Getting onto the ship requires you to be sure you are in the correct line. You just need to be aware of which check-in line to be in. One is located outside which the line is longer and not sure which ship that was for and the other is located in the dome (Long Beach/Los Angeles).
We were just looking forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary and just relaxing. The tender to go onto Catalina Island was extremely slow due to one of the boats being out of service. Our day at Ensenada was okay, only two little kids trying to sell us things. I guess the rest of the kids were in school as we arrived in Ensenada on a Tuesday, instead of a weekend.
The entertainment on the ship was not bad, depending on what activities you like to do, listen or watch. The comedy shows were funny, the music shows weren't bad, depending on the type of music you like. However, there was this one guy in the late afternoon/early evening that was signing in the lobby for several nights that was total off key and/or tone death.
The food was decent, but the best tasting food is always in the main dining room. Their prime rib is always excellent when they offer it. The food on the Lido deck is your basic cafeteria food, nothing special.
Getting off the ship was easy. We decided to take our own luggage off the ship, instead of leaving them in the hallway the night before.
Overall, we had a good time on the cruise if you are not expecting too much.
staff was very good, entertainment was fair, I would've like more live music, otherwise entertainment was adequate, we had a good time nonetheless, we certainly enjoyed the late night buffet, till next time, we've recommended it to friends and family already.
Three of the five members of my group got food poisoning. Carnival quietly escorted us off the ship and refused to give us any kind of credit. They even went as far as accusing us of dishonesty. The ship was dirty, the food was spoiled, the crew was tired and unkind.
My husband and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary on the Carnival Imagination, and we had so much fun!!! It was first cruise for us, and we felt pretty satisfied.
We read many negative reviews about this cruise, so we didn't expect much about it. However, it was so much better - yes there are many drunkies who would act stupid, but you just need to plan your activities right and get away from them. Personally, I recommend early dinner. You can still choose "your time dining" but go before 6:30pm (the earlier the better) to avoid the huge lines during regular dinner time. When you are done with dinner (around 7-7:30pm), huge crowd starts to roll in, and you can avoid that by going to the musical productions or shows. Recommend both stage productions and adult-only comedies (PG ones are ok but not as fun).
Karaoke and piano bars are very fun and watch and participate. I was out of tone but people still cheered on when I got on stage.
Adult only jacuzzi tends to get really busy on the day at sea - everyone tries to get in the jacuzzi, and people sat one next to each other. Recommend to coke early or very late (after 10pm).
For excursions, I do not recommend you to book it with Carnival, because the tour groups are HUGE! You will not get a personal experience. I booked ours on shoreexcursiongroup.com. It is $5 more expensive each person (we did the La Bufadora and city tour), but there are only 7 of us, and the tour guide customized to all our needs! It was perfect! Also the excursion took off at 9:30am and came back at 3pm. So while everyone else was still gone with carnival excursion, we came back already, and the ship was slow - water slides had very short lines :)
Horrible teenage music throughout ship. No heat, so staterooms and public rooms are cold. Drab, tired, faux decor throughout. Lousy layout of ship...need to change elevators to get to top decks. Bad entertainment with same comedians two nights in a row; loud rock entertainment in main showroom with no appeal. This was our 49th cruise and one of the worst. Long wait for food in dining rooms due to lack of staff.
Overall, the cruise was positive and rewarding. The only incident that I did not like is at the sit-down dinner on the first night. The waiter was irresponsive and moody. He did not have the patience when we ordered our food. He gave us several looks as to say, "you never ordered at Carnival before?!" He was right. This is our first cruise!
I was very nervous about going on my first cruise and I highly recommend this cruise as an excellent way to get started.
Getting onto the cruise was very simple and went quickly in about 20 minutes we were on board and enjoying our first beverage of many on the trip! We did the Cheers program and if you and your bunk mate will be drinking at least 5-6 drinks a day it is cost beneficial.
The rooms were nice and clean and our ocean view was great! I couldn't believe how nice and pleasant all the staff was - all the time. And it was truly genuine (or they are very good actors! lol!)
Food was excellent and I was glad I did late dining because it allowed for a much more relaxed day and a nap ;). We did the ATV excursion and it was SO.MUCH.FUN!! I highly recommend the tour and doing the one in the middle of the day, you can sleep in and then get dropped in town to do sightseeing and eat some of the best tacos EVER!
Town is only a 10 minute walk to boat. And so much fun to see all the sights.
Activities on the boat were great - comedy show a must (adult) did some dancing and it was really fun with the live band backup for Karoeke.
Rent a golf cart at Catalina Island to get around, well worth it. But if you do, reserve it in advance. You'll get it for 3 hours vs 2 hours if you rent one on site. The extra hour will make the difference and you won't feel as rushed to return it.
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.