March 2015 - 4 Night Catalina & Baja Mexico (Los Angeles Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Imagination
Baja 4 Night - Ensenada
Cruise was our family's 1st so our expectations were not HIGH and we purchased late to get a the BEST DEALS. We read all the available negative reviews to get the worst possible situations by customers. This set our expectations ...
But to our surprise, we were over satisfied. The Cruise overall was 4.5 Stars and fantastic. Pricing was Great a $275 room with oceanview + a $409 Junior Suite for 4 Night trip. The accomodations were fine, although the SHIP was a little OLDER than we wanted, but it was clean and tighty. So, if you are interested in this, check you SHIP's age before you go, but Carnival did a great job in keeping the SHIP working, clean, and comfortable. The FOOD was the most surprising, after reading the reviews. We found the Buffet Food very satisfying and the quality HIGH. Given the convenience over the restaurant wait lines, formality, and just the time getting IN and OUT .... we choose the buffet for every meal except 2 dinners. General restaurants have small portions, so if you wish for larger portions ... go to the BUFFET. At the BUFFET, the variety was huge, the quality and taste was very good and just as good the a HIGH END CASINO buffet, if you are acquainted with this type of Buffet. With the exception of breatfast the menu changed daily for the main entrees.
The Shore Excursions were good and well planned. We went on a City Tour of Ensenada, but were somewhat disappointed in that the Guide was only so-so and they seemed to stop and shop at places where they received a kick-back ... to many wine tasting and tourist spots vs general local consumer shopping.
There was a big complaint about "nickel diming" 24hrs a day, but we did not find that to be true. Sure, if you ordered Steak/Lobster, which I did ... there was an extra charge, but it was well labeled on the menu. But if you didn't get drunk everyday ... your extra charges would not be crazy. Drinking is were most people get zapped ! Alcohol and COKE are the source of 100's of dollars of extra, so if you manage it well you should not be surprised.
Also, complaints existed on minor repairs, but we tested this a plugged drain and they came by immediately when we left the room and had it fixed PRONTO ! Also room servicing was really GOOD, as I would expect in any 4 Star hotel.
The PEOPLE servicing your every need was amazing. They were plentiful in every dept, respectful, and happy to service you. This was 5 Stars
Overall I give Carnival on this cruise 4.5 Stars. Specifically,
Value 5 Stars
Food 4 Stars
Service 5 Stars
Accommodation 4 Stars
Entertainment 4 Stars
Happy Boat 5 Stars
I definately would go again and Carnival would be a proven choice.