffet rather than a higher priced buffet. In addition the food during the evening dinners was good but not something that will blow your socks off. The wait staff at dinner was excellent and we enjoyed the food but it was a little hit or miss. Some dishes were excellent and others were okay, nothing spectacular. Either way - a great first time cruise option to see how well you can handle being on a ship for several days. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a family cruise to celebrate an eighty-fifth birthday. We were 23 in number with many young people on their first cruise - no one under 16. I mistakenly had my bags checked aboard and had a bottle of wine removed. I would carry ... Read More
This was a family cruise to celebrate an eighty-fifth birthday. We were 23 in number with many young people on their first cruise - no one under 16. I mistakenly had my bags checked aboard and had a bottle of wine removed. I would carry my bags on board next time. We had a suite which was excellent - spacious, clean with amenities. We were not fond of the main entertainment but the smaller venues were good. The zip-lining in Catalina was excellent and the wine tour in Ensenada was good. The cruise ship food was good and the evening dining and service quite good. Birthdays were acknowledged at dinner and the serving staff entertaining. All areas were usually kept clean. The main pool and spas were always full with children. There was an adult pool, but on this cruise, it was full as well. The main entertainment was not very good, but the smaller venues were fine. On a previous 3 day cruise, the entertainment was excellent with Broadway -type shows. The drawbacks - a valuable ring and an article of clothing were take from the room. Obviously, the only people with access were the steward and cleaning personnel. Also, while we paid for internet access, we never had it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but ... Read More
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but didn't get in the water.) Nice drive out to the point, and then suited up. I recommend the wetsuits - they will keep you warm if the water is cold. Also, take Dramamine or other seasickness prevention. We had 5-6-foot swells, and when you're out in a small (even 2-person) kayak, you feel it more than in the cruise ship. We had great views of La Bufadora, far better than what is seen up top. Carlos led the way, and my daughter and I learned pretty fast how to paddle straight, how to turn, all with the help of Carlos and Rebecca. We got some great pics. If you have a waterproof camera or a waterproof sleeve for your phone, you may want to plan to take those. After paddling back in and rinsing off and changing, we headed up to the top of the Bufadora shopping street for great tacos. Then a quiet drive back to the ship, or to town to do some shopping. The cruise itself was great. I've done this particular cruise two other times, and the staff works hard to make sure everyone has fun. The weather was a little colder than we hoped, so less time for my daughter to sun on deck, but we lounged and read books in Serenity and other places on deck. We won a Thomas Kincade print at the art auction, and recommend those events as a fun thing to do. They had an egg-drop contest, and let individuals or teams build whatever they could to protect an egg dropped from the 10th deck to the 7th in the atrium. All winners won a medal. Our team used a parachute and straw design and won our medal. That was a fun part of the sea day. Shoutouts to Putu (room steward) and to Abigail and Angela, our dining room dinner staff. Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with my daughter and adult grandchildren on Carnival Imagination from Long Beach CA to Ensenada Mexico. We booked the smaller suites with balconies on the Veranda deck. We had a fantastic time and it ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with my daughter and adult grandchildren on Carnival Imagination from Long Beach CA to Ensenada Mexico. We booked the smaller suites with balconies on the Veranda deck. We had a fantastic time and it was just what we needed in a mini vacation. We knew the Imagination was an older smaller ship which was fine for a short trial cruise. I arrived first and was so relieved the garage had benches so I could sit and wait for family and be out of the cold weather. There were many porters to take bags out of cars and they worked quickly to move bags to the ship. Checking in was easy and quick and along the path to board, there were many Carnival staff welcoming us. What I appreciated and liked best was the very diverse and friendly Carnival staff from so many countries; and any time we had a question any staff member was happy to help. When I had an issue about a charge, Lori Ann in Guest Services took care of the bill quickly and very efficiently. Also, we were assigned the Spirit Dining Room where Abigail, Kamaljet and Angela served us each night flawlessly and food was so delicious. What was lacking was some of food in the food court was very much below par so we went to the deli and Guy's Burgers which always had lines. It seemed that Alcohol was highly promoted and the main activity for many, there were so many bars and people drinking. We had to call to report our loud drunk room neighbors who were arguing at 11pm; security took care of the issue and called us back to make sure it solved the problem very quickly. I use a walker and cane which was a little difficult at times moving through crowds; my rollator walker had a strap on the seat which I could lift to make the walker narrower which helped a great deal. We all decided cruising is for us and we will definitely be making reservations at a future time. Thank you terrific Carnival employees! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Long story short. We were scheduled to take a week-long Caribbean cruise out of FL and the plans had to be canceled for reasons beyond our control. We decided to convert the original cruise plans to something cheaper, shorter, and near ... Read More
Long story short. We were scheduled to take a week-long Caribbean cruise out of FL and the plans had to be canceled for reasons beyond our control. We decided to convert the original cruise plans to something cheaper, shorter, and near where family resides. We booked this cruise having a fairly clear idea of what to expect. As the saying goes, all suffering is unmet expectation. So, the key to appreciating this cruise is to set the bar level at old-school Las Vegas, just as described by other reviews. If you keep that always in mind, the cruise will be enjoyable. Note: the weather was dreadfully cold for So-Cal. 40-50's. So, the bulk of the guests stayed inside nearly the whole cruise. It limited our experience a great deal because any pool-side and other such outdoor activities were hard to bear. The wind was cutting. I wore my coat all day and evening because the inside was likewise chilly from time to time. It was nippy in Ensenada, even. Carnival lived up to its reputation. Every economic stratum, every shade, and every age was present, which was pretty cool. It felt like all of Hands-Across-America boarded the boat. The best food on the ship was the Guy Fieri burgers -- best burgers we have ever had (and we are foodies), chocolate lava cake in the restaurant, and the taco bar was "incredible," says our 14-yr-old. There was always a few dishes in the buffet that was second-helping worthy. Kids clubs left us wanting. They are rarely open, and if you are cruising during cold weather, then it really depresses the kids' experience. However, our three teens all made friends and ran in little herds throughout the cruise. Our youngest spent his time with us because his club was rarely open. Not ideal for those wanting a date night. We do not drink, smoke, or gamble, and were at total ease on the boat. We were never approached to order alcohol after an initial "no." Our waiters never offered wine after the first night. Promenading through the ship, one is not forced to walk through the casino, thus gambling felt truly optional rather than encouraged. Two-thumbs up there. Warning: there are no coin dispensers in the laundry room. Come armed with quarters or you'll be wandering the boat begging for coinage. Not much help from the staff, either. For excursions, we simply did a hike around Catalina and then took an independent excursion in Ensenada. Because we did not use up all our on-ship bonus money, Carnival reimbursed us immediately after the cruise was over. Our cruise director was born for the job. He was so approachable and fun. Great rep for Carnival. The musicians and DJs were good, too. It must be mentioned that embarkation and debarkation were glorious compared to Disney cruises. As the theme parks demonstrate, that world-class company has world-class lines, that that goes for cruising, too. Carnival smashes Disney in the boarding process and we came out of it feeling like we were truly on vacation rather than draining us of all enthusiasm through an unconscionable wait and paperwork process. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my second time on carnival imagination. February 3rd-7th 2019. And I have to say that I was disappointed in a lot of things the second time around. My wife and I requested a king size bed and they just threw two twins together ... Read More
This is my second time on carnival imagination. February 3rd-7th 2019. And I have to say that I was disappointed in a lot of things the second time around. My wife and I requested a king size bed and they just threw two twins together and put a big sheet over it. So my wife was slipping into the crack between bed all night. Not comfortable. Also, the hot tubs could hardly be called so. They were kept at a lukewarm bathtub temperature of 98 degrees and filled only to lower chest level so you had to slouch to even get your body in. 2 years ago they were kept at 102. 4 degrees makes a huge difference in a hot tub. The staff would not budge on warming it up either. Lots of the staff in general were very unhappy people. However, the waiters in the spirit dining room were absolutely AMAZING! Just a bunch of really kind and happy to help fellas. The boat was a lot more Rocky this time. They can't help that, it's just the ocean, but when booking make sure to know what the weather is like especially if you get seasick. The comedians were on point most nights and very funny. The love and marriage show was a good time and so was Karaoke. There was a storm when we were trying to reach Catalina island so they didn't port there the night they planned. But it was nice that they did make it happen the next day when the weather was clear. Buffet deserts were usually just dry and not very sweet, but the ice cream dispenser was always delicious. The sit down breakfast in the pride dining room was also very disappointing. I tried the French toast, the waffles, and the pancakes and they were all very sub-par. I enjoyed disembarking in Catalina and Ensenada. Both were fun places to visit and enjoy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My daughters (ages 12 and 13) and I were also with about 5 other families and their kids. Kids ranged in age from 4-19. We had a family of vegans and a family with dairy allergies. Boarding: We were dropped off at Long Beach cruise ... Read More
My daughters (ages 12 and 13) and I were also with about 5 other families and their kids. Kids ranged in age from 4-19. We had a family of vegans and a family with dairy allergies. Boarding: We were dropped off at Long Beach cruise terminal. We had the first boarding time of noon, and only had to wait for one group of friends who happened to be ahead of us in security line. We all arrived at almost exactly the same time, so all but one family boarded together. I had given most luggage to a porter when we were dropped off. I tipped him $1/bag. Boarding was easy. Headed to the buffet. Blue Iguana, Guy's and the buffet were all open. I did not check if a dining room was open or not. The vegans got burritos at Blue Iguana and a couple of them went to the Deli and found veggie burgers there. THe rest of us found food and enjoyed our meals. We got drinks(a few had cheers, but I didn't). You no longer get your sign and sail at the check in in the terminal, so you have to use your boarding pass to get drinks until you get to your room and the cards are at your room. HUB App: We had a total of 22 people, so we knew that the adults and tweens would need access to HUB. IN THEORY, the idea is great. However, it appears that Carnival has hired the most inept of programmers to actually execute the App. It is $5/person who uses it. That is $5 too much IMO. They should pay YOU to use it and report the excessive number of bugs. It was slow to load on my phone, so I'd have to shut off my phone in order for it to reboot. I was added on one chat with all of us, but I could never actually see that chat to be able to try to log out of it then back in. I never got the messages on that chat. Then, what was the easiest part, or should have been, would be person to person. Well, I hope you aren't talking trash about anyone, because random people would be thrown into the personal chats! (They were part of our group, so not TOTALLY random people, but....) Some messages never went through at all, so we would check on our kids with no response, get mad at them for not responding, then check their phones and they never got our messages. I hate using walkie talkies, but at least they are instant gratification for checking whereabouts. Circle C- When signing in online, it says nothing about parents needing to check their kids in once on board. I mean, it is come and go as you please, so Ifigured all was well once I signed them up online. All of us with kids in that club were told BY OUR KIDS, not by Carnival staff, that we needed to go check our kids in a tthe club before they could stay. I would have gone there first thing when boarding if I had known ahead of time. Then again, who knows if they would have been open or not. Tanya was the one in charge there. Multiple times our kids went there late (It says they are open until 1am. After 11pm, it seemed if noone was there, they just locked the doors), and the doors were locked. So for anyone who wonders why tweens/teens are just roaming the ship, THIS IS WHY!! Also, she sent one of our kids out for wearing pajama cozy pants in the club. It was 10 pm! She tried to send my daughter out for a skirt that was "too short". My daughter had shorts on underneath it so was allowed to stay. My friends and I saw NO indication of any dress code. I even looked on Carnival's page last night to find one, and no such thing existed. For crying out loud, I had a Grumpy Bear Care Bear onesie on that I wore into the NIGHT CLUB! I was glad my kids went with their own friends. Had they relied on Circle C for their entertainment, i think I would have had 2 grumpy kids on my hands. Just about the only thing in there is a place to hang out and video games and some crafts. Room- R135. It was a great location if you get seasick. Little movement even when it was storming outside and not safe for the tender boats at Catalina Island. 1 set of bunks and a twin against the window. A desk, set of 4 or 5 small drawers(we put swimsuits, socks, and undies in the just fine) 3 closets. 1 with room for long dresses, one a bit shorter because there is bedding underneath and one with shelves) Bathroom is toilet, small(1 shelf) above the sink and shower. Shower had awesome water pressure. Wish i had that at home! Room steward was Made who was great. Got us our robes, bottled water in a timely manner. Only downside was the location for elevators. It only went to deck 9, which wouldn't have been an issue had there been a way to access all of deck 9. It just dumps you off in front of a dining room. And I think it is actually the back side of the dining room! But, the ship is rather small, so a trip to the foward or aft stairs isn't that big of a walk. Food- We enjoyed most everything we got on the cruise. I loved the fish taco I had at Blue Iguana. Was disappointed in the chile relleno the last night. I should have just ordered all apps the last night. The salmon cake was superb. The fruit bisques are a family favorite. Vegan friends ordered vegan chef's choice every night after the first night. The last night was a total miss. Random veggies in a pie crust with some wierd BBQ sauce tasting sauce or beans? We couldn't figre out what it was. They had a great tapioca pudding type dessert that was made with soy milk, a pudding and a fruit compote type dessert. Guys burgers was great. Only complaint we had was that food was virtually non existant after midnight. We were up at 3 am and the ice cream was closed and we wanted dessert. The next night we loaded plates with bread, desserts and other food and carried it around with us. They wouldn't let it into the night club, though, so we devoured it on site. Drinks- Why are the only 2 bars open late at the casino and nightclub??? The 2 places that allow SMOKING!!?? One bar had only 2 wines available. We requested a shiraz, and they said only cab or merlot. They "Ran out of wine". You didn't run out, idiots. We were not born yesterday. We saw the wines we requested on the dinner menu the next night and they were available. You just didn't want to run and get a bottle. Or open a new one. The Alchemy bar was the beacon of light. Samael was my favorite. I ordered all of my drinks of menu, just giving direction like "vodka, fruity, but not really sweet." or "Something with spicy mango syrup". Samael was dead on with all the drinks he made me. Jorge seemed to be newer. His were ok, but tended to be more sour. Ludja (Pronounced Lydia) made me a great one with the spicy mango syrup. If you want a cocktail, but not a sugar laden syrupy mix from most bars, come here! The drinks take a while to make, but they taste superb and are pretty. Just don't get the strawberry one with the rosemary and the 2 rums. They add smoke to it and it tasted like a strawberry daquari got left next to a campfire! Read Less
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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